Earls Colne & Bures Cricket Club

         

A combined venture between Earls Colne and Bures & District Cricket Clubs, 

participating in the PDQ Cars North Essex Cricket League

 

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Why Earls Colne & Bures? Although the North Essex/South Suffolk area benefits from a healthy cricket culture but with a decline in the number of schools now teaching the game, many clubs have encountered increasing difficulty in raising sides, especially as the established players approach the end of their playing days. There are no longer teams like Grasshoppers, Paxmans, Stambourne, Old Shalfordians and Langham. Other clubs will follow unless a more enlightened approach is taken to keep the game alive at this level. Nationally funded initiatives have helped in some cases but the problem remains; there are too few players coming through! Fortunately, there may be a long-term solution. Youth sections of many clubs are full to bursting point with keen youngsters, anxious to play and learn. Earls Colne Cricket Club is no exception, with excellent youth teams representing the club at local level. These are our players of the future but the challenge to keep the youngsters interested and bring them forward into the senior game is a strong one, in the face of the distractions of modern life.

Apply this to both Earls Colne and Bures Cricket Clubs. Each club is fiercely independent; a merger of the two clubs has NEVER been on the agenda! Bures withdrew from league cricket in early 2003 because of lack of players, but retain some members who wish to play in the league. Just four miles up the road, Earls Colne were about to give up trying to run a Sunday team in the PDQ North Essex Cricket League. It was not until a representative of each club sat down socially over a pint of beer and admitted that both had similar problems, that the obvious suggestion of a combined team was put forward.

The formation of the Earls Colne & Bures Cricket Club has provided a neat solution for both clubs. Earls Colne continue to field a stand-alone Saturday side in the Two Counties League, while Bures play non-league cricket on Saturdays. On Sundays, the joint team competes in the PDQ Cars North Essex Cricket League.

Of course, the fact that both Earls Colne and Bures Cricket Clubs have a similar outlook and approach to the game has helped no end. Whatever the merits of a combined effort, two sets of players who could not stand the sight of each other would hardly form a satisfactory alliance! The first game of the combined side took place at High Easter on 16th May 2004, featuring 6 Bures and 5 Earls Colne players many of whom had never met each other before! It was all a little nervous, but we were rewarded with a splendid victory. The inaugural season of the combined Earls Colne & Bures side ended as well as it started, with Earls Colne & Bures standing proudly atop division 3 of the league, gaining promotion to division 2 at the first attempt. Although 2005 saw relegation back to division 3, the 2006 season was very successful with 9 matches won and a third place gained in the division.

Hopes are high for the 2009 season. The playing surface at Earls Colne has been relaid and promises cricket of a high standard, while the ground at Bures looks a picture now that the river banks have been cleared and the pavilion re-thatched.

Earls Colne C C web site is here

A Slow Production

Vicarage Meadow, Bures, Suffolk, CO8 5BX

Green Farm Meadows, Halstead Road, Earls Colne, CO6 2NG

Contact us - here