Oakfield Cricket Club’s ground purchase project received a major boost this week when they were awarded a £9,000 grant by the Rugby Group Benevolent Fund.
Oakfield are aiming to raise £43,000 to purchase their ground in Long Lawford, and the grant is the final piece of the jigsaw, with practically all of the funding now in place.
The Rugby Group Benevolent Fund was set up over 50 years ago by the then Chairman of Rugby Cement, and has supported a huge range of community projects over that period, and Oakfield are delighted to be the latest group to benefit from their generosity.
Oakfield CC have played at their current home since 1964 and are one of the largest clubs in the district, running six adult men’s teams and an adult ladies team.
In recent years, their junior section has grown massively, and they currently provide cricketing opportunity to around 80 children from the age of four upwards, running four separate teams in the Rugby and District Junior League, a fact not missed by the fund.
It has been a long held ambition of the club to own the ground, which will enable further development of the facilities which have received a huge makeover in the last 10 years.
Ian Southcott, CEMEX’s UK Community Affairs Manager and a Benevolent Fund trustee said: “We were impressed specifically by Oakfield’s strong youth section, and devotion to encouraging young people into sport.
“Securing the long-term future of the ground will enable Oakfield to continue this work, and expand the opportunities it offers to young people even further in the future.
“The fund is very keen to support opportunities for young people, so we were pleased to be in a position to support this project.”
Oakfield have also received funding from Sport England’s Protecting Playing Field’s fund, and Rugby Borough Council, and this combined with their own fundraising means they are now able to push on with the final stage of the project and complete the purchase.
Club Chairman Stewart Burnett said: “I’d like to thank the Rugby Group Benevolent Fund on behalf of the whole club for their very generous support.
“We are committed to providing cricketing opportunities to all in the local area, particularly juniors whom we develop from an early age all the way to senior cricket.
“Ownership of the ground will open up opportunities to continue our growth and development of the last 10 years and without this type of funding it would be nothing more than a pipe dream.”
Oakfield CC v Crick CC
After Saturday’s rain washed out all three league games Oakfield fared better with the weather in their Sunday friendly against Crick.
With a strong side Oakfield elected to bat first despite the damp conditions, and made great progress through openers Rob Harris and Tristan Mobbs before the latter was dismissed for 18.
Several wickets fell cheaply after this one but Harris held firm and was well supported by Adam Stradling (63 not out) in the middle order. Harris looked in little trouble on his return from holiday and completed his maiden century before retiring on 108 as Oakfield made 229-5 from their 40 overs.
Crick were soon in trouble when Chris Smith removed Danny Simms in the first over, and never recovered from this. The visitors found runs hard to come by as wickets fell regularly and they were bowled out for 59.
Debutant Peter Reynolds took 3-10 in 6 overs, and he was well supported by Chris Goodwin (2-23) and skipper Dan Clowes and Adam Stradling with a wicket each.
n Oakfield will hope for better weather this weekend as their first XI entertain RMCC who currently sit above them in 2nd place in the table.
The 2nd XI visit RMCC in the reverse fixture while the 3rd XI have a hastily arranged friendly against local rivals Barby, while the Sunday side visit Heckley.