Consett & District Cricket Club News story

Chairman's Update - February 2024

16 Feb 2024

Hello everyone,

Been a while since my musings appeared so thought i’d treat you all and remind you all that the club is still here, what’s been going on and what we’re hoping to achieve going forward.

As we all know, the winter in England isn’t conducive to cricket. Fans can get their fix with overseas series played by other nations, take their pick from the parade of mercenaries who patrol the globe pledging allegiance to franchise cricket or as is currently the case, be gripped by the latest instalment of ‘Bazball’ taking place in India. As a spectacle, so far the series has been excellent, although it is a shame for fans not to see players such as Kohli and Brook taking to the field, those who have taken to the field are living up to the billing. Our former player – Walter Armstrong will be beaming with pride that one of Ormskirk’s finest – Tom Hartley has settled in nicely to the set up and already produced a match winning performance after being thrown to the lions by the media after his first ever spell in test cricket. Many across the globe rubbish the idea of ‘Bazball’ as mindless slogging and that it won’t work in whichever country. However, there’s more to it than that. It shows that both the head coach and captain have instilled a belief into the players that nothing is impossible and that they should be able to express themselves to play the game the way they see fit. From this we have seen some incredible test cricket, victories never thought possible and a few defeats too. Whether it is being praised or criticised, it is being talked about, surely the fact that this currently England Test setup is attracting attention can only serve well for the longevity of the purest form of the game.

The T20 machine rumbles on and will always attract viewers whilst raising much needed cash for counties when The Blast takes place. However, it is Test Match performances that usually stick in the mind of the avid fan. Think Botham in 1981, Stokes in 2019, you get the idea. 

In my mind, anything that attracts attention to the game is fantastic for us at grass roots level as it will have the same sort of effect as the 2005 Ashes seeing more people wishing to participate in the game.

This leads me onto what we’ve already been up to! 

Our winter sessions began in January with our Under 9 and Under 11 sides being first up at Consett Leisure Centre. Participation was up on previous years with new faces in attendance as well as many of those seen before returning for another year of cricket. 

This weekend sees the U11 and U13 sides starting their sessions on Sunday morning at 10.30 while the ‘big lads’ get underway at Emmanuel College on Saturday at 2pm. The timing of these sessions might not be ideal for everyone but due to our usual venue being under refurbishment, choices were extremely limited for what we were able to book. We hope that most of you will be able to get some meaningful practice in before we move outdoors in April.

The winter is always a time when clubs are frantically trying to see what they can do better for the season ahead and gives committee members sleepless nights. 

A pressing matter for us at the club is the replacement of the roof. We are delighted that we have an agreement in principle for matched funding thanks to the generosity of Councillor Kathryn Rooney who has allocated funds from her neighbourhood budget through the Derwent Valley Partnership to enable us to be able to carry out this much needed work, although we still have work to do and questions that need answered before the final touches can be put to this and for the scheme to go ahead.

As with every winter, you always wish to look at ways to strengthen the club both on and off the field. Our new 1st X1 captain has asked many questions and mainly been given unsatisfactory answers to the questions but I was delighted that we are able to welcome a new recruit from the Southern Hemisphere for the 2024 season. Alex Corver will join us as overseas amateur for the season and will add quality and determination to a talented 1st X1 as well as being very keen to get involved with the fantastic work our junior coaches carry out throughout the year. There is already a separate article on the club news pages about Alex that you should cast your eye over. Well done to those who did the hard work in making this possible.

I was pleased to see some new faces join the club management structure at our AGM and have been delighted with the input received from people since then.

Sarah is settling into her role as secretary and doing a good job of trying to keep order at our monthly soirees. Prud (Steven Marshall) has taken up the task of work to do with buildings and grounds to help us continually improve our facilities. Mark Roe has been meticulously going through our files and folders to ensure we are compliant with regulations, H&S and much more. Alex Rawle is doing great job of fund raising initiatives through sponsorship for the season ahead. Many of our sponsors have chosen to renew their partnerships with the club for 2024, some former ones are back on board and we hope to announce some new partners for the season ahead in due course. The support of these people and businesses is vital to ensuring the club can push to deliver the best experience for people of all ages who play at or visit Blackfyne. As a club, everyone is extremely grateful for the support. 

There are a couple of changes to match day sponsorship this season and we are looking to have players sponsored too. Players will have a profile picture created for them which will feature your name or business which will seem them regularly posted on our social media channels and websites, you can become one of these sponsors for just £30. There are also a couple of options for match day sponsorship, some of which include a bar tab which would be ideal for someone who wishes to be featured as the sponsor of a particular game as well as bringing a couple of friends along and enjoying a few drinks on a sunny day at Blackfyne. 

Anyone who wants more information can check out the club website or send Alex an e-mail –


Social events are the biggest source of income to the club each year and help us to pay the bills. Unfortunately we have already seen an increase in our utility bills of several hundred pounds, which despite us having not been open much, is a concerning sign of whats to come. The bill for cricket balls is also up £400 from 2023. You get the idea. 

The juniors came along to a FIFA night a couple of weeks ago which saw the clubhouse packed out with several consoles rigged up and excited youths everywhere. Well done Dicka for organising the draw and Stu for doing a great job as barmaid for the evening. 

I am currently still recruiting for the 100 Club and the Club Bonus Ball. A number on each of these is priced at £5 per month and needs to be paid via standing order. The 100 club pays a £75 weekly prize each and every Monday and the Bonus Ball pays on the last Saturday of each month with a potential prize of £200 assuming all numbers are taken and paid for. There are numbers available on both of these at present, get in touch with me at - or drop me a text/whatsapp to find out more. Thanks to those who have recently taken numbers on these.


We have several upcoming events taking place starting with a bag packing day at Tesco in Consett on Sunday 3rd March which will see our Juniors helping out the locals in the hope of raising funds for the junior section at the club. We do need volunteers to help supervise throughout the day, if you are able to help out for even an hour or so, please give Stu a shout so that he can get you involved –

On Friday 29th March (Good Friday) we will be hosting an Easter Egg Hunt at the club, something that was a huge success in 2023. Charlotte has once again taken to doing a great job of organising this and tickets are now on sale. Further details of the event can be found here - If anyone is able to provide any donations for the raffle and tombola, Charlotte would love to hear from you –

Aka hosts another of his quizzes on Sunday 31st March with an earlier start time of 5pm so that those who wish to bring kids along can do so and not feel as though they’re tied to a late finish. 

Sunday 14th April will see a club sponsored walk taking place as everyone walks from Lanchester back to the club, the club will then be open afterwards for refreshments. 

During the season we plan to have several events taking place where possible, these will be announced as they are finalised. The first of these will be a family BBQ day on Saturday 11th May, further details on this will be announced in due course.


The season itself looks a little different to usual. We start a week earlier than usual on Saturday 13th April, with both teams facing off against newcomers to the league – Washington. Washy have spent several years in the NEPL structure and elected to join the NTCL after relegation in 2023. our 3rd X1 have faced them on many occasions but their Saturday teams will be an unknown quantity. The 1st X1 will have new foes in Alniwck and Ashington Rugby this year too with the division carrying 13 teams this season instead of the usual 12, there are now 24 league fixtures including all of the Bank Holiday Mondays. The 2nd X1 also have a 13 team division and therefore 24 league games and games on the Bank Holiday Mondays. The 2nd X1 have several new opponents in Hexham Leazes, Rock, Washington, Stocksfield, Morpeth and Greenside as a result of promotions, relegations and restructure. The league fixtures are all published on our websites and the cup draws have just arrived this morning for league associated competitions so they will be added shortly. 

The support we had during games last season was fantastic and it would be great to see a good number of spectators again this season. I hope that I will see both of our Saturday sides challenging at the business end of their respective divisions, just have to cross everything that we can avoid the spate of injuries we saw in 2023 to get our best sides on the field more weeks than not! 

Our 2nd X1 do have the David Greener finals day to compete in which was carried over from 2023 due to the appalling end of season weather, not sure on the date for this at this point. 

Simon is doing a top job with the role of fixtures secretary and I am pleased to see that more teams will be competing in the Topham Trophy this season, something the lads will be looking to defend after last years thrilling final win against Tynedale. 


On a personal level, I am delighted to see the enthusiasm for the club from the people involved in key roles and have had some very heart warming conversations lately with people who have praised what we are doing at the club. As frustrating as grassroots sport is for volunteers, it’s always great to hear about how they have made a positive difference to other people with their hard work. 

I could write a long list of all the things that go on behind the scenes from our volunteers but I am aware of how long i’ve waffled on for already! 

We do still need a new Designated Premises Supervisor (licensee) at the club with me stepping down from this role in the not too distant future and a new Chair of the club will be needed come November, anyone who is interested, then do shout up!


Hopefully in a few weeks time, The Barmy Army will be cheering another huge series win in India, although if Azim still reads his club e-mails, he might not share this sentiment. The weather will hopefully have dried up and warmed up more importantly and things will be looking great ready for the season ahead. I look forward to seeing (most of) you again in the coming weeks at the club and hopefully seeing a successful year for the club both on and off the field in 2024. 


Take care in the meantime everyone, Ian