Cricketers bowl up festival of fun

CRICKET fans won’t be stumped for something to do at this summer’s Festival of Alnwick, when two clubs will lay on a feast of batting and bowling aimed at introducing local youngsters to the sport.

Alnmouth and Lesbury and Alnwick cricket clubs are already planning their part in the week-long celebration, which marks the visit of the Olympic Torch to Northumberland, by staging simultaneous sessions for children on the afternoon of Sunday, June 10.

Alnwick will welcome those aged 11 and under, while Alnmouth will coach under-13s. The format for the festivals will be teams of six-a-side playing a number of games during the afternoon.

And other clubs will be playing a part, with Warkworth, Tillside, Berwick and Morpeth on the guest list.

Bill Batey, who is chairman of the North Northumberland Cricket Development Group, said; “The festivals we will be playing at Alnwick and Alnmouth are new competitions and a format that we have not tried out before at these age groups. “I’m sure the action will be fun, fast and furious with lots of great cricketing skills on show. Both Alnmouth and Alnwick have thriving local clubs with a strong junior element. In the last two seasons they have both won the Northumberland Ground of the Year award.”

Rob Woods, North Northumberland Cricket Development Officer, added: “At Alnwick we’re hoping to have around eight clubs represented and as well as cricket, there will be a family barbecue and stalls.

“The club has had a very successful year and has a number of players in the county squad, while the junior section is coming along nicely.”

Alnmouth and Lesbury had its most successful junior season ever in 2011, winning a total of seven trophies, and added to its coaching team over the winter. Six new coaches have taken their England and Wales Cricket Board qualification and two existing coaches have gone for higher qualifications. The club is currently planning an ambitious project to rebuild the changing room toilets, officials’ room and scoring facility.

Any new youngsters interested in playing junior cricket at Alnmouth and Lesbury CC can go along to a registration and induction evening at the cricket club on Friday, April 13, at 6pm to find out more.

After a brief talk by Bill and Rob, there will be an opportunity for a free taster session.

For further information contact Bill Batey on 07971 810267 or Mark Brunton on 07989 445576. In the event of wet weather, the introduction and registration evening will still go ahead.

Junior sessions at Alnwick CC start outdoors on April 19 and anyone interested in playing can contact Rob on 01665 511495 or visit www.alnwickcc.co.uk