Club Cricket Conference

Wednesday, 22nd May 2024

Wimbledon CC cap magnificent season with ECB national title

By Charles Randall

10 September 2012

Andy Murray is not the only talking point at Wimbledon after his Olympic gold. The neighbouring cricket club in Church Road enjoyed a momentous season culminating with their ECB National Club t20 success at Edgbaston.

Wimbledon CC, captained by that formidable left-hander Neil Turk, took the Ryman Surrey Championship title with weeks to spare before demolishing Cuckney and Northern in the Twenty20 finals day.

In the final Northern, from the Liverpool & District League, proved no match in a seven-wicket defeat. Disciplined bowling from Darren Hooey (3-28), Will Leith (2-11) and Turk (2-8) claimed early successes and eventually dismissed Northern for 90 in the final over. Then Turk, with 30, and Graham Grace, 32 not out, worked their way towards a straightforward target, victory arriving in the 17th over.

Punishing hitting by Gerry Penfold and Grace eliminated Notts Premier League champions Cuckney in a one-sided semi-final after Wimbledon had hoisted a total of 161-4. Penfold hit a rapid 61 not out after the left-hander Grace had set the tone with 68, leaving their Mansfield opponents with little hope, and four wickets from Sebastian Franke-Matthecka sealed a 17-run victory.

The day was televised live on Sky Sports, and Wimbledon, as champions, booked their place in the Lord’s Taverners competition in La Manga in October.

Returning to league cricket on Saturday, Wimbledon remained in a celebratory mood at Church Road with a seven-wicket demolition of Sutton. Turk, with 93 off 65 balls, powered his side to victory in a 50-overs game with 8.3 overs to spare. Sunbury secured second place while Normandy and Camberley were relegated, to be replaced in 2013 by Spencer and Ashtead.

Guildford's hopes of challenging ended at home in August when Turk, with 134 not out off 127 balls, took his side to a four-wicket win.

Normandy then felt the power of Penfold's batting, his 73 off 49 balls lifting the total to an impregnable 323 off 50 overs as Wimbledon maintained inexorable progress towards the title.

Turk, 29, a former Exeter University student, played only one first class match for his home county Sussex, back in 2006. He played for East Grinstead before moving up to London and joining Wimbledon in the Surrey Championship.

Wimbledon Cricket Club was formed in 1854 and played on Wimbledon Common not far from the windmill, hence the club logo. They moved to Church Road in 1889, and the present side must rate as one of the strongest in an eminent history.