SOUTH AFRICAN paceman Matt Hopper bowled PEPPARD STOKE ROW to title glory as they hammered SOUTH EAST READING to seal the deal with a week to spare.
The 21-year-old seamer - who has grabbed 30 wickets in the campaign - started a remarkable collapse as South East’s opener Ghalib Hussain left the first ball of the match, only to see it swing late and crash into his off stump.
Hopper went on to claim 6-54 in another fine spell which decimated the relegation candidates and was supported brilliantly by his team-mates who have won 10 of their 12 completed games this season.
A superb spell by Tim Vines (2-16), another magnificent fielding display highlighted by Roy Hayden’s direct hit run out at mid on, and a wicket for Ian Jackson, allowed Peppard Stoke Row to rout the visitors for just 81.
In reply, Wynand Lamprecht and captain Paddy Hennessy - who described the title success as “the best day of his sporting career” - shared a comfortable 50 partnership until the former was adjudged leg before.
Vines followed in quick succession but Peppard Stoke Row were not to be denied glory in their first season as a newly-merged club, with the skipper clipping a single through the on side to spark jubilant celebrations.
SOUTH EAST READING
G Hussain, b Hopper 0
U Akram, c Lamprecht, b Hopper 8
Z Ali, c Nicholson, B Vines 17
A Asif, b Hopper 27
A Javed, lbw, b Hopper 1
AK Hussain, c Bacon, b Vines 0
N Khan, run out 6
M Rafaqat, b Hopper 3
A Razaq, b Hopper 8
A Hussain, not out 1
R Afzal, c&b Jackson 0
Best Bowling: M Hopper 6-54, T Vines 2-16.
PEPPARD STOKE ROW
W. Lamprecht, lbw, b Akram 26
P. Hennessy, not out 28
T. Vines, lbw, b Javed 0
S. Fletcher, not out 7
CHECKENDON suffered a heavy defeat to WEST READING 2nds, with Waseem hitting an unbeaten double century for the home team.
West Reading took full advantage of a good pitch and short boundary at the Reading University ground to put on 338-3 in 43.2 overs.
Checkendon stuck to their task admirably in the field but when it came to their turn to bat they were unable to keep out opening bowler Pav Raja who finished with 5-31.
The visitors were dismissed for 122 in 33.1 overs with Matthew Wickens contributing 43 not out.
PEPPARD STOKE ROW 2nds secured a losing draw against SULHAMSTEAD 2nds thanks to a brilliant rearguard action from Richard Walker and Matt Ravden.
Richard Woolfrey (4-48) and Marcus Peedell (2-30) were the pick of the Peppard Stoke Row bowling attack as they dismissed the visitors for 227.
It could have been a far lower score if not for the efforts of Tim Benham, who made an unbeaten 116 after being dropped an astonishing seven times. The hosts reply started in appalling fashion as they were swiftly reduced to 20-4, but a superb 136 run partnership between Walker (75, not out) and Ravden (72) kept Peppard Stoke Row in contention although they ultimately had to settle for the draw on 180-6.
The side need 11 points to secure the Division Two title when they travel to already-relegated basement side Warfield tomorrow (Saturday).
M. Hill, b Scott 6
J. Doole, c & b Woolfrey 0
N. Leadbitter, b Woolfrey 0
A. MacEwan, b Chard 55
R. Brown, lbw, b Khan 20
T. Benham, not out 116
J. Palmer, lbw, b Peedell 3
G. Smith, b Peedell 8
S. Collins, c Hennessy, b Woolfrey 5
J. Smith, c Windsor, b Woolfrey 1
Best Bowling: R Woolfrey 4-48, M Peedell 2-30.
PEPPARD STOKE ROW 2nds
H Asquith, b Hill 5
N Windsor, b Collins 0
M Hennessy, b Collins 0
R Walker, not out 75
G Legg, b Hill 7
M Ravden, b Hill 72
M Peedell, b Smith 7
R Woolfrey, not out 5
PEPPARD STOKE ROW 3rds rounded off an exceptional first season in Division Four by claiming a losing draw at title-chasing SONNING 4ths.
An excellent all-round bowling display restricted the hosts to 223, with Alan Mayers (3-59) the chief wicket taker, ably supported by Alan May (2-31), Chris Proudfoot (2-34) and Neeraj Sharma (2-53).
In reply Sharma (36) also starred with the bat and his efforts were furthered by Pradeep Kumar (44) and May (22), but PSR eventually settled for a draw on 177-9.
The result means the side - which has blooded seven under 13s throughout the course of the season - is likely to achieve a top four finish.
S Reddy, b Proudfoot 14
V Vashisht, c Dyer, b Proudfoot 2
N Tahir, not out 108
W Tahir, c Dyer, b Sharma 36
K Rehman, c Kumar, b May 0
N Ray, c Kumar, b Sharma 11
K Alluri, b May 14
A Tahir, c Hvass, b Mayers 13
J Oliver, b Mayers 0
Khan, c Proudfoot, b Dyer 0
P Wilding, c Bacon, b Mayers 1
Best Bowling: A Mayers 3-59; A May 2-31, C Proudfoot 2-34, N Sharma 2-53.
PEPPARD STOKE ROW 3rds
C Hvass, b A Tahir 9
N Sharma, b W Tahir 36
D Bacon, c Vashisht, b Wilding 9
D Hall, b W Tahir 19
D May, b W Tahir 5
P Kumar, b A Tahir 44
A May, b A Tahir 22
C Ravden, b A Tahir 0
C Proudfoot, not out 7
R Dyer, b N Tahir 1
A Mayers, not out 4
WOODCOTE were put into bat by MORTIMER WEST END in their final home league match of the season.
It looked like a good toss to win as the home team slumped to 78-6 with Andy Trott ( 5 for 16 in 12 overs) doing most of the damage.
Fortunately for Woodcote Jez Mayo hung around to come close to a half-century. Mayo was the seventh batsman to be dismissed and he took part in a useful half-century partnership with James Worsfold which rescued the innings.
At tea, Mortimer West End looked favourites to win but a fine spell of bowling by Ryan Van Heerden (4 for 28 in 12 overs) had the visitors in trouble at 45-5.
A 70 run partnership between Audsley and Belcher then swung the pendulum back in favour of Mortimer West End, but spin twins, James Worsfold (2-18) and Zaheer Ahmed (3-15) removed the danger men and mopped up the tail to give Woodcote a 22 run victory.
The win took Woodcote into third place and a win in their final match should see them hold on to that position in a difficult season in which availabilities have often been a problem.
J Mayo, b Allsobrook 44
M Stroker, c Kingston, b Trott 7
JP Brouard, b Johnson 5
P Knox, c&b Trott 0
R Van Heerden, b Trott 3
J Clark, lbw, b Trott 6
K Brouard, c Audsley, b Trott 2
J Worsfold, b Kingston 47
S Henderson, lbw, b Kingston 0
Z Ahmed, not out 4
M Pearson, c Kingston, b Allsobrook 0
MORTIMER WEST END
S Audsley, c&b Worsfold 41
A Johnson, c Stroker, b Van Heerden 0
A Pewekar, c Clark, b Knox 6
N Kingston, lbw, b Van Heerden 12
N Storkey, b Van Heerden 8
C Prakash, b Van Heerden 0
P Belcher, b Ahmed 29
M Ali, not out 0 H Patrick, c Clark, b Ahmed 1
A Trott, b Worsfold 1
K Allsobrook, c Mayo, b Ahmed 0
text ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD Max Roberts made an incredible debut for the PEPPARD STOKE ROW MAHARAJAS as he grabbed two wickets in a five wicket win at HAMBLEDEN on Sunday.
The hosts won the toss and chose to bat and Phil Rosier (40) and Andrew Mitchell (93) propelled them to a competitive 213 all out, but the highlight was Roberts’ late show which saw him snare 2-5.
In reply, Rich Ashton smashed an extraordinary century from just 34 balls, before retiring on 115 from 38 balls.
With the Maharajas in control, Matt Ravden (32*) and Gerry Bacon (29 retired) eased them over the line, with another under-13 Danny May (18*) hitting the winning runs.