INSIDE THE PAVILION is the weekly column from Gloucestershire CCC president John Light
MY SEE-SAW sporting life continues. Two delightful cricket occasions and a dire soccer situation followed in quick succession last week.
The Cotswold and District Cricket Association awards evening at Cirencester CC was a joy. The old pavilion was crowded with Cotswold cricketers, young and old, male and female. True cricketing companionship prevailed and true cricketing achievements properly celebrated.
For the first time there were ladies involved. Louise Findlay-Wilson eloquently described the growing interest in the ladies' game. With a league now firmly established there is the chance of real cricket and real competition, and judging by the numbers present, real fun as well. Do not miss out readers – ladies' cricket in the Cotswolds is both healthy and happy.
The success of local youth cricket was described by Alan Heath of Lechlade. Alan’s work is such that it totally destroys the myth of his club being just glory hunters.
Your columnist now makes a personal award. It is to Cotswold Cricket Man of the Year and it goes to Gerald Wilkinson. Gerald has replaced John King as secretary but has done more than that – he has made the position his own. Working well with chairman Phil Carter, he has been unstinting in his efforts behind the scenes.
Friday was Bristol and the all-age county awards. This takes in the U10s as well as the County First XI.
It was thrilling to hear local names from Langford (Findlay-Wilson again) Poulton and Cirencester. Special mention must be made of Jono Jamieson-Black of the Cirencester. He was player of the year in his age group.
Youth cricket is now well structured and growing in this county and perhaps the personal highlight of the two evenings for me was hearing Phil Carter (still gruff, and with even greyer hair) speak of the success of the CDCA youngsters. I think he actually smiled once.
Then came Saturday and another Forest Green failure. Now 13th in the league, the hope (or was it just hype?) of the early season has evaporated. An expensively assembled side is not delivering.
We have seen tantalizing evidence of talent but two much indiscipline and individual mistakes are letting the club down. It is still October and things may change, but with too many fans voting with their feet, the New Lawn is not a happy place. At least as far as the football is concerned. The lunches, teas and overall stadium experience is fabulous - but not the football . . .
Much speculation surrounds the future of manager Dave Hockaday. He has been given ample resources to build a team but the results do not reflect the investment. Chairman Dale Vince has some serious thinking to do. Perhaps the best way forward is an organisational change, keeping manager Dave at the club but putting someone else in charge of the first team squad.
Very much in charge of his squad is Brian Hughes at Cirencester Town. They are having a fine run and this Saturday play Weymouth in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup. A victory will open up many possibilities, both footballing and financial. All the town should wish the team well.
I have vague recollections of Cirencester and Weymouth meeting before in a cup competition – perhaps around 1960 – not all the players behaved themselves, there being nearly as many sendings-off as goals scored. Could any reader please confirm this?
Mrs Light and I are enjoying many evening events at the moment, but are especially looking forward to a lunch engagement. It is at the Royal Agricultural University on November 1 (12noon for 12.30pm, £35 a head). Hamish Marshall is speaking and he is good value. During the Cheltenham Festival the Marshall family – all three generations of them – stayed in self-catering accommodation on a farm near Northleach. If he does not tell us about it please ask him a question.
Tickets are available from Bill Griffin, Stone Bank, Duntisbourne Leer, Cirencester, GL7 7AS. Bill is an elected member of the county cricket club executive board and there will be plenty of opportunity to ask him about our county’s fortunes. Having now found the role that suits me best (benign elder statesman) I shall be very much in the background.
Comments are closed on this article.