Chris Dring. Photo by ROB MANTON

Spalding set for seaside season start

It may be set for a bracing start to the season but Spalding Town Cricket Club 1st XI captain Chris Dring can’t wait for Saturday’s opener at Skegness Town.

There’s a staggered start for the South Lincs and Border League with a trip to the seaside first up for Dring’s side.

As The Voice went to press the weather forecast for the game was snow.
But 1st XI skipper Dring said everyone is just pleased to be out and playing again.

“I’m less worried about my batting and more worried about how many jumpers I’ve got ahead of Saturday,” he said. “Everybody is excited having done nothing for a fair few months and are desperate to get out, even if it’s going to be unlike the start of any other season.

“Normally we’d have been netting since around February, have a couple of training sessions and most years you have some pre-season friendlies.

“This year though we’re just going straight into it.

“Because of COVID protocols at Spalding Grammar School we’ve had to move to Seas End Hall and we’ve been busy with the logistics of making the venue COVID-secure.

“We did have a training session last weekend and it was great for everyone to be out and about again.”

Spalding, the 2018 champions, will once again be hoping to be in the conversation for winning the league.

But they open with potentially one of their toughest fixtures, against 2019 champions Skegness Town at 1pm on Saturday.

Skegness didn’t fair well in the 2020 mini-tournament, finishing sixth out of seven in the East league won by Moulton Harrox, with Long Sutton in second, who both start their South Lincs and Border League campaigns on April 17.

Dring, whose side finished third in last year’s mini-season, says there’s a lot of unknowns going into the new campaign, but his squad is basically the same as last year’s.

“We’ll see how it goes,” he says. “Initially the aim is just to get out and get games played.

“If we get into the season and it’s going well then we’ll see what we can do.

“There’s a whole lot of effort going into making sure we can just function as a cricket club.

“We’re trying to get things together to play at all age ranges.”

Dring also said some players had expressed an interest in returning to playing after spells out of the game.

“I think cricket has been very lucky throughout this whole situation compared with other sports.

“We got half a season last year and we’re going to get some cricket, starting on time.

“We’ve heard from a few players who have been away from the game.

“People seem really keen to play, right down to our junior sides, so it’s a good opportunity for cricket.”

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