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Cricket clubs announce partnership

09:00 15 March 2014

Herongate

Herongate's Chris Hicks and Malcolm Webb, of Brentwood, celebrate the new partnership between their clubs

Archant

Brentwood and Herongate & Ingrave link up

Two of Brentwood’s best known cricket clubs have announced that they are embarking on a joint venture from the 2014 season.

Brentwood Cricket Club, who play at the Old County Ground, and Herongate & Ingrave Cricket Club whose headquarters are in Cricketers Lane will share players and facilities in an innovative scheme to help maintain the development and success of both clubs well into the future.

President of Brentwood CC, Malcolm Webb, said: “Whilst Brentwood are a very strong club, both numerically and in performance, Herongate have been struggling a bit and approached us towards the end of last season to see whether we could loan them some players to enable them to fulfil their fixtures.

“Whilst they managed to get through the remainder of the season it was clear that the informal help that we gave them was just papering over the cracks and that something would need to be done for the future if Herongate were to survive.

“The fundamental problem is that a community the size of Brentwood is just not large enough to 11 eleven local cricket clubs competing in either the Shepherd Neame Essex League or the T Rippon Mid-Essex League, and inevitably some of the smaller ones will struggle to attract sufficient playing members to allow them to continue to exist.

“It would be desperately sad if a club like Herongate & Ingrave, who have been in existence for 150 years and who are an essential part of the village, were to fold, and I believe it is incumbent upon a large club like Brentwood to do what we can to support these smaller clubs.

“I think we shall see more and more of these working partnerships set up in the future and the benefits work both ways.

“Brentwood will be able to supply players to H&I’s 2nd XI which will not only strengthen the side but will enable our youngsters to play competitive cricket under the tutelage of the senior players in Herongate’s side, and it is quite feasible that some of these youngsters will progress into H&I’s 1st XI as an alternative route to our higher elevens than waiting for their chance in our 4th or 3rd XIs.

“We shall also be able to offer Herongate’s colts more cricket than they have been able to get hitherto. We shall between us be able to field two sides on a Sunday playing friendly cricket mostly against local and county wide village teams, and we have plans to reintroduce ladies’ cricket between us.”

Chris Hicks, President of Herongate & Ingrave CC, added: “We believe that there are exciting times ahead for H&I.

“A few months ago we were seriously concerned that the club would have to close down for lack of players, but this arrangement with Brentwood will safeguard our status into the future. And there is no problem with players playing for both clubs since we are in different leagues.

“We have agreed that both clubs will retain their identity and there will be no changes of name for either club at the present time with the possible exception at colts level.

“We shall each maintain our own memberships, administration and operating systems, although representatives of each club will sit on the executive, cricket, and social committees of the other.

“The name and history of Herongate will not be swallowed up by the might of Brentwood but we shall be able to tap into their structures to enable us to grow and thrive and hopefully be able to produce good players of our own who ultimately may be able to play a higher level of cricket at Brentwood than we are able to offer them.

“Equally, Brentwood players who may perhaps have reached a point where they want to play more social or less intense league cricket will know that it will be available to them on Saturdays and Sundays under the Herongate & Ingrave banner.”

Anyone who would like to know more, whether or not with a view to joining either club as a playing or social member, can contact either Malcolm (01277 219858 or 07771 593650) or Chris (07702 848878).

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