The lack of recruits in the off-season meant that the First XI’s playing strength and depth were not what they had been a couple of years previously. Despite showing glimpses of promise early on in the season, Vandals got off to a poor start; losing eight out of their first ten fixtures and notching up just one victory. Encouragingly, this start and inconsistency in selection week-on-week never dented the hope or confidence of the players. The tide began to turn with victory at Kempton and what followed were four more victories and a losing draw in the final seven fixtures, which secured our Surrey Championship status for 2019.
Vandals’ ‘MVP’ was Mark Fenton, whose miserly bowling yielded 32 wickets @ 15.00, plus 194 invaluable runs at 19.40. He was clearly missed when unavailable. Other notable performances include Jonny Powell’s 22 wickets @ 16.18; Woo Powell’s 23 wickets @ 24.13, plus 292 runs @ 22.46; Tom Neville’s 316 runs @ 26.33; Garry Foreman’s 259 runs @ 32.38 and Sam Buckell’s 21 wickets @ 24.9, plus 265 runs @ 15.59.
In the field, Vandals were generally very reliable. The positive and proactive attitude shown towards fielding has been a delight to see.
A true test of a team’s cohesion is whether the glue will stick when the results are trying to erode the bond. Every player who represented the First XI in 2018 can be proud of their personal contribution, their team mates and their desire to keep trying to improve throughout the season. The league table shows that we finished eighth, but the club can be proud of its players and their character, and optimistic for 2019.
1st XI Captain 2018