Although the league tables might not show it, the future is looking bright for Bletchley Town – if the form of the club’s pool of talented youngsters is anything to go by.
The departure of many of the club’s senior players at the end of last season has opened the door to several teenagers who have now become established regulars in Bletchley’s senior teams playing in the Cherwell and Four Counties leagues.
And the success of Town’s youth policy was highlighted at Manor Fields on Saturday when young batsmen Adam Harwood and Kieran Turner put on an impressive opening partnership of 50 in the 2nds’ game against Cublington 2nds – quite an achievement given that they have a combined age of just 27.
Turner, 14, top scored with an outstanding 75 as Bletchley made 173-9, with Harwood,13, chipping in with 25.
The young guns went on to lose the game by four wickets as Cublington reached 174-6 – keeping them second from bottom of Cherwell Division Seven – but that doesn’t worry chairman Jason Heenan too much because he’s looking at the bigger picture.
“The 1sts went down from Division One last season and we lost seven or eight senior players. But that’s just given more youngsters the chance to impress,” he said.
“Even if the sides go down another division, that won’t be too much of a problem. We’ve got lots of young guys on the up, rather than older players on the way down.”
The 1sts, who suffered a 54 run defeat against Oxford & Bletchingdon Nondescripts on Saturday, are now fielding a couple of teenagers, but the youngest player turning out for Bletchley this summer is 12-year-old George Hendry who has been keeping wicket for the 3rds in Four Counties Division Six.
Nondies totalled 212-9 on Saturday, but despite the best efforts of Matt Shepherd (63) and Abs Premnath (45) Town fell short on 158 and remain bottom of Division Two.
Wolverton Town (231) saw off Challow and Childrey (183) by 48 runs thanks to a couple of fine knocks from Zak Wade (65) and Kieran Lampard (58) as they go third in the table.
Meanwhile Great Brickhill picked up a very welcome win in Division One as they saw off Oxford Downs by 35 runs to climb off the foot of the table.
Garth Davson was the hero for Brickhill as he took 6-83 to bowl out Downs for 195 – that in reply to the visitors’ 230-9, with Anton DeBeer leading the scoring on 51.
Great Brickhill 2nds (185) had a draw with Cumnor 2nds (164-9) in Division Five, and in Division Six, Wolverton 2nds (113) lost to Didcot 2nds (117-1) by nine wickets.