1998 was a season of mixed fortune with some dire performances in the League counterbalanced by a strong limited over 1st XI performance
Highlight of the season was the run in the Evening Standard, reaching the quarter final where we equalled our best performance of 2006. On the way we disposed of Brentwood in the first round in a low scoring encounter and, Esher in the second round. This victory was completely overshadowed by a very serious eye injury to Richard Alston keeping wicket. It is testimony to his considerable ability that he has overcome this and his determination to carry on despite partial loss of his sight saw him take the field in the next victory against Ilford. A home victory in round 4 over Orpington when the opposition stayed at Chingford past 11.30pm set up a last 16 clash at Sevenoaks Vine. President Jeff Runciman commandeered a red double decker and Paul Hart shephered a busload of spectators down to Kent. They were not disappointed as Chngford put up a tenacious performance and ran out winners by 5 wickets. The quarter final draw was unkind and we faced a difficult trip to top Surrey side Malden Wanderers and bowling first had them toottering at 104 for 8 with 10 overs remaining. Sadly we could not force the advantage home and Wanderers recovered to reach 179. In reply despite 40 runs being plundered from the first 10 overs we failed to keep up with the run rate and ended an agonising 31 runs short.
The Herts and Essex Sunday League was in its second season and a strong Chingford side made it two championships out of two.
In the League we had a difficult time at 1st eleven level with only 2 wins and a last day scenario of rain , a pitch barely playable and a do we play don’t we situation, not knowing what was going on around us. In the end the home game with Horndon succumbed to the rain but thankfully so did the other relevant matches and we survived by the skin of our teeth.
The second eleven faired even worse and recorded one solitary victory in the League. Looking back numerous winning positions were squandered and one crucial “36 pointer” against Orsett was crucial and symptomatic of out luck. Chasing just 131 at home, we were 71-1 only to cave in tom 112 all out.
The third eleven season mirrored the firsts, with just two League wins and a last day escape. Playing on the “old” No 1 pitch at the Met Police we were ok provided Westcliff didn’t do better than us on the day. Only problem was we were playing Gidea Park , always a difficult side to beat, and we could see the Westcliff game on the postage stamp, pitch 2 in their fixture from hell against Wanstead ! A nervous afternoon saw us knock up 200 and secure 8 points, but luckily our friends at Wanstead finished them off with a good hour to spare so we could relax and enjoy our draw.
In the 1st Eleven game v Wanstead an unusual incident occured in that Chris Leighton was given out "Obstructed the Field", there is no other known instance of this occuring in an outdoor match.