Hadleigh open new net facility

HADLEIGH Cricket Club’s new state-of-the-art net practice facility was officially opened at their Friars Road ground on Sunday.

The project to replace the Suffolk club’s 30-year old nets began 18 months ago and has involved a considerable fund-raising effort from both senior and junior members.

The new facility is a double bay, caged, fully carpeted system with a free draining tarmacadam base, built by Exclusive Leisure Ltd, an ECB-approved supplier of non-turf pitch solutions.

The project cost of �28,700 has been financed from a combination of grants, club fund-raising and private donations, and represents the Friars Road club’s most significant investment in its facilities since its pavilion was extended more than 20 years ago.

A number of bodies have contributed towards the funding of the project, including Babergh District Council and Suffolk County Council. A presentation by four of the club’s junior members helped in securing �5,000 from Suffolk County Council’s Youth Opportunity Fund.

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It will be the club’s junior section which will most benefit from these new, safer, high quality nets, both now and as senior players of the future.

Hadleigh runs three junior teams, has more than 80 children aged nine to 15 receiving coaching three nights per week, and the club is involved in delivering the Chance to Shine scheme in five local state schools, introducing children to cricket.

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This year the club has also begun a girls’ section and launched an Academy side for its best juniors, playing in the Hunts County Bats Suffolk league against adult teams.

The nets were opened by Cllr David Wood, Chairman of Babergh District Council, and Cllr Penny Cook, the Mayor of Hadleigh, during the tea interval of the match between Hadleigh’s Academy and Hilversum, a Dutch touring team.

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