It is not every day you open your inbox to find an email from the Marylebone CC inviting you and your cricket team to play at Lord’s. What an honour. We had less than four weeks’ notice to get time off work, fast track our new kit order and sort out what smart attire we were going to wear for access into the Pavilion and the famous Long Room!

On 17th May, the Marylebone CC hosted their annual Women’s Day at Lord’s cricket ground which is a celebration of Women’s cricket around the world. This year they wanted to focus on the incredible club cricket that is being played every day across the UK. Merstham Women were put forward by a Surrey County cricket administrator who advised that we had a ‘vibrant women’s softball team’ and of course won in 2022 and were runners up last year in the county softball champs.

The day included the two finalists of the ECB Women’s Club Cup playing against the Marylebone CC Women’s team in two T20s and during the break between these games, it was our opportunity to set foot on the hallowed turf and play a softball match on the outfield. There were 8 softball teams invited from London, Essex, Sussex and Surrey. Our opponents for the 8 overs, pairs match were Buckhurst Hill from Essex. The teams were allowed to warm up on the Nursery ground which helped calm the nerves a little. However, when it was time to walk out onto the field, our hearts were racing but there were beaming smiles on everyone’s faces. Merstham won the toss and elected to field. We restricted their score with some fast, accurate bowling (wickets taken by Orla and Rianna) and some sharp fielding. We were able to chase down their score easily, finishing on 75 for 3 off just 8 overs. What an incredible feeling to play and win a match at Lord’s!

The rest of the day was spent having a tour of the Media centre, sitting in the Pavilion watching some of the second T20 and taking lots of photos before getting the train back to Quality Street to coach the new generation of girls playing cricket at Merstham. Thank you to our supporters who came along to share this special day with us.

Our women’s team started just four years ago and in that relatively short period of time we have developed our hardball game (who can forget the last gasp win against top of the table Newdigate last season) and become seasoned softballers. But the real success is the increased number of women and girls now playing cricket in some way for Merstham CC. Long may it continue. Thanks must go to Rich Feist who was instrumental in setting up the team and everyone else who have been involved in coaching us up to now. Also, a huge thank you to Mr and Mrs Reeves who drove to Basingstoke the day before to pick up our new kit in time.

Merstham team: Ali Rustige, Amy Reeves, Claire White, Daisy Wicks, Orla Chavasse, Emma Smith, Tanya Buckland, Rianna Patel and Maria Maplesden

 
 

An overcast sky welcomed the U12’s to The Ring where they were to face Salfords in the first league game of the 2024 season.  

Winning the toss and electing to field, Will ‘Buckers’ Buckley set an aggressive field and threw the ball to Jack Tyte who set the tone for the innings, sending down 6 sharp deliveries and restricting the Salfords openers to 2 runs.

Sam Wells took the second over and after a pair of well struck boundaries, the Salfords opener found her cover drive being safely pouched by an ever present Jack Tyte.  1 brings 2 and the first ball of the next over saw a catch dropped in the deep, however expertly thrown in by Caitlin Owens to the gloves of James Reeves who flattened the stumps leaving the runner well short of their ground.

An over later and Sam was at it again, cleaning up middle stump to leave Salfords reeling at 22-3.  The middle overs kept the ebb and flow of a tense T20.  A run out here and a dropped chance there had the spectators on the edge of their seats.

With 5 overs still to go and the total climbing at a bit of a rate, up stepped the young Sebastian Reeves who was filling in from the U10 squad.  A flighted leggie, pitching 2 stumps outside leg and turning square to take the leg stump of a bewildered Salfords batter. Scenes in the outfield and two umpires trying to work out exactly what had just happened.  A 15th over Wicket Maiden had bought Merstham right back into the game. Caitlin Owens took the ball for the 18th over; dot ball, WICKET, Salfords all out for 126.

The run chase got off to a steady start with Buckers and Hayden Grimmer seeing off the new ball and facing down some rapid deliveries from the Salfords openers.  5.2 overs passed before Hayden, having decided to accelerate, found the waiting hands of a Salfords fielder at short cover (24-1).  Enter Jack Tyte, keen to step up the pace of the chase, his first ball slammed through mid off and a dicy 3 runs.  Smashing a 30* off 17 balls, Jack raised the tempo of the chase and when Ioan Huges smashed Salfords fastest bowler over deep square leg for a massive MAXIMUM, the game was swinging in MCCs favour.  

Undeterred, Salfords struck back with a flurry of wickets and tight bowling to leave Merstham needing 25 off the last 20 balls.  5 Wickets down, bought James Reeves to the crease. Striking at 147, his 17 off 12 balls left Merstham needing just 4 off the last 2 balls for a momentus win.  But a swing too many left his off stump exposed to a full and straight delivery….OUT!

4 needed off the last.  Jess Keller, fresh to the crease. The Salfords opener who had been so devastating earlier in the piece runs in…….OVER STEPS….. NO BALL!  2 runs for a nb in this league and MUST be re-bowled.  Perfect Yorker, dug out to short cover and the two Merstham batters SPRINT through for a tight single.

Match Tied, Honours Even.  An emotionally and physically exhausted MCC open their account for 2024

 
 
 

Sadly due to recent spate of wet weather, we have been unable to do a lot of the pre-season prep work so, sadly, we have had to cancel both Friday night training and the cricket matches due this weekend.

However, it would still be great if people could come along on Friday or Saturday to help with the remaining jobs shown here.

 
 

Help us and our very own Alvin recover.

Alvin has already done so much on his road to recovery and is a true inspiration. This is the time for giving and, though it's very difficult times for all, can we please have a push, any donation is welcome to help Alvin reach his target.

Although still only 18, the stories this young man will be able to tell In later life regarding his abilities, his levels of sporting prowess along with how he battled to beat this illness will be nothing but amazing. Most of all, he does it whilst still being able to joke and laugh. We can all learn so much from him.

Now let's get together as a club, friends or even locals to support someone who needs our love at this time of the year.

We hope to see him back on the pitch soon, playing competitively, for which ever club, as long as he's playing. He's grown up at Merstham and couple of seasons ago joined Priory to push himself that little further but has always come back and is always welcome.

https://gofund.me/79a12c05

 

To all members.

Notice is given that Merstham Cricket Club Annual General Meeting will be held on Sunday 14th January 2024 at The Pavilion, Quality Street. The meeting will start at 6pm.

Members should advise Carol Pearce Club Secretary (ctpearce@ntlworld.com) in writing of any other business to be moved at the meeting at least 14 days before the meeting.

Nominations of candidates for election of Officers should be made in writing to the Secretary at least 14 days in advance of the Annual General Meeting. Nominations can only be made by full members and must be seconded by another full member.

Carol Pearce

Hon Secretary

Merstham Cricket Club

 

We are sad to announce the passing of Terry Neal who was an active club member in the 80s and early 90s.

Current Treasurer, Chris Clayson, recalls "Around 1990, as a young teenager, Terry was captaining the Sunday 1st XI and I got called up to play and he made me feel very welcome. I began playing regularly, and he helped me a lot with bowling. He encouraged me to stop trying to bowl too fast, instead to come off a few paces, and just get the line and length right. This was very effective and I enjoyed a good season or two frustrating the batsmen. I will always remember Terry, fondly, because of this and, of course, his wife Sylvia who was on the boundary watching at every match".

Merstham Cricket Club sends it condolences to Terry's son, David (another MCC alumni) and the rest of his family.

Terry's funeral is being held on Monday 18th Deceber at 2pm, at Surrey & Sussex crematorium, going on The Old House pub in Copthorne (10 mins away). All are welcome.