The past few weeks of sweltering weather has seen the first team rise to the top of their division, whilst the seconds have struggled and often wilted in the heat. We continue to put out young sides, giving us plenty of optimism for the future, but we really need some of the seniors to step up on a regular basis to get some more wins under our belt.
Disturbing news of the legendary Clayton as he was taken to hospital last weekend after a suspected stroke. After being moved to Wythenshawe he had a neck operation and is recovering well, though not well enough for a visit from Nigel.
Good to see Neil Shaw make another contribution to the club website, under the heading of “Any Thoughts?” Whilst his comments may not be everyone’s cup of tea they make interesting reading, though citing Danny Ashworth and Eddie Taylor as reasons to be concerned about the future of village cricket is not a great start! We lose a fair share of juniors to university, Tesco, and alcohol, but Saturday’s first team contained 2 juniors and 7 other players that came through the WBCC junior ranks. Add to that another five first team players who were not available last weekend but are this, and we have a competitive team consisting mainly of ex WBCC juniors.
The question of promotion and relegation is an interesting one, and I suspect that in years to come it will be eliminated because of the lack of teams. There is already talk of one Cheshire club leaving to join a higher league, whilst a former leading light in the league are struggling to field 22 players every week. At Whaley we are proud of the fact that we can field full sides, even on double weekends, though the strength of those sides is nothing like the heady days of the nineties. Whaley Bridge are in a fallow period, though the strength of the juniors (two semi finals this year) means that we should be able to challenge at both first and second team level in the not too distant future.
DCCL West And East is an interesting one, cutting out a lot of trips across the great divide that a lot of clubs didn’t want in the first place – unless you happen to fall on the wrong side of the divide!
All fixtures to be played on a Sunday – no idea why, as when the seasons clash most of the juniors play football on Sundays rather than Saturdays.
All fixtures to be Bissenden format. I firmly believe that this will reduce junior involvement as captains would rather have someone that they can get a few overs out of than risk giving a junior valuable experience.
Under 17s cricket to be played on Saturday afternoons is, in my opinion, a non starter. Most good under 17s will be playing senior cricket. However, asking them to commit to three months of Saturday and Sunday is a step too far.
Bissenden and Hawke to be revamped as 20-20. I believe thare are already plans to change Hawke to 20-20 – though I have my reservations about the potential midweek nature of this.
All in all good suggestions, and I hope that the league are equally as inventive when they come up with solutions to some obvious problems.
Back to WBCC senior cricket, and there was certainly a buzz around the ground yesterday for the visit of Charlesworth. Unfortunately that buzz was a swarm of bees that led to a brief interruption in play as the majority of players ran for cover. It was even more unfortunate that several of our players had no idea where cover is, and so ran in the direction of the swarm rather than away from it.