Welcome to our latest newsletter, which looks back on the summer just gone and highlights many of the activities going on in and around Woodbridge Road.
Director of Cricket
Guildford are seeking the club’s first director of cricket.
This successful applicant’s task will be to develop and harness the talent within the club, develop a coaching programme for all ages in both men’s and women’s cricket, ensure players have a pathway to achieve county recognition – and beyond – through high-class coaching and support, while setting high standards and creating a positive culture.
It has been advertised in the national press and on social media, with full details of the objectives and requirements available on the home page of club website.
Woodbridge Road rhapsody
There was a whole new experience for visitors to Woodbridge Road at the Queen tribute concert on September 27.
With a stage specially constructed on the outfield, hundreds of visitors to the ground enjoyed the music on a highly successful night.
What happened in 2019?
Returning to the Premier Division after a year away, Guildford’s hopes of re-establishing themselves promptly turned to ashes.
Just two wins and 14 defeats meant an immediate return to the second tier, a cruel disappointment for Tom Collins and his side.
A lack of runs was the main problem, painfully underlined by failing to reach three-figures in five matches, which made the task of a game bowling attack all but impossible.
Despite the paucity of runs, Guildford had two batsmen in the Premier top 10 scorers, skipper Collins enjoying his most profitable season in making 513 – capped by his maiden century in the final game of the season at Ashtead, much to the delight of colleagues – while opener Nathan Tilley, although unable to repeat his Bradmanesque form a year earlier, still contributed a solid 477.
No one else topped 250, long-term injuries which cost the services of Fred McMillan and Alex Sweet particularly badly felt.
Duncan Selmes led the attack in exemplary manner with 28 wickets at 21, his command of seam and swing a test for all opponents, while George Barlow (22 at 19) consistently troubled them with pace and bounce. Fellow quick Jamie Odell was restricted to 57 overs by a knee injury.
Despite restricted opportunities and the gods seeming to gang up against him, off-spinner Jonny Charles snared 18 victims, Australian import Angus Lovell’s 20 wickets partially compensating for his troubles with the bat. He took some fine catches and was a popular member of the side.
Guildford continued to promote young talent and in 15-year-old off-spinner Shoaib Bashir another exciting prospect is on the rise, his 10 wickets at 16 evidence of a youngster in no way overawed by more experienced batsmen.
Anthony Gamble stepped down after 12 seasons as first team scorer, his contribution to the club having been immense. The perfect emergency 12th man, he has been an exponent of computerised scoring which transformed the way Championship matches are now recorded.
A resilient display ensured that a season heading for disaster, which started with five straight defeats, was turned around to achieve survival in the Premier Division.
Title-winning form saw four of the last five matches won by Chris Coombs’s side, although it went to the last day of the season with a must-win game against Sutton at Woodbridge Road. Youngster Ben Garrett’s 51 led the way to 207-9 before the visitors were dismissed for 131, two wickets apiece falling to Jake Henderson, Coombs, Henry McMillan and Adam Appleton.
Tom Bancroft was leading scorer with 474, Henry Straw restricted to eight games but returning 373 at 53. Shoaib Bashir’s 20 wickets earned him promotion to the first team, Paul Stephens contributing 19 and making several appearances at the next level.
Six wins and nine defeats made it a mixed season for the third team after their ascent to Division One, finishing almost 50 points away from danger in Cameron Green’s first outing as captain.
Three batsmen passed the 300-run mark – Dylan Lawson (394), Carlos Maloney (341) and Jevan Kher (301).
Malorie Short was the leading wicket-taker with 23 victims, followed by Prithvi Ramesh and Cameron Green (15 apiece).
Guildford maintained their excellent record in the Surrey Trust League by claiming the tier one title at Holloway Hill.
Three wins in five matches were sufficient to earn a place in the last four, which prompted a trip to Dulwich for the semi-final. The hosts had Sam Ellison (78no) to thank for making 190-7 from their 40 overs after choosing to bat, opener Ben Garrett (43), Oscar Martin (28) and Nathan Tilley’s unbeaten 56 completing a successful chase by six wickets with 12 balls to spare.
That set up a return match against Banstead – who had inflicted one of the qualifying defeats – at Godalming, disciplined early bowling squeezing the top-order before Shoaib Bashir (3-47) and Paul Stephens’s cutting spell of 4-8 from six overs bowling them out for 134 in the 31st over.
Garrett once again made an impact in the reply, hitting 34, and Tilley’s 34no supervised the chase once more although the highlight was a fine 41 from Tom Geffen which included six fours and two sixes. Victory was achieved by seven wickets in the 28th over before skipper James McMillan stepped up to receive the trophy
So far and no further was the story for the Grizzlies in their first year as they took part in the enlarged Surrey Slam.
They qualified for the knockout stages of both the midweek and Sunday competitions but Cranleigh squeezed past them in the quarter-final of the former, by one wicket, while Ashford were victors in the latter by four wickets, much to the disappointment off Rav Garcha and his side.
Oscar Martin’s 273 runs led the way with the bat, wickets being spread around in the T20 competition.
There was another trip to Surrey finals day for Guildford Thunder, before losing out to the eventual winners.
During the league phase, last year’s champions Cranleigh were beaten twice, Paul Stephens taking 4-8 in the deciding group match.
Consistent runs from Nathan Tilley formed the backbone of the batting, although the innings of the campaign came from Henry McMillan as he struck a swashbuckling unbeaten 41 – his career best – in seizing victory over Valley End with two balls to spare.
Unfortunately, the semi-final against Wimbledon proved a disappointment, the SW19 side reaching 156-6 with James and Henry McMillan sharing the wickets equally.
When the reply slumped to 6-3 – three of the top four recording ducks – victory always looking unlikely, Oscar Martin batting through the innings to make 43no. Tom Geffen cracked 25no from 20 balls as Guildford finished on 126-9.
No fewer than U15s contributed regularly and positively to the campaign, which bodes well for next year, while some stalwart U17/18s – including skipper Matthew Stephenson – remain eligible for 2020.
Finishing in style with three successive victories made it an upbeat finish to the season for the U10s.
Normandy were beaten away from the last ball of the match, Horsley & Send also seen off in a tight finish and Cranleigh succumbing by a comfortable margin.
Rounding off the summer came the annual Parents v Players match, which proved reminiscent of the World Cup final given it was tied and went into a super over. Alex and Soham set the parents a total of 15 to win that but Ollie Gooding was in no mood to let victory slip, steaming in against Rob Jackson and his own grandfather in Archer-style to ensure the boys prevailed.
Manager Nick Gooding, having recovered from the desolation of defeat, thanked all the parents and families for their great support, particularly to Heather for scoring, Amit for umpiring and match day manager Manoj.
Junior Club Awards
We were delighted to welcome Surrey players Will Jacks – who rose through Guildford’s ranks – and Jamie Smith for the junior awards night.
They did the honours, the prizewinners being – best cricketer: Shoaib Bashir (U15); Best batsman: Ben Garrett (U15); Bowler: Hayden Saijeeswaran (U15); Spinner: Toby Finch (U15); Senior all-rounder: Milo Roe (U13); Senior wicketkeeper: Dylan Lawson (U16); Junior all-rounder: Rohan Kumar (U12); Junior wicketkeeper: Max Champion (U11); Fielder Gian Smith (U12); Newcomer-of-the-year: Max Dyer (U13); Most improved: George Kern (U11); Best pairs: Soham Datta & Edward Agar (U10).
Thanks to the industrious work of Nick Gooding, Guildford’s Clubmark accreditation has been retained for a period of three years following the triannual review by the ECB.
Nick says: “This is a root and branch investigation into the way the club is run, examining all aspects of our governance and how we manage the playing side of both junior and cricket.
“Thanks to all those involved in helping to put together the documentation required for our successful submission to the ECB.”
An extensive programme of renovation on the Woodbridge Road square has been completed.
As soon as the final matches were completed, groundsmen Martin Biggin and Ben Brown were hard at work removing the surface soil and then applying a new top dressing, which is designed to improve the quality of the pitches from next season onwards.
Once again we enjoyed luck with the weather in the final week of July as all sections of the club took part in games on the field and socialising off it.
The highlight of the week was the all-day match against The Wanderers, Jack Cunningham cracking 84no and putting on a rapid 120 with Ben Walter (53) on the way to 244-5dec.
But despite three wickets from Jonny Charles, the visitors were able to claim a draw at 187-8.
Ready to go racing?
The social committee are inviting club members and friends to join us at Sandown Park in Esher for the Tingle Creek Christmas Festival – which is one of the highlights of the jumps calendar – on Saturday December 7.
Tickets are usually £35 on the day but a group of 10 or 20 purchased in advance reduces this substantially and U18s go free with paying adults.
If you are interested in what is always a great day out then email Tim Walter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t forget – you can keep up to date with the club’s activities on a weekly basis through our Pitchero bulletin.
Club Sponsors, 2019