SPORTS UPDATE by Chris Lines

Athletics, Squash, Rugby, Football and more

Sports Update
Chris Lines

As I type this, the group stages of the football World Cup are underway. There have already been a couple of surprise results. Inevitably, football is dominating many of the headlines, but there’s plenty of other great sport to enjoy at the moment, with cricket, track and field athletics, golf, road cycling and tennis all taking centre stage during the summer. Whether you follow internationals, national & regional fixtures, or grass roots sport in Sedgefield and surrounding area, there’s a lot on offer right now.


Bowls

Fishburn Bowls Club continues its efforts to move out of the lower reaches of the 3 leagues in which it competes; Durham & District, Cleveland & Teesside and South West Durham. The playing surface is responding very well to an intensive care regime, with favourable comments expressed by visiting teams. Two new members are already showing promise, and Fishburn Bowls Club is very pleased to welcome new members of all abilities. If you would like to try the sport, please contact the secretary: 07875 214387 or the treasurer: 07989 201342.


Cricket

Sedgefield Cricket Club is bursting at the seams with enthusiasm as anyone passing the club, particularly on Friday evenings, cannot fail to have noticed. Fridays are when junior coaching takes over, including the ECB backed All Stars programme for children aged five to eight, and Sedgefield is one of the shining beacons in the region. At the last count, 68 children were participating, and when added to the coaching provided to older youngsters, the cricket club is regularly seeing up to 150 kids taking part every week.

For the last few years, Sedgefield Cricket Club has focussed on building from the bottom upwards. This is bearing fruit, with junior teams active and successful at all age groups from U11 and above. In addition, Sedgefield is one of only a handful of North East clubs to run a girls’ team.

The cricket club is also embarking on ambitious development plans, the next phase being modifications to the bar area (planned for the autumn). This will no doubt please the parents, members and visitors who enjoy the social side of the game, while the cricket continues on the pitch and outfield. The club is keen to recruit additional casual bar staff, and anyone interested should contact Dawn Wright there. Social membership of the club costs just £10 per year, and brings with it notable membership discounts on bar prices.

On the pitch, after just over a third of the season, the 1st XI sit in one of the promotion places in Division 2 of the North Yorkshire & South Durham League, after some excellent performances, and confidence is high that the team will continue their form through to September. Hopefully, there will be more positive news to report next month on that front.

The club posts regularly on social media, so to keep up to date with upcoming events and matches, search for Sedgefield Cricket Club on Facebook and Twitter.

Sedgefield Cricket Club Steward

An experienced individual is required to take responsibility for operating Sedgefield Cricket Club, and optimising potential. Successful candidate will be professional, enthusiastic with a can-do attitude. Organisational skills essential. 25 hours per week, split between management and bar work.

Basic annual salary £15,000 - opportunity exists to increase earnings. Apply with CV to Dawn Wright, Sedgefield Cricket Club. Email: dawnwright81@btinternet.com


Football

As promised last month, here’s an end of season report from St. Edmund’s FC. St. Edmund’s ended the season mid-table, in a very competitive Durham Sunday Premier League. To all involved with the club, it felt like the team underachieved and probably the game that summed up the season was the County Cup fixture, which Sedgefield led 3-0 at half-time, but went on to lose 3-4 to Darlington Albion. On a positive note, the team had a good balance of youth and experience and should only get better.

At the presentation evening, John Maddison was crowned Player of the Year, Glen Donaldson named Players’ Player (he was also leading goal scorer for the season), Keiron Parnaby won Young Player, and Kevin Hodgson bagged Goal of the Season.

If anyone is interested in playing for St. Edmund’s FC next season, contact Phil Shann on 07944 501708.


Squash

Historically, summers at Sedgefield Squash Club used to mean quiet courts with little going on, but times have changed.

Interest is high amongst members climbing the slippery pole that is the Summer Ladder, probably buoyed by seeing how many prizes were awarded at the club’s presentation evening for last year’s edition. In the first month of the ladder, 150 matches were played, already 50% up on the total for the whole of last summer!

This comes on the back of another proud day for the club, after being awarded the Durham & Cleveland Squash Small Club of the Year Award. Sedgefield Squash Club now boasts both its highest membership numbers for 20 years, and more qualified coaches than any other club in the county.

Junior coaching continues until the end of school term and has been boosted by new young players attending since Easter. The club is currently running coaching in conjunction with Sedgefield’s primary schools, which has proved very popular. Come September it is hoped that more coaching opportunities will be available through the week.

Membership enquiries - please contact Sue Smith at curlietailz@aol.com.


Athletics

July will see Sedgefield Harriers host the club’s next event, the annual Summer Handicap for the Gerry Kearsley Memorial Trophy. The race will be held on the evening of Thursday 19th July, with the first runners setting off at 7:00pm from just outside Fishburn (in the field that now contains the pit wheel monument). The handicap route follows an undulating multi-terrain course of a little over six miles, mostly on trails and old railway lines, to Bishop Middleham and back. Handicapping is based on each runner’s personal best 10K time during the last 12 months and the majority of the prizes are awarded to the first runners back (rather than to those with the fastest times). Because of the handicap system, most runners finish within a few minutes of each other, making for an exciting conclusion to the event.

Entry is free and on the day only, with registration opening in Fishburn Club from 5:30pm. The event is suitable for runners of all abilities who want to test themselves at a distance of around 10K.

For any further information, contact Ean Parsons on 07771 828568 or ean.p@sedgefieldharriers.co.uk.

Meanwhile, junior and senior Sedgefield Harriers continue to be very busy, competing in a wide variety of track and field, road, and trail and fell running events in a wide variety of locations near and far. I’ll include a summary of some notable performances next month.