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ASHTON CRICKET

Email: ashtoncricketclub@gmail.com


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For the next two years Ashton continued steadily to improve their ground and the committee worked tirelessly to bring quality opposition to Reyner Lane. So successful were they in doing so that in 1899 a resolution was passed that they decline an invitation to become members of the Central Lancashire League. By 1901 Reyner Lane was being accepted as being one of the finest grounds in the county, and Ashton as a club was being spoken of in the highest regards. Now the club had ambitious plans to move even further forward, to expand its activities and in doing so bring in new members. On the financial front they were actually still in debt with the recent ground and pavilion improvements — but this was a debt they were not unduly worried about. To carry out their new proposals extra funding would be required and it was suggested that once again, as in 1889, they should hold a bazaar. This was agreed upon and the event was to take place over three days in February at the Ashton Town Hall. Their aim from this was to raise £1,000 which would be enough to clear the debts and also provide funding for the introduction of tennis and bowling to the club. If the money allowed they were also hoping to obtain the tenure of the ground. Indeed, for sometime this had been of some serious concern to the club and they were far from happy regarding the terms of their tenancy. It was decided that a petition be drawn up which would include the signatures of, amongst others, the mayor Councillor J. B. Pownall, the patron of the club Councillor John Wilson, the President Alderman Oldham Hulme and several other councillors and Aldermen. This petition lodging the club's protest was handed over to the Stamford Estate's solicitor Mr H. Hall. This was followed-up by a deputation of club representatives meeting with the Earl of Stamford to state their case personally. However, as far as the club was concerned the outcome was not good, their plans to obtain tenure and to increase sporting activities within the club would not materialise until several years later.

 

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From around the turn of the century into the 1900s many a player representing Ashton played themselves into the club's history. Some not for the number of runs they amassed or the number of wickets or catches taken but simply for the way they played the game. G. Radcliffe, scorer of 500 runs in four successive seasons (1903-06), P. S. Kershaw, A. E. Bailey, N. S. Eaton, S.L Eaton, F. L Eaton, A. Watson, L Hewetson, J. Horsfall, A. Pulling and many others all helped the Ashton Cricket Club to be held in the highest respect. Ever ambitious the club in the 1900s were well aware that income from gate money was not enough to help finance the plans in hand for the club's future. In a move to bring in extra income and to improve the social aspect of the club a number of dances were organised, these were well attended and ultimately helped swell the club's coffers. An interesting and amusing point to arise within the club in 1904 was whether it was socially acceptable for members to be seen eating pies in public — it appears it was not. For when a baker approached the club seeking permission to sell his pies at the ground, he was given the go-ahead only on certain provisos. The conditions being that he firstly became a club member and secondly that his sales must be restricted to the general public and not to members at the pavilion.

 

 

Ashton Cricket Club was paid a high compliment by the Lancashire County Cricket Club when they selected Reyner Lane for a county second XI game. The Lancashire 2nd XI v Surrey 2nd XI fixture was played on Ashton's ground on Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th June 1906 when F. L. Eaton, Ashton's captain was given a place in the Lancashire team yet another honour for both player and club. Frank Eaton had just ten days earlier set a new Ashton club record for an individual score with an impressive 166 not out at Bury. This broke the previous record set just the preceding season by George Radcliffe when he hit 155 against Chorlton-cum-Hardy.

 

 Record_Partnership


The County match was aided by brilliant weather on both days which helped to swell the attendance figures. Monday saw 1,300 people in the ground which rose to 2,000 on the Tuesday. The game ended in a draw and the comments from both sets of players regarding the ground included "in splendid condition" and "remarkably good for batting". The event as staged at Ashton was proved to be in everyway successful with receipts for the Monday being £18.00 and considerably more for the second day. With the County having paid Ashton a fee for the use of their facilities the overall takings went to the county side. Ashton however, did take all monies received from the sale of refreshments and here the great success of Alderman Grimes' tent proved the popular attraction especially with the many ladies present. The tent was also the rendezvous for many past and contemporary cricketers with James Horner of Stockport, Hope of Manchester and Ashton's own David Cordingly being amongst those in attendance. Just four days after the County game, those who turned up to watch Ashton face Werneth at Reyner Lane witnessed a new club record being set. In a period of two hours and seven minutes of cricket George Radcliffe and Reg Kershaw set a new record stand of 304 for 0. Radcliffe had 152 of which one hundred were from boundaries, whilst Kershaws 148 included one 6 and twenty-four 4s. Ashton won the match by 169 runs and ten wickets.

 

 

Like most sporting clubs Ashton was affected by the effects of the First World War and for sometime little progress could be made on or off the field. However, in 1916 the club became one of the founder members of the 'Lancashire and Cheshire Cricket Federation'. Ten clubs were involved in this organisation but due to the war serious cricket was not played by the members until hostilities had ended.


1904
OUR HISTORY

1898 - 1918 THE COUNTY CONNECTION
150_Not_Out
1911-12