The photo is of the Second Team celebrating a wicket against Sonning on Saturday.
FIRST TEAM DEFEATED AS HENLEY CLINCH TITLE
“Baloo the Jugster” turned out for his last match against title chasing Henley. Having won the toss, captain Shelvin Gumbs decided to take to the field offering the host first use of the pitch.
The customary early wicket came from David Brent as Henley lost their first with the score on seven. Veteran Simon Stanway bowled through his ten overs conceding only 19 runs. Henley however, was very aggressive against all the other bowlers and from a position of 41 for 3, continued to take the attack to our bowlers. Richard Morris in particular batted extremely well for his deserved 138 out of a total of 308 for 8. Andy Harris and Mo Choudhry were the pick of our bowlers picking up 3 wickets.
AJ Woodland was back in the team was and once again was partnered by Andy Dixon at the start of our innings. The opening stand was looking fine until Woodland edged to first slip. Dixon was next to follow for 26 with the score on 58. An excellent catch by Euan Brock saw the downfall of Michael Payne and the start of a middle order collapse as we went from 63 for 2 to 66 for 6 as we lost Payne, Brent, Gumbs and Choudhry.
Liam Gough, Jeremy O’Neill, Rory Criddle and Andy Harris put up a good fight, to drag the innings out as we were eventually bowled out for 136 and Henley was crowned champions of the 2018 season with the First Team ending finishing in sixth place.
SECONDS, THIRDS & FOURTHS
The Second Team celebrated promotion to Division Two by strolling to a nine wicket win over bottom placed Sonning.
Set a target of 137, victory came when Jack Rodnight straight drove the first ball of the 22nd over for four. A win by ten wickets looked likely as Richard Ambrose and Solly Woodall amassed 128 for the first wicket. Ambrose was particularly severe on anything outside the off stump as he cut the ball powerfully through cover on numerous occasions. When the ball was a bit shorter and straighter he lofted it over mid-wicket. Solly Woodall played positively with shots all round the wicket before he was out LBW four short of a half century.
Sonning’s innings got off to a poor start as both openers gave catches to Toby Wastling as they played extravagant shots, the first off Lawrence Snookes and the second off Jake Seagrave. An injury to Wastling’s knee resulted in the bowling being re-jigged and Rodnight being brought into the attack in the twelfth over. He uprooted Duncan Parr’s off stump in his second over and took three wickets in six balls in his fourth and fifth overs to reduce Sonning to 67 for 6 and finish with 4 for 29 from seven overs.
Ash Haw found considerable turn, conceded just 26 runs form his ten overs and was rewarded with the wicket of Dave Rintoul. Charlie Greer took wickets in his first and second overs and then brought the end to Sonning's innings with the first ball of his third over thanks to an excellent catch in front of the sight screen by Dan Plumeridge.
Mark Bater's Third Team ended the season with a thumping win against Barnes Wild Geese. Despite the victory, wins for Wraysbury and Slough meant a third place finish, with Bater's men agonisingly finishing two points behind the eventual champions.
Bater once again won the toss and inserted the hosts. The Barnes opening pair of Larry Moir and Chris Shorrock started steadily against our opening attack of Toby Seagrave and Angus Cumming who both beat the bat without any luck. The pair put on 77 in 25 overs before the pair were dismissed by James Darraugh who bowled an excellent spell of leg spin.
Once the opening pair had been dismissed, the floodgates opened with Darraugh and Dan Boniface putting the squeeze on in the middle overs. Chris Curry was brought on to finish the innings as he has down so often this season, with his clever variations the South African born all-rounder picked up 5-29 as the hosts ended their innings on 160-9 off 45 overs.
Bater opened the batting with the returning Rory Wood as the Third Team looked for a quick win so they could head back to the club for the end of the season celebrations. Wood paced himself well with strokes all around the ground. Bater punished almost every delivery faced combining reverse sweeps for four with powerful drives all around the ground. Bater was eventually dismissed for his highest innings of the season of 86 as we closed in on victory. Wood was dismissed an over later for 49 and it was left to Benn Kempster and Dan Tidey to see the third team across the line and seal an eight wicket win.
The Fourth Team finished the season with nine wins from nine at home as they beat Stoke Green. Unfortunately the win wasn't enough as Stoke Green picked up enough bonus points to clinch the title just ahead of Andy Grout's men.
Batting first, The Fourth Team posted 189-4 off their 49 overs with Jimmy Dewhirst topscoring with 62. Steve Wale offered good support with 49 while Krishna Kumar Mohan and Dick Highton also made good contributions.
Stoke Green needed to score 150 to draw level with the Fourth Team and win the title on more wins, with 175 required to win the title outright. Our visitors were reduced to 95-7 off 23 overs with Ed Pike, Wale and Greg Lem picking up two wickets each. With the title on the line, Stoke Green's captain Taimoor Zaman batted sensibly to get his side past 150 and earn enough bonus points.
However the day was the Fourth Team's as they won by 16 runs to complete their 100% record at home and celebrate their promotion in style.