Grimston ready to make delayed start

West Norfolk league champions Grimston are hoping to start their season this weekend, after failing to raise a side for the opening two matches.

Grimston, who were also champions in 2009, had to pull out of their fixtures against Swanton Morley and The Creakes, but are confident of putting out a side for tomorrow's home match against Denver.

League secretary Dave Howell said: 'I spoke to the club secretary this week and he apologised for the situation, but thinks they will have a team for this Saturday. They have struggled badly with the clash with football and it has hit them particularly hard.'

Grimston have been docked 20 points for their failure to fulfil fixtures. The league have this year introduced a rule that clubs who call off games three times in a season due to player unavailability face being withdrawn from the league.

Meanwhile Brandon Cricket Club have been forced to fold through lack of players.

An emergency meeting last Thursday decided that the club could not continue and club secretary Christine Clark said: 'After nearly 40 years we couldn't get a team, we just didn't have the numbers.'

The players have gone to other clubs such as Hockwold, Mundford and Thetford.

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The team had been struggling for several years and it reached crisis point when their first game of the Hunts County Suffolk League Division Five season had to be called off as they could only get five players.

Brandon started off in Division Four of the league and reached Division One for a couple of seasons and were also League Cup winners once in their 40-year history.

Mike Roberts, an ex-player who has tended the cricket square for many years said: 'Obviously it's very disappointing. I think, to me, the biggest disappointment is that a town the size of Brandon can't seem to get 11 players to play cricket on a regular basis.

'There used to be a Saturday and a Sunday team but it has been a struggle for about the last four or five years now to get one team out. It's difficult for Brandon to present the sort of facilities that other local cricket clubs can.

'People see nice little grounds at Mildenhall, Lakenheath and Mundford which can offer rather better facilities.

'We've not got the appeal other clubs have been able to offer.'

He said he would continue to tend the square this year in case the club could be reformed and asked anyone willing to help with that aim to call him on 07786 266417.

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