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Westmorland Cricket League 2023 season: your local club by club guide Part 1

The new Westmorland Cricket League season is upon us

The Westmorland Cricket League (WCL) starts its 2023 season for Division 1, 2 and 3 teams this coming Saturday (April 15).

The Division 4A and 4B teams commence play on Sunday May 7.

Fifty-two teams across five divisions from 26 local cricket clubs based across North Lancashire, South and West Cumbria and Ingleton in North Yorkshire will compete.

Five new teams have entered the league: Morecambe 2nds, Heysham 3rds, Shireshead & Forton 4ths, Appleby 3rds & Burneside 3rds.

One team who will not be included is Westgate’s 1st XI who won the WCL Division One title in 2022 and have now opted to test themselves at the next level of cricket in the Moore & Smalley Palace Shield Cricket League.

Over the next few days we will take a look at some of our local cricket clubs who will be involved.

Firstly, we preview the teams at Arnside, Bare, Bolton Le Sands and Carnforth Cricket Clubs.

Arnside will have two senior teams in the WCL in Divisions 1 and 3 this coming season. In the 2022 season the 1st XI, captained by Adam Richardson, finished in sixth place in Division 1, and in the Hackney & Leigh Divisional Trophy unfortunately did not progress past the group games.

The opening 2023 league game for the 1st team is away at Shireshead & Forton. In the group games of this year’s Divisional Trophy, Arnside’s 1st XI face Kendal 2nds at home in the last week of May, then in June play Sedgwick away. Both cup dates will be midweek fixtures and final dates are yet to be confirmed.

The 2nds, captained by Lee Pidgeon, finished fourth in Division 3 last year but had a good cup run, reaching finals day at Warton Cricket Club in the Kendal Sports Trophies but couldn’t get past Morecambe’s 3rds.

The opening game for the 2nds is a home fixture against Windermere at Arnside Memorial Playing Field. In this year’s Divisional Trophy, their opening group game fixture is against local rivals Silverdale at home in the first week of May, followed by an away game at Leven Valley two weeks later, though final date and times for the cup are still yet to be confirmed.

Both captains remain in place for the 2023 campaigns and will no doubt both be hoping for improvements in both teams’ league positions come September and good progress in the Divisional cups.

Bare, like Arnside, also have two senior teams for 2023 in Division 1 and Division 3.

The Second XI gained promotion from Division 4 last year after finishing in second place.

Last year the Division 1 side finished in eighth place maintaining topflight status. In the Hackney & Leigh Trophy, the first team made it to the quarter final only to be beaten by Westgate, who would go on themselves to lose in the final at the hands of Burneside. Bare first team captain Richard

Neville will be looking to improve the league position this summer when the season gets underway with an away trip to Heysham.

In the Divisional Trophy, group games against Shireshead & Forton 1st XI away and then Warton at their Cross Hill Park home will prove to be a real test.

The 2nds are captained by Lauren Burrow, one of the steadily increasing in number female players in the WCL. Lauren leads by example and last season won the old Division 4 bowling averages.

Lauren is also employed within the cricket industry as a development officer across North West England for the Lancashire Cricket Foundation and has been instrumental in the development of the women’s game.

Lauren shares the cricket field with her father (Simon Burgess) and husband (Liam Burrow) who also play for Bare.

The second team will hopefully be looking to start strong after gaining promotion last year, with an opening home fixture against Ingleton. At the start of May in the divisional cup group games the 2nds will be at home against Ingleton yet again, then away at Galgate later in the month. Both cup games’ dates and times are to be confirmed soon.

Bolton-le-Sands had a disappointing 2022 season, finishing second bottom in the Division 3 table but escaped relegation.

The village club now only has one senior side after previously having two in recent years. They are captained by Martin Dyson at Main Road.

The club start the 2023 season with two consecutive home games. The opening game is against Leven Valley 1sts. The following week, Silverdale’s second XI are the visitors.

In the Division 3 Cup group games, the club are to play away against Trimpell 1st XI and then at home against Carnforth 3rds.

Carnforth appear to be one of the more successful local cricket clubs, both in terms of matters on and off the field.

The club’s first XI will play in the Moore & Smalley Palace Shield Premier Division this year after being promoted from Division 1 of that league n 2022. This followed on from being promoted from the WCL in 2021.

The club are still well represented in the WCL with the 2nds starting the new season in Division 1, captained by Adam Hornby.

Last year, the 2nds played in Division 2, finishing mid table, and reaching the quarter finals of the divisional cup.

The first game for the 2nds as they make the step up is a home match with Burneside 1sts.

They face Heysham 2nds at home, followed by Morecambe 2nds away, in the Hackney & Leigh Divisional Trophy group games.

The 3rds will start the season with an away day at Trimpell and, in the Kendal Sports Trophies Cup Divisional group games, they face a short trip to near neighbours Bolton-le-Sands, then a home game with Trimpell.

The captain of the 3rds is James Thornton and he will be looking to improve on last season’s sixth placed Division 3 finish.

The 3rds did, however, have a decent cup run making it to finals day but suffered a loss to Leven Valley.

Carnforth have built up a lively clubhouse with many social and community events taking place, all of which help finance the 1st, 2nd and 3rd teams plus a growing ladies and girls team and an active youth section.

Our next Westmorland Cricket League preview will look at Galgate, Heysham, Holme, Milnthorpe and Morecambe.

For more information on The Westmorland Cricket league check out the league’s website.

James Main, the WCL Communication Officer, will be speaking about the forthcoming cricket season on Beyond Radio’s Saturday Sports Show on Saturday 15th April. Tune in from 9am.

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