A dry but chilly day for the last game of the league season as Guildford travelled to Woodfield Lane. The visitors won the toss and elected to field. The early wicket of Hayden Storey for 13 saw Ashtead captain David White join Michael Sanderson at the crease and, while Sanderson batted slowly and steadily, White proceeded to dispatch the ball to the boundary with aplomb. By the time Sanderson was caught by Ben Walter off the bowling of Shoaib Bashir for 21, they had put together a partnership of 87 and White was on 60.
A couple of quick wickets as Ben Geddes fell lbw to Bashir and Harri Aravinthan was stumped by Jevan Kher and Ashtead had slipped to 117-4. Sam Homes joined White and took on the attack and a further 54 runs were added before Homes was caught and bowled for 39, a third wicket for promising youngster Bashir. It was the turn of brother Tom Homes to enter the fray. More balls were sent to the boundary by both batsmen, including three massive sixes into neighbouring gardens, as White got the measure of Bashir and there were numerous stoppages to look for lost balls.
White reached his century off 99 balls and eventually made 125 (including 16 fours and 5 sixes) before Bashir fought back and White was caught by Cunningham. Ashtead had reached 270-6 and Tom Homes was on 48 (a 99 run partnership). Ashtead were now intent on amassing as high a score as possible and Ragu Aravinthan at number 8 wasted no time in joining the party, hitting a quick fire 40 off 23 balls before being stumped by Kher off Walter in the last over. Another wicket for Walter and Ashtead ended their innings on an impressive 335-8 with Tom Homes unbeaten on 72. Guildford’s bowlers felt the pain but Bashir was the pick of the bunch with 4-45 off his 10 overs.
Guildford faced an uphill struggle after tea and the first wicket fell in the fourth over with Nathan Tilley caught by Tom Homes off the bowling of Harri Aravinthan for 10. The introduction of spin, first via Marcus Caprano-Wint and then Tom Deighton saw Guildford’s batsmen struggle. Two wickets for Caprano-Wint, both catches in the deep by Tayler Young, and then one for Deighton, caught by Sanderson, saw the visitors struggling on 63-4 after 18 overs. Guildford captain Tom Collins was at the crease and batted well, unphased by the Ashtead spinners, adding steadily to his total, but his partners came and went.
Two more wickets for Caprano-Wint and the score was 98-6 after 27 overs and the game was slipping away from Guildford who needed over 10 an over. However Collins tried where possible to keep the strike and had reached 49 when Deighton took the next wicket with the score on 125. Another 45 runs for the next wicket when Tom Homes finally had a breakthrough as Jonathan Charles was caught by Ragu Aravinthan for 14, Collins had made 80 and Guildford’s total was 170 after 39 overs. No hope of the match for the visitors, so the focus shifted to whether Collins could reach his century. Progress was painfully slow but eventually a single in the final over of the game was enough and Collins had made a well earned 100 off 100 balls and Guildford finished on 205-8. Caprano-Wint was the pick of the Ashtead bowlers with 4-32 off ten overs.
A resounding win for Ashtead by 130 runs and an enjoyable last game of the season. As it happened the result made no difference to the league table with Ashtead staying in sixth position and sadly Guildford being relegated to division one.