Reigate take the points in Round 1 encounter
By Martyn Holloway-Neville
Ashtead succumbed to perennial front-runners Reigate Priory in a 63 run defeat at Woodfield Lane
Back with a tough one. Ashtead fell short by 63 runs at home against Reigate Priory in Round 1 of the 2018 Surrey Championship Premier League.
Ashtead won their first toss of the campaign and elected to field first on a day that looked to have heavy showers at regular intervals. Sam Hall, opening for Priory, immediately went on the offensive, dispatching the first dix of the game in the second over. His partner, Bradley Scriven, was rather more circumspect in the early overs and paid for it with his wicket, caught behind for just 4. Rain stopped play in the 9th over, with the score 34-1.
When the rain abated, the visitors pushed on with Hall and Andrew Delmont continuing to score well. The loss of Hall, caught in the deep for 59 off just 54 balls, cooled the charge somewhat. Wickets for Aravinthan and Deighton in the next few overs saw a period of accumulation. Drinks came after 30 overs, with the score on 157-4. The platform had been set.
And they took full advantage. Despite some tidying bowling from Deighton, the runs continued to flow and by 40 overs, 201-4 looked inviting for a serious attack at a large total. And while the runs came, the wickets did as well, with more scalps for Tom Homes, Sam Homes and Prince Singh in the closing moments. 273-7, however, looked a very good score. Fielding accolades to Tom Laudy for a pair of excellent catches in the deep, and for an outstanding game from Hayden Storey, with two catches, two stumpings and a clinical 1-stump run out.
The chase faced an immediate setback when Storey was bowled for 1, and the early overs were quiet. Nevertheless, Laudy, and returning overseas captain David White, accumulated slowly until the 14th over, when the boundaries began to flow from White’s bat. Laudy fell at this stage, but Aravinthan steadied the ship with him.
White got into full flow, and all too sudden, the half century was up, off just 45 balls. By drinks after 26 overs, the Stags had re-established a platform at 110-2.
The game needed an injection of runs, and White sought to continue his barrage of boundaries. The spinners, however, were bowling well and when the breakthrough came, Harri stumped for 18, the floodgates opened. Matt Munday took a wicket in each of his last four overs to reduce the hosts from 134-3 to 168-6. White was still there, now having reached his century off 86 balls, but the game looked tough from there.
The crucial wicket would always be White, and when he departed for 126 in the 43rd over, the game was all but over. Two wickets from a resurgent Luke Beaven and a final flurry from Angus Dahl brought the innings to an early end, 3 and a bit overs still in the tank and 63 runs to find.
This result sees Ashtead claim 5 points for their efforts, enough to see them top of the sides who came second – 6th place in the table.
Next week sees Ashtead travel to Sunbury for the next of the opening set of 50 over matches. Last year saw Sunbury finish 6th in the league table, despite an early flourish. Ashtead claimed an easy victory in last year’s limited overs encounter, bowling out the hosts for 179 and then chasing them for the loss of just 2 wickets. The Stags will be hoping for a similar result. Join us then.