In the latest of this season’s Thursday features, Gary Heatly catches up with Milngavie CC…
This coming Sunday sees round two of the Cricket Scotland Challenge Cup matches being played and Milngavie’s players are looking forward to being involved in the competition for the very first time.
They will be away to Hillhead at Hughenden and as Hills play in the WDCU Second Division they will start the match as favourites.
However, Milngavie have grown a lot in the last three years and are now able to field two XIs, one in the WDCU’s Midweek League Division Three and one which plays in the West Stirlingshire Midweek T20 League.
“To have so many numbers down playing and getting involved at the club as we head out of the pandemic has been really exciting to see,” club captain Matthew Edmonds said.
“The club started up around 12 years ago really through a group of people in the local area who just wanted to play some social cricket and that then expanded into playing some friendlies against other clubs from nearby.
“When I joined in 2018 the playing numbers were starting to dwindle a bit and we sometimes only had nine or 10 players for matches, but we were determined to keep things going and we are all glad that we did.
“We made people aware locally that there was a cricket club available to them while we also attracted players who had been playing for other clubs, but could not commit to training and matches and wanted to play within a more relaxed set-up.
“A number of Indian students who are studying in Glasgow have also joined and they have really helped to bring the average age of the playing group down quite a lot and brought some youthful exuberance to things!
“Another big thing that has helped numbers steadily grow at the club is being able to play home matches.
Before mid-2019 all Milngavie CC matches were away from home as we didn’t have our own base, but then we entered into an arrangement with Glasgow University whereby we are able to use a pitch at Garscube to host matches and we also bought a second-hand net from Hillhead, all of which has really given us something to build from.
“We were due to be in the Challenge Cup last year, but obviously it was cancelled due to Covid-19 and the problems around that, so the guys are looking forward to being involved this time.
“Similarly, we are under no illusions and know that it will be a tough game, but we have a good club spirit now and we will give it our all and try to cause a shock.
“For myself having played most of my cricket down in Yorkshire when I was younger, it is just nice to be playing for a local team up here which is a lot of fun and we hope to have an exciting future at Milngavie CC.”
In the Challenge Cup on Sunday, Linlithgow are due to play Dundee HSFP, Glasgow Accies are taking on Helensburgh, Morton are on the road to Galloway and Bon Accord are facing Leith FAB in the top half of the draw.
The bottom half of the draw features Strathmore versus Livingston, Kinross-shire against Kelso, LOC Hire Stenhousemuir against the Northern Counties as well as the Milngavie match already featured.
A number of Milngavie CC’s players are pictured by Lorna MacAnespie Photography
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