North West’s newest club takes first tentative steps
While the region’s senior clubs were starting out on their first 40-over league competition on Saturday, just over 50 miles up the road, Enniskillen Cricket Club were making a debut of a different kind as they entertained Victoria CC from Lurgan in a friendly at Enniskillen Royal Grammar School (ERGS).
The Fermanagh club’s last game prior to this was in 1993 and after a lot of hard work and plenty of encouragement from the NWCU’s Brian Allen, the club is now back on its feet and looking to hear from other North West clubs willing to play them over the course of the summer.
Kenny Maxwell was the only player from that 1993 side to take the field again on Saturday, and he explained how a fairly emotional day for him had come about.
“After the club stopped playing, myself and my son Stephen played for Victoria for a few seasons. We always wanted to come home to Enniskillen, but the time never seemed right. Then, in October 2019 we started talking to various people regarding a ground, equipment and attracting players, and things moved reasonably quickly from there.”
“Brian Allen was a great help and once ERGS had agreed to give us the use of their ground, the seed was sown. We were able to attract sponsors to help us with new kit and equipment and we felt that we had things in place to start playing.”
“Victoria were the obvious choice to play in our first match back and I’m delighted that they agreed to travel. It was a really emotional day for me personally in the circumstances with Stephen the new captain at Enniskillen and my other son, Simon, involved as well. On top of that I was chuffed to bits that I was able to play on Saturday too.”
“The game was played in memory of Peter Reeve who was well known in cricketing circles here. Peter was a great source of encouragement to us however he sadly passed away a few weeks ago.”
“It’s all about going forward for us now. We have some great people around the club determined to see it succeed and in the last few days we’ve also been contacted by a few lads who say they’d be interested in joining us.”
“We’re appealing to any clubs who would be prepared to play us, home or away, to make contact via the club or the North West. It will be just friendlies this season but next year we hope to be accepted into the odd cup competition with a view to joining the league in due course.”
“Our committee has, and no doubt will continue to work tirelessly to take the club forward and we’re really looking forward to see what the future brings.”
The NWCU is delighted to see the progress at Enniskillen CC and will continue to work with the club as they continue to develop in the coming months and years. We would encourage any of our clubs who might have a free afternoon to reach out to them over the summer, and anyone looking for a game can contact either Enniskillen CC directly, or the North West on their behalf.
**Photos courtesy of Simon Maxwell**