Chris Maguire's view on the local cricket scene

The omens weren't good ahead of the new cricket season. My batting performances were so bad in the pre-season nets that one of the new players asked if I was a bowler!

Tuesday, 25th April 2017, 8:38 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:26 pm
The cricket season has got underway this month

The omens weren’t good ahead of the new cricket season. My batting performances were so bad in the pre-season nets that one of the new players asked if I was a bowler!

If that wasn’t bad enough the cricket authorities decided to start the new season a week after Easter. My staple diet for the last week has been three eggs but unfortunately they’ve been of the chocolate variety.

Turning up to White Coppice’s picturesque ground for our season opener against Garstang 2nds we did in the knowledge it would be without our talisman Kyle Dixon, who has left to join Chorley.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Kyle has been a brilliant servant to White Coppice and everyone wishes him well. Interestingly Chorley’s captain last season Ian Dickinson has returned to his former club Croston. It’s a great move for Croston but it sums up the problem facing club cricket.

Club cricket is a bit like a merry-go-round and there simply aren’t enough cricketers to go round. Clubs like Chorley, Blackpool and Leyland have brilliant youth set-ups but in the main players just move between sides so the pool of players gets smaller and smaller.

Look at Freckleton Cricket Club, who play in the Premier Division of the Palace Shield League. They’ve had some great players over the years like all-rounder Josh Holden, who has left to join Lytham.

Nobody can blame Josh for wanting to further his career but he’s one of a number of players to leave Freckleton and now they’ve withdrawn their second team from Division Three.

Their 1st XI played away at Garstang on Saturday and were bundled out for 35. It’s going to be a long hard season for Freckleton and I wish them well but they’re not alone.

However the problem was put into perspective when I was given the shock news that our long-time groundsman Fred Entwistle died over Easter after a short illness. He used to tend Adlington Cricket Club’s ground too and was one of club cricket’s real characters.

“That track you prepared Fred is rubbish,” I would say jokingly as I looked for another excuse for the latest stupid shot.

“The only thing that is rubbish is thee,” he’d say.

Back to Saturday’s match. We were put in after captain Tony Moore lost the toss again and quickly slipped to 14-2 and I walked in to bat. I scratched around for 18 before doing what I always do when I middle two balls in succession and suddenly think I’m Virat Kohli.

The bowler was shaping the ball back into me down the hill when he threw one up on leg and middle stump. Quick as a flash I went to whip him through midwicket forgetting that I’m a useless and missed it.

We got spanked by nine wickets, thereby ending our unbeaten start to the season. ·