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Great Bedwyn Cricket Club welcomes its first overseas player - and he's quite keen on a little rain

James HartJames HartJames Hart is taking a gap year from his mechanical engineering degree at Adelaide University - to play for Great Bedwyn Cricket Club as their overseas player.

The nineteen-year-old from South Australia is Great Bedwyn's first overseas player.  The Club has wanted to put their young local players first.  Now John Palmer, in his second season as skipper, wants the club to progress: "We want to bring the club forward for the long term."

One of John Palmer's aims is to improve the coaching at the club.  And James Hart, who has a Cricket Australia Level One coaching qualification, will be doing a lot of coaching - as well as scoring runs for the club.

For four years he played first eleven cricket for his school - Scotch College - scoring 300-400 runs a season and captaining the team in his final year.  Since leaving school in 2013, James has been playing for Sturt District Cricket Club - known as The Blues.

He started in their 'C' grade and moving up to their 'B' grade team.  Next season, he hopes to move up to the more semi-professional 'A' grade team which includes some professional players, some playing with part time jobs and some weekend players.

Each month at 'B' grade level he has been playing two two-day games (played over two succeeding Saturdays), two Saturday-Sunday games and two one-day games.

Each of Australia's seven states has district or 'grade' leagues.  There are thirteen clubs in South Australia's league - and each of field teams of three or more levels as well as youth teams.

Marlborough News Online asked James if he wanted to play professionally: "I'm not looking past getting my degree.  My degree seems like the right thing for me to do."

James got the overseas player spot through CricX - the cricket exchange agency that is registered with the English Cricket Board and supplies overseas players to many English clubs.  The Bedwyn club paid most of his airfare and his lodgings in the village.

James is on Youth Mobility Visa and is is allowed to take paid work.  He is working waiting and bar shifts at Bedwyn's Three Tuns pub - lunch-time and evening shifts as the fixtures and coaching allow.

He has been made welcome in Bedwyn - "I really enjoy being with all the blokes I play with."  He is certainly pleased to be playing for John Palmer: "I reckon he would probably play 'A' grade back home."  He likes playing in a team with 'the whole span' of abilities in one team.

He says he got off to 'a bit of a rocky start' - when we spoke to James Bedwyn had played five games, won three and lost two. He had a bit of nerves and in his first two games scored six and four - and ran himself out.

One novelty he has found at Great Bedwyn is the rain.  South Australia has just come out of a disastrous three year drought: "The only way you were allowed to water your garden was to stand in a bowl under your shower - and use the shower water."

He has already had some games rained off.  But says:  "I quite like the rain - when it hasn't rained for a bit, there's a lovely smell in the air here."

John Palmer is very pleased with James' coaching and is very optimistic about the season ahead: "He's doing well - not as well as I know he will do.  I know there's a big score just around the corner."

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Cricket: Wilcot succumb to Corsham's third team - was the dog to blame?

Wilcot welcomed a youthful side from Corsham to the old school field on a sometimes windy but mostly warm and sunny afternoon. The wicket that had been masterfully prepared by Peter Williams looked to be full of runs so, on winning the toss, Wilcot's skipper felt the obvious decision was to bat first and take advantage of the benign conditions and allow Wilcot's talented strokemakers to show their true form.

As ever, things did not start well with Mike Stobbs lobbing a long hop that probably should have landed in the field, gently to the fielder at square leg: 0 for 1.

Shane Bryant and Russell took the score to 25 until Russ caught a full toss on the bottom of his bat and lobbed it to cover. Shane in the meantime was finding his timing and played two or three glorious straight drives before being well caught at slip off a wide-ish delivery, having made 26.

Mark Oliver, undeterred by the presence of a girl fielder, walked confidently to the wicket and played a couple of elegant shots before playing on, 57 for 4.  Jamie Guerin who also looked in good nick was the next to fall having made 18, dragging a full toss from outside off stump onto leg stump, having made 18.

The skipper, having used his thigh to stop a well-timed Guerin drive, fell next, missing a straight long hop, 85 for 6. The returning Charlie Corbett had clearly mastered the technique of not offering a stroke to Corsham's youthful off spinner, but found it did not work so well with a straight one and was bowled.

Luke and Billy Flippance were both bowled playing shots that, even kindly, could be best described as agricultural. Whilst all around him were losing their heads, a bemused Ash Elliott hit some lusty blows and had made 32 before succumbing to the general malaise and playing across the line to a straight one - leaving Ninian MacGregor, who had found the middle of the bat with every ball he faced, unbeaten on 0.

The recurring theme of the innings was Wilcot players' ability to invent ways to get out and 122 all out off 41.2 overs looked a woefully low total on a beautiful batting strip against an attack that really should have yielded many more runs. The call at the early stage of our innings to remove an errant dog's offering on the square was certainly the precursor of events to follow.

Another excellent tea was enjoyed outside by players and spectators alike.  The break allowed Wilcot's skipper to consult the wisdom of his senior players in the hope of coming up with a cunning plan to defend our paltry total against the mostly youthful opposition.

Charlie Corbett's suggestion of telling them that the existence of Father Christmas is a myth was considered dastardly, but not one we could rule out.

To our dismay, two of the senior Corsham players marched to the wicket and Billy Flippance, who was due to open the bowling one end, was nowhere to be seen having prematurely retired to the pub to drown his sorrows having made his second consecutive duck.

The Corsham openers soon showed what an excellent batting strip it indeed was and dispatched the ball to all parts of the ground with timing and force that belittled our earlier effort even more. In desperation, Wilcot's skipper regularly rotated the bowling and finally turned to our canny Scottish spinner but when he induced a couple of chances, Wilcot's by now weary fielders spilled them.

Jamie Guerin took a consolation wicket when the score was 113 but mercifully Corsham passed our total after 20.4 overs.

We travel to Royal Wootton Bassett next week in the hope that we can be inspired by our illustrious surroundings to recover some sort of batting form.  Past encounters with this opposition have included some fiery moments so lets hope the inner flame that is currently latent can come to the fore.

Wilcot 122 All out off 41.2 overs

S Bryant Caught 26
M Stobbs Caught 0
R Spencer Caught 13
M Oliver Bowled 11
J Guerin Bowled 18
MFG Bowled 5
A Elliott Bowled 32
C Corbett Bowled 2
L Flippance Bowled 7
B Flippance Bowled 0
N MacGregor not out 0

Extras 3 byes, 2 leg byes, 1 wide and 2 no balls.

Corsham 3 124 for 1 off 20.4 overs

Wilcot bowling:
A Elliott 4-0-30-0
S Bryant 4-1-13-0
L Flippance 3-0-25-0
B Flippance 2-0-17-0
N MacGregor 4-0-18-0
J Guerin 3.4-0-21-1

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Unprecedented tie in semi-final of Marlborough primary schools Kwik Cricket Festival

Marlborough Primary Schools Kwik Cricket - picture via MarlboroughCCMarlborough Primary Schools Kwik Cricket - picture via MarlboroughCCAn unprecedented semi final tie saw St Peter’s School beat Ramsbury for a place in the final of the Marlborough primary schools Kwik Cricket Festival by virtue of the number of wickets they had taken.

In a nail-biting semi, Ramsbury and St Peter’s both scored 269 points. But with six wickets to Ramsbury’s five, it was the Marlborough team that went through to the final.

In the other semi, St Michael’s Aldbourne beat Burbage by 274 points to 249 to meet St Peter’s in the final.

And in the last match of the day, St Peter’s beat St Michael’s by 289 points to 233. Ramsbury seized third place after beating Burbage 265 points to 218 in the play off for third and fourth place.

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Young cricketer awarded development grant

DuncanLorrainDuncanLorrainCricketer Duncan Lorrain is the latest young sports person to benefit from a grant from the Marlborough Sports Forum.

Duncan, who plays for Marlborough Cricket Club, had a good season with Wiltshire U17’s in 2012 and was selected to go on the Academy tour to Dubai, where he is at present.

A top order batsman and wicket-keeper, Duncan helped Marlborough to a mid table finish in the Wiltshire League in 2012 and will surely be looking to build on his batting contribution this year.

The grant he received was put towards the cost of enabling him to travel with the Wiltshire Academy to Dubai, where the experience gained will hopefully allow him to kick on in his cricketing career.

Marlborough Sports Forum are able to offer grants to talented young sportspeople from the Marlborough town area as a result of the Sportsman’s Dinner held in the Forum’s benefit in September, when Mike Gatting, former England cricket captain and Colin Brown, top racing jockey, provided entertaining company.

As a result of funds raised on the night the Sports Forum is now able to offer any young person under the age of 18, who is competing at a minimum of county level within their chosen sport, the chance to apply for a grant to support their sporting involvement.

Applications are actively encouraged by contacting Caroline Maddocks at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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