Early records relating to North Wheatley Cricket Club have gone astray, but we are aware that the village had a cricket team in the late 1800s. However, the club was re-formed after the second world war by the then local rector and has been playing league cricket ever since within the villages of North and South Wheatley. The club moved to its present location in the early 1950’s when land was purchased by local farmers and donated to the villages for sport to be played.
We currently have two teams in the Bassetlaw Saturday League. The club’s name was changed seven years ago when it merged with Leverton Cricket Club. Leverton were struggling for a ground and the merger also served to strengthen playing membership. This in turn allowed the club to form a Sunday side primarily for the youngsters within the club to ensure that they played cricket regularly. It also built strong links between our two rurally isolated villages.
North Wheatley with Leverton 1st team have undoubtedly had a successful recent past in the Bassetlaw League winning back to back promotions in 08/09 after that hugely disappointing relegation at Everton in 2007, being relegated into division 2. Over the last three seasons the club has found a good mixture of youth and experience to have productive seasons.
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The 1st Team -
That NWL had avoided relegation had confounded many people, but the key was to build on this in their second season in Bassetlaw’s top flight. The unfortunate loss of talented all rounder James Waller was a real blow, but the team welcomed South African PJ Jansen to their ranks, whilst there was a welcome return to the club of Jason Hill, a New Zealander with a British passport. The season started in dramatic fashion with a seven wicket win over Marshalls courtesy of a remarkable innings of 134 not out from just 94 balls by Jonathan Loates, who here set the tone for a season of personal excellence that would see him reach an NWL record aggregate of 1087 runs for the season.
Two wins in the following matches saw NWL sit proudly at the top of the league. Unfortunately this didn’t last, but notable individual performances came from PJ Jansen, whose outstanding innings of 163 against Thoresby Colliery is believed to be a league highest for NWL, whilst Jason Hill and Jamie Bovill both claimed six wicket hauls with the ball. Callum Harrison’s second half showing of 21 wickets with his right arm spin was a real boost for the club, and the excellence of Jansen, Hill, Loates and Jamie Sizer in the field was also a pleasing feature of a season which saw the team finish 7th with a points tally of 222.
By the time the 2012 started, there was a very different look to the NWL first team. Jonathan Loates headed off to New Zealand in the winter where he played with success, before joining Welbeck to pit his wits in the Nottinghamshire Premier League. Jason Hill also returned to his homeland as did PJ Jansen however promising local batsman Will Shaw joined the club, whilst James Watmough returned after several seasons. The overseas berth was taken by Australian wicketkeeper/batsman Cameron Parker. Under the continued captaincy of Richie Robinson the team endured a difficult start to a season much interrupted by rain but at the time of writing, the team had begun to put in some excellent fighting performances. They go into the last half of the season at the bottom of the division but with real hopes that they can retain their status in the Championship for a fourth season.
The 2nd Team -
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The 2nd XI go into the 2012 season under the new captaincy of Nick Cleaver who has already lead from the front in the pre-season charity trek where he set an unrelenting pace.
He’ll be hoping to set a similarly positive example on the field with his predecessor Ian Tingle lending experienced support as well as looking to continue his consistent wicket taking with the ball whch saw him once again top last season’s team averages.
Tingle junior, Mike will be hoping for more luck to go with his control of last season and this expereinced father and son combination should allow the younger members of the attack to perform under less pressure. Johnno Pring showed increasing promise with his naturally smoothe action allowing him to extract pace and bounce even on Wheatley’s flat tracks. Jacob Brammer has the ability to be an equally incisive member of the attack and there is keen anticipation about how the new streamlined James Butler will perform in his last season as a single man. Mr Reliable Martin Pring has more than once proved that you only have to make people believe you can spin the ball to fool them. Rob Hackney will again look to defy the years – and support bandages while some of the less regular bowlers should have the chance to show their value while the skipper and Doug Phin may well occassionally compete as seventh change when something truly different is required.
The batting should revolve around an experienced core with the younger members hopefully continuing their development to take their chance when it arises. Nick Purkiss will hope to remain injury free and build on a consitent if truncated last season especially in effective partnership with the captain who remains one of the division’s most destructive batsmen. Fellow seasoned campaigners Wayne Harrison and Martin Pring add considerable experience and talent to the line-up while Mike Tingle and Doug Phin have the ability to play destructive innings. Younger players such as Josh Bovill, Jacob Brammer and Johnno Pring have all shown consideraale promise and all the squad are capable of making contributions.
The ‘best view in the house’ will again be afforded to Pete Wood behind the stumps bravely shaking off the inevitable bumps and bruises to give valuable support to his captain and colleagues.
With the promise of the re-introduction of one or two ‘lapsed players’ and a couple of new faces the squad should be striong enough to be highly competitive and push for promotion which has elduded them in recent seasons. Fewer calls for key players to step into what looks like a deeper first team squad this time around could be crucial but whatever the outcome the 2nd XI will look to continue to play competitive cricket while making it a fun environment for experienced and junior players alike to play.
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