Clifton Cricket Club

                           View over Clifton Cricket Ground

Clifton Cricket Club

Clifton Cricket Club was founded in 1867. In 2017, the club had been in existence for 150 years and celebrated this landmark by organising a number of events, not only to mark the club’s anniversary, but also its part in the wider community.  On the cricketing front, the MCC agreed to play a game at Chapel Lane against a Clifton XI. Together with the village hall and the church, the club organised Clif-Fest, a day-long summer festival with music, sporting activities and other entertainment.  The wider village community was involved, including the WI and Clifton Primary School. Funds raised were shared between the club and other village organisations. The final event of the summer of 2017 was the official opening of the club’s new pavilion and facilities by Andrew Strauss.  The project to replace the original pavilion had taken 10 years to come to fruition. A committee led by Nick Webster had been responsible and club vice-chairman Simon Moore had been instrumental in the construction of the new facilities. Club stalwarts Roger Jones and John Flower were also heavily involved.

Although Clifton have played at their picturesque Chapel Lane ground for well over a hundred years, it is believed the original ground was on the other side of Collycroft, adjacent to Dobbin Horse Lane. The original pavilion was built during the first decade of the 20th century at Chapel Lane and the club purchased the ground in 1957.  Many local families have longstanding associations with the club, including the Grimshaws, the Melbournes and the Fosters.

In the 1960s the club had some of its most successful seasons, under the leadership of Ken Bridge and John Allsopp; it was during this period that a 2nd XI was formed, led by Richard Jones.

In the 1960s and 1970s the club became more cosmopolitan, as local players left the area and others moved in.  It was during this time that league cricket came to the club. Leading players from this period were Mel Godfrey, Ian Christison and Peter Gadsby.  In the 1980s the club introduced junior cricket: Roger Barnett formed an U-15 team, which was the beginnings of the burgeoning junior section that exists today.

The club eventually joined the Derbyshire County Cricket League when they merged with the Central Derbyshire League in 1992.  The club competed in various leagues, and eventually gained promotion to the Derbyshire Premier League, meaning that the 1st XI were one of the top 275 teams in England and Wales.  By this time, the club had a 3rd XI and the 1st XI was captained by Simon Moore.  The pinnacle of the club’s achievements was reached in 2003 when the club won the Derbyshire Premier League and went on to complete a double when they won the Premier League Cup.  Simon Moore captained the side, and was ably supported by players of the calibre of Ant Botha, Karl Krikken and Chris Lewis, plus many home-grown players who had risen through the junior section of the club.  Further honours were achieved when the club won the Marston’s Smooth Cup in 2008 and 2009. More recently the 2nd XI has won the James Harwood cup in both 2017 and 2018.

The club continues to grow, in particular the junior section, which now runs teams from Kwik to U-17s, a total of seven teams.  The club owes a huge debt of gratitude not only to Roger Barnett, who started the junior section, but also to Keith Wesley and Roger Jones, who continued to run junior cricket when Roger retired.  The juniors are now under the leadership of Stuart Blake, who is continuing to provide an environment and opportunity for young boys and girls to learn the game, and to become the senior players of Clifton CC in the future.

The club welcomes members of the village and their friends to the ground during the summer to watch and support our teams.  There are matches every Saturday from April to September and forthcoming fixtures and start times are published in the Parish Council monthly newsletter.  We also welcome new members. In 2019 we will be running three senior teams, a Development XI, a Women’s team, and junior teams for young boys and girls between five and 15 years of age.  For more information about the club and joining it, please contact the club Chairman, Roger Jones, on 07891 844510 or email him at rogerjones53@hotmail.com.

For those with a love of modern technology, the club can also be found on social media.  On Facebook, search for ‘Clifton Cricket Club’. You will find us on Twitter @CliftonCricket.

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