Active Girton: Girton Cricket Club
160 not out - that's the proud record of the Girton Cricket Club. The Cambridge Chronicle and University Journal of 24 April 1852 announced the creation of the village club for "the promotion of this delightful game". Unsurprisingly, it was Anne-Marie Cotton who was (at least in part) behind it "having with her accustomed liberality, consented to her park being used as the playing ground". Over a period of more than a century and a half, the club has continued to practice this most English of sporting rituals, and today is flourishing more vigorously than ever.
So from April to September each year, the club fields up to four teams each week at the Recreation Ground, and has an admirable match record stretching back over many years. The Club also runs winter indoor nets from the New Year to around April. The 1st XI competes each weekend in the Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire Premier League Division 2, and the 2nd XI is in the Junior League Division 4B. Midweek teams play regularly and there is also a team for friendlies. The league is extremely competitive, and fixtures against other villages in the county are often hard fought., but always in a friendly and gentlemanly fashion, usually with post-match discussions in the local hostelry.
Most of the 35 or so playing members are residents or former residents of the village, and the stalwarts continue to turn out with success into their forties and fifties - albeit in the less contested fixtures. Some may even be older, but nobody is admitting it! The Club Captain is Kevin Roos, who cheerfully admits to being in the stalwart category, but continues to enjoy his cricket as a bowler. Team captains are chosen each year For 2012 Adam Dyer captains the 1st XI with infectious enthusiasm, while John Burton and Alex Rodger similarly lead the 2nd and midweek XIs. Much of the success of the club is due to the tireless efforts of Steve Tyrrell and Chris Wilson, the groundsmen at the Recreation Ground. Girton is noted as one the finest wickets around the county, and many compliments are received from envious visiting teams.
The club is fully affiliated to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) through the County Association, and plays matches under its rules, as well as receiving insurance and other services. Each week during the season, net practice is held at the Recreation Ground, and new custom-built nets are being installed this year beside the Astroturf, with a welcome grant from the Girton Town Charity. Senior members fulfill the continuing administrative duties of the club, notably Peter Kirwan who has been Chairman for over five years and Simon Pawley as Treasurer. A social programme including race nights and barbecues supplements the cricketing events and contributes towards club funds.
Annual membership costs £18 (under 18s free) and a match fee covers provision of balls and equipment. At present the club does not have a junior section, since this facility is widely available in Cambridge - although this is something the Club wishes to actively encourage and promote. And women's cricket? The teams are not exclusive to males, and a number of clubs in the county field very good lady cricketers, so the Club would welcome any ladies interested in playing for Girton.
To celebrate the 160th anniversary, the club organised its first overseas cricket tour to Corfu (Greece) where cricket is a relic of the British protectorate which existed for much of the 19th century. In April a team of 13 Girton players (plus wives and girlfriends) played the Greek national cricket team on a distinctly non-Girtonian wicket.
The club membership spans all walks of life, and a wide range of cricketing ability. So if you are keen on the game, whatever your proficiency, the club offers you a warm welcome and the chance of a knock in a friendly from which you can progress. Just come along to the Recreation Ground on a Tuesday evening about 7.30 pm and meet the team members.
Contact: Kevin Roos (Club Captain)