Ottery St Mary CC lend a helping hand with player loans
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Ottery St Mary have been lending a helping hand to nearby clubs using loan arrangements introduced last season by the Tolchards Devon Cricket League, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.
Teams operating in the lower reaches of the competition have been allowed to borrow players from other clubs if that helps make up full sides.
The Tierneys – dad John and son Jake – usually play for Ottery St Mary but were loaned out to Exmouth 3rdXI last Saturday for their game against Uplyme & Lyme Regis 2ndXI in the H Division East.
Julian Page, the Exmouth skipper, said the loan system is a real winner at a time when lower-level teams are struggling for numbers.
“Had it not been for Ottery agreeing to loan John and Jake to us, we would have played with nine men,” said Page.
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Rob Johns, the Ottery St Mary chairman, said his club helped out Kilmington with a loan last season and were happy to assist other clubs if they could.
“We have a cracking youth section bringing players along, but don’t have a third team at the moment where they can play men’s cricket,” said Johns.
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“If you don’t have somewhere for these boys to play the danger is they will drift away from the game, and all that time and effort on the part of the youth coaches will be lost.
“As we were struggling for a ground to play third team games on, we couldn’t enter a team this season, but had lots of lads wanting to play.
“So it is a win-win situation for us when we are able to send lads out to Countess Wear, Woodbury & Newton St Cyres or Exmouth.
“It is far better than the alternative, which is young lads lost to cricket because they are not getting games.”