Wimbledon have pulled clear at the top of the Ryman Surrey Championship after a tense victory over Camberley was teamed with rain disaster for their nearest rivals Reigate Priory.
The south west Londoners briefly flirted with defeat in their match away at the bottom placed side but came through thanks to some strong innings from their lower order.
Elsewhere, nearest challenges Reigate Priory saw their match at Banstead called off, allowing Wimbledon to stretch their advantage to thirteen points at the top of the table. There were also victories for Sutton over Sunbury and Normandy, who inflicted a heavy defeat on Weybridge and a winning draw for Malden Wanderers over Guildford.
Following a heavy week of cricket for both the First and Second XI, there were no Surrey contracted players in action.
Banstead CC vs. Reigate Priory CC
Match abandoned without a ball being bowled
Camberley CC (188/9) lost to Wimbledon CC (189/8) by two wickets
Hosts Camberley won the toss, decided to bat and were immediately put on the back foot when Daniel Burns was bowled for a second ball duck.
However, a series of sensible partnerships developed, based around the totemic knock of 78* from Pete Young, allowing Camberley to slowly move through the gears and ensure they posted a challenging total. Main support was offered by Todd Hutcheson (32) but Steven Hirst (17) and Dominic Peter (16) also played important roles. They pulled out after the maximum 66 overs, setting Wimbledon 189 to win.
The league leaders managed the chase very maturely, with opener Raymond de Passos (54) providing solidity at the top of the order and finding support from Neil Turk (17), Tim Monteleone (11) and Dan Pratt (22).
He was dismissed with the score on 110 and when Pratt went three runs later, Camberley could smell blood. Three more wickets left Wimbledon second favourites on 157/7 but wicket keeper James Brown (20*) acted as a superb finisher, joined by Darren Hooey (17) as took advantage of the rain in Banstead to record a two wicket win.
Malden Wanderers CC (264/9) had a winning draw with Guildford (148/9)
Guildford won the toss at Malden Wanderers, choosing to bowl first and striking first with the score on 25 as Daniel Jarman (13) was LBW to Tom Collins.
Wicket keeper Dan Euston (36) and John Hess (39) formed a good partnership for the second wicket but were both undone by Chris Coombs, who also snared Matthew Birrell for a duck to reduce Malden to 114/4.
However, the key innings was still to be played, with Alan Cope (93) playing excellently at number four, lifting his side up to 240 before he went to Harry Stephens. With Cope back in the pavilion, Malden managed another 24 before pulling out on 264/9.
In the chase, Guildford lost three early wickets, falling quickly to 16/3 but Harry Stephens (56) repeated his success with the ball and partnered with Robert Jones (23) to take them up to 75/4. This became 100/5 but the visitors were losing too many wickets too quickly and needed to cling on for the draw.
The Malden bowlers continued fighting away and were rewarded with four more wickets to have Guildford 142/9 and approaching defeat. However, numbers ten and eleven, Joe Pipkin and Coombs settled into their task and blocked out the home attack until the end, ending the game on 148/9.
Sutton CC (76/6) beat Sunbury CC (75 all out) by four wickets
Sutton had the best of a low scoring game with Sunbury after winning the toss and bowling first at Cheam Road.
In a change from the norm, the frequently strong Sunbury batting line up crumbled under pressure from Sutton opening bowler Tas Yazdani. After Darren London retired in the first over and Stuart Poynter (3) was bowled by James Wright – John Maunders (20) and captain Oliver Roland-Jones (28) formed a strong partnership.
However, when Maunders was caught by David Lewis off Yazdani, Sunbury lost wickets very quickly indeed. No other batsman broke out of double figures, with Yazdani ending on 7/26 from nine overs.
Sutton made a good start to the chase, reaching 51/3 without a serious wobble before losing their next three wickets for just seventeen runs, looking slightly precarious on 69/6 when Yazdani went second ball to Adam Stanier.
However, Lewis (15*) and David Mitchell combined to take the home side to the 76 they required, giving them a four wicket victory.
Weybridge CC (77 all out) lost to Normandy CC (262/7) by 185 runs
Weybridge won the toss and opted to bowl first against Normandy, making an early inroad but struggling to establish themselves against a strong second wicket partnership between Andrew Hemingway (44) and Howard Grice (78).
Ian Prowse (57) was also impressive as Normandy scored quickly to post a very competitive total of 262/7, declaring when Naguleswaran Niranjan was last man out.
In response, Weybridge started poorly when Luc Durandt (2) was caught by Chris Jones off Matt Carter and, although his fellow opener Harry Cripps managed 21 and James Crowson totalled 13 it was downhill from there on in.
No other batsman broke double figures, with Niranjan’s 5/13 leading the way as the hosts were rolled over for just 77, slipping to a heavy defeat.
Their form in recent matches has lifted Weybridge away from second bottom Normandy, but if these performances are repeated again over coming weeks, they could easily return to relegation trouble.
–To find out more about the Ryman Surrey Championship, including league standings and results from lower divisions, please click here Tweet