Sidmouth Cricket Club - our weekly chat with the chairman

Sidmouth 3rd XI bowler Fionn Wardrop in action against Bradninch 2nds.

Sidmouth 3rd XI bowler Fionn Wardrop in action against Bradninch 2nds. - Credit: Archant

Here’s our weekly chat with Sidmouth Cricket Club chairman Fionn Wardrop.

First up we asked him for his thoughts on a dramatic final day of the Tolchards Devon League season, which ended with the 1st XI being crowned champions for the seventh time in 11 years.

Fionn said: “We were all absolutely delighted. Although we needed the stars to align on the final day (rumour has it that Sandford captain Richard Foan is currently front runner in the players’ player of the year vote), our efforts over the course of the season ensured that we were deserved winners of the league.

“Huge credit goes to our captaincy team of Luke and Zac Bess, who were very well supported by the selection committee.”

How do you regard the 2018 as a whole from the chairman’s point of view?

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“This season was a huge success for the club. The 1sts and 3rds won their leagues and the 2nd team came second while amassing considerably more points than either of our champion sides.”

Now that the first ever ‘all-through’ league is completed, what is the Sidmouth chairman’s take on the matter?

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“The all-through league has been a huge success from our perspective, just as we expected it to be. Second and third eleven team cricket has been rejuvenated with team and league places to play for which, in turn, has improved our capability to produce first team standard players.

“Sidmouth and Devon cricket both benefit from this improved situation.”

Has there been a highlight of the 2018 season for you?

“Yes, absolutely! Aviwe Mgijima made a real difference to our club and our community and huge credit goes to Will Murray for doing the research and making the calls that ensured he was such a good signing. A generous donation from Michael Cunliffe enabled us to recruit Aviwe and Aviwe’s efforts with our players, juniors and in the local schools will mean that it is an investment that lasts a lot longer than just the three months he was here for.”

Now to your own future - will you be chairman again next year? Where would you like to think the club might be in 12 months’ time in terms of any further improvement – if that is possible - new teams, developing youngsters, ladies cricket etc?

“Now the dust is beginning to settle I will have a think about next year. Juggling a family, job, playing and being chairman has been a big challenge this summer, so it needs some reflection.

“Regardless of which, the members quite rightly decide who does what at the club, and others are welcome (and encouraged) to stand.

“In terms of future improvement, we will be looking hard at our colts section over the winter and have some exciting ideas that we will try to bring to fruition.”

Last, but not least for this year, the Sidmouth chairman ended with rich praise for one particular aspect of club life, something he alluded to when he said: “Our pitch scores are top once again and Colin Whitehall deserves huge credit.

“Particularly as his preparations were badly affected by the snow, then the season was as dry and hot as anyone can remember! Throughout it all he rolled out fantastic surfaces and we are all, at the cricket club, truly grateful to him for all his sterling work over the year.”

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