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'Future looks bright' for Buckminster and Barrowby CC

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Feature by David Robinson

In 2019, three men sat in the White Lion, Barrowby, discussing the demise of two proud local village cricket clubs - Barrowby and Buckminster.

Like many village teams, competition for leisure time among younger players, combined with the retirement of older cricketers and club officials, left both clubs unable to continue.

Over a pint, Tim Gadsby, Dale Hardy and Craig Turner plotted the resurgence of cricket from the embers of both clubs, in the guise of the newly-formed Buckminster and Barrowby Cricket Club.

Steve Allen bowling for Buckminster (42449946)
Steve Allen bowling for Buckminster (42449946)

Now in its second season, the club has re-established itself in the second division of the GMCA, based at the historic Buckminster ground, which has hosted cricket from around 1850. In 2019, the club finished fourth in the league and in 2020, in a season of Covid-related cancellations, has won four from six games in all competitions.

Results are important, but not the key indicator of success, says chairman Tim Gadsby. He said: “Recruiting from the whole Grantham and Barrowby area, we have developed the new club through youth talent and inclusion across all abilities. This approach has paid dividends already, and we regularly field four or five youth players in our teams.”

Indeed, Buckminster and Barrowby recently beat a strong Melton side with a team including two 12-year-olds and three 16-year-olds. That performance was underpinned by the club’s youth contingent, including 12-year-old batsman and bowler Tom Sanders; 12-year-old Nikaash Dinesh, who took a catch in his first ever game of adult cricket, to dismiss Melton’s key batsman; three wickets from Morgan Kilburn; and three quite brilliant stumpings from young wicket keeper Ben Morgan. The latter two, both 16, then finished the day by scoring over 70 runs between them, after a century from a past club regular, Jack Berry.

The strong junior performance was repeated in a win over Frisby the following week, in a side that saw Morgan Kilburn take two more wickets, whilst another 16-year-old, Kyle Polzin, closed out the Buckminster bowling performance with tight figures, having been unlucky not to take a wicket when the skipper, David Robinson, dropped a regulation catch! Youngsters Ben Warner and Morgan Kilburn then scored over 30 runs between them, with Matt Veasey pushing them over the winning line.

As the captain notes: “We are proud of our policy of youth development, with all of the young players named above being regularly partnered by their fathers on the pitch. The more the ‘Dads and lads’ enjoy the game, the better they perform!”

At the other end of the age range are veterans in their 40s and 50s like Paul Sanders, Chris Polzin, and Titch Warner. The side is balanced by players in their twenties, such as vice-captain Matt Veasey, Ben Kennedy-Short, Saiju Gomahan, and Tom Williamson…and the club has even tempted back occasional appearances from club legends and local cricketers of note, Jack Berry, Jamie Morgan and Drew Barnes.

The ethos is summed up by one of the club’s founders, Craig Turner: “We aim to foster a love for cricket and provide an environment for young players to flourish and take the game and the club into the future.”

Buckminster and Barrowby can be found on Facebook , where the social media strategy is managed by Tom Williamson. Other members, Craig Turner, Chris Polzin, Martyn Bayley, Jamie Morgan, and Duncan Bateson are kept busy with projects such as renovating the pavilion and erecting a new nets system. The club is also sponsored by Duncan and his well-known local firm, Noah’s Ark Building Services.

With this all-round team approach, the future looks bright for youth cricket and for Buckminster and Barrowby Cricket Club.

Players interested in joining the club should call David Robinson on 07950 411 351 for more information.

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