This was always going to be a difficult season. Several first team players left the club or stopped playing. Opening bowler, Angus Campbell had work committments, John Callcut had retired and club leading run scorer, Richard Callcut, suffered from back problems which affected his form, enthusiasm and ability to play regularly.
It was testament to the club’s depth that as can be seen from the following reports we still managed to hold our own at all levels of play.
At the end of the season the ECB published a report illustrating the decline in the number of players participating in recreational cricket. The number of players aged between 14 and 65 dropped from 908,000 in 2013 to 844,000 in 2014. We have witnessed this with the number of clubs struggling to field second and third eleven sides, the decline in Sunday cricket and the amalgamation of clubs. The ECB is also aware of the drop-outs after junior cricket has finished.
As a club we are not immune from these problems and have tried to address them in a number of ways. Our entry into the NatWest 20/20 Blast for under 19s is a positive step and fixture secretary, Mick Randle, has produced an interesting Sunday fixture list with the introduction of a number of traditional wandering sides who actually like to stay, have a drink and chat about the game. Graham Capel has reported that there has been an upsurge of interest in the mid-week team and as James Penfold reports this has seen several players participating in weekend cricket.
We trust that our new pavilion will encourage players to stay and hopefully attract new players and we will continue to keep the ground up to a good standard which is so important to encourage good quality cricket. To prove our confidence in the future we are hoping to have an overseas player in 2015 who will also be involved in coaching our yougsters.
The junior section continues to produce good players and is the lifeblood of the club. It is great to see more players, some of whom were juniors themselves, now involved in coaching. Dan Jones’s summer camp, for instance,was a huge success.
It is now, very much down to the membership, to support the club in every way possible.
Captain’s reports are as follows:
Saturday 1st XI – Allan Cooper
The season itself was mixed. We playe 16, won 6, lost 8, drew 1 and had a very exciting tie. Unfortuntately we lost two games to the weather. This placed us sixth in the final table, bit it could have been very different. It was a season where so many close games got away from us in the last couple of overs of the match. We were nearly over the line on so many occasions only to falter at the last. Although this leads to very exciting cricket, it would have been nice to be on the receiving end of a win rather than a narrow loss.
The cricket itself could again be described as a mixture. In the batting department we struggled for consistency and failed to put together enough strong partnerships and large individual scores. Dan Jones top scored with 277 runs including an excellent 94 away to Warlingham CC. That was also the location for the season’s highest partnership of 110 and again involved Dan Jones alongside Stephen Kehl. Other notable scores to mention were a brilliant 68 from new boy Justin Renwick against Chobham and Paul Bettesworth’s powerful 67 at Wallington.
The bowling was again our stronger discipline this season. Allan Cooper in taking 32 wickets topped the wickets chart, followed by Ruky Wickremasinghe, 24, and Ben Crook, 23, but we also had another three bowlers all getting into double figures and all with competitive averages. All season we only conceded 200 runs in a match once and that was Caterham limping to 204 when we beat them at home. Worthy mentions go to Ben Crook who bowled brilliantly against Chobham taking 5-17 and Stephen Kehl who took his maiden five wicket haul taking 5-29 against Wandgas.
In the field we were excellent all season, we held a lot of catches and took important run outs. Allan and Ruky lead the way with nine catches apiece and Ben Crook took the plaudits for three run-outs. Individually I would like to point out two people that really set the tone and had excellent summers. Bill Turner behind the stumps rolled back the years taking a number of high quality catches and stumpings and Stephen Kehl whose energy and enthusiasm set a great example to the rest of the team.
Next season there is certainly room for improvement, but we are only too aware that on our day we can beat any team in the division. With the addition of a couple of new faces and a few players whose form dipped last year getting back to the level they should be, I see no reason why we shouldn’t be pushing for promotion at the end of next summer.
Finally I’d like to give thanks to a few people for their assistance and support last season:
Trisha and the Kehl family, Dianne Wickremasinghe and Martin Earp for the help with the always great teas. Mick Randle, Richard Constance and Pierre Tartari for umpiring. Andy Major, John Callcut and Nick Crawford for upkeep of the square and outfield. Charlie Major and James Penfold for help assisting with team selection. DanJones for being my vice-captain and finally Ruky for importing our statistics onto play cricket.
Saturday 2nd XI – Charlie Major
We had a bit of an up and down season not helped by the early season loss of captain, Bill Turner, to the first eleven for wicket keeping duties. We struggled to have a consistent side all year and didn’t once turn out an unchanged team, but as the stats show it was a reasonable effort all round.
In the league we played 12, won 5, lost 7 and had three matches cancelled,finishing sixth overall with 119 points.
Highlights of the season were:
Cameron Osborne with 95 against Chaldon, Will Bowley with 7-49 against Merton and Craig Jones with 77 not out against Worplesdon & Burpham.
We had some turbulent matches throughout the season, a small highlight of which were games against Merton away where we bowled the opposition out for 97 only to then be bowled out ourselves for 75. On the other end of the spectrum we bowled John Fisher out for 82 and chased their score without the loss of any wickets.
Once again, mamy thanks go to Tricia Kehl for the teas, Craig Jones for vice-captaining. Jack Bowley for stepping up to captain and vice-captain when needed. Mick Randle and Dick Constance for umpiring and MArtin Earp behind the bar. Thank yo to all for what felt like a reasonably successful season.
Saturday 3rd XI – James Penfold
The third team had a very successful season, finishing fourth in the league. With some fairer weather and umpiring decisions we may have been challenging for peomotion. However, I think fourth spot was a fair reflection of our season as a whole.
Having a solid core of players, namely myself, Simon Capel, Mike & Finn Osborne, Michael Kornrumpf and Matt Dilger, gave us the ability to chase down totals that in the past would have been unassailable. Vital runs from the lower order allowed us to grasp victory from the jaws of defeat on a couple of occasions, a perfect example being when our stalwart number eleven, Charlie Wyllie, hit the winning runs in an enthralling fixture against Headley Old Freemans.
This year saw Newdigate field its first lady in league cricket, with Jackie-Anne Goldsmid coming through JC’s colts system, and alsoincluded a number of mid-week players who were invaluable assets throughout the season. Chris Moon, Lee Brien, Rob Goldsmid, Andy Mayne and Mike Ashkuri all proved it’s never too late to come back to league cricket … or indeed start!
On the batting side Simon Capel and Finn Osborne battled it out from start to finish, the winner being decided in the final fixture. However, the winner had a coming of age season that included a maiden hundred in a game where he carried his bat having kept wicket throughout the first innings, meaning he was on the pitch for the full 85 overs in the game. His 139 not out was the backbone of a scoreline that allowed us to chase down 242 for the loss of two wickets. With an average of 47 the batting award went to Finn Osborne.
On the bowling side, again we had two players jousting for the title throughout the year and the award was again decided in the final game of the season. It’s fair to say that both Dev Patel and Mike Kornrumpf are two of the most miserly bowlers in the league, however the most miserly came through as victor. He had the best economy of any regular bowler in all four divisions of the Surrey Downs League, 2.1 runs per over and of the sixty league overs he bowled, 21 were maidens. With a bowling average of 7.4, the bowling award for 2014 went to Michael Kornrumpf.
Finally, I’d like to give thanks to Tricia Kehl, Jinny Osborne and Chris Moon for all their help in providing some of the best teas in the league.
Sunday – Ruky Wickremasinghe
The Sunday side had a very successful year, winning 7, drawing 6 and losing 5 matches. From the six draws we had, five of them were close enough to be called winning draws in favour of us.
We got through to the Surrey regional final in the National Village Cup by beating Frensham in a very exciting finish when we were eight wickets down in chasing 80 odd to win (Paul Hughes starred with the bat and ball). However, the Lords dream was yet again put to bed sa we lost in the final to a very slick Rowledge outfit.
The player availability was generally pretty good throughout the season. We did gain some new faces and we also saw some of the younger colts playing regular adult matches to give them the much needed exposure and experience towards their development. It was very encouraging to see the likes of Jackie-Anne Goldsmid and Adam Moon come through the junior ranks to be part of the team on a regular basis.
There were many individual performances this year but what stood out most for me as a captain was the commitment from all the playing members and the support that was given to me on and off the field.
From a batting point of view, Ruky Wickremasinghe scored 551 runs at an average of 42 to lead from the front. Mark Rance (240 runs), Justin Renwick (220 runs) and Cameron Osborne (219 runs) also contributed towards the batting success of the team. The highest individual score came from Cam Osborne with his 95 against Nuthurst. Also there were fifty plus scores from Ruky, Rance, Renwick, Cam and Finn Osborne, Hiten Patel, Jack Bowley, Stephen Kehl and a maiden fifty from Ivan May-Jones.
In the bowling department the attack was lead by our very own cold Charlie Wyllie and new recruit, Rubin Flower. They were well supported by Chris Moon, Andy Kehl, Justin Renwick and Ruky. Both Wyllie and Flower finished on 16 wickets apiece but the bowling award went to the slightly more economical, Charlie Wyllie. The best bowling analysis came from Paul Hughes for his 4 for 4 against Frensham in the National Village Cup semi-final.
Special thanks to the Kehl family, Diane Wickremasinghe and to the Moon family for the BEST served teas!!! To MArtin Earp and James O’Neill thanks for providing the best looking bar staff that we could ask for.
Also thanks to Andrew Major and John Callcut for helping out with the pitch and ground preparations and to Mick Randall for all the hard work in getting the fixtures sorted.
Finally to all the players and parents for their regular support towards making the season a success.
Mid Week – Graham Capel
After 2013 I was sure that the mid-week team was in decline. However, with a new influx of players in 2014 we saw a revival of the old spirit that we all enjoyed for so many years. They have certainly invigorated our previously ageing and somewhat tired team in our 26th season which amazingly still includes a few players from the foundation in 1988. From the 1980s we still have myself, Barry Wiles, Dave Riley and Mike Young when he is not in Australia and from the last decade of the millenium (1990s), Steve Jones, Pierre Tartari, Mark Heath, Roger Holland, Andy Major, Amit Patel, Jon Pritchard, Neil Clark and David Cowan. Our ‘new blood’ members have certainly inspired us and last year we had a really enjoyable season. Thanks chaps, there was lots of enthusiasm and a nice return to slightly competitive cricket once again and hopefully you will stay with us for 2015 to continue the fun.
The results show the improvement last year. We played 16 games and we won 10 of them which must be some sort of a record in itself! It was a lovely, long summer and we only abandoned one game and this was due to injury not weather – of an opposition member and not one of ours as you might have expected! Our players scored a total of 1649 runs which is an average of 97 per game which was also a big improvement. An enjoyable season, good fun cricket and thanks to the groundsmen for good pitches throughout the year. Thanks also to Barry Wiles for the stats.
Our 2014 awards:
Batting: Mike Ashkuri (188 runs), Lee Brien (151 runs) ..Catching – Roger Holland….Fielding – Tony Brimelow
Bowling: Andy Mayne (12 wkts), Barry Wiles (10 wkts), James Penfold (10 wkts), Graham Capel (10 wkts)
Special Award: David Cowan for his bowling and fielding and just turning up!
Player of the Year: Andy Mayne – he hit a six on the last ball of the match when we needed six to win. It can’t be better than that.
Mid-week pre-season training, character assassinations and subs collection to get on the playing rosta for 2015 will be in the Six Bells at 8 pm on Wednesdays the 4th February, 4th March and 1st April which we thought was most appropriate!