CRICKET: Woodhall Spa set for new season and kick off with friendly fixtures this weekend

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Woodhall Spa Cricket Club’s on-field preparations get underway this weekend with senior friendly fixtures at home versus Gedling CC from Nottingham and Skegness CC.

The season’s opening games at Jubilee Park will see a number of new faces don the Spa shirt in what has seen a change in personnel as the Club’s 1st XI continue to try to be a force to be reckoned with in the Lincolnshire ECB Premier League.

With Ben O’Brien returning to Australia; Jonny Cheer moving to pastures new and the experienced Matthew Sargeant still suffering with a long term back injury, Coach Paul Timby has been busy recruiting some fresh new talent to the club’s ranks.

The services of an under 18 South African, Etienne Botha, have been secured along with all-rounders Ross Dixon and Joe Irving and batsman Matt Wooldridge to boost an already exciting 1stXI squad.

The Club will also welcome back last season’s overseas professional Malinga Bandara who will once again add his wealth of International and First Class cricketing experience to the players.

Coach Paul Timby is pleased with how the close season has gone. He said: “We have trained hard throughout the winter and I think have recruited some very exciting and young cricketers who will all be looking to make a mark at this level. With these additions and the every improving crop of youngsters competition for places in both the 1st and 2nd XIs will be very tough which is only good for all concerned.”

Jack Luffman will once again be the Club and 1st XI captain, assisted by Bandara, while Timby will combine coaching duties with leading the 2nd XI in the South Lincs and Border League and the Sunday 1st XI in the Lincoln and District Premier League following last season’s promotion. Pete Epton will continue to skipper the Sunday 2nd XI in Division 3 of the same competition.

Following the friendlies, the 1st XI begin its Premier League campaign away at Spalding on Saturday April 18, while the 2nd XI hosts Stamford.