Sandford Cricket Club celebrates the start of a new season

By Crediton Courier Newspaper in Cricket

WITH the 2017 cricket season already upon us, Sandford Cricket Club recently held its annual Sponsors’ Evening at the Club headquarters at Creedy Park.

Vice Chairman and Sponsors’ Co-Ordinator, Phil Matten, welcomed Club members and helpers, as well as a good number of sponsors. He thanked the sponsors for their continuing support, and stressed how grateful the Club was to them.

He reported that there was one new sponsor this year, local Accountants Haines Watts, and that thankfully all of the existing sponsors had agreed to continue with their support.

Phil also welcomed back former player Richard Foan, who had returned to the Club this year following a spell in Australia. He reported that Richard had agreed to be the First Eleven captain this year, and Richard himself thanked everyone for welcoming him back, and for the support from the sponsors which has allowed the Club to continue to prosper since he was last there as a regular player.

Richard had made some guest appearances over the years he had been away, when he returned home each year to visit family, including at the end of last season when he helped the Club to finish fourth in the Devon League A Division.

But now he has returned, he confirmed he was looking forward to the 2017 season, and his influence has already attracted the Bettiss brothers, Neil and Marc, back to the Club.

He was hopeful the Club would enjoy a successful season, and that it would be doing everything possible to try and regain the Premier Division place it lost three years ago.

The Club this year will be running four senior teams with First and Second Eleven’s playing in their respective Devon League A Divisions every Saturday, and on Sundays having two teams playing in the First and Third Divisions of the North Devon League, although not on the same day.

The Club also has a Ladies team who tend to play most of their games on Sundays.

The Club would be very interested to hear from anyone who may be interested in playing this year, and they can either contact any committee member, or telephone Phil Matten on 01363 774872 or 07970 157 557 to discuss what we can offer them.

At the Sponsors’ Evening, Phil also introduced Matt Theedom. Matt is the Devon ECB Development Officer, but also a life-long Club member at Sandford.

Matt reported on a new ECB incentive for five-eight year-olds to become involved in playing cricket through their local clubs.

With a very strong youth section at the Club already, this new incentive is looking to introduce even younger boys and girls to the game.

Training for them starts today, Friday, May 19, with a 5pm start.

Matt reported that as at the time of the Sponsors’ Evening, 28 children had been registered to take part. However, I can now advise you that more than 50 children have been signed up.

The cost is £40 for an introductory eight-week course, and Matt would like to hear from anyone else whose children would like to join the scheme. This is an ECB fee and includes their own playing equipment and clothing, as well as a holdall bag.

Training for the older Colts will follow the five to eight year-olds’ training, and will be between 6.30pm and 8pm.

At a recent Friday night session, 99 children attended. The Club is very grateful to its own players, and other helpers, who ensure the children are given the best support possible in their introduction and further development to the game of cricket.

Altogether the Club is running seven youth teams this season with age groups running from Under 10s to Under 15s in organised leagues.

Friday nights have certainly proved to be popular at the Club over the last few years, with many parents bringing their children to training and then spending the evening enjoying the company of other parents, as well as some of the other facilities the Club can offer.

If anyone has any boys or girls interested in joining either of the Friday night sessions, please contact Matt on 07805 554 636 for more details.

DEVON MINOR COUNTIES

Sandford Cricket Club is very pleased to announce that it has again been granted a Devon Minor Counties game in 2017, having first been granted a game in 2015, when Devon entertained Wales.

Last year saw Wiltshire being the visitors to Creedy Park. Shropshire will travel to Devon for this year’s three-day game, which will take place between Sunday, July 30 and Tuesday, August 1, with 11am starts on each day.

COMMUNITY CRICKET

Finally, the ever-popular Community Cricket League has already started. Now in its sixth year, with incredibly five different winners to-date, teams from Crediton Inn, Sandford Football Club, Sandford Youth and Parents, Crediton Rugby Club, Graphics and the welcomed return of a team from the Three Little Pigs, will all compete for the Barrie Sparham OBE Memorial Trophy, kindly donated by Barrie’s widow, and Club supporter, Sue.

Games will be played on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at various dates between now and July 18, with the top two teams competing in a Grand Final on Friday, August 4.

At the time of writing Three Little Pigs beat Graphic quite easily in the first game, but a close contest ensued in the second game between Sandford Football Club and Crediton Rugby Club, with the Rugby Club winning off the penultimate ball of the match.

A schedule of matches is posted on the Club’s notice board inside the clubhouse.

The Club is eternally grateful for everyone who helps to keep everything ticking over at Creedy Park. These, include our dwindling band of “old gits” (we could seriously do with a few more retired helpers), who spend many hours doing various duties at the ground on non-match days, as well as match days; our loyal band of tea ladies, for producing such wonderful teas for players and spectators alike on match days; our regular scorers Alan ‘Bert’ Carbert and Nicky Radnor, and for our Bar Stewards, in particular Tracy Matthews who volunteered her services last year, and proved a great success.

If anyone would like to get involved with the Club, either as a player, social member, helper or in any other capacity please let me, Phil Matten, know on 01363 7774872 or 07970 157 557.

I’d like to finish by wishing all teams every success during 2017. It’s started well, with Richard Foan smacking 124 against Cornwood in the first Devon League A Division game, and the team winning off the penultimate ball of the match, chasing 266 to win.

A very good win against one of the teams we would expect to be challenging for promotion at the end of the season.

May the sun shine and the ball run for us, and if you have nothing better to do on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, come over to Creedy Park and enjoy a drink in wonderful surroundings.

If you wish to become a member, call me or Club Secretary Paul Smith (07801 719 386). We would love to see or hear from you.

Phil Matten

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