Cricket Club Highlights
The first recorded game of cricket, in which a Rolleston XI, played took place on the first ever Bank holiday in August 1871. In times when a six day working week was the norm, and Sunday was reserved for worship and rest, the first Bank Holiday must have been quite an event and was celebrated with a cricket match against Stretton, who were the winners on that occasion.
The Cricket Club was founded in 1887 under the patronage of the Mosley family and the Club was well established at the beginning of the 20th century. Its ground was in Marston Lane behind the 16th century cottages, but in 1904 the Club moved to a new ground in Station Road on land now occupied by the Alderbrook estate.
The first major impact the Club made in local cricket was by winning the "Burton Mail Village Challenge Cup" in three consecutive seasons 1920, 1921 & 1922, thereby becoming outright winners of the competition. A trophy was presented to the Club in recognition of the achievement but was mislaid during the second World War, maybe it resides in someone’s attic roof space awaiting rediscovery. Fifty two years would elapse before the Club gained another trophy.
A significant event took place at the Club’s A.G.M. in 1957 when several senior members resigned and the Club was about to founder. However, it was saved at the eleventh hour by the late Fred Brown who rallied the members and rejuvenated the Club. It was just as well for there were demanding times ahead.
At the end of the 1959 season the Cricket Ground in Station Road was sold to S.W.Clarke Ltd (Builders) and the Club was obliged to vacate the ground by 31st December 1961. Enquiries were made regarding a suitable ground locally without success until eventually they were offered a waterlogged meadow in Dovecliff Road which has since been developed into "The Willows" Cricket Ground. The reclamation of the meadow proved to be a herculean task for voluntary labour. Ditches had to be opened up and new land drains laid, the land was ploughed, levelled and seeded and a small turf square laid. The task was completed in the late summer of 1962 with the construction of a timber pavilion. During the years that followed the Club successfully applied for grant aid from the Sports Council which enabled the freehold of the land to be purchased. The ground and its fixed assets are now held in trust for the benefit of the inhabitants of Rolleston on Dove. Success on the field of play was not long delayed and in the last fifteen years the Club has won many trophies:-
1st XI Premier Division Championship - Winners 1988
1st XI Brewery Cup Competition - Winners 1988, 1991, 1996
1st XI Midweek League Championship - Winners 1974, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989,1990, 1997
2nd XI Section ‘A’ Division Championship - Winners 1988, 1992, 1994, 1995
2nd XI ‘Cochran’ Memorial Quaich Competition - Winners 1988, 1991, 1992
In the 1988 season the Club won every competition it entered, a record that may be equalled but not excelled.
The Club fields 1st & 2nd XIs on Saturdays and in the coming season will field a 3rd XI for the first time. There are also Sunday and midweek fixtures throughout the season
Junior cricket is comprehensively covered with full fixture lists for under 11s (Kwik Cricket), under 13s XI, under 15s XI and under 17s (Youth XI).
The Club hosts Junior County Cricket matches on occasions and has a much valued biennial fixture with an MCC XI.
What of the future? The Club is currently seeking further grant aid to improve its facilities and following an overwhelming vote of members is to join the Derbyshire County League in the year 2001 which will give opportunities to play a higher standard of cricket.
Alan Partington, President
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© This site was created by Richard Bush
Last updated: 5 April 2000