Wirksworth & Middleton Cricket Club are full of optimism as they prepare for the new season in 2017. It has been a busy winter both on and off the field with upgrading work on the pavilion and installation of a smart new boundary fence, an important time- saver for busy fielders.
Our 2016 season ended on a high note when the first team, led with brilliant cricket understanding by Antony Woolley, won the second division of the Derbyshire County League and are promoted as worthy champions to the top division in 2017.
They planned to be double winners, but the cup final against Dunstall, one of the great cricket matches in our history, was awarded to Dunstall when both teams had scored the same number of runs and lost the same number of wickets. No game could have been closer. Honour rests with W&MCC.
We have two new captains this summer and two veterans remain in post.
The experienced Ben Perry Taylor leads the firsts in the demanding first division programme. Vice captain is Mike Jefferiss, who last year successfully combined wicket keeping with opening the batting. We welcome players joining from Derbyshire clubs: Joe Greenhalgh, Rob Heath and Josh Pickering. Scott Woodman, a young recruit, will add fire power as an opening bowler.
The seconds have waited too long for promotion, but Ash Spendlove is taking the reins with great energy and high expectations of a mainly young eleven. He will target fielding as an aspect for major improvement.
Old stagers, devoted to Wirksworth cricket, Neil Doxey and Andrew Redfern for the 3rd & 4th teams will manage the cheerful and enthusiastic collection of young hopefuls and old sweats – with a few in between, who turn out regularly at the picturesque Middleton ground. They play because they love the game with its friedly competition and social mix of age groups. Martin Kinder will be at hand with advice in the seconds and for the 3rdXI Colin Julian and Keith Williams will form with Andrew Redfern a trio of wise men.
Our young players will contiue their cricket education with Mike Harwood as youth co-ordiantor runing seven youth teams at U11, 12, 13, 15 and, new this season, a U17 XI. Both twelves and thirteens won cups last season and the seventeens will build on the success of last seasons’s U15s. They had a remarkable season, winning the league championship against powful opposition and in the final match clinching the league cup with a determined performance against Mugginton. Manager Paul Tunnicliffe sets high standards for this promising squad of young players. Younger players will be involved in national programmes, Chance to Shine and for the beginners, the new All Stars Cricket.
The season begins with league matches on 22 April and the club welcomes to its excellent facilities new members af all ages and abilities, both players and supporters. Just pop in on a sunny Saturday.
Contact Neil Doxey on 07974101853 for information.
Press release from Roy Pearce 01629/822817
WMCC Press Officer.