March 2015 - Redlynch and Hale CC

This month we venture to the south of the county and to a club right on the border with Hampshire, a stones throw from the beautiful New Forest. Redlynch & Hale CC play in the Hampshire Cricket League but are a Wiltshire based club and have hosted representative county games at youth level for a number of years.

Redlynch & Hale CC are the most southern Wiltshire club and are affiliated to Wiltshire CB, Hampshire CB and the New Forest Club Cricket Association. It's a beautiful area but does it present it's own problems in terms of it's rurality?

Although we are on the edge of the forest Redlynch is quite a big village and with Downton not having a team we have quite a big population to draw from. In terms of travel it is very difficult to play in Wiltshire, but for Hampshire we are only 10 minutes off J1 M27 and can get anywhere fairly easily.

You gained promotion from the Hampshire Cricket League; County Division Three North and will play in County Division 2 this year after finishing one spot below the promotion places. When did you find out that you'd received promotion at the expense of Midhurst who pulled out of the league? 

We knew we were promoted pretty much straight after the last game as best 3rd place team in the two County 3 leagues.

How did the season pan out and what do you expect from this year now that you'll be up in Division 2?

After missing out on promotion in the last game of 2013 it was very important to go up this time and despite losing our two opening bowlers we achieved this, so despite our 3rd X1 being relegated for the club it was still a very good season. This year we should be able to win enough games especially if our left arm spinner Tom Emm is fit again.

Ian Tanner topped the league batting averages with 558 runs at 55.8 but you also had Glen Willoughby in the top 5 as well, contributing 420 runs at 52.5. How reliant were you on these two for runs?

There was a massive dependence on Ian and Glen but Dave Webber did weigh in with over 200 runs including one match winning innings.

The club run junior cricket for U9's, 11's, 13's, 15's & 17's as well as girls. In such a small catchment that's a great achievement. What have you done to attract, retain and sustain young players involvement in cricket at Redlynch? 

As I said before our catchment is actually quite big and a lot of the local clubs don’t have colts. It is a bit frustrating when we lose some of our best young players to these other clubs who play below us in the pyramid. I think we have had quite good organisation for our colts and there are plenty of playing opportunities in the New Forest Leagues. We didn’t have an Under 17 team last year but the boys and girls have got one together for this season. Unfortunately we don’t have enough girls of the same age to run a team at the moment, but are proud to have 2 girls playing for Wiltshire.

As with any club to be sustainable in the 21st century you must have some very dedicated volunteers. Tell us about some of the heroes behind the scene at Redlynch?

There are a few heroes to me. Derek and Sheila Green do a lot for us although Derek never played. He has done a lot on the playing fields over a long period of time and will always help out with preparing the ground and keeping the lads up to it. Sheila is our No 1 tea lady and does a high percentage of our Saturday teas which are always great.

Ian Coffin our Vice Chairman is also a hero, he does the ground at Hale, a lot of work at Redlynch and also runs our Under 9 team as well as being Chairman of the Redlynch Playing Field Association. Andy Church our new Chairman was very involved in getting the colts section running and has coached through the age groups and has now started back with the younger groups. Him and Lin, who is our 1st X1 scorer, also run the website and keep play-cricket up together with all our results and stats.

Are there other projects / success stories that you'd like to highlight? 

Our sponsor Dave Dorrington of Maniflow made us mobile covers in his car workshops and all we had to pay for were the cover sheets. We just need to fine tune the gutters and pipes and we will have a wonderful set.

Quickfire Questions

How long have you been in existence? Redlynch C.C. reformed in1950 and amalgamated with Hale C.C. for the 1991 season.
Describe the club in 3 words? Local, friendly, inclusive.
Who were your best batter / bowler / fielder in 2014? Best batsman Ian Tanner, Best bowler Kev Hopkins, best fielder Ben Vincent (however most of our fielding is lousy!).
What is the proudest club moment to date? For me with Redlynch it was beating Goatacre in the 1987 VKO final on their own ground by one run. We had a very large crowd there and the atmosphere was brilliant, not sure how we won. The following year Goatacre reached the Final at Lords which was rained off and won the cup the next day. For Redlynch & Hale getting promoted into the old Hampshire County 1 League which was one tier below the top recreational level of the Southern League’s only Division. I think we took it a bit for granted at the time but now realise what an achievement it was for a local team.
Who was your toughest opponent this year? Toughest opponents, ex Southern League Club on the way back up.
Where were the best teas in the league this year? Best teas have got to be at home.
Nicest ground you played at this year? Hursley Park.
Which club had the best showers in Division 3? Best showers at home I’m told!
And finally...if you could sign any player in world cricket for 2015 who would you get? As everyone else has gone for AB we’ll have Mitchell Johnson, don’t think we’d be chasing too many and I think he’d be capable of a ton or two at our level.