Wansbeck Cricket Academy have started their second season in the Hetton Lyons Sunday Cricket League.
The initiative set up by Ashington and Bedlington Cricket Club’s player coach Steve Williams, has amalgamated the four clubs in the Wansbeck area – Ashington, Bedlington, Bomarsund and Ashington Rugby Club – whereby younger players on the fringe of their club sides gain experience of the longer format of the game.
Williams said: “The idea has proved really successful with many youngsters gaining match practice and coaching from the academy coaches.
“Many of the boys have made personal best performances whilst playing for the academy and have taken this form into their club cricket, which benefits all.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank a few local businesses who have kindly helped with sponsorship because without this help we would struggle to continue.
“Ian lavery, the MP for Wansbeck, has helped greatly with contacts whereby we gained funding from the High Sheriff of Northumberland Youth Awards; also team-mates of myself at Ashington and Bedlington CC; Doug Potts at Co–op Funeral Care and Malcolm Humble at Opsol UK Ltd. Their help is greatly appreciated.
“The season has seen us record two wins and we had our first centurion as skipper Kevin Harnett (Bedlington CC) made 156 against Annfield Plain Academy.
“Kevin, alongside Matty Tanney (Bedlington CC) and Matty Storey (Ashington CC), give us the experience in the team which makes my job much easier.
“They are a credit to their clubs; are always available to play and set a great example to the younger boys – many of whom are aged between 14 and 18.”
Home games are shared at the venues between all four clubs, which come under the umbrella of the Wansbeck Academy, with the next scheduled game being in the Langford Cup against Cowgate or Whickham.
It will be staged at Ashington CC on Sunday, June 1, with 45 overs per side and will start at 1.45pm.
Spectators are more than welcome to attend.