All mine!

Stobswood Cricket Club first and second team members, with some young supporters, beside the new practice facility.
Stobswood Cricket Club first and second team members, with some young supporters, beside the new practice facility.
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STOBSWOOD Cricket Club has caught a break as it has some new state-of-the-art facilities thanks to a major grant.

It successfully applied for thousands of pounds from UK Coal’s Maidens Hall Community Benefits Fund for netting equipment and a revamped artificial surface, which are now being used by the club.

The Fund’s committee, also made up of Northumberland county councillors and other private bodies, awarded £16,080 and the other money was raised by club players and the committee, the governing body committee at Stobswood Miners Welfare and other sponsors.

First team captain Richard Watson said this has given the club, which has been in existence for more than 100 years, a big boost.

“The limited facilities we had before this new equipment meant it was hard to keep our younger players,” he added. “Now we can develop their skills and hopefully attract new members.

“We are very grateful to UK Coal for the grant which has given us a brighter future. And if the funds become available we can add another bay to the practice facility because it’s cost effective with one already in place.”

The 30m long by 2.74m wide artificial match pitch is a replacement. The surface of the previous one had become too dangerous to use and the base needed re-levelling.

The brand new fully enclosed practice facility contains a bay that is 30m long and 4m wide. The facilities are also open for use to disabled sports.

A spokesman for UK Coal said: “We are delighted to have been able to help Stobswood Cricket Club through our Community Benefits Fund.

“This is one of over 40 good causes that have benefited so far during the life of the Maidens Hall surface mine. Others include local football clubs, the Brownies, the Women’s Institute, local churches and the annual Druridge Bay 10K Run.”

Coaching sessions at Stobswood CC take place on Thursday evenings from 6pm. For more information, telephone Mr Watson on 01670 791182 or 077254 24658.