Radyr Chain Article

The 2020 season will go down as one of the most unusual that anybody involved with recreational cricket will ever have experienced. Due to Covid 19, it didn’t start until the middle of July and it was all over in September: if you blinked, you missed it. The great thing about the season however, was the number of players who made themselves available for games. Such was the desire to play, that the club easily filled four sides on a Saturday, sometimes three on a Sunday and games on at least two evenings of the week. It was not cricket as usual though, with hand sanitation breaks every six overs, no teas, no changing, no showers, no access to the bar and all contact details taken for track and trace purposes. But it seemed to work and the vast majority of players loved every minute of the truncated season. Interestingly the club actually played over 50 games this year which compares with 75 in the full season of 2019: a huge amount packed in to such a short space of time. However even with all of this, there is no doubt that everybody is hoping that the 2021 season will take us back to some sort of normality.

The last few weeks of the season saw the club reach the Glamorgan Zone Final of the Macey Cup which unfortunately was lost and then the long awaited arrival of the Ladies red ball XI, who debuted in Radyr on a sunny Sunday, late in August. The Ladies Squad can be seen in the photograph. Cricket at the ground finished on the August Bank Holiday, so that the necessary work to both grounds could commence and the second photograph shows the equipment needed today, to ensure that the playing surfaces are maintained. The second ground, due to the flood, needs to be completely re-seeded so that next season it can be back to its best

Other aspects of the maintenance/improvement of the ground are continuing and will do so throughout the winter break. The pavilion extension, partly funded by the Community Council, will be completed this calendar year, ready for next season, if we are allowed to use it. The pathway which has been laid around the back of the pavilion, following the removal of the leylandii, has proved popular and shortly fences will be erected to ensure the full safety of visitors to the club. In the new year the advertising hoardings, destroyed by Storm Dennis will be re-erected and people who know the ground well, will start to see it getting back to its best. Can I thank all the club’s sponsors, especially Michael Graham Young, our shirt sponsors, who stuck with us throughout this most difficult of periods. The club is always looking for new sponsorship, players, whether young or old, men or women who want to be part of this most friendly of clubs.

The anti social behaviour which dominated the life of the club during lockdown has eased due to a concerted joint effort between RCC officers, the Police, Transport Police, Politicians and Youth Community Workers. However the club is not naive enough to believe it won’t come back next year so plans are already in place to make it more difficult for trespassers to gain access to the ground. One other aspect that we’re very keen to stop is what can only be described as a middle class crime. That is a few dog walkers who actually come out with wire cutters so that the club’s fences don’t hinder them. It would be funny if it wasn’t so serious. The club’s CCTV will be used to establish the perpetrators and when they are identified the Police will be informed.

The season is therefore at an end but work is still continuing on the ground and pavilion to ensure that RCC has the best facilities possible for recreational cricket in 2021. Let’s hope that Covid 19 is defeated and that next year will be a less stressful time.

Christopher Hitchings

Radyr Cricket Club – Chairman