For many generations, the sport of cricket has been played in the village of Evenley. In past years, the Cricket Square was situated within the land of Rectory Farm. Today this is now a small housing development called Church Leys, which was built in the 1970's. Cricket has since moved to be played on the village green; a charming setting, surrounded by period properties. The village green has an excellent reputation as one of the best wickets within the South Northamptonshire leagues.
THE STRUCTURE OF E.C.C
Evenley Cricket Club is organised by its own management committee, which comprises playing and non-playing members of the club. They meet monthly to have informal discussions about topical issues, which range from sponsorship, fund raising and social events through to more tactical discussions about selection and the organisation of the club. The committee currently comprises 6 members:– Chairman and Treasurer, Secretary, Players Rep, Youth Section Rep, Groundsman Rep and Social Rep. The committee would welcome assistance so if you would like to be involved in the running of the club, please get in touch. Current projects underway include a new three year shirt sponsorship, replacement storage facility and replacement roller.
Evenley has two adult cricket teams, both of which play in the South Northamptonshire’s Saturday leagues. Currently, the first XI play in the Premiership and the 2nd XI play in Division three. In addition, there is a mid-week team which play in the North Buckinghamshire mid-week league. There are also two junior teams competing in the mid-week South Northamptonshire leagues. All the teams play limited overs cricket.
The first eleven has played in the SNCL (South Northamptonshire Cricket League) premier division for many years and has won the Premier League Championship seven times in 2001,2002,2005,2006,2007, 2011 & 2012. They have also finished as runners up in 2003, 2009 & 2010. Since then, the team have remained competitive; mainly within the Premier division and has had a variety of finishing positions throughout the division. The 2018 season resulted in the team being relegated into Division 1 bouncing back quickly as champions of this division in 2019 and promoted back to the Premier division for the 2020 season. The standard of cricket is good as far as village cricket is concerned, and is most certainly competitive.
The second eleven has progressed well over recent years having moved through the divisions as the club has become more successful and attracted more players. They were promoted into Division One for the first time in 2013, finishing a respectable 3rd in that season. Since then, the team has also had varied finishing positions throughout the division. The team is currently in Division three. The second team usually has a mix of youth and experience and has provided an effective spring board from the youth section for the younger players to progress their skills in preparation for 1st XI cricket and beyond.
We also have a mid-week team who play competitive mid-week cricket in the North Buckinghamshire league. The team is primarily focused on the development of the younger players emerging from the club’s youth section, supported by a few “seasoned” campaigners for some guidance and experience. For the coming 2020 season, both teams have entered the SNCL cup competition.
There are also a few friendly matches on a Sunday afternoon; this is a lesser standard of cricket, played with less emphasis on competition and more on having fun, and enjoying the sport. The mid-week team accommodates a wide variation of ability and ages! The teams enjoy a great social scene, gathering for a drink with the villagers after the game in the local pub, The Red Lion. There is also a very active junior section, which meets on a Sunday morning for coached training sessions.
The Junior section was established in 2002. It provides regular junior coaching on Sunday mornings during the season on Evenley Village Green, commencing at 10.30am. Indoor nets are also provided before the start of the season. In 2009, we joined the South Northants Junior League at U13 level, this meant competitive fixtures during the season for our U13 squad of players. This has led to the addition of an U15 team also entering the junior league. Our youngsters also enjoy competing in Kwik Cricket competitions at this level. Since 2013, the youth section has benefited from professional coaching from Ireland international and sports pundit, Nial O'Brian. The club secured a grant to fund this along with a new bowling net and surface, new bowling machine which has been well used to help develop the batting skills of the youth section. In 2017 we became a centre for the delivery of the ECB All Stars Cricket programme for which we currently have over 40+ children, aged 5-8 year old registered as part of the programme. Of course, success and enjoyment for all will continue to be dependent upon an increasing number of adult players and parents committing to coaching, supporting and being the taxi service for away games.
All matches played are based on a format of limited overs cricket, both teams playing 40 over matches. Mid weeks fixtures are 20 overs. Usually fixtures are arranged so that each of the first and second eleven teams takes it in turn to play a home fixture on Evenley Village Green. Our mid weeks home matches are played at Aynho Sports Ground. Most opposition comes from the local surrounding villages, although this does encompass the odd village from slightly further afield, who are attracted to the well organised South Northants League. Teas are part of the match fee, which are held in The Red Lion, Evenley, with changing and showering facilities available in the village hall. Most matches (weather permitting) are well supported by the village, so please come along and support the teams whenever you can. The pub is always open on a Saturday afternoon. Matches start at 1.30pm.
The club is always on the lookout for new members. This is in both a playing and non-playing capacity, and is open to both male and females of all ages. You can have an involvement in the club of some description, small or large. Every year there is an A.G.M held in the village hall on the first Sunday in February, which is open to anyone and everyone.
For those who are keen to be involved in an active way, there are several options. The club is always looking for players and new committee members, male or female. In addition, the club is seeking scorer's and umpires.
For those of you who would prefer to support in a less involved manner, there is the opportunity to sponsor a match ball, become a Vice President of the club, or support our regular social events ranging from BBQ's, to Burns night dinner to V.P luncheons to the end of season presentation and social evening. There is also a club lottery with a weekly prize! Spectators are always welcome to cheer the teams on a Saturday afternoon at Evenley Village Green.
Commercially, if you have a business or venture you would like to advertise, you are welcome to take advertising space, for a small fee, in the club fixtures booklet, which is delivered throughout the village, pre-season and is also advertised on the club web site.