Surprise default by Guildford 1 gives boost to Kingston

Guildford 1 fail to raise a team in the match against Kingston 1 due to be played at the Willoughby Arms on 26 February 2024, giving the match to Kingston by 8-0

Three days before this significant and eagerly awaited match, Kingston Surrey League division 1 captain Peter Andrews received the news that Guildford were unable to raise a team and would be defaulting the match. We took this to mean that they could not raise a team of sufficient quality, because a club of Guildford’s size should certainly be able to get eight bodies over to Kingston.

This was disappointing news as we do not like to be handed a win in this manner, and it also affects the integrity of Surrey’s very strong division 1. But, on the upside, the default victory by 8-0 propels us to second place in the table and gives us a slim chance of overhauling runaway leaders Epsom.

We now have to beat Epsom away on 11 March and they need to slip up against Wimbledon, who are mired in a relegation struggle and currently have nul points, on 18 April. We would also need to beat Wimbledon at home on 8 April. An unlikely scenario – Epsom’s IM-packed team is unlikely to take their foot off the pedal now as they home in on their first ever Surrey Trophy – but we will keep plugging away in defence of our title and hope for the best (or, in Epsom’s case, the worst).

Stephen Moss