Club Cricket Conference

Wednesday, 22nd May 2024

Thorpe's wickets take Winchmore Hill CC to maiden title

By Charles Randall

16 September 2012

Dominance of the Middlesex County League by Ealing CC finally came to an end this season after seven consecutive titles when Winchmore Hill CC became champions for the first time.

Jamie Thorpe's 56 wickets inspired Winchmore Hill -- their 13 victories in 18 games equalled the league record -- and the batting was unexpectedly bolstered by the presence of Scott Newman, dropped from the Middlesex county side. David Alleyne, the former Middlesex wicketkeeper, finished as the side's leading batsman with 795 runs at 60.87, and Jim Gatting, son of former England captain Mike Gatting, showed his all-round ability. Newman shaped matches with his trademark aggression, hitting 680 runs at 56.67, but it was Thorpe's penetration that set Hill above the rest.

Thorpe, 28, a former MCC Young Cricketer, was a revelation with his left-arm swing and seam. A damaged back ended his hopes of making a career in professional cricket and he trained as a physiotherapist at King's College, London. Thorpe outshone even Chris Peploe, Ealing's former Middlesex left-arm spinner and habitual match-winner, who ended up with 50 wickets.

Adam Howorth's Winchmore Hill side finished well clear of Teddington and actually settled the title with a week to spare by winning a tense game at Ealing, thanks to five wickets from Thorpe. Ealing used the opportunity to be the first to congratulate the new champions.

Ealing dropped to third place after departures and retirements had reduced their formidable strength in depth. The top division's outstanding player of the season was Mark Divin, an Australian at Hampstead. Divin, 32, dabbled in state cricket as a one-day seam all-rounder with Tasmania a few years back, and his exploits in London galvanised mid-table Hampstead with 913 runs at 60.87 and 43 wickets.

Southgate finished rock-bottom in their first season back, losing 13 games, and Brondesbury joined them in relegation one point below a Ramprakash-strengthened Stanmore. They will be replaced by Twickenham and Richmond in 2013.