Message from the chair
We’re now nearly one third of the way through the season, so time to provide you all with an update on how things are going at the Club.
Senior cricket has started well with good levels of availability on Saturdays and strong performances, especially for the second XI. The junior section has seen further growth, with an increase in the number of volunteer coaches and in juniors playing cricket for the club.
We’ve also recently started a women & girls’ softball cricket section – three weeks in and we’ve seen about 14 women and girls thus far. The feedback has been very positive, and we’re expecting further growth and will be shortly looking to arrange some friendly fixtures.
Off the field, we continue to retain the support of our sponsors and look forward to our day to thank them with the Sponsors’ Day in early July.
The 1st XI has had some mixed results in what is shaping up to be a tight Division 2 this year. With 2 wins and 4 losses from the fist six games, we could and should have won two close matches, but as long as we keep good availability and keep playing well, we should be able to avoid getting drawn into the relegation dogfight.
The 2nd XI is playing in a new Division 6b as the league has created two Divisions 6’s (a & b) this year. This has led to some natural mismatches in our Division, compounded by difficulties for some teams in getting sides out which means we have won some games with little competition from the opposition (bowling teams out for 25 and 43). We have performed well but with only one team being promoted to Division 5 from our Division, we don’t want to be undercooked for the matches which will be more challenging so looking to maintain high standards.
The Sunday XI has played matches every Sunday since 1 May, giving lots of opportunities for players to get game time and has also provided lots of chances for our juniors to start their journey into adult cricket. Availability is not quite as strong as the captain would like, so the ask is that players make themselves available as this team is vital in helping us have a healthy number of players at the Club. We have also secured the services of Barbara, our new tea lady for home matches, and it’s worth playing just to be able to sample her homemade cakes!!
We welcome some new players in the senior section: Steve Smith, Matt Bridgeman, Harrison Menezes and Sam Cork. Great to have you and hope you enjoy your time at the Club.
(Photo: Tom Williams)
After growing the junior section last year, we’ve grown further again this year and now have 147 children in our junior section from U9 to U15. In addition to this, we have 75 All Stars signed up through the ECB scheme that we run on Saturday mornings. In our junior section we have 19 girls and this is an area we’re looking to grow. We are also taking advantage of a Kent Cricket Bursary for Women Coaches and have at least one lady signed up to complete the course – this will be a great addition and will be positive for girls to see female role models playing in our women & girls’ section and also be coached by them.
With so many age groups, there are lots of matches taking place and not enough space to provide too much detail other than highlights: the Under 15A team beat Tunbridge Wells in the first round of the National T20 Cup, but then lost on a coin toss to Sevenoaks Vine. We fielded an Under 11 softball team at short notice at a recent festival (which we though was just for Under 9s) and they beat teams from Sevenoaks Vine and Penshurst, despite our team being composed mainly of Under 9's. The Under 15B's, Under 13's and Under 11's are well into their league season with lots of children being given opportunities to play and some good performances with some good wins here and there. We’re seeing some strong growth and development across the board which will only make them better cricketers in time. The Under 9s have just started their festivals so will report on how those have gone later in the season, but attendance at training is really healthy and Saturday mornings are proving to be a really enjoyable event for the children and their families and the introduction of bacon sarnies has been a game changer!!
(Photo: Martin Croker)
We have two dates for the diary:
Saturday 25 June – mid-season bbq (from about 7pm). This year this will double up and include the senior awards ceremony which was delayed due to Covid. Hoping for a strong turnout.
Sunday 3 July – Sponsors’ Day. Our chance to thank our sponsors by letting them play some cricket on the Common. There will be a bbq and refreshments, so will need some help from players to run the day.
The social secretary post on the Committee has also become vacant – Alain standing down after taking the lead on this over the past four years. Big thanks to Al for his organising our dinners and Sponsors’ Days. If you are interested in taking this on, either yourself or as a team, please get in contact with the Chair.
Recent draws resulted in the following winners:
January Jon Pickett
February Hazel Bartlett
March Jane Dunn
April Mandy Pulsford
There are a few squares available so if you are interested in joining, all for the princely sum of £2 per month, please get in contact with the new 150 Club organiser, Hassan Hadi.
There are 12 monthly draws each year for £100 and a dinner draw in the amount of the highest league score in the season (currently standing at 138) so lots of chances to win. Any money raised through this is spent on Club enhancements such as the previous purchase of the electronic scoreboard.