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Youth the future of re-born Ewyas Harold club
12:08pm Thursday 19th June 2014 in Sport
After folding in mid-season in 2010, the hosts are finding their way back in their first season back in Saturday cricket with the emphasis very much on youth.
"The Saturday side was ageing and it was sad that there was not enough young blood coming in - youth, after all, is the life-blood of any club and gives everyone enthusiasm when you see the kids running around and you think that there is a future," said skipper and organiser Dennis Elkerton.
"I was coaching over at Wormelow, where my kids where and realised that I couldn't draw all the kids over from the village to Wormelow - they just wouldn't come - so I started coaching the kids here.
"Then the Chance to Shine scheme started at the village primary school and that started a bit of a production line.
"That was good for one year after Chance to Shine finished but then the funding stopped and I was coaching here twice, sometime three times, a week and I couldn't really afford to have a whole afternoon at the school for nothing.
"It was a great shame because the Kwik Cricket teams from the school had come first and third in the whole county but the infrastructure has been dissipated and that is really sad.
"There are plenty of talented young players here - a lot of people are one-eyed about their team but we do have a lot of really good players."
Elkerton is hoping for a bit more support from his local community.
"Talk is cheap - a lot of parish councillors have congratulated me on what I am doing but when it's come to helping, as you can see the outfield is, frankly, a disgrace," he said.
"A couple of asked how they can support me and I have told them that getting the grass mown would be a start but they are not doing it."
Elkerton acknowledged that a few older hands to help out would also be welcome.
And one of the more experienced members of his side is only too pleased to assist.
"I’ve played a bit, on and off, for the last three years – I play for Michaelchurch on a Sunday – but Harold were a bit short so I thought I would come along and give them a hand," said Dean Evans, who is better known is his other sporting guise as one of the county's top amateur boxers.
"I'm only about five miles away and it’s the nearest Saturday side to me.
"I play football for Ewyas Harold as well so I’m a local.
"They have had a tough time and it’s lovely to see the club going again and that’s why I have come down to help out – I’ll be pleased to help them out as much as I can."
Evans proved that his right hand can be nearly as dangerous on the cricket pitch as in the boxing run, although quite inadvertently.
A wayward return struck Evans when he was batting and ricocheted into the face of wicket-keeper Phil Caffull, leaving him nursing a nasty blow above the eye.
But that was one of the few down sides for Eastnor whose experience triuumphed over youth by six wickets.
The hosts were far from demoralised, however, with the future the most important thing.
"As we will probably lose every match, I'm only too happy to play the youth players because they will learn," said Elkerton. "If you can stand up and handle yourself as a 13-year-old against adults, then the confidence that gives to the kids is massive.
"But it's great to see cricket being played back here at Ewyas Harold again, especially with so many young players involved - I would like to see more but it's a great feeling with what we have."
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