Malden Wanderers skipper is ready for the Surrey Championship survival dogfight

Fast pace: Malden Wanderers' Michael Cottrell attacks the Guildford top order, eventually taking 1-18              SP73118

Fast pace: Malden Wanderers' Michael Cottrell attacks the Guildford top order, eventually taking 1-18 SP73118

First published in Sport Croydon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Sports editor

Malden Wanderers skipper Simon Crampton said the side is up for the dogfight to avoid relegation from the Surrey Championship Premier Division.

Following a winning draw at home to Guildford on Saturday, Crampton’s charges are second from bottom, six points behind Spencer and Guildford, and 12 behind a resurgent Sutton.

Spencer and Guildford face off this weekend, meaning a result at Banstead could lift Malden out of the dropzone.

Crampton pointed to Saturday’s performance as proof they can survive at the top level, they just need to finish teams off.

“We had a talk a couple of weeks ago about the situation we have found ourselves in, and how we were disappointed to be in the bottom two,” Crampton said.

“We know we are in a dogfight, but we have been playing decent cricket lately, but we just need to get ourselves over the final line.

“We’re putting good scores on the board, and bowling and fielding well, but we don’t seem to be able to do all three at the same time.

“But if we carry on how we’re playing, I am confident we’ll be safe.”

Against Guildford, Alan Cope hit 101 runs in guiding Malden to 227 all out of 58.1 overs. In reply, Guildford took almost 37 overs to reach 77-7 before the rain brought an early end to proceedings.

Crampton said: “Alan’s century was superb, and we had a good total.

“We managed to tie the Guildford batsmen down but it is always difficult when you know rain is due, you just don’t know when.

“It had been forecast for about 6pm and it came about 7pm, so we had an extra hour – but because you don’t know that, the job is a tough one.

“Giles [Puckle] and I bowled well in tandem, but it was not enough.”

Croydon Guardian: Tom Bartram

Toil: Malden Wanderers' Tom Bartram had the ball for seven unsuccessful overs  SP73118

In Division Two, Worcester Park endured a losing draw at Cranleigh, despite knocks of 57 and 84 from Sandeep Ganguly and Rob Waite respectively.

Park ended on 200-6 off 52 overs, and in reply Cranleigh reached 170 before the rain intervened.

Park host Horsley & Send this weekend.

In Division Four, Kingstonian, who host Oxted & Limpsfield, went down by nine wickets at promotion chasing Old Rutlishians.

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