Written by B Hack
Surrey Men’s CC League M2 November 10th 2018
Division 3 Epsom Downs
On an inclement Downs, the turnout of 13 runners mirrored that of M1 at Roundshaw and our 5 leading exponents repeated their forward placings. However, there was a fair old gap before our remaining 5 scorers hauled us back into contention, and it was, sadly, not enough to enhance our overall position at the halfway stage of this winter’s challenge.
We placed 4th on the day but the changes in the day’s final placings amongst our nearest rivals for the 2 promotion slots back to Div 2 finds us in 4th overall with the two matches in the New Year at Oxshott (12 Jan) and Croydon (Feb 9) to come. Woking won again and have a clear lead with 329pts, ahead of DorkingMV with 604, West4H are 3rd with 632, leaving K&P (745) a good 140pts adrift of a promotion place. Things can change, for sure, but Matt’s Men will require a timely injection from our absent talent at both venues, alongside our regulars so far this campaign, to clamber back into contention at those final 2 fixtures. The day’s match scores were Woking 144, W4H 293, DMV 349, K&P 406, with the other 5 clubs somewhat further back.
43 year old Matt Atkins was again our exemplary first home, just losing 2nd place by a whisker (27.44), with Michael Huntley in 7th(28.44), Alex Thomas fiercely finishing in 15th(29.48), followed by a fine run by M35 Captain Matt Hyett (21st 30.04) and another M40, evergreen Mark Reed (30.46 for 32nd). Thereafter, our supporters peered nervously into the gloom for our 6th finisher - three hove into view in a race for the line, with debutant Harry Reynolds (U23 and on leave from Sheffield Uni for his mother’s birthday) pipping our resurgent top M50, Stewart Dickson for 58th - Harry 33.04 and Stewart 33.05 - with our other welcome debutant U20 George Chaplin just behind taking 63rd(33.14). M35 Peter Wilkins was also in form, enjoying a good spell free from injuries, in 69th(33.35) and it was a doyen former winner, M40 Mike Maranzano as our 10th and final scorer (35.20 in 79th). Solid back up came, as ever, from M60 Rupert Bole, with a particularly fine outing in 103rd(35.45), followed by M50 Mark Reynolds (155 in 42.19) and M60 Mike Edwards (160 with 44.14).
331 finished in this joint D3/D4 race, of which 169 were in our Div, and the places above are the scoring places (of the 90 scorers) for our first 10, and the actual race placings for our non-scorers.
Supporters included Ant Budarkiewicz, Graham Huntley, Geoff Reed, Cashel Riordan and the writer - there may have been one or two very welcome others - apols for omission.
Full results can be found via www.surreyleague.org
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