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CRICKET Lowestoft's coaching team hailed

PUBLISHED: 12:06 04 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:34 06 July 2010

WITH Lowestoft Town CC continuing to make great strides on and off the pitch, a weekend of wet weather ensured that the majority of games for the senior sides were all washed out.

WITH Lowestoft Town CC continuing to make great strides on and off the pitch, a weekend of wet weather ensured that the majority of games for the senior sides were all washed out.

And so this week, The Journal has teamed up with Lowestoft's club captain PETER SIMS to bring more exposure to the non-senior teams at the club.

EMPHASISING how Lowestoft are “pulling together” as one with the support of local businesses and the club's infrastructure ensuring that “we are an accessible, community club,” Sims praised the success of the club's junior section.

“I would like to give much credit to the coaches of the club,” Sims said. “All the club's level two coaches Andy McAvoy, Andy Thompson, Tom Brice, Joe Jackman and Stuart Faulkner have fully involved themselves with the build-up to the 2010 season for the junior and the Women and Girls squads, with the assistance of level one coaches, Sue Brice and Joe Larter we are starting to see some real progress now that the summer is upon us.

“Coinciding with player/coach Mpho Sekhoto's arrival, the club has delivered the first part of our Chance to Shine coaching in five local Primary schools (Oulton Broad, Gunton, Poplars, St. Margarets and Northfield St. Nicholas) and the feedback is that it has been well received with several younger players joining the club sessions.

“It is hoped that as attention turns to the Middle Schools after half term, Mumps' - as he likes to be known - coaching will be as well received.

“What pleases most is the willingness of senior players at the club to commit and give their time on a regular basis to the coaching and the matches of the junior squads. When a first class cricketer such as Mpho Sekhoto dedicates himself to the coaching of a group as he has with the U13 squad, the players can only be inspired and it shows with the results they've had.

“This large U13 group has two managers in Jem Woodruff, who is about to commence the U13 North Suffolk Youth League campaign and Helen French, who in managing the Allan Bridgewater trophy side, has seen victories in their first three games. The top performers in these matches being:

Elliott George, consistently outstanding as wicket keeper and has got 20 plus runs on all three occasions

Eddie Timberlake has taken eight wickets in four matches

Liam French, who took three wickets in one over and got four in total as well as getting his highest score of runs of 19 against Bungay

The economic bowling from Liam Clews, Connor Nixon, Joe Meades and Ryan Stanborough who have kept reigns on the opposition scoring by bowling many maiden overs.

“The U13 have also won their way through to the regional semi-finals of the “Spirit of Cricket” national knockout competition against Diss,” Sims added.

“But it's not just Mpho, first team all-rounder - and Lowestoft's answer to Andrew Flintoff, without the pedalo - Tom Brice has taken on the responsibility for the virtually completely new U11 squad who have just begun their fixtures. With the majority of players playing their first games, it is exciting to see the raw potential of the likes of skipper Jordan, Tiger, Ethan, Sam, Tom K, Thomas W, Tom S and Harry progress.

“In addition 16-year old first team opening batsman, Joe Larter, is managing the U15 side, who are unbeaten in their season so far. “While the wickets have been shared around for the U15 team thus far, batting honours go to wicket-keeper Willie Cooke for his 80 not out against Beccles, Josh McAvoy for his 40 not out against Brooke and the whirlwind innings of Henry George against Kirkley, a prelude to his senior knock of 154 against a senior Beccles side the following Sunday.

“Stewart Larter, who has managed to play first team, A XI and B XI cricket around his football commitment this season, continues to captain the development XI in the Midweek League giving young players further exposure and he also finds time to manage the U17 side as they look to start their, coloured clothing, white ball and black sight-screen Carter Cup campaign this month. With most of the squad that reached the quarter-finals still available from last season, there is great optimism in and around the squad.

“Perhaps most excitingly, we also have the Women and Girl's teams starting their Norfolk 20/20 competition this month, albeit their fixture against Swardeston on Sunday was cancelled. Our Women and Girls Coordinator, Sue Brice, has done a wonderful job in harnessing the interest of the senior women's players such as captain Liz Newby, Wendy O'Dwyer, Michelle Larter, Jane George and Sue herself, while fully incorporating the enthusiasm of the talented young girls at the club such as Norfolk U15 players Alice and Esther Hebditch, Alice Oldman and Lily Ballard into a close-knit and confident squad. The W&G squad have all been practicing since January and without exception they have all improved beyond recognition.

“Again, the recurring theme is that senior player Andy Thompson has given his time to coach the W&G squad. For Thommo, who as a first team cricketer won all the major prizes available in Norfolk cricket, to commit to coaching the squad shows how seriously Women and Girls cricket is taken at the club. This is reinforced by the fact that the W&G squad has secured its own sponsor in ASD Architecture.

“Thus far, due to other clubs calling games off against us, the girls have played the junior boys sides at the club but while they have not recorded a win to date, the games get ever closer and when, not if, the girls get that first win the celebrations will be quite something,” Sims added.

“The coaching and commitment to the coaching is only achievable thanks to the many local business that support the junior section of the club. To name but a few, Sun Rise Inn, Gary Bennett Driving School, Parkview Financial Planning and Norton Peskett Solicitors are owed a big thank you.”

Peter Sims was speaking to Mark Boggis

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