ALTHOUGH the weather has not been as fine and sunny as it was in the early part of the summer we’re pleased that the county’s cricketers have at least been able to enjoy their shortened season.

We are the only county in the West Midlands which has experienced no cases of Covid-19 in clubs and so we would like to thank all of our clubs for conducting themselves in such a fantastic manner and adhering to Government and ECB guidelines to get cricket on in a safe and friendly environment.

On the field there has been plenty of great action to enjoy. After many years of trying unsuccessfully, Colwall CC have become the second Herefordshire club to make it through to the National Village Knockout final at Lord’s, following in the footsteps of Kington who returned with the trophy back in1992.

We wish Colwall every success in the final against Redbourne from Hertfordshire on Saturday and it’s just a shame that a massive contingent from the county will not be at the game’s headquarters to cheer them on in what is going to be a behind-closed-doors final. The Marches League clubs have enjoyed five weeks of cricket, leading up to the top-flight play-off between Wormelow and Builth Wells last weekend.

Meanwhile in the Worcester League, under-17 Paddy Thompson who came up through the Herefordshire age-group sides is the competition’s second-highest wicket-taker with 22 victims for his club Pershore CC, he has also featured for HCCC. At junior level, there have been a total of 67 games played across the under-11 to under-15 age-groups while a further 24 games have been completed by county age group sides, with under-15 Ollie Langford compiling a memorable 112 against Cardiff& Vale. Herefordshire County Cricket Club have played four first-team and two second-team games so far and a number of Herefordshire players have been selected to represent the county.

On Sunday, there were eight players who have represented Herefordshire Junior Age groups in the 2nd XI which took on the Shropshire Academy. Brockhampton, who boast Herefordshire’s only women and girls’ side are continuing their recruitment drive with a girls’ cricket festival, aimed at Years 7 to 11, on Saturday, September 19. Anyone interested in taking part, but who is not a member of a team, should email Meanwhile, four of our clubs have been successful with their applications for ECB Return to Cricket Grants with six more applications in the pipeline. But we will be looking a little nervously ourselves towards the ECB who will be announcing levels of county board funding in the next few weeks – with a 25 per cent cut across some of the ECB departments expected due to this year’s shortfall in income. At the same time, we will be hoping that the virus will relent sufficiently to allow us to run coaching sessions indoors, as well as the indoor league, over the winter months.

By Steve Watkins, Herefordshire Cricket operations director