It was week three of the campaign, matches played over 50 overs, as the Premier Division takes shape. Richard Spiller reviews the action.
Reigate Priory v Normandy
Leg-spinner Nathan Sowter’s 6-34 secured Normandy’s first victory of the season as they ended Reigate Priory’s unbeaten start.
The Middlesex-contracted white ball specialist proved the kingpin of an attack which successfully defended their 232 all out, dismissing the hosts for 197 to win by 35 runs.
Having been sent in, Normandy were flourishing at 93-1 as Joel Foster (46) and Chris Jones (77) put on 65 for the second wicket. But after that Sowter’s 33 was the best as spinners Michael Munday and Angus Dahl claimed three wickets each.
Losing skipper Richie Oliver for eight was a blow to Reigate’s reply, although they were given an excellent chance of a third successive win by opener Sam Hall (32), Luke Haughton (58) and Ed Fluck (32). Well supported by the rest of the attack, off-spinner Jones (2-34) the most successful, Sowter cut a swathe through the rest of the batting to ensure Normandy headed home relieved to have opened their account.
Ashtead v Malden Wanderers
Wanderers got off the mark, their first win since returning to the Premier Division by condemning Ashtead to a third loss at the same time.
It came by 23 runs, the visitors choosing to bat first but finding the going tough as they made 185-9 from their 50 overs.
As so often, they were dependent on South African opener Zac Elkin whose 73 from 138 balls gained little support until Alex Redmayne’s unbeaten 36 lifted his side from danger at 100-4. Tom Homes’s 4-31 from 10 overs was the outstanding return.
Missing Ben Geddes on county duty, Ashtead were soon in trouble at 29-3, a fightback involving Sam Homes (27), Harry Williams (36) and Tom Homes (33) insufficient as James Rimmer and Alex Butler collected three wickets each.
Wimbledon v East Molesey
Champions East Molesey discovered the rare taste of defeat against a Wimbledon side who fancy their chances of replacing them.
The clash at Church Road was finally decided by 31 runs, skipper Jon Webb (36) having to hold firm for the hosts early on when they were 26-3 but Moles were back on top at 114-7 until Aristides Karvelas cracked an enterprising 62 from 77 balls which included five sixes. That ensured the SW19 side made 175 before being bowled out in the final over, Dominic Reed collecting 3-49.
Losing Tasmanian Mac Wright to the first ball of the reply was a huge blow to East Molesey, fellow opener Jake Kings making 32 but it proved his side’s highest score of the day, their usual lower-order resilience proving no match for Jack Boyle’s 4-32 to be dismissed for 144.
Weybridge v Sutton
South Africa’s Test opener Sarel Erwee hit top form by hammering 159 to maintain Weybridge’s unbeaten record which sees them level at the top with Wimbledon. The left-hander was involved in a run out incident with Nathan Tilley, who had made 99no a week earlier, and was fortunate not to go the same way himself.
Erwee saw Weybridge to 309-9 against an attack in which seamer Sam Blake pulled up injured early on with a hamstring strain. It was another blow for the newly-promoted side, who had lost their first two matches and were once again without key all-rounder Fabian Cowdrey, who suffered a damaged thumb in the opening match. That made it a tough baptism for new captain Sam Seadon, having taken over from Luke Smith whose work commitments forced him to step down.
Sutton were limited to 231-8 in reply to lose by 78 runs but at least took seven bonus points from the match.
Sunbury v Esher
Sunbury bounced back from their defeat at the hands of East Molesey courtesy of a 59-run success against Esher which pushed them up into third place.
It came without skipper Kev Smith, suspended for four weeks by the Surrey Championship following incidents during the Moles match.
Best of the rest
Three teams in Division One continue to boast 100% records.
Cranleigh’s latest victims were Banstead – the pair were relegated last year – with their winning margin 26 runs after Brad Scriven’s 88 led Cranes to 222-6. Patrick Rowe’s 82 could not lift the visitors beyond 196-9.
Having just missed out on promotion, Spencer have launched a determined effort and saw off south London rivals Dulwich by five wickets, Toby Pratt’s 69 ensuring they overtook their target of 212 with 4.3 overs to spare. Chris Purshouse had earlier cracked 71.
The other side on 60 points are Guildford, who hammered Chipstead Coulsdon & Walcountians by nine wickets in a match played at King Edward’s School in Witley given Woodbridge Road was busy hosting Surrey’s match against Sri Lanka’s Development XI. Angelo Jayasinghe made 54 out of 192-8 but Gus Lovell – in form for the county second team – followed 3-41 by hitting 103no. Tom Geffen’s 76no helped him complete the job in 42.1 overs.
One of those unbeaten records must end on Saturday given Spencer host Guildford.