Anticipating great season

The long, cold winter has finally relented and, just like countless other cricket clubs up and down the land, everyone at Ottery St Mary CC is keenly anticipating the new season.

The long, cold winter has finally relented and, just like countless other cricket clubs up and down the land, everyone at Ottery St Mary CC is keenly anticipating the new season which is just around the corner. Ah, the magical sound of leather on willow! Club members have recently been working hard to spruce up the ground which will this season boast a brand new radio- controlled, electronic scoreboard!The club's thriving youth section, which last season boasted in excess of 100 members, will be holding registration evenings on Friday April 10 and 17 at the Salston Field ground in Strawberry Lane on the outskirts of Ottery. New members are very welcome. This season the club will be running six junior sides including U11 softball pairs, U11 hardball pairs, U11, U13, U15 and U17. Each team has its own manager and the club has a number of ECB qualified coaches. Facilities include refurbished nets, a bowling machine and a dedicated junior square. The youth section has really blossomed in recent years and a number of players have represented East Devon in the annual inter-regional tournament and also full Devon county youth teams. Not all players can be high fliers, of course, and at Ottery CC we pride ourselves on having a truly inclusive policy, working hard to ensure all youngsters are fully involved and encouraged to play the game in the right spirit, values which were key to the club achieving Clubmark status. Weekly training sessions for all age groups will be held from mid-April to the end of July. U11 and U13 training will take place on Friday evenings from 6-30 to 8-30pm and U15 and U17s at the same time on Mondays. Friday evenings, in particular, have become vibrant social occasions at the club's splendidly refurbished clubhouse with numerous parents enjoying a drink or two in the clubhouse or a snack from the barbecue whilst their offspring hone their skills. So, if you have a youngster, male or female, with even a passing interest in cricket, bring them along for a taste of 'the greatest game on earth'!Adult cricket is also thriving, and 1st and 2nd XIs will again be competing in the Francis Clark Devon league on Saturdays from early May until the end of August. The club also plays regular friendly matches from mid-April to mid-September, with games against local sides on Sunday afternoons and a number of midweek matches against touring teams, mainly in July and August. Indoor pre-season net sessions are under way and will continue for the next two Sundays at the Colin Tooze sports centre, after which outdoor sessions will be held at Salston Field on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the season. The season begins with a friendly match against Kentisbeare at home on Sunday, April 12. New players interested in playing league or friendly cricket are more than welcome and should contact John Tierney on (01404) 850608.

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