Esher’s 2017 3rd XI season carried on from where 2016 left off. Many players contributed on and off the field to an unbeaten league-winning season. The season was played in very good spirit and many enjoyable contests were had. In particular, Dorking pushed Esher all the way for the league title.

It’s been a pleasure to see Duncan Pauline’s and Sohail Ahmed’s Esher young cricketers (YC) conveyor belt produce some more stars of the future who made important contributions to the Esher 3’s winning season, not least Jonathan Miles who was rightly awarded the player of the year award, Charlie Winder with his first ton in adult cricket against Kempton, Rob Davies with 74 against Chessington, Ollie John with a match winning 63* in the return fixture against Chessington, Marcus Jones taking 5 for 9 including the league winning wicket against Kingstonian, Angus Barrett, Freddie Harrison and Oscar Nicholson who appears to be reinvented as a very dangerous all-rounder. More is hoped for from all of these players and others in 2018.

It should also be noted that it felt like this was the first year that a number of our original YCs from the start of the John Woollhead era were available for longer chunks of the season, having graduated from university – something that strengthened the club throughout and contributed to the club securing a hat trick of league titles. Thanks go to Chris / Christopher Parrish (18 wickets @ 11), Matt Maginnis (a match changing 58* at Dorking), Sam Nutt (with a classy 91 against Hampton Hill), Will Tilston (with an important 65 against Dorking), Messers McCleans, Tom Burnett and Dimi Balasuriyar.

Other notable highlights along the way included Martin Miles’ battling 88 in the first game of the season against Thames Ditton, Chris Burton’s bludgeoning 94* in the return fixture, Angus Barrett’s electric catch against Avorians, Joe Gilhooly’s dominant 96 against Kingstonian, Jonathan Barrett’s season-defining “ball of the century” to defeat Dorking with six balls to spare, and Jonathan Miles’ also season-defining two wickets in two balls in the same game against Dorking.

The club is indebted to a range of lieutenants who provided invaluable help and wisdom along the way including Martin Miles, Jonathan Miles, Joe Gilhooly, Jonathan Barrett, John Woollhead, Dimi Balasuriyar and of course Mr David Crook. With this comprehensive support structure in place, it made skipper Chris Burton’s job an easy and pleasurable one (aside from the high class problem of selection issues!) and we look forward with enthusiasm to 2018.