CRICKET: From turmoil to the brink of triumph for Godmanchester Town

Elliott Baldwin has helped both Godmanchester Town teams into title contention. Picture: ARCHANT

Elliott Baldwin has helped both Godmanchester Town teams into title contention. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

A season which began in turmoil looks set to end in triumph for Godmanchester Town.

The local club withdrew their first XI from the Cambs & Hunts Premier League only two games into the 2019 campaign.

A shortage of players of the required quality for Whiting & Partners Division One cricket was a major factor in the decision with club chiefs keen to nurture a new generation of young talent.

And it appears to working with Town sides now sitting pretty at the top of Division Two and Division Five in the Hunts League with young players excelling at both levels.

The club's head of cricket, Kevin Clement, said: "Without doubt we took the correct course of action.

"We wouldn't have been able to field 22 players on Saturdays and it would not have helped the youngsters' development to pitch them in to the level of cricket our first XI were playing at.

"When we made the decision to go down to one Saturday side, the objective was to bring young players through at an appropriate level by giving them the opportunity to play with more senior players.

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"The blueprint did feature a hope of winning promotion at the end of this season and so far it is going to script.

"While we're not there yet, we do stand a very good chance of doing that and it also fills us with a lot of pride to see more young players featuring regularly.

Town eased to a 142-run win against Peterborough side Bretton in Division Two last Saturday. An unbeaten 97 from the club's overseas player, Warrick Rhode, helped them reach 209-7 before they skittled the visitors for just 67.

Clement rolled back the years with a terrific 5-15 while another of the club's stalwarts, Elliot Baldwin bagged 3-34.

Baldwin also skippers the Sunday 2nds who strengthened their grip on top spot in Division Five by beating closest challengers City of Ely by 153 runs last weekend.

He was responsible for 83 of the runs in Town team's posting of 225-6 before two future stars took over with the ball.

Thirteen year-olds Max Jordison (4-14) and William Blatch (3-14) did the majority of the damage with seven wickets between them as City were sent packing for 72. Even more remarkable is the fact that Jordison usually operates as a wicket-keeper! Wicket-keeper/batsman Ben Lemmon and opening bowler Ethan Rice are other young talents to have shone this summer when playing regularly in Division Two at 14 while 16 year-old Olly Greenhow has also been in the runs.