Mike Jones’ arrival as director of cricket provides big boost for Bradfield
- Credit: Archant
Bradfield are a club rejuvenated after appointing former East Anglian Premier League player Mike Jones as their director of cricket.
So says chairman and chief sponsor Dean Emerson as the village outfit look to make an immediate return to the second tier of the Norfolk Alliance.
The vastly experienced all-rounder Jones swapped a similar role at EAPL outfit Great Witchingham to take charge at Bradield after officials decided it was time for a new approach following relegation to Division Two.
"After rebuilding the existing pavilion in 2018 the decision was made by the committee that a culture change was required at the club to maintain its longevity," explained the chairman, who is managing director of sponsors Emerson Builders Ltd.
"We approached Mike after the season had finished in September and excited by the drive and ambition of the club he gladly excepted our proposal.
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"A three-year plan was made to maintain and increase our youth participation as well as improving the positions of our senior sides.
"Mike has brought with him a wealth of knowledge, experience and drive and this has rejuvenated the club. Numbers are at an all time high now that Mike is at our club."
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Jones' former Brooke colleague Matt Collinge, a wicket-keeper batsman with EAPL experience, also came on board over the winter.
A new era got off to a bright start on Saturday when Bradfield beat Downham Town A by 10 wickets in a weather affected 30 over a side game. Jones took 3-19 as Downham were restricted to 115-8, with openers Alex Johnson and Jeremy Wright then knocking off the runs required in less than 15 overs.
There's a intriguing derby match in the top flight on Saturday, with defending champions Fakenham playing host to newly promoted Dereham, who are competing at this level for the first time in nearly 30 years.
Norwich will be aiming to get their campaign up and running after losing out to the weather last weekend when they welcome Garboldisham to Ingham while the other games are Downham Town v Brooke, North Runcton v Cromer and Stow v Diss.
Stephan Marillier played the innings of the day as Norfolk and Suffolk shared the spoils in the opening round of matches in the Minor Counties Twenty20 Championship at Manor Park on Monday.
The hard-hitting Horsford batsman clubbed 63 in just 37 balls, with six fours and three sixes, as the hosts won a rain-affected second game by seven wickets after losing the opener by six wickets.
After seeing Suffolk make a useful 162-6 in the afternoon game Norfolk saw their target changed to 125 from 14 after a heavy downpour and thanks largely to Marillier they got home with nine balls to spare.
In the earlier game Norfolk toiled to 113-8 under overcast skies, with Jason Reynolds contributing a solid 60 in 58 balls, Tom New made 23, with no-one else reaching double figures.
It was a disappointing total and Suffolk overhauled it in the 16th over for the loss of four wickets.
Norfolk's next Twenty/20 double header is against Cambridgeshire at Sawston on Sunday, May 26.
In-form Swardeston have a busy weekend ahead of them, with fixtures in both the East Anglian Premier League and the Royal London Club Championship.
Joe Gatting's side, who have reeled off three wins in all competitions since losing their EAPL opener against Copdock, open up with a trip to Cambridge on Saturday.
They then switch their focus to the second round of the national competition, with a tie against Lincolnshire outfit Bourne at The Common on Sunday (1pm).
There's derby match at Walcis Park on Saturday, with Great Witchingham hosting Horsford boosted by their first win of the season at Saffron Walden.
Vauxhall Mallards will be looking for their first victory when they welcome newly promoted Walden to Halvergate while leaders Frinton - the only side with a 100 per cent record after three games - host Copdock.