2016 for Esher’s 3rd XI was very much a season of two halves – the first half produced just three wins in nine, while in the second half there was only one loss, which was to deserved league winners Epsom, the only team to do the double over us. Along the way there were various highs and lows. A couple of spicy games couldn’t detract from it being a thoroughly enjoyable season both on and off the pitch.

The turning point appeared to be an “against the odds” win against then top of the table Hampton Hill. With a combined age of 465 and many cobwebs dusted off the cricket kit, a truly fabulous afternoon and evening was had by the Esher “Dads’ Army” thanks to a herculean team effort, notably including a fine knock of 65 from Richard “haven’t played in 18 years” Clarke, a mesmerising five-wicket burst from Imran “Murali” Khan and two wickets from debutant Josh “Warney” Da Vall.

In a great season for new recruits, Esher welcomed new talents and characters including father and son combo Martin & Jonathan Miles, Chris Harvey, Dan Dickenson and many others. Also heartening to see is the conveyor belt of colts coming through, with highlights including a colossal innings of 132 from Rob Davies, ever improving bowling performances from Jonathan Martin and impressive contributions from Oscar Nicholson, Marcus Jones, Nick Morgan, Josh Tallent and Calum Allbrook. All in all, it’s an exciting time to be part of the club and 2017 bodes to be even better.

Thanks go to skipper Chris Burton (averaging 40 this season) and a variety of lieutenants including Dimi Balasuriyar, Imran Khan, Pete Slaney, Neil Fletcher, David Crook and Faisy Malik.