Sunday, 11th September 2022

We welcome East Lancashire CC as our final visitors to Hare Hill this season. I hope you all have an enjoyable day and that the game ahead is both competitive and played within the ‘spirit of cricket’.

I also hope that you have enjoyed reading our cricket programmes this year, which have been produced, for every home 1st XI team fixture this season, to celebrate 150 years of cricket here at Hare Hill. What a year it has been for us but sadly this will be the last production this year and therefore my last Blog of the playing season. Also, as our financial year ends on 30 September, our Honorary Treasurer will now be busy starting the process of producing our end of year accounts, which will be audited and available for all members to see, at our next AGM, scheduled to take place in January 2023.

Quite rightly, my previous Blogs this season have mentioned, many times, the success Littleborough Cricket & Sports Club (LCC) continues to enjoy both on and off the field of play and whilst a significant amount of my comments have been aimed at activities other than those actually played here at Hare Hill, today’s Blog is very much focused on our cricket teams.

We are extremely fortunate here at LCC to be able to fully support both male and female senior teams (four in all), as well as a flourishing junior section consisting of six competitive teams consisting of players from the age of 9 to 18 and an All Stars programme for those juniors aged between 5 and 8.

Since the outset of league cricket in 1892 up to and including 2016, LCC senior cricketers, from all three teams, have enjoyed much success on the field, winning numerous Central Lancashire League 1st and 2nd team Championships, Wood Cups, Burton Cups, T20 Cup, Challenge Trophies and Aggregate Cups, North Manchester Cricket League 3rd team Divisional Championships and Hodson Cup and Under 18s team Whittaker and Taylor Cups.

For six years now, despite a great deal of hard work, effort and a number of near misses, LCC has not had the pleasure that lifting a senior cricketing trophy brings to both players and supporters alike.

However, 2022 has already seen Ben Williamson and his Under 18s team and Phill Sutcliffe and his 2nd XI team crowned Lancashire League Divisional Champions of their respective leagues, which is absolutely fantastic to see. These are significant achievements for our Club and our respective Captains and players. All those involved thoroughly deserve the success we are all now enjoying, so well done and many congratulations to everyone.

More fantastic news and another significant achievement to report as Clinton Perren and his 1st XI team have now accomplished their main goal of the season by securing promotion to Senior Division 1. Whilst currently sitting at the top of their league they need one more final push to also be crowned champions and it goes without saying that all our loyal supporters will be cheering them on and wishing them all the success in the world. Come on lads, I know you can do this!

Matty Owen and his 3rd XI team have gained more and more momentum as the season has gone on and are currently sitting in a well-earned and well-deserved third place in their league, with one game to play. Irrespective of how the season ends for them, this is also a fantastic achievement as it is always a challenge leading a 3rd X1 team and getting the right balance of experience and developing youth together in the one team. Once again, well done, this is brilliant work by you all.

I will also take the opportunity to, once again, announce that we will be putting together a significant coaching and training programme for all ages, throughout the winter months of 2022/23, as we did last year. Success breeds success and so I not only welcome existing players to our winter programmes but also strongly encourage new players to come along and join us on our cricketing journey.

I am so proud of what all our players achieve year on year but am particularly proud this season. This just confirms to me what I already know; LCC is a fantastic Club to be part of now and will continue to be a fantastic Club to be part of in the future years to come. UTB!!

Neil Barnes, LC&SC Chairman – 07595383375