Club Cricket Conference

Sunday, 17th December 2017

Tip-top Wanstead still chasing four major honours

By Charles Randall

3 August 2017


Essex League leaders Wanstead & Snaresbrook are still in line for four major trophies as they prepare for their Royal London National Club Championship quarter-final against High Wycombe at Overton Drive on Sunday, August 6.

The following week, on August 13, Joe Ellis-Grewal's Wanstead side travel to Birmingham for the regional final of the NatWest National T20 against Cannock & Rugeley Hawks CC, the last step before the televised national finals day, and on the next Sunday they meet Ealing in the quarter-finals of The Conference Cup for the Bertie Joel Trophy, again at Overton Drive.

Wanstead seem likely to retain their Essex league title, but whatever happens, trophies or none, the season will go down as outstanding for one of London's best community cricket clubs. If there was an award for advancing recreational cricket, few would begrudge them  a fifth honour.

Wanstead reached the last eight of the National Club 45-overs competition by easily defeating Swardeston on D/L run-rate in a rain-ruined day, though Ellis-Grewal's left-arm spin virtually condemned the Suffolk visitors to defeat with figures 9-3-16-1, restricting them to 142-9. Of those runs Lewis Denmark made 59 not out. When the rain halted play Wanstead had reached 115-3 off only 21.2 overs, always in charge.

High Wycombe, from the Home Counties League, return to London to take on the Essex champions after demolishing the Middlesex champions. They bowled out Teddington for 117 in a surprisingly comfortable five-wicket victory at Bushy Park. The home side lost James Keightley, caught behind off Xavier Owen, to the first ball of the day and struggled to make progress against tight bowling. The former Middlesex, Glamorgan, and England all-rounder, Jamie Dalrymple finishing as top scorer with 30.

Wanstead hosted the area finals of the National T20 and needed all hands to make the field playable after heavy overnight rain. Even so the first two games had to be shortened to 15 overs. Wanstead defeated Bishop's Stortford and then North Middlesex, easy winners over Cambridge Granta. Chasing North Middlesex's 132, Wanstead made a bad start when Hassan Chowdhury was run out off the first ball, but they recovered  in style from 57-4 to win an intriguing showdown by six wickets, Feroze Khushi leading the way with 52 not out.

Wimbledon made similar progress to the threshold of the T20 finals with two tight victories at Tunbridge Wells, defeating the hosts and Havant to earn a home quarter-final against Penzance, long-distance travellers from Cornwall.

This has not been such a good season for Reigate Priory. After their early exit from The Conference Cup as holders and faltering in the Surrey Championship behind leaders Normandy, Luke Beaven's side went out of the ECB's national competition to East Grinstead, a home defeat by 37 runs. They fell victim to more outstanding all-round work by Fynn Hudson-Prentice, an MCC Young Cricketer released by Sussex last year after a handful of first-team games.

Hudson-Prentice hit a crucial 77 off 83 balls to take his side up to 245-6 off their 45 overs. Priory replied in style through another Sussex 2nd XI player, Ben Shoare, with 56 off 51 balls, but he lacked support. Shoare, a student at Leeds-Bradford MCC universities, fell to the former Sussex left-arm seamer  Lewis Hatchett, who finished with excellent figures of 8-1-15-1 in a high-scoring game, and Hudson-Prentice took the last two wickets as a reward for his tight  bowling as first-change.

Bath won a tight game against Normandy at North Parade after starting the day in disarray with golden ducks for opener Tim Rouse and number three Tom Hankins, both falling to Alex Grimshaw (4-35). Bath reached 167, far from safe, after a counter-attack by Sam Mount (47), but Normandy were well held and finished on 149-9.

Royal London National  Club Championship
Quarter-finals (August 6)
East Grinstead  v Bath,
Wanstead & Snaresbrook v High Wycombe
Wolverhampton v Ockbrook & Borrowash 
York v Ormskirk (Clifton Park, York)

NatWest Club T20
Quarter-finals (August 13)
Cannock & Rugeley Hawks v Wanstead & Snaresbrook
Wimbledon v Penzance
Netherfield or Farnworth v Clifton, Lancs (date tbc)
South Northumberland v tbc (date tbc)

The Conference Cup for the Bertie Joel Trophy
Quarter-finals (August 6)
Bexley v West Indies United
Cambridge Granta v Finchley
Sunbury v Waltham 
Wanstead v Ealing  (August 20)