Sidmouth CC chairman reflects on past week at the Fortfield

Sidmouth batsman Matthew Cook at Budleigh. Ref shsp 16 17TI 1462. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth batsman Matthew Cook at Budleigh. Ref shsp 16 17TI 1462. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth chairman Fionn Wardrop has been reflecting the past week at the Fortfield Club.

With regard to the fact the 1st XI has suffered back-to-back defeats, he says: “It isn’t the start we would have chosen, but we know full well that performances so far haven’t reflected the capabilities of our first team.

“They are a successful and proud group who will know that they haven’t shown their best yet this year.

“Luke Bess has been pushing players to train harder and we’re confident that improved performances will come.”

On the third team’s splendid win at Bradninch, and the inclusion in the third XI of a number of players new to league cricket having come across to play on Saturday’s from neighbouring club Newton Poppleford, Fionn says: “We’re really pleased that a few of the Newton Pop lads have joined this year and it was great to see Tom Clay come good in the Bradninch game.

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“There are a few of us who have played against Tom indoors who can testify that he hits the ball very hard indeed!

“Looking at the scores from Newton Poppleford’s recent games it is clear that Colin Whitehall’s [the Fortfield head groundsman who looks after the square at Newton Poppelford CC] work on their square has been paying dividends as they seem to be enjoying some of the highest scoring matches in the county.”

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The chairman also spoke glowingly about a couple of new initiatives at the club – All Stars Cricket and Wine and Wickets – saying: “Matt Cooke came forward earlier this year and offered to take ownership of the ECB’s new All Stars cricket scheme for five to eight-year-olds on behalf of Sidmouth CC.

“After lots of hard promotional work from Matt, 65 children enjoyed their first ever cricket session last Friday which is just a fantastic achievement in the first year.

“Separately, Matt’s fiancé, Kate Warren, offered to take up Devon Cricket’s new Wine and Wickets scheme on behalf of our club, which promotes social cricket for women.

“Last week 26 ladies took part in a cricket session which, bearing in mind it was a cold, grey evening, is a brilliant start.

That all means we had 91 new people start playing cricket on our wonderful ground last Friday which we are exceptionally pleased with and Matt and Kate have done an amazing job.”

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