Marden CC set to head into new cricket season without a home in the village

MARDEN Cricket Club have been told to leave their ground by the end of this month.

Chairman Nick Ashton said the club are facing the prospect of celebrating their 30th anniversary season outside the village.

GB Liners Marches League administrator Mike Rouse called the news ‘another sad blow for village cricket in Herefordshire’.

And Herefordshire Cricket spokesman Ed Price said he was doing his best to find an alternative ground on which Marden could play.

Ashton said: “This will be our 30th anniversary as Marden Cricket Club and it looks like we will no longer have a home ground.

“We have been given notice to vacate ground by the landlord by the end of this month but we will still be going ahead with our anniversary plans to host a touring team from Amsterdam and a black-tie dinner.”

Marden have been playing their cricket in the field behind the village’s pub, The Volunteer Inn, whose landlord owns the ground.

Ashton said: “We don’t think we have done anything wrong to upset the landlord because we held our annual meeting in the pub a few weeks ago – and nothing was mentioned.

“We have had a letter and the landlord will not be renewing the club’s annual licence.

“We called a meeting in Hereford to discuss the situation and it was very well supported by Glyn Harrhy, Derrick Jones and Jim Sandford.

“There were 15 to 20 people at the meeting and there is plenty of positivity and enthusiasm. We are looking at options but we might have to play outside the village.”

Marches League spokesman Mike Rouse said he hoped that Marden would not follow the same path as the Shobdon.

“Shobdon is a village that has just lost their cricket team and village cricket is the lifeblood of small communities.

“We need village clubs in the Marches League and we don’t want to lose Marden Cricket Club.

“The news that Marden have been told to leave their ground is another sad blow for village cricket clubs in Herefordshire.

“Hopefully, we will try to find an alternative venue for Marden to play at.”

Herefordshire Cricket spokesman Ed Price said: “We are very much aware of the situation at Marden and are fully supporting the club.

“We are doing our very best to find alternatives places for Marden to play at. They have never had a lease but we have not given up hope that they can reach some sort of agreement with their landlord.”

Ashton said that – wherever Marden play their cricket - they will still carry the name and will be running junior coaching

“We have a committed group of players and we will be continuing as Marden even if we have to play away from the village.

“There are running junior sessions at Hereford Academy with an exit route of playing senior cricket for Marden on a Saturday.”

Meanwhile, the all-clubs’ Marches League meeting has been rescheduled for April 14 at the railway club in Hereford.

The meeting starts at 7.30pm and all clubs must attend and pick up match balls, handbooks and results sheets.

For more details about the Marches League meeting, e-mail Mike Rouse on: mikermonumpires@uwclub.net

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