DESPITE the current situation, the message from our Cricket Clubs is surprisingly positive.

Having benefitted from Cricket being a summer game and the quick work of the English Cricket Board (ECB) in agreeing an adaptive form of the game with the government, Liverpool Competition clubs Newton Le Willows, Rainford, Rainhill, St Helens Town and Sutton all enjoyed a two month spell of action in late summer. All have, however, suffered financially from an inability to hold events such as Dinners, Golf days etc. and loss of income, but the news from each camp is one of looking forward.

Rainhill’s sponsors have enabled the purchase of a new outfield mower, the juniors have started training, the club have been running Q&A’s with Lancashire stars, they have held Christmas fundraising events and are now preparing for the club’s 150th anniversary.

The Victoria Terrace outfit, which also includes an established girls section, are now regulars in the coveted Premier Division and will have every hope of staying there.

Newton Le Willows have also been busy raising finance with a successful funding campaign and have invested in ground equipment with new sightscreens and cover tops together with other improvements and again their juniors have begun training at nearby Hope Academy.

Marc Debrabander will once again skipper the side which contains two of the most promising cricketers ever produced from the St Helens area, Ben Walkden and Matthew Hurst, both of whom are in the Lancashire Academy.

Rainford is traditionally a club which shuts down for the winter and this year is no exception. They have also been raising funds with a bumper Christmas raffle and are now set to replace their aging outfield mower.

The youngsters start training at Rainford High School towards the end of January and the club has re-signed South African batsman Jason Login for 2021, after the Kwa Zulu Natal 19 year old was unable to come over last year. The Club has also been celebrating the brilliant news of Ellie Threlkeld’s full-time professional contract with the ECB.

St Helens Town describe their recent seasons as if riding a roller-coaster. Now with the Oval occupying prime location at the newly re-developed Ruskin Drive Sports Village hopes are high that things are on the improve. Promotion back to the first division is their reward for hard work and perseverance, with Craig Woods once again leading the side, and Dave Gregson in charge of the 2nds, subject to ratification at the AGM.

Work has been carried out on the square during the post season with further works planned for early 2021.

Sutton Cricket Club like the other four clubs, are simply hoping for a season of normal cricket or if that is not possible, a season of adaptive cricket. The word from New Street following their AGM is that the Committee and Captains remain unchanged with the experienced Mike Rimmer and Shaun Anders at the helm. Sutton are also celebrating a great achievement, their own Natalie Brown winning the North West Thunder Player of the Year award.