Sawbridgeworth Cricket Club

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Sawbridgeworth Cricket Club
Club Formed 1862
Main Ground Town Fields, Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire
Second_Ground Leventhorpe School, Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, CM21 9BY
1st XI League Home Counties Premier League, Div 1 East
Other Leagues Saracens Hertfordshire League Div 4, 8
Herts and Essex Cricket League Div 6
League History 1974–present
Honours Herts League: Twice
Herts Cup: Once
Herts Plate: Once
Herts 2nd XI League: Once

Sawbridgeworth Cricket Club is a cricket club located in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, England.

The club is affiliated to the Hertfordshire County Cricket Association, the Club Cricket Conference and is a member of the Home Counties Premier League, the Saracens Hertfordshire Cricket League and the Herts and Essex Cricket League. The club competes with five League XI's on a Saturday and two on a Sunday. The 1st XI play in Division Two East of the Home Counties Premier Cricket League, while the 2nd and 3rd XI's are in Divisions 4 and 8 of the Saracens Hertfordshire Cricket League, with the 4th XI playing in the Herts and Essex Cricket League.[1]

The 1st XI also compete in three cup competitions, the Hertfordshire County Cup, Evening Standard Challenge Trophy and the ECB National Club Knockout Competition (Cockspur Cup). The club also has a thriving colts section, fielding seven teams across five different age groups and competing in the Hertfordshire youth leagues.

The main ground is at Town Fields in the centre of Sawbridgeworth, behind Bell Street, the main commercial street in the town, on the east Hertfordshire and west Essex border. The club's second ground is situated at The Leventhorpe School, to the north of the town.

Honours[edit]

  • Hertfordshire League winners - 1984, 2003 (Div 1)
  • Hertfordshire Cup winners - 2003
  • Hertfordshire Plate winners - 2004
  • Hertfordshire Second XI Championship winners - 1975

Club history[edit]

Early Cricket in Sawbridgeworth[edit]

The earliest recorded cricket match by a Sawbridgeworth side was two games against Saffron Walden in 1823, the Sawbridgeworth home game being played at Pishiobury Park. Other known early games were against Bishop's Stortford in 1836 and Hatfield Broad Oak in 1843.[2]

The formation of Sawbridgeworth Cricket Club in 1862[edit]

'The Sawbridgeworth and High Wych Cricket Club' was formed by the Sawbridgeworth Vicar, Reverend A. D. Wilkins in 1862. The pitch in those far off days was granted by Mr Edwin Hurst on a 'field well situated between the Parish and the District'. Rules were drawn up by a committee of Clergymen and Schoolmasters, and all was set in motion.

The matches in this first season were 'in most cases resulting successfully to Sawbridgeworth', practice games were well attended, and Reverend Wilkins's expectations in the formation of the club were most satisfactorily realised. Subscriptions were 2/6d for clergymen per quarter, 1/-d for adult members and 3d for schoolboys. The club was initially created for the schools and choirs of Sawbridgeworth but it was proving so prosperous that on 29 September 1862 a meeting at the National School in Sawbridgeworth decided to admit other members.[3]

The club evolved into a subsequent cricket club which was formed a few years later as a result of a meeting of the Youth Club at an Assembly Hall in Springhall Road. The matches of this club took place at the ground now known as Town Fields, and were reported as 'being attended by members of all the player's families, dressed in the most severe and formal manner of course'

From 1894, the club played at Pishiobury Park, on the northern edge behind what is now East Park.

The need to provide a more formal, competitive game of cricket in the locality was recognised in the Sawbridgeworth Recreation Club, who in May 1896, formed the 'Sawbridgeworth Recreation Cricket Club', playing in colours of chocolate with amber piping. The first captain was the Rev. Hermann Coldwell with a future club legend, Harry Boatman, as vice captain. This team played on a ground 'generously donated by F. W. Buxton Esq.' - next to Pishiobury House, for the 1896 season. The donation of the ground was enough to persuade the club members to nominate Mr Buxton as their first President! The 'pavilion' at Pishiobury was a bell tent, and one of the early rules insisted, 'no bad language be used and no intoxicating drink allowed'.

In 1897 the modern club was born when it was renamed Sawbridgeworth Cricket Club, with the club colour of dark blue, used to this very day. The club had moved back to the northern edge of Pishiobury Park, which remained the home ground until 1908. In 1909 the club moved back to Town Fields.

In 1900 Sawbridgeworth won the West Essex District League Championship for the first time, playing against teams such as Elsenham, Harlow, Stansted and Takeley. Other clubs to show on our early fixture cards were Epping, Hoddesdon, Hockerill and Burnt Mill. Bishop's Stortford appeared for the first time in 1907.

It was in 1897 that Harry Boatman commenced his run of 32 consecutive years as club captain or vice captain. Since that era, the office of club captain has been held more widely, a statement more of the changes in the general environment in which the game is played, than a reflection upon the club and the game of cricket in particular.

During the Great War the entire Town Fields ground was dug up, with the exception of the cricket square, to enable vegetables to be grown.

Inter War Developments[edit]

At the end of the War in 1919, members characteristically chose a ground beside the Hand and Crown until a local benefactor, Sir Arthur Cutforth, thought it time that the club return to its rightful place. Through a newly formed sports association in 1921, Sir Arthur presented the ground to an alliance of cricket, tennis and bowls sports clubs. The cricket club resumed residence at Town Fields in 1924 and has played there ever since.

At approximately the same time, the club received considerable help from Sir Walter Lawrence, an eminent businessman in the field of construction and house building, who presented the Walter Lawrence Trophy for the fastest First Class hundred of the season, still awarded each year. Sir Walter later became President, and the family crest of the orthodox cross and two panther heads became the motif on the club colours. His son, Pat Lawrence, whilst Club Captain, donated the Captain's Cup in 1936, which is awarded annually to the player who has shown the most special distinction in the field of play. [1]

Sir Walter's Lawrence's interest in the cricket club was of benefit in establishing the first pavilion here at Town Fields in 1930. His company built the pavilion (which is now part of the changing rooms) for the sum of £300; Sir Walter personally matching the funds actually raised by the club membership. It contained two rooms each 12 feet by 8 feet for the two teams to change in, plus a main room 20 feet by 12 feet to provide 'teas and sustenance' for the players.

Post war[edit]

All cricket was only played on Saturdays until after the Second World War, when a full Saturday and Sunday fixture list was provided.

Families and the continuity they provide have played a major role in the club's formation. Many fathers and sons have played for and served the club in a wide range of capacities. The current Club Captain, Tony Marshall, is the son of a former team captain - Rick Marshall. Various generations of Boatmans, Nockolds, Pyles, Richardsons, Punchers and Felsteads have served the club with distinction in many diverse ways.

A colts section was introduced in the late fifties by Barry Bousfield and Stanley Mansfield. This tradition is carried on today by the club chairman Val Waring and ably assisted by Chris Howard, Chris Pask, Carl Waring and many others.

The Modern Era[edit]

The club was a founder member of the Herts League in 1974 and won the 1st XI championship in 1984. The 1st XI came very close again in 1986, when Bishop's Stortford just beat them to the title in the last round of games. Sawbridgeworth having won their game, then went to witness the conclusion of Bishop's Stortford's game where car headlights were alleged to be trained on the field of play to allow the local rivals to complete their win.

Sawbridgeworth after winning the Hertfordshire Becker Cup in 2003

In 2003, the club enjoyed its best-ever season on the field, The 1st XI recorded an unprecedented double, winning the Saracens Herts League Division One championship and the Becker Transport Cup [2][3] while the 2nd XI also gained promotion after finishing third in Division Four. The 3rd XI finished in ninth position in Division Nine but only after extending their unbeaten league sequence to 28 matches, a club record.

Recent years have witnessed many ground improvements at Town Fields. The clubhouse was completely knocked down, rebuilt and extended to be opened for Cricket Week in 1987. The former pavilion, which now serves as the changing rooms, was doubled in size and reopened by the Mayor of Sawbridgeworth in April 1992. A permanent artificial surface was provided for practice nets in 1989 and in early 1997 changes to the bowling green resulted in the removal of the slope in the outfield at the bottom of the ground. Most recently, the clubhouse was extended in 2006 to create a new kitchen.

These ground developments have helped the club become one of the most picturesque grounds in the county and one of the more popular to visit. Development of the clubhouse has allowed the club to provide an extensive social programme that is a major support to the cricketing activities here. Activities range throughout the winter and climax with a Mid-Summer ball for over 350 people, which is the major black tie event to be held in the locality.

Club Records (First XI Games 1983-2006)[edit]

  • Most Appearances - Ted Levey (654)
  • Most Runs - Ted Levey (17,113)
  • Most Wickets - Paul Monger (540)
  • Most Dismissals - David Burrell (274)
  • Highest Innings Total - 428-3 declared, 23 August 2002 versus Essex Tools at Town Fields
  • Lowest Innings Total - 39 all out, 10 September 1994 versus Eton Manor at Eastway
  • Highest Batting Average - Daniel Hull (40.88)
  • Highest Individual Score - Matt Birch (223)
  • Best Bowling Average - Chris Hopper (14.35)
  • Best Bowling In A Match - Peter Miller (9-55)

Notable players[edit]

  • Nick Adams [4]
  • Rick Allen
  • Harry Boatman
  • David Burrell
  • Michael Burrell [5]
  • Rory Coutts [6]
  • Ryan Cunningham [7]
  • Terry Dash
  • Ron Davis
  • Kevin Elkins
  • Alec Felstead
  • Graham Hanlon
  • Chris Hopper [8]
  • Daniel Hull
  • Pat Lawrence [9]
  • Ted Levey
  • Rob Marshall [10]
  • Paul Monger
  • Gary Parish
  • Tony Puncher
  • Andrew Richardson [11]
  • Stuart Turner [12]
  • Nick Walker [13]
  • Danny Wilson [14]

Club Officials[4][edit]

  • President : Barry Birch
  • Chairman : Val Waring
  • Club Captain : Matthew Birch
  • Hon Secretary : Anna Billings
  • Treasurer : Helen Kirby
  • House Chairman : Steve Hyam
  • Ground Chairman : Matthew Birch
  • Social Secretary : Karen Birch
  • Colts Cricket : Chris Pask
  • Membership Secretary : Alan Fisher
  • Bar Chairperson : Karen Birch
  • Sponsorship Chairman : John Hansford
  • Child Welfare Officer : Chris Pask
  • Fixture Secretary : Richard M White
  • 100+ Club Chairman : Lorna Bates
  • Web Site Manager : Rob Furber

Current 1st XI squad[edit]

Name Nat Batting Style Bowling Style Notes
Batsmen
Steve Ashman England RHB RM
Matt Birch England LHB RMS
Joe Holland England RHB 1st XI Captain
Alan Fisher England RHB RM
Rhys Purnell England RHB RM
Ted Levey England LHB SLA
Phil Marshall England RHB RMF
Tony Marshall England RHB RM Club Captain
Joe Rudkin England RHB LS
Robert Sanders England RHB RM
Andrew Stead England RHB RM
All-rounders
David Burrell England RHB RMS
Michael Burrell England RHB RMF
Andrew Foster England New Zealand RHB OS 2nd XI Vice Captain
Danny Wilson England RHB RMF 1st XI Cup Captain
Wicket-keepers
Joseph Edwards England RHB OS
Charlie Mann England RHB OS
Bowlers
Chris Howard England RHB RMF Club Coach / Development Manager
James Bovaird England RHB RMF
Ryan Cunningham England Jamaica LHB SLA Club coach / 1st XI Vice Captain
Jason Hill England LHB LFM
Joe Hurst England RHB RFM
Paul James England RHB RM
Kieran Morgan England LHB OS
Andrew O'Donovan England LHB SLA
George Delaney England RHB LMF

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  • A Brief History Of Sawbridgeworth Cricket Club, 1984
  • Sawbridgeworth Cricket Club - The First 100 Years, R. T. Furber, 1997
  • Scoring Records of Sawbridgeworth Cricket Club, Richard M. White, 1984–2006
  • Harlow Citizen Newspaper, 15 December 1967.
  • Home Counties Premier Cricket League Website [15]
  • Saracens Hertfordshire Cricket League Website [16]
  • The Walter Lawrence Trophy Website [17]
  1. ^ http://sawbridgeworthcc.hitscricket.com
  2. ^ http://sawbridgeworthcc.hitscricket.com/history/default.aspx
  3. ^ Church diary of Reverend Wilkins, 1862
  4. ^ http://sawbridgeworthcc.hitscricket.com/officials/default.aspx