Advantage Wimbledon

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Both Wimbledon and Sunbury recorded crushing victories intensifying the battle at the top of the Ryman Surrey Championship Premier Division.

With Ashtead and Guildford succumbing to the table toppers, third placed Weybridge lost ground on the leaders after a losing draw against a Surrey inspired Banstead.

Elsewhere, Cheam continued their recent good form, climbing off the bottom with a winning draw against Reigate Priory. The final match saw Normandy defeat Sutton in a low scoring encounter at the Lower Ground.

Hosts Ashtead lost the toss against Wimbledon and were put into bat, finding themselves in trouble early on with Ben Jeffrey (4), Dominic Sibley (4) and Stewart Cameron (0) all back in the pavilion with just nine on the board.

That was the cue for their only solid partnership of the match, wicket keeper Zac Elkin (13) teaming with Luke Mursaleen (27) to take the score up to 36 before Elkin was caught behind off Darren Hooey for 13.

Although Mursaleen stayed strong at one end, none of the last six batsmen were able to make double figures and wickets fell quickly to leave Ashtead all out for just 74 off 27.4 overs.

Wimbledon had plenty of time on their hands, but opening pair Graham Grace (22) and Raymond de Passos (27) ticked along at nearly a run a ball before both falling to Dave Burton.

However, Martin Kain (16 not out) and captain Neil Turk (6 not out) were able to easily finish off the chase to secure a handsome eight wicket victory.

Another good performance from the Cheam batsmen saw the newly promoted Peaches Close outfit lift themselves from the bottom of the pile despite a battling lower order effort from Reigate Priory.

After being put in by their visitors, Cheam got off to a solid start with David Houpapa (90) dominating a partnership of 51 with Bradley Scriven (5) before Chris Salmons (3) also went cheaply.

The loss of Salmons brought captain Danny Miller (102 off 96 balls) to the crease, who played dominantly alongside Houpapa to add 134 for the third wicket.

Houpapa was caught behind by off Toby Briggs and Miller caught by Neil Saker off Chris Murtagh but an unbeaten 63 from Steve Clark helped keep the pace up and Cheam were able to declare on 301 for six after 58 overs.

Eager to back up their batting display, the Cheam bowlers were keen to take early wickets and certainly succeeded as Reigate were reduced to 17 for six with three ducks from their top six batsmen and the highest other score being captain Chris Murtagh’s eight.

Fortunately for the visitors though, wicket keeper Matthew Bennett played a brilliant innings of 64 not out from 148 balls to anchor a massive lower order comeback.

Helped by William Hodson (16) and Richard Stevens (24 from 89), Bennett anchored the response to allow Reigate to end on 134 for eight from 59 overs and secure a point from the losing draw.

Pick of the bowlers for Cheam was Steve Clark with 4-19 but Leigh Harrison (2-14) also made a big contribution early on and Mark Burns (8-6-5-0) bowled very economically indeed.

A tight, low scoring game saw Sutton defeat Normandy to help improve their position and begin to move away from the bottom of the table.

Winning the toss and batting first, Sutton got off to a poor start losing Krishna Dwarka and David Sampson for ducks as they slipped to 7 for two.

However, Gary Outram played a true captain’s innings to anchor the rest of the innings, partnering first with Matthew Cawood (20) and then David Mitchell (38) as wickets fell around them, four at the hands of Surrey’s Matthew Dunn who returned 4-44 and four at the hands of Ahillen Beadle, who took 4-38.

Defending just 192, Sutton could ill afford any mistakes and did not make many, as Normandy fell to 4 for three and then 23 for four as James Woodruff ripped through the top order.

In a similar manner to the Sutton innings, Normandy number four Ian Prowse then came to the crease and played an anchor role, scoring an unbeaten 52 not out off 110 balls as they tried to mount an attack on the target.

However, wickets continued to fall at the other end, with only James Regan (11) and Chris Miles (22) showing resistance as Normandy eventually succumbed to 135 all out, losing by 57 runs. The wickets were shared around the Sutton attack with David Mitchell and James Woodruff taking three each.

Sunbury continued their push at the top of the table with a six wicket demolition of Guildford at the Geoff Kaye Memorial Ground.

Winning the toss and putting the visitors into bat, Sunbury were indebted to the excellent Justin Granger, who took 6-46.

The early damage, however, was done by Surrey’s Chris Jordan, who dismissed Andy Hollingsworth (1) and his Surrey colleague Tom Jewell (12) after Oliver Roland-Jones had run out Thomas Tremewan for a duck.

Although Henry Straw (4) and Robert H Jones (28) put on a partnership of 20, when Granger had Straw caught behind, the lower order folded and Guildford fell for 76 off just 27.5 overs, two runs and one ball better than Ashtead against Wimbledon.

Chasing down, captain Stuart Poynter (24) and John Maunders (31 not out) put on a solid opening partnership and although Tom Collins (3-6) dismissed Adam London (15), Chris Jordan (7) and Andrew Balbirnie (0), the hosts reached their total after just 18.2 overs to win by six wickets.

Victories for Sunbury and Wimbledon meant a victory was needed for Weybridge to continue to stalk them at the top of the table.

Banstead won the toss and inserted Weybridge, who lost Harry Cripps (9) and Tom Winslade (0) early on as they fell to 19 for two.

However, Anthony Atkinson (57) and a brilliant innings from Akbar Ansari (113 not out) moved them onto 113 for three when Atkinson was caught behind off Matthew Spriegel.

Following Atkinson’s dismissal Ansari struggled for meaningful support but Jimmy Ormond (11) and Henry Turner (16) allowed him to continue his innings before he was stranded on 113 as Weybridge declared after 66 overs on 228 for eight.

Banstead’s bowling was led by Spriegel’s 3-43, with Freddie van den Bergh taking 2-58 and Tristan Caviet 2-41. Rory Burns, despite his five wicket haul last week, played as wicket keeper and was not given a chance to back up his heroics for a second week!

However, Burns more than made up for his lack of bowling opportunity with a brilliant opening stand alongside Spriegel. The pair put on 98 together before Burns (60) was bowled by Atkinson.

Ali Jaffer was next to go, caught behind off Henry Turner before Spriegel fell to the same fate for 54.

Former Surrey man Gary Butcher smashed 31 from 15 balls before being caught by Darren Livett off Akbar Ansari before Banstead suffered a major collapse losing Jak Martin (0), Sam Woodward (10), Richard Bedbrook (1) and James Pearce (0) for only one run, leaving them on 19 for eight.

However, with not long to last to secure the draw and a good run rate in the bank, Freddie van Bergh (9 not out) and Dan Gale stemmed the tide before, with Gale caught behind off Turner, Caviet (1 not out) joined the Surrey youngster to fend off seven deliveries and secure a winning draw.

Turner was Weybridge’s star with the ball, taking 5-48 from eighteen overs, receiving great back up from Ansari 3-30 from his eight.