Player shortage spells end of Kilnhurst Colliery Cricket Club

Player shortage spells end of Kilnhurst Colliery Cricket Club

By David Beddows | 01/04/2022

Player shortage spells end of Kilnhurst Colliery Cricket Club

 

A LONG established cricket club dating back more than 100 years has folded due to lack of players.


Kilnhurst Colliery CC, founded in 1910, has withdrawn from the Yorkshire Southern Premier League after a last ditch search for new blood came to nothing.


The club has been a fixture in the village for decades and secretary Rob Horton said the decision had been taken with a heavy heart.


“Cricket has been played in Kilnhurst for many years and a lot of people within the club have played since U13s and U15s and have been at the club a long time,” he said.


“We had a really good start last season and we were kicking on and we were on for promotion but by the back end we had to concede quite a few games.


“It was just getting a team out, that's what did us, and with us not having a junior section or anything like that, we struggled to recruit.”


After last season's struggles, concerns about the club's future deepened at its Annual General Meeting earlier this year.


“We had our AGM and it was clear a few people were getting a bit older, had families and ties that were preventing them from playing as much as they had one previously,” said Rob.


“I think Covid probably gave us a couple of extra seasons because those other commitments weren't necessarily there. We have a lot of people who go and watch or play football, and things like that.


“After the AGM we pretty much came to the conclusion that we needed to look at what we could do in terms of recruitment but we couldn't really get anywhere with it.


“Ending the club was a very difficult decision to make.”


Kilnhurst's demise throws a doubt over the future of the cricket field at the Rotherham Council-owned Springfield Road ground unless some other club moves in to use it. The site also hosts football.


Prospects of Kilnhurst reforming also look slim. Added Rob: “We were looking into maybe leaving (the club) as it is, so there was scope to (reform) it if somebody wanted to do that, but with us not owning the ground I don't know what would happen.


“We have informed the council what has happened and that we will not be needing the facility.”


Former Kilnhurst cricket stalwart Malcolm Whitehouse, who served the club on and off the field over a period of 50 years, said that records showed cricket had been played in the village since the 1890s.


Previous club names included Kilnhurst Co-op and Kilnhurst Church.


Kilnhurst played in the Pontefract League before moving back to the South Yorkshire League a few years ago.
Malcolm said he was sad to see the club go.


Meanwhile, the new cricket season starts on April 16 and will be free of Covid restrictions for the first time since 2019.