League - Division 2 Surrey Championship
Captain - Richard Walsh
Vice Captain - Glenn Morley
Last season - 2nd - Div 3 - Promoted
Munge would like to say on behalf of the club, the first team, but mainly himself, a a very big thank you to the Mentalist for the absolutely huge amount of help he has given to everyone off the field this season. Your contribution has been absolutely immense. The help that you've given me behind the bar and with the website has been very greatly appreciated by not just by the first team but everyone involved with the club.
While I'm dishing out thanks, I would like to echo the Mentalists thanks to Couch, Damo and Morlers for running the BBQs and also to Damo and Glunn for coming up with the idea of the H-R ratings which has raised a fair few quid. Not to forget the match reports from Damo and Couch while Simon has been elsewhere - Thanks for those to.
Heres to next year and a championship victory.
The Mentalist Says
Story of a Season
What began as a journey into the unknown quickly became a promotion challenge. Dorking, Streatham, Shepperton and Chessington were all despatched before May was over and a winning draw taken from Egham. Star of the show early on was Damo who took 14 wickets.
For some reason, despite having some very good players, our batting was letting us down far too often, luckily the bowlers were getting us out of trouble and we took 56 points from 65 and we were flying at the top of the league. You couldn’t help thinking that many of the sides in Division two were actually worse than those at the top end of Division 3, they certainly looked as though losing didn’t bother them too much. Obviously them losing meant us winning which certainly boosted morale and also the bar takings.
The next three games saw only 6 points arrive at the Bulldog Bank, an abandonment at Cranleigh (which proved costly), a losing draw against Camberley and a winning draw at Mitcham, where Glenn and Damo nearly pulled off a win despite what the Mitcham skipper had to say afterwards. Glenn was by now in the groove and was averaging 47 and along with Dikko (average of 33), were proving to be the mainstay of our batting. Damo led the wicket taking chart with 19, Glenn 17 and Dikko 16.
We easily disposed of Purley by 8 wickets with Regan reeking havoc on his way to 82 not out and by now a clear breakaway group had emerged at the top with 7 teams all very close on points and well clear of the rest. The crucial period in our season would be 5 games on the trot against sides at the top, with a few people away (weddings, illness, golf etc) now was the time to see if we could sustain the challenge.
The first of these five games took place in a Village near Epsom, the home side, last seasons freak Division 3 champions, were blown away by a display of bowling (sorry Damo) they just couldn’t handle. Their two star players contributed 1 between them and having shot them out for just 40, The Human Dog and Dikko smacked the aforementioned star players bowling all over the place to send us home with a ten wicket win and 8 hours of drinking to look forward to. All they had to look forward to was a net to try and work out how they had been so comprehensively dicked.
Beddington arrived at Brewery Road and tore into our soft underbelly and we stumbled to 67 all out. They wrapped it up for the loss of only two wickets as we lost our first game for nearly a year.
Then to Old Midwhitgiftians who were clear at the top, a game we could not lose. Had we picked up the wicket of their star man when he gave us the chances we may have won, he went on to make a hundred and we were batted out of the game. It was then left to Toby Aldred and Glenn to save the game and we left with a point.
Yet more unavailability’s against Old Emanuel gave the side a very youthful look. Our innings lasted an hour and a half and we mustered a season’s low score of 65. Old Emanuel knocked it off in double quick time and our second defeat saw us troop off by 4pm.
By now Old Emanuel had opened up a clear lead, Old Midwhitgiftians were showing signs of fading and we were 5th. Egham had surprisingly leapt into 2nd place, Honor Oak and Camberley completed the chasing pack. Ashtead dropped out of the race completely as had Beddington who had slumped to two defeats in a row. Had we shot our bolt?, would the return of Dikko fresh out of plus fours make any difference?
Honor Oak provided the next opposition and having sat in the bar watching it rain until 3pm we batted and shot out of the blocks. Human Dog made 43, Glenn made his 4th 50 of the season so far, Morlers, Dikko and Regan clubbed quickfire 20’s and we declared on 173-5. Thanks to 6-46 from Glenn, the team Morlers took down, collapsed from 97-1 to 133 all out, another 13 points and we were back in the hunt.
Out of these five games we had managed two wins, a losing draw and two defeats. We were in 7th and looking out of the race. Old Emanuel had by now won 8 and had 6 winning draws in their 14 games and were looking certain champions. We really needed to win games while hope that the other leading sides took points off each other. Another defeat for Old Midwhitgiftians meant it would be a straight fight between ourselves, Honor Oak, Camberley and Egham for the other first division place.
Against Horsley and Send we batted like Chimps, as everyone got a start and then got themselves out, Morlers topscored with 33 as we declared on 158-6. The game went to the last ball and had they not run one short we would have lost but a solitary point was all we took.
Four games to go and all against sides in the bottom half, Maori Oxshott turned up with ten men as we failed with the bat once more, making only 157. Yet again we had to rely on our bowlers get us out of trouble, once more they duly delivered 13 points thanks to a six wickets from Dikko as Oxshott were bowled out for 118.
Then onto Richmond Town, I know there’s a bit of history there, but you have to feel sorry for them, 3 points all season (1 from an abandonment) and seemingly doomed from day one. That said, everyone else has had the opportunity to take 13 points off them so now it was our turn and we had to take advantage. To make our job a bit more pleasant they only had 9 players, thanks lads !. Not wanting to look a gift-horse in the mouth we plundered the wide open spaces in the field and racked up 217-7 with Dikko getting 80. Such was the piss take that we passed 200 for the first time in a year courtesy of a boundary from Damo !. The 8 wickets we required were snapped up in double quick time as we won by 180 runs. Results elsewhere went our way and suddenly we had sneaked in the back door and were still in with a shout.
At Old Hamps, Glenn at long last converted one of his half centuries into the real thing, 102 not out as we declared on 197-3, Human dog made 47 and Toby Aldred got all excited and scored 30. Obviously needing time to have a chance of bowling them out we had to leave them a score they thought they had a chance of getting……….which they did, losing only four wickets along the way. The door that had opened a just week earlier had been slammed shut in our faces, our challenge was over.
So a few short months after starting our season against Dorking in the sun at Brewery Road turned out for the season’s final game against Brook to be greeted by the sight of our changing rooms burnt out and having to cancel the karaoke. A more shoddy display you’ll never see as our batting failed yet again as we failed to chase 106. Our season limping to a rather unsatisfactory end.
Much has been said and written about our batting displays this season. Without doubt we have not scored the runs we needed on many occasions, the most notable being Old Emanuel and Beddington. Many times we have posted a low score and still won, but there have also been times where we have chased totals and cruised past them with ease. Next season must see more apply themselves and put a price on their wickets. All this will mean more points in the bag and hopefully more jugs purchased in the bar.. It’s not all doom and gloom though, one of the few positives has been the emergence of Toby Aldred who having taken time to settle down, has shown in the final few weeks that he has what it takes to succeed at this level, not by way of smashing the ball around but by playing with a maturity beyond his years. Haleem showed flashes against Brook that he will also flourish given enough opportunities so with a couple of good young players coming through, the emphasis is on Morlers, Regan, Toby, etc to produce on a regular basis and ensure the responsibility for propping up our innings will no longer rest on Glenn and Dikko. Glenn has been superb all season and finished with an average of over 50, he along with Dikko have often been called on in a crisis to bail us out and I hope next season these two can play with more freedom, safe in the knowledge the other end is being well looked after.
Where we have excelled (in my opinion) is on the bowling front, considering we have been without Charlie all season and that Morlers has only bowled 19 overs, we have managed to bowl half the sides out we have played. Damo, Dikko and Glenn have taken the bulk of the wickets and have been backed up by Mark and Curtley for most of the season. With Couch back and Morlers fit again we’ll certainly have more options than we’ve had this year.
Old Emanuel were worthy Champions, having won 11 games and six winning draws (no defeats) they were head and shoulders above anything else, Honor Oak sneaked in through the back door on the last day of the season leaving Camberley and Egham disappointed at having missed out. Shepperton and Richmond Town were doomed from very early on leaving a huge comfort zone for everyone else. To be fair we did the job required against nearly all of the bottom half of the table (80 points taken) but against the top half we faltered slightly taking only 49 points from 9 games. We can say hello again to our friends from Dulwich next season (hopefully still with the same wicketkeeper) and Old Wimbledonians who came up from Division 3.
Had someone said we’d finish 6th this season I think everyone of you would have said “yes please” so although we’re obviously disappointed we didn’t gain back to back promotions, we should be pleased to have lifted the club to it’s highest ever placing. Look at how badly Ashtead fared and the fact we finished higher than many established clubs who were expected to challenge. To quote Damo “its been a far better and to a big extent, easier than expected season. All in all we have been beaten or outplayed by some good teams without ever really playing to out full potential as a team”
Having seen that this is nothing to fear from anyone in Division 2 we should be going all out for the Championship next season. We’ve been something of a surprise package in there this season and next year, teams will know all about us. Enjoy the break because next year is going to be far tougher.
The Roving Mentallist
After months of heavy drinking, vomiting and painful hangovers, we all had battled our way through to the last day of the campaign. With many of the expected big hitters away at various times the chance had always been there for someone to take the title as long as they kept their head and kept scoring consistently. Minge was the unexpected challenger, always posting 8 or more and more importantly, not missing a week. Damo, sometimes getting double figures had steadily worked his way up the league and Walshy just did his normal thing.
August 3rd proved to be a night of a thousand aftershocks as many remained at the club to see if Minge was, A) Insane, B) an alcoholic or C) a Lying bastard, to his credit he managed 14 points only to ruin it all by incurring a chunder deduction. On the same night Damo’s lack of a girlfriend or a job got the better of him, 18 points later a very shattered Rhino stumbled out of the bar and maybe it was only his chunder that saved his life, even so it remains the benchmark for everyone else and still unequalled. Predictably Walsh bagged 16 and Morlers decided if he couldn’t prove to the Honor Oak lads he could still play, he would show them he could still drink, 15 for him. Giles got 10 and Glenn 12.
With the wedding season in full flow Couch took advantage and lodged a series of high scores and from nowhere leapt into the frame to finish a rather excellent 4th, although some of the behaviour that accompanied his efforts he would do well to avoid repeating. Myself, Glenn and Morlers came 5th, 6th and 7th. There was then a 10 point gap to the Green brothers and below that were very disappointing scores from some who would have expected to do a lot better. Gibbers finally got in on the act with a near relationship-ending display but he did just enough over the season to see off Mark Surridge who was propping everyone else up at the foot of the table while looking resplendent in his frilly blouse having been outdrunk by two girls and Dikko. Along the way there have been isolated incidents of definite Whittle, Couch exposing the most serious when finding half drunk bottles of castle tucked away in various places. Non castle drinkers can still hold their heads up high.
At the serious end Richard was unavailable for the last and deciding day therefore costing him his chance to take the title that so many had expected, so barring a drinking miracle from Couch only Damo or Minge could win it. Minge turned up hungover as did Damo (predictably). Minge was able to start earlier due to not playing but the rigours of the long hard slog had clearly taken it’s toll on him and he was only able to post 7 despite having had 12 hours to score in. This left the way clear for Damo to make up the two point gap and leap from third to first with the clincher being four blue aftershocks in a glass. How appropriate that the drink everyone loves to hate ended up being the one to take the title.
End of Season Awards (In games seen by the Mentallist)
Best Innings of the Season
Toby Aldred 39 not out v Old Midwhitgiftians
I know it’s not the biggest score by far by a Bulldog but at a time when we were struggling and needed someone to stay there (Morlers too busy shitting his pants), Toby showed a lot of character and gritted it out for 90 minutes at a time when he had been struggling for runs all season. He may have only scored 39, but it denied Old Mids a win.
2nd, Glenn 69 not out v Old Midwhitgiftians. Kept Toby company and batted for the team rather than for himself. Didn’t go for the ton and go in the head.
3rd, Regan 82 not out v Purley, could have stayed there all day, had we been set a bigger target who knows what he could have scored
Worth a mention,
Morlers 64 v Egham
Dikko 66 v Chessington
Glenn 60 v Dorking
Gibbers 42 v Egham
Damo 3 v Streatham
Toby Green (Also The Clubs hardest man)
Toby may have softcocked it with the bat this year, but his fielding certainly saves runs every week, although that’s probably through guilt.
2nd, Toby Aldred, makes difficult catches look very easy indeed and his all round fielding puts many others to shame. Needs to drink more though.
3rd, Glenn Morley, can always be heard chuntering away in the slips, Glenn usually does the simple things very well and uses his height to take the catches others couldn’t.
Worth a mention
Giles Green, a class above any other wicketkeeper, it’s a shame he looks like a tramp
Minge, if only he could bat or bowl
Morlers v Streatham
A terrific catch as it screamed towards him, one handed without breaking stride was superb, to follow it up with some showboating really took the piss……………Dellers !!
2nd Toby Aldred v Dorking, If a cricket ball was blasted towards my ankles I’d Shit myself. Toby just bent down and scooped it up as though he was picking a daisy and looked embarrassed when everyone ran over to him to congratulate him.
3rd, Morlers v Ashtead to dismiss Andy King. The big bucket hands for once didn’t turn to jelly. Cue lots of air punching and “come on” shouts from everyone to the delirious away support.
Worth a mention
Glenn v Horsley, so high inspector gudgut would have struggled
Toby Green v Horsley, how ironic that Toby took a catch courtesy of someone holing out !
Toby Green v Chessington, one handed taken on the run and very low down
Best Bowling Performance
Glenn Morley 6 for 22 at Chessington
An hour of hostile bowling, that got quicker with each ball. Glenn blasted out Chessington’s middle order when we didn’t have too many runs to play with.
2nd, Peter Richardson 5 for 12 v Streatham, a dodgy pitch maybe, but the ball needs to be put on the spot consistently and Dikko did just that with a superb demonstration of line and length which won us the game.
3rd, Damien Honey 3 for 39 v Horsley & Send, when everyone else was getting whacked about, Rhino bought some control back to our attack and as well as slowing the scoring down which earned us a point.
Worth a mention
Dikko 6-16 v Maori Oxshott
Damo 4-21 v Dorking
Damo 4-23 v Shepperton
Mark Surridge 3-9 v Ashtead
The stump kicking was funny enough, the amateurish bite on the send-off by going back with his bat at the ready had me, Couch and everyone else pissing ourselves.
2nd, Damo v Ashtead, sometimes you just aren’t required. We came to see a left arm spinner but it wasn’t you. Your bottom lip was dragging on the floor.
3rd, Charlie after the Oxshott game, when it was suggested he go home due to the fact he couldn’t stand, speak or know his name. Not only were toys thrown but his Becks bottle also (predictably missing the bin). Showering Kate with beer and earning himself a roundhouse kick to the throat from her next time she sees him.
Worth a mention
Shepperton’s overseas player unable to get Morlers out (understandable)
Walshy whenever someone is late for meet time
Charlie for pelting us with cutlery after being told to shut up during fines
Paddy for breaking the window
Erica at Old Emanuel when everyone went off for tea and forgot to tell her
Boring Bastard of the Season
Morlers v Shepperton
A clear winner, for occupying the crease for what seemed like hours while scoring 18 and boring the arse off everyone. You hit the ball with all the power of someone using a bat made of candyfloss.
2nd, Gibbers v Horsley & Send, a shocker of an innings where despite more contact with the ball than usual “The Limpet” shouted “NO” after every shot……and sometimes before one!.
3rd, Regan for his unwillingness to get involved in long e-mail threads or send a message of more than 6 words.
Worth a mention
Juff for deciding to decorate rather than play cricket
Hankins for constantly insisting the 2nd 11 would give the Bulldogs a run for their money
Seasons Biggest Disappointment
“The” Toby Green
This may be harsh considering his average but Toby knows he can do far better than this. 10 times in 14 innings he has made good starts but has gone past 50 just once. His biggest talent is offering catching practice while still managing to look “Stylish” for the Woking News and Mail.
2nd. Continuing the family thread, the batting of Giles Green. 9 innings only 17 runs and one boundary. Also, as a wicketkeeper, why has he been stumped 3 times ?
3rd, Ashtead, getting in one exceptional player to win a league is ok but you also need another ten decent ones if said player doesn’t perform. If you insist on talking yourselves up in the Surrey Advertiser every week then be prepared to accept all the flak you are due when you are proved to be out of your depth and fucking crap as a team.
Worth a mention,
Heineken out Carlsberg in
The 2nd 11 for their attitude to opening the bar and having barbecues.
The infrequent appearances of Trolley Man punching himself in the back of the head.
My idea of turning the clubhouse into a “Hooters Bar” being rebuffed by Peter Murphy
Softcocking it against Old Emanuel and Beddington
Always leaving my phone on during fines
Dikko not getting the huge score he often threatens
The fire ruining our planned Karaoke
The new scorebox when I was expecting something like the “Media Pod” from Lords
Glenn Morley v Ashtead
Having got Andy King out Glenn was the only one who remembered to do some “Gay Spiderman” and didn’t he do it well, a bit too much practice in front of the mirror?
2nd, Curtley at Chessington after finding out Lucy had driven his car and hadn’t crashed it.
3rd, Minge when he found out Wearney and Lisa had split up.
Worth a mention,
Everyone when Lucy walked in wearing school uniform
Me while taking the piss out of Minge for getting dumped, I found out it would have been Minge and Holty’s two year anniversary.
Minge when he found out Gibbers would drink all the Cinzano
Whenever the fridge collapses and the look on Minge’s face when it does
Seasons Golden Moments
Carl Anderson and A******
Who can forget the Golden boy clean bowled by Dikko? and the realisation of both teams that Ashtead were in fact, Quite Shit
2nd, James Morley v Honor Oak, the run of ducks ended by a streaky four, and then greeted by a standing ovation from the entire pavilion.
3rd, Toby Green all pissed up poking Blairo in the chest while insisting that he could “fucking have him”.
Worth a mention
Damo careering into the stumps instead of running someone out
Toby Green carrying his belongings in a dustbin bag in a bid to gain Hampshire Status
The realisation that Aftershock is actually fun
Toby Green at the bar. “Bleeeeeeeeuuuuuuuuuuuurggggghhhhhhh, Sorry Minge”
Damo’s belly flop while attempting to take a caught and bowled
Letting the rope go in the tug or war and watching the 2nd 11 eat dirt
Bulldog of the Season Award (Couldn’t split the two)
Richard Walsh & Glenn Morley
Richard arranges his private life around WHCC. His phone never stops ringing with new problems to sort out with players, ground, travel etc. For 7 years now he has organised a bunch of full grown men who become incapable 8 year olds on a Saturday morning and still comes back for more every week. Usually follows every game with a bout of drinking excellence. True Bulldog Spirit !
Glenn has been top run scorer and top wicket taker, he likes his puss and has given us a whole new language. Glenn has been the clubs outstanding player by a mile this season.
2nd, Andrew Murphy,Des Cooke and Damo, when the first two replaced Windy, they wisely recruited Damo (who put his job plans off for the summer for the club’s sake) and these three have done an awful lot of work behind the scenes getting the bar up and running, going to the wholesalers, cleaning, getting headbutted and a whole lot more, all three have carried out there jobs almost unnoticed and without them the social side would be very poor indeed. Next time you buy a drink there, think for a minute about all the work that goes into providing what you consume. All they need now is a new fridge, a helmet for Des, a new wardrobe for Minge and a Girlfriend for Damo.
3rd, Morlers, Couch and Damo for their barbecue skills. No-one else ever thinks to do the barbecue and these three have put in some sterling work this season. No doubt we’ve raised quite a few quid due to their efforts. Now they’ve added ketchup, Cheese and relish to the table, which all goes down a David Pleat. Top Work Fellas !.
I’d like to pay tribute to Kath, Lucy and anyone else who has bought a drink during playing hours, sorry Curtley you’re a player!) and all the others who come to watch, sunbathe, drink, boost club funds and make watching our batting bearable. Away games used to mean sitting there on your own while we fielded but now you have a crowd to play to. Also a mention to you guys for putting up with my constant bleating via e-mail and in person.
A very special mention to Charlie Johnson who during his year off from playing has channelled his obvious frustration into a series of fascinating insights into the life of a madman. He’s given us his David Pleat run on the pitch at Streatham, Barbecue hugging after the Purley game, weekly bush spotting, talking with Trolley Man, various bouts of cutlery / ice / bottle throwing and litter picking. Now he has added cooking on the new improved barbecue to his vast array of talents. On Saturday after the fire, he spent all day cleaning the place up before going food shopping and doing the barbecue. A true club man if ever there was one and he leaves a huge gap to fill when he returns to the field next year.
The sheer number of people who have been to home games this season has contributed to a fantastic laugh and no doubt some very healthy bar takings. Some of the things we’ve seen and done will remain for a long time. My own personal favourite over the season has to be the Ashtead game and the drunken carnage that followed it. I think we may have brought “socialising” up to new heights this year, I only wish the clubs other sides had the same attitude.
So that’s it for another 33 short weeks. I would hope we will all be back at Brewery Road (new changing rooms hopefully) next season for hopefully more of the same.