Ashtead captain Tom Deighton was delighted his side got on the board at the first time of asking in the Surrey Championship Premier Division.

After winning Division One last season, Ashtead beat East Molesey by one wicket on Saturday to take an early lead in the top tier.

Deighton believes it was important to get the campaign off to a strong start - although he admits he has no real expectations for the summer.

He said: “It was a good result and great to get over the line in a tight game. It’s important to get the points on the board.

“We want to get as many wins as we can early in the season - if we can get into a position where safety looks guaranteed, then we can reassess.

“We have no real targets this season but I think we have a good enough side to compete with the best teams in this division.”

Despite losing the toss, Ashtead restricted East Molesey to 208 as Tom Homes and John Vaughan-Davies both picked up three wickets.

Dominic Sibley (54) and Michael Sanderson (49) got the home side off to a superb start but a flurry of wickets ensured a close finish.

Ashtead collapsed from 195/5 to 208/9 and needed a wide to finally get over the line with just four balls remaining.

Deighton praised his side for the win but suggested that improvement was still possible.

“We were pretty happy to be chasing 200, it was a good pitch and we would have batted first too,” he said.

“They could have easily scored around 250 so we did well to keep them under that.

“We stuck to our plans and got regular wickets which was key to keep the chase manageable – we were pretty confident at the interval.”

The skipper added: “We were in control for about 80 per cent of the game but lost wickets at crucial times.

“If we hadn’t won, from the position we were in, it would have been very disappointing.”

Weekend round-up

Ashtead are out of the EBC National Club Championships following a 74-run defeat at Weybridge on Sunday.

Having been set 243 for victory, Guy Harper, Tom Laudy and John Vaughan-Davies all hit half-centuries in an ultimately doomed run chase.

In Division One action, Leatherhead’s Aneesh Kapil hit 116 to ensure they started the new season in winning fashion at Fetcham Grove.

Having elected to bat, Leatherhead carded 276 all out in the 50th over - a target that Walton on Thames just fell short of with 256-7.

Sutton Guardian:

Leatherhead’s Aneesh Kapil

Banstead went down by 14 runs at Malden Wanderers, despite opener Thomas Lancefield’s knock of 107.

They were also on the losing side on Sunday in the ECB National Club Championships after a three-wicket defeat at Reigate Priory.

In Division Two, Epsom’s bowling attack was too good for Worcester Park.

Having set the visitors to Francis Schnadhorst Memorial Ground an achievable 192 to win, featuring Will Moore’s unbeaten 64, Epsom’s seven-pronged bowling attack had Park dismissed for 177.

This weekend, Banstead host Spencer, Leatherhead go to Cranleigh, and Epsom are at Egham.