Last weekend saw the final round of games in the Pontefract and District Cricket League. For my local club, South Kirkby Colliery Cricket Club, it was a significant Saturday in that a win (or at least three bonus points) in the final game would mean winning the division one championship. The last time the team had a similar division one honour was in 1932 and I don’t remember that one.
The final game was played at Ackworth Cricket Club, 2nd in the league and seven points behind at the time. The home team batted first and declared before South Kirkby could get the maximum bowling points (3). 100 runs was the target for a batting point that would ensure South Kirkby would win the division one title. The batters did their job and in the end South Kirkby won the game with overs to spare, they held their nerve and won for the village.
This was not one season’s work but the culmination of plans and strategies that have developed over many years. Over a decade ago the Club went through many changes and the emphasis shifted from the senior teams to youth teams. Many of those playing on Saturday have come through the youth teams or are active with the youth teams as their children are playing cricket.
It has been a very good year for the Club both locally and in the County. One of the juniors who came through the system had her first game (and cap) with the Yorkshire Ladies team. The 1st team also won the Dyson Skidmore Trophy (cup competition) and the 20/20 league so a treble celebration is on the cards. All five of the junior teams had a mixed season on the field as well as camping out, under 9 cricket gala and other social activities that make for a stronger community.
All this and everyone involved with the cricket give their time and expertise for nothing. A community that does things the right way will eventually be rewarded and this year has seen the senior side get the plaudits (next year it could be the under 11 team).
Congratulations to everyone involved – players, spectators, parents, carers, volunteer coaches, physios, tea makers, groundsmen, committee, raffle prize givers… and of course the local businesses that help each year to keep the Club going and move it slowly but surely on to more achievements.
© P.R.Birkby 2014