Sidmouth CC: our weekly chat with the chairman

PUBLISHED: 09:30 18 May 2018

Sidmouth 2nds at home against Clyst Hydon 1st team. Ref shsp 20 18TI 3145. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth 2nds at home against Clyst Hydon 1st team. Ref shsp 20 18TI 3145. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Here is our weekly chat of all things Sidmouth CC with club chairman Fionn Wardrop, and we began by asking him for his reflections on another super Saturday with all three senior teams claiming Tolchards Devon League success for the second weekend running.

He replied: “Yes, the start is certainly very pleasing. However, we are also aware that it does ‘paper over a few cracks’. The 1sts were pretty self-critical after the Plymouth game and mentioned we’d got lucky with a good few dropped catches from Plymouth helping to get us over the line. The 2nds played really well and the 3rds were indebted to a great knock from Jordan Fowler after a considerable wobble on their chase.”

Next we asked Fionn for his thoughts on the rise and rise of former Sidmouth CC colt Dom Bess following his call-up to the England squad for next week’s Lords Test against Pakistan.

He said: “We’re seriously proud of Dom. His rapid ascent is all down to his own desire and talent and he hasn’t put a foot wrong in his career so far.

“He is a great bloke and has been very generous to us with his time and donations of his cricket gear since he moved on.

“We are all crossing our fingers that he gets into the final XI as there is no doubt he will contribute in some way – whether bowling, batting or with his brilliant fielding.”

We next took the opportunity to ask Fionn, in his capacity as chairman of the local club, what thoughts he had on what does seem a current decline in local cricket with a number of clubs being unable to fulfil early season league fixtures and Sunday cricket being in very serious decline at local club level – Tipton St John have twice been let down on Sundays already this season – and that’s in the first three scheduled matches!

Fionn said: “It’s a real worry and if I had the answers I’d gladly share them. I can only talk about what has worked for us.

“The all-through league has been massive and given a renewed interest to several players – the young and not so young. In time it will also help us to move players up and down through the teams so they play at an appropriate standard.

“This has been a real issue for us in the past and we have lost a number of promising youngsters who were between teams.

“Skill specific winter training for our promising youngsters has also been popular. Creating a good social environment helps by making the club a focus for players through the summer. Another feature we are delighted with at our own club is our fantastic midweek programme which gives loads of cricket during the school holidays.”

He continued: “Most of all, though, the rise in numbers this year has been down to a lot of hard work from our committee who give an awful lot of their own time to create good cricket and fun for our members.

“Umpires and scorers are hard to come by. We will happily provide training for anyone who is interested and I’m sure the same goes for most Devon clubs.”

As for the coming weekend and the Sidmouth action. The 1st XI have a doubleheader weekend with Saturday seeing the spotlight on a third Tolchards Devon League Premier Division fixture with Heathcoat the visitors to Fortfield (1pm) and the following day the 1st XI are in T20 action when they travel to Paignton to contest the opening round of the Servicemaster Devon T20. They face matches against the hosts and also Torquay.

There’s also Devon action at Fortfield on Sunday with Devon playing Wiltshire at Sidmouth in the Unicorns trophy (50 overs) and play starts at 11am. Spectators will, of course, be made very welcome.

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