The third eleven had a second successive season of disappointment. But whereas in 1997 they had a record which would have sent them up in many years, they quite failed this time to build on an excellent start (3 wins and a winning draw in the first 4 games) and could look only to themselves for an explanation of a failure to fulfil potential.

The batting records look pretty impressive overall, but disguise two total capitulations -against Ashstead and Purley - which led to defeats in two key matches. Mostly, however, runs were reasonably plentiful, with Jeremy Day contributing 326 at nearly a run a ball and inclusive of a century against Old Rutlishians. Younger brother Peter Day scored 260 before promotion to the seconds, including a brutal 86 ball innings of 122 against Leatherhead, which was nullified by torrential rain. A third century was contributed by Adam Portlock, in a rare appearance against Epsom. Neil Cheetham was stability itself when not required by the 2nd XI and scored 267 runs at an average of 45. Nigel Pakulski was another reliable middle-order performer.

The bowling was the real problem, with a complete lack of cutting edge as last year's fast bowlers were promoted to the second eleven. Skipper Peter Smith accounted for 18 wickets with his leg breaks, but to push for a high placing next year his team will need to discover more penetration. The team retained excellent team spirit despite its disappointing results in the second half of the season, so another crack at promotion is very much on the agenda for 1999.

Go to top