WEEK 15: 2-3 Aug 2014

 

 

Inclement weather throughout the weekend decimated the league programme with only five matches reaching a conclusion, with all four divisions represented. Certainly grounds in and around Carlisle were the most fortunate. In Division Two second placed Appleby II, windscreen wipers working overtime, travelled north to leaders Carleton more in hope than expectation. The positive aspect of the players was instrumental in the match even starting, with Carleton becoming the beneficiaries of all the points. Appleby were asked to bat and struggled throughout their innings, a situation that Carleton discovered to their cost at the start of their reply. However, a fourth wicket partnership between Ray Cunneen and Lee Field, who both rode their luck, virtually ensured a home team victory. A word of praise here for umpire Howard Moon, who steadily became more sodden as the game progressed. However, it must be borne in mind that he’s from Yorkshire, so should be fairly well accustomed to such damp conditions. In Division Three Caldbeck II kept up the pressure on the two leaders with a nine wicket victory over Lanercost III. After dismissing the home side cheaply only the rain showers were going to stop them, with the benefit of two matches in hand, from closing in on Stainton and Wetheral. However, Scott Wetherell, with valuable assistance from Matthew Burbury, took the weather out of the equation. Whilst most players were resting Lanercost III managed to play twice; losing again the following day to Nunwick II. In Division One Carlisle continue with their customary late season surge as their third team beat fourth placed Kirkby Stephen by forty odd runs. Local rivals, Longtown and Langholm are clear, but anxiously looking over their shoulders. Jordan Oultram and Phil Frazer’s fifth wicket partnership was the key, with Frazer’s five wickets snuffing out Kirkby’s expectations of overhauling the target. The one match in the Premiership took place at next to basement Scotby who hosted the team immediately above them, Braithwaite. Given the conditions both teams can be congratulated for reached the highest aggregate total of the weekend. James Swann ensured that Braithwaite was given a stiff target, with brothers, Dan and Jason Pyke determined that one of the eight points on offer went back to Braithwaite. This situation has yet to be resolved; both are equal on points with five games to play. Elsewhere, despite some good intentions, the rain had the last laugh. In Division One Rockcliffe had the opportunity to lead the division, and in dismissing Longtown cheaply had satisfied one part of the equation, but rain stopped what was a promising reply. Baggrow managed to complete their innings at Threlkeld before both teams had what turned out to be an extended tea. Well, at least it was better than nine overs at Gamblesby, or none at all for the remainder.

 

 

TEAM BATTING FIRST

SCORE

OVERS

RESULT

TEAM BAT. SECOND

SCORE

OVERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prem

Scotby (h)

182/5

32

drew

Braithwaite (a)

145/7

32

 

Stuart Farrer

Andrew Jefferson

James Swann

30

35

62

 

 

Jason Pyke

Dan Pyke

48

38no

 

 

Lee Zaninetti

8-0-37-3

 

 

Dan Swann

Mark Vasey

8-3-14-2

8-0-47-4

 

Nick writes: A weather forecast of warnings greeted both teams before the days play that somehow managed mostly to avoid Scotby.  On their travels up several players mentioned the monsoon showers they encountered but arrived at a very grey Scotby arena that had only had a small shower all morning. An agreed reduction in the overs between Captains before the start of play made it a 32 over game.  Braithwaite won the toss and inserted Scotby under leaden skies. 

A watchful yet productive opening partnership had reached 40 without loss when a long rain delay of about 35 minutes disrupted their flow.  On resumption and a bowling change which saw Zaninetti claim two wickets in his first two overs restored some parity to the game, some tight overs followed with Phil Knight bowling in tandem with Lee Zaninetti and another wicket fell. With wickets in hand though and a fluent and often belligerent James Swann both he and Vasey (21) add 74 for the 4th wicket to set up a strong finish for Scotby to post a very competitive target. 

A cracking tea of Chilli, Rice and Nachos along with a selection of cakes was well greeted as a change to the normal (Yet good, in-case the wife reads these reports) sandwiches selection. 

In reply the Braithwaite innings initially struggled to get going being 34-2 after 12 overs.  In the thirteen Trevor T Kitching decided to launch the first ball of the over for six and promptly lost the match ball which, along with some positive cricket, brought Braithwaite back into the game. The dismissal of Kitching brought Dan Pyke to the crease which indicated a continued positive approach.  Unfortunately for them Jason Pyke holed out to a good catch in the deep for a well batted innings, which was followed by a cluster of wickets which put Scotby on top and thinking of eight points.  Unfortunately for them Zaninetti (4no) and Dan Pyke, who’s massive six enabled batted out the remaining overs for Braithwaite to gain a point.   

A game of cricket that despite the weather around managed to produce over three hundred runs. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prem

Appleby II (h)

 

 

rain

Staffield (a)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prem

Carlisle II (h)

 

 

rain

Stainton I (a)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                   

 

 

 

 

TEAM BATTING FIRST

SCORE

OVERS

RESULT

TEAM BAT. SECOND

SCORE

OVERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Div 1

Longtown (a)

96

32

drew

Rockcliffe (h)

23/0

6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Danny Braithwaite

Graeme Cross

Jimmy Freebairn

Derek Foster

8-2-22-3

8-2-13-1

8-3-20-5

6-1-17-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Match abandoned - rain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Div 1

Edenhall (h)

 

 

rain

Wigton II (a)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Div 1

Keswick II (h)

 

 

rain

Langholm (a)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Get it together before it’s too late’ a comment by Keith Richardson

THE structure of cricket in Cumbria is more fractured than the geology of the Lake District. And, at a time when the game itself is facing new challenges at all levels and an increasing number of grass roots clubs are falling by the wayside a more united approach would be a bold step towards improving and strengthening the game in the county. It would also go a long way to forging the identity and position of Cumbrian cricket in the greater (UK) scheme of things if all the cricket in the county was played under one banner – let’s call it the Cumbria ECB Premier League – with all the existing leagues forming a pyramid structure beneath the top flight but not losing any of their very unique formats, titles and individual identity and powers of self-determination.

The best players from a new pyramid structure would filter into the Cumbria Development Squad and Cumberland’s Minor Counties team to represent their county at a higher level as authentic Cumbrian cricketers who have come through their respective club’s junior systems.

At the moment in Cumbria we have clubs and teams competing at the weekend in five entirely separate leagues: the Northern League, the North Lancashire and Cumbria Cricket league (NLCCL), the  Westmorland League, the Eden Valley Cricket League (EVCL) and the handful of clubs, mostly second and third teams that remain of the once much stronger Cumbria League. Those leagues all have their own identity, and varying rules covering league and cup competitions and the way in which points are awarded. So essentially we have five entirely different leagues all playing the same game, to a greater or lesser degree, but which operate largely in isolation with little or no communication between them.

The Northern League is essentially a Lancashire-based league and operates without any promotion or relegation; it is, to all intents and purposes, something of a closed shop.  All the other clubs and leagues operate principally in Cumbria although the EVCL, somewhat unusually perhaps, does have a Scottish representative in Langholm. All cricket clubs in Cumbria, whatever their league affiliation, are run by hard working volunteers who love the game. It is quite literally a labour of love and running and organising a club – let alone a league – is a major undertaking that is becoming increasingly difficult and challenging as the nature of the game and society changes.

The days of the communal kit bag and a domino night fundraiser in a pub once a year are long gone. To run a successful amateur cricket club these days is akin to running a business with a whole raft of various compliance paperwork and groundwork to be completed before you can even think of pitching the stumps for a game. For those clubs that choose to field a bona fide professional, usually from overseas, you enter into territory formerly belonging to the UK Border Agency. The financial demands can be astronomical just to keep afloat, with or without a professional player who, these days, is usually a fully qualified ECB cricket coach who takes an important role in the club’s youth development and coaching system as well as playing at the weekend for the first team.

When faced with increased demands and, perhaps more importantly, less young players prepared to commit to the game because of competition from other sports (primarily soccer) and other pursuits and interests, it is little wonder that the game is struggling and teams and clubs are going out of existence. Most recently, Edenhall Wanderers, of the EVCL, called it a day only last week due to a player shortage. They hope to make a comeback in a year or two but how difficult will that be once you are gone? Then there are the pale-faced youngsters who do not play sport on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon in the early part of the summer because of the pressure of exams. All work and no play and all that . . . but that’s a different issue.

For a new pyramid league structure to be a total success in Cumbria the four Northern League clubs; Kendal, Netherfield, Barrow and, most latterly, Penrith, would need to leave the Northern League, come back into the fold and play all their league cricket in the county. In doing so they would lead the way and set a great example for a stronger cricketing future for Cumbria as whole.

They would join the top eight clubs of the existing NLCCL to form a twelve team top tier, under the league’s existing administration, at the head of a new Cumbria ECB Premier League. That name could be amended to add the title of a major business willing to invest in sponsoring the new Cumbrian structure with the benefits being spread to the clubs beneath, perhaps in the form of grants for youth development. The formation of a new Cumbria Premier ECB League would also strengthen its bargaining power and position when it came to influencing the cricketing authorities with regard to the game at grass roots level in the county.

Local cricket should never ever underestimate its importance in the scheme of things. Clubs very often take over the coaching duties of schools and provide the coaching and playing structure for the development of young players. You don’t have to look much further than Cockermouth CC and their former junior Ben Stokes to see the merit in that argument. It is a role that I believe may, unfortunately, be taken for granted by those at the top table.

Beneath the top twelve teams of the new Cumbria ECB Premier League would be a twelve team countywide First Division. Flanking that First Division would be the geographically more sensitive Eden Valley Cricket League and the Westmorland League. These leagues would not lose their identity, title or officers and administration but the top team in either league would have the option at the end of the season to accept promotion into the countywide First Division, should they so wish. If they did so, the two teams at the foot of the First Division would be demoted into the EVCL or the Westmorland League, which ever was most appropriate to their geographic location, sustaining the number of teams in those leagues. The teams in the lower reaches – in effect the second division - of the existing NLCCL and the Cumbria League would sit in a centre ground below the First Division and, again, there may be an option for promotion/relegation.

Under such a structure the club and team at the very bottom of the pyramid, provided it is ambitious and has the required facilities, could climb seamlessly to the top without having to jump leagues with all the problems that can cause. Similarly any club can also find their true level at any particular time in their development, whether they are strong or less strong and this should lead to more evenly balanced contests. That is the essence and the basis of a new pyramid structure for cricket in Cumbria. There are bound to be anomalies and teething problems. There always will be when anything new is proposed and introduced but I believe that this structure would present a united front for cricket in Cumbria and strengthen the game in the county. An informal and independent association of officers from the various leagues could also be formed to meet and discuss shared problems and, hopefully, come up with potential solutions. It could also use its combined strength to pressurise the ECB for greater support for the grass roots game.

This idea of a pyramid structure for Cumbrian cricket is not a new one, it has been mooted before but nothing ever came of it. The same could happen again unless the ECB in the county is prepared to take a leading role and try and facilitate, at the very least, talks for what would be a significant and important change; one that might be rolled out in other areas of the UK. With the challenges facing the game of cricket and clubs in Cumbria at present it can now be argued more forcibly than ever that it is a change that cricket in Cumbria can no longer afford to ignore. And one that is long overdue. It is, quite frankly, time to get it together before it is too late.

 

FOOTNOTE: Keith Richardson is the chairman of Keswick Cricket Club and a member of the management committee of the Eden Valley Cricket League. He has written this comment piece not as a representative of KCC or the EVCL but as an individual cricket enthusiast concerned for the future of the game in Cumbria.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Div 1

Carlisle III (h)

181/5

40

beat

K Stephen (a)

135

30.5

 

 

Jordan Oultram

Phil Frazer

69no

39no

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bryn Davies

10-2-28-1

 

 

Phil Frazer

Lee Hogarth

10-3-29-5

7-1-18-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

TEAM BATTING FIRST

SCORE

OVERS

RESULT

TEAM BAT. SECOND

SCORE

OVERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Div 2

Gamblesby (h)

 

 

drew

Lanercost II (a)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Managed nine overs, but no more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Div 2

Appleby II (a)

97

32.5

lost

Carleton (h)

98/4

24.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ray Cunneen

Lee Field

45

35no

 

 

 

Ben Smith

Ian Field

Ray Cunneen

10-2-19-3

6.5-1-15-2

6-3-8-2

 

 

Phil Cook

9-2-25-2

 

 

Ant writes: Some weeks within the world of amateur cricket, whilst watching the weather forecast there becomes an air of gloom at the prospect of waking up to rain and the expectancy of a call from the opposition skipper to say this weekend’s fixture has been cancelled. Sure enough, Saturday morning came with Appleby in rain, yet no call from Carleton. Off we went up the M6 with windscreen wipers on full belt, and arrived at Carleton with their ground in remarkably good condition and merely light rain. How refreshing to find both sets of players eager to play no matter what, and the agreement was made to do exactly that, much to the annoyance of the increasingly grumpy Adam Knowles. Either team could have been excused for not being so enthusiastic – Carleton started the day eleven points ahead of Appleby so could have been forgiven for taking three; equally Appleby were several regulars short, in particular some of their youngsters who have done so well all season, so both teams should be fully commended on their approach and commitment to indulge in a game of cricket.

The game itself was dominated by opening bowlers and ultimately decided by the only decent partnership of note. Carleton had no hesitation in putting Appleby into bat. Brakewell made 18, but Ben Smith and Lee Field were bowling well in good bowling conditions. Errington made a sturdy 25, and nice to see young Owen Hindmarch play well late on, but Carleton’s change bowlers proved equally as difficult to play as their two openers as Appleby finished twenty or thirty short of a reasonable target it was thought.

Targets went out of the window though as Carleton’s innings began in similar vein to Appleby’s. At 18-3 it was very much game on, with Cook and Lightfoot being as difficult to play as anyone. Carleton then began their fourth wicket partnership which would become the match decider. Ray Cunneen and Lee Field both rode their luck a little but deserved their rewards, a brief spell of thunder and thoroughly torrential rain briefly threatened to halt proceedings but only cost about fifteen minutes of play. Ray was out with only a few runs needed to win, and a six wicket victory was achieved.

Well done to Carleton, despite defeat, an enjoyable days cricket in what didn’t seem possible. We look forward to seeing the Carleton lads in two weeks for our rematch. Quick note of thanks to Howard Moon who joined in both skippers approach to the game, and probably got soaked in the process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Div 2

Great Corby (h)

 

 

 

Patterdale (a)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Div 2

Baggrow (a)

147

32

drew

Threlkeld (h)

 

 

 

 

John Raven

C Ward

65no

40

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S Robinson

Dan Thompson

8-1-21-4

9-1-33-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

No further play after tea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Div 2

Wigton III (h)

 

 

rain

Lowther (a)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                       

 

 

 

 

TEAM BATTING FIRST

SCORE

OVERS

RESULT

TEAM BAT. SECOND

SCORE

OVERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Div 3

Irthing Vale (h)

 

 

rain

Nunwick II (a)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Div 3

Lanercost III (h)

99

39.4

lost

Caldbeck II (a)

101/1

26.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matthew Burbury

Scott Wetherell

25no

45no

 

 

 

Phil Richardson

Callum Donald

Scott Wetherell

100-20-2

10-7-8-3

8.4-0-23-4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Div 3

Keswick III (h)

 

 

rain

Wetheral (a)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Div 3

Lanercost III (h)

68

26

lost

Nunwick II (a)

69/0

12