Building on success

NEW LEADER: Stuart Whitehart has taken over as first team captain from Gareth Boon
NEW LEADER: Stuart Whitehart has taken over as first team captain from Gareth Boon

Last season proved a highly successful one for Long Melford, with the Saturday first XI and both Sunday sides being promoted.

Stuart Whitehart takes over as first team captain from Gareth Boon, who led the team for five years achieving three promotions during his tenure.

This will be the club’s second foray into Two Counties Division Two, and with some new arrivals hopes are high that this time the team will be competing at the right end of the league at the end of the season.

Despite a new arrival, a baby with Tash Byford, last season’s Clubman of the Year Matt Hoadley will be captaining both the Saturday second team and the Sunday second team, taking over the Sunday role from Ashley Skeggs.

Although there have been some departures Hoadley should have a good core to build both teams around and the club is optimistic that the Saturday team can close the gap on the first team and gain promotion from Two Counties Division Six.

The Saturday league season kicks off this weekend with the first team at home to Exning, and the second team visiting Felixstowe Corinthians.

On Sunday, the annual inter-club match between the two Sunday teams takes place, with the Hunts County Bats League action not starting for the Sunday first team until May 3 with a home Division Two match against Lakenheath II.

The Sunday second team, captained by Daren Bigg, starts the Division Four campaign with a home match against Woolpit Academy on April 26.

This season the club will be celebrating a genuinely momentous occasion, the 40th anniversary of Richard Kemp taking over a president. The main event will be on Sunday, August 30 when the club is looking forward to entertaining a number of his contemporaries as part of the annual Chairman v President XI fixture.

As ever Long Melford have a number of friendly games scheduled throughout the season. In addition, Suffolk Ladies will be taking on Oxfordshire Ladies on bank holiday Monday, May 25.

The fact that the club is able to host such an event, which it is hoped will become a regular series of fixtures, is testament to the work put in by groundsman Ivan Whitehart and the facilities which the club and its benefactors have invested in.

Long Melford welcomes all comers, spectators and players alike.

For more information visit the websitewww.longmelfordcc.co.uk

n Long Melford start their Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Division Two campaign at home to Exning (1pm). The second team visit Felixstowe Corinthians in Division Six.