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New era for Hales CC

PUBLISHED: 18:40 30 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:38 01 August 2010

HALES Cricket Club will return home on Saturday, May 29 when it will host its first Alliance Division One match against Sprowston on the club's new 7.5 acre development after receiving the green light from an Alliance pitch inspection.

HALES Cricket Club will return home on Saturday, May 29 when it will host its first Alliance Division One match against Sprowston on the club's new 7.5 acre development after receiving the green light from an Alliance pitch inspection.

The Alliance Grounds Committee checked its pavillion, square and outfield, as well as machinery, sightscreens and covers, before giving the news the club was longing to hear - it can return to Hales after a two-year absence.

Hales chairman Pete Dye was full of praise for the Alliance team, who they have been dealing with over the past few months.

“There has been a really good relationship, and we have had a very positive response in what has been a massive project for the club, with over 400 voluntary hours going in to transform the modules into a clubhouse to be proud of.

“The modules have scorers' room, umpires' room, shower room, toilets, kitchen, changing rooms and social area, all of which have been decorated.

“We have had over 40 different helpers, from 11 to 73-year olds.”

Dye wished to thank everyone who has helped, but especially Kirsty and Matt Lovick, Steve Claxton, Jimmy Dye and Liam Jones.

Kirsty, Matt and Steve along with Dye himself, have been putting in overtime to ensure it was completed in time, with the last paint drying just before the inspection.

Liam, who has joined the club this year, has shown exceptional commitment, travelling from Stokesby to be almost ever present at the weekly work parties, and already is highly thought of by all of the club.

Stalwart Jimmy Dye, 73, completed all the plumbing work, as well as many other bits and pieces.

“These people have shown outstanding commitment to the club, I can't speak highly enough of them.” On the inspection, Dye said the Alliance committee were very impressed with the modules. “They really appreciated the efforts that have gone into getting them to the condition they are.”

The square was coming on nicely, having been in place for almost two years.

“But they have real concerns with the outfield which, due to one of the harshest winters for years and lack of rain, combined with cold soil temperatures, still has some way to go to be suitable for its first match.

“They gave us the go ahead, with advice from Mike Clarke, the ECB pitch advisor for Norfolk, giving us a plan of how to best improve the outfield, with weather being a big factor over the coming weeks.

“The fact that there are several weeks until our first game, along with the evidence of how committed as a club we are to getting the best possible facility, certainly played a big part in their decision.

“With regular contact between ourselves and Richard Lilwall, they agreed to continue throughout the weeks ahead with the offer of help and guidance gratefully accepted from the club.”

Dye concluded: “I'm extremely proud to be chairman of this club. Division One will be a real challenge for us, with injuries and unavailability.

“But with the youth policy continuing to produce, we look forward to the season and the opportunity of establishing ourselves as a Division One side, playing at Hales, which is a real mark of the improvements we have made, both on and off the field.”

If you want to join the youth section, seniors or sponsor a board around the new pitch, phone Pete on 07931 711323 or email Petehalescc@btinternet.com

Hales start their Alliance campaign tomorrow in West Nofolk at Stow, the first of a string of four away fixtures.

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