A Week in the Life of Crompton Meadows - June 2011

Crompton Meadows is quiet patch of land located at the back of a housing estate in Tottington. It's also the home of Tottington Sports Club. With approximately 50 members, comprising two senior cricket sides, a ladies rounders team and a fledgling group of junior cricketers currently enjoying their first competitive season, you'd imagine that 'the Meadows' was a relatively quiet place. We thought we'd test this theory by having a look back at the past 7 days to see what actually goes on down there.

Friday June 3 saw activity during the day as club members descended to help get the wicket ready for the 2nd XI to play their home tie on Saturday. Having got the facility ready for the weekend, a group of players made the short journey across Bury to Elton Vale CC to play the first game in an annual 20/20 contest which features Tottington, Elton Vale and East Lancs Paper Mill. Despite a defeat on the night, we continue to build relationships with our neighbours.

The weekend arrived, and with it a familiar sight down at the Meadows, a morning use of the ground for the flight of a falcon! Bird of prey safely exercised, Ramsbottom FC U9s then took over for their regular training session. From late morning activity recommended on ground prep, before our 2nd XI won an entertaining clash with Woodbank III. Once the 1st XI returned from a successful trip to East Lancs, players were able to take advantage of our recently refurbished pavilion and bar facilities to toast a double victory late into the evening. On Sunday morning, our juniors were set to take on local rivals Woodbank, but sadly the weather put paid to this; this did provide the opportunity to discuss the exciting news that the team has been generously sponsored for new club tracksuits by one of the parents. The 2nd XI were again in action, this time narrowly losing a thrilling cup clash down at Bury.

The new week brought a range of activities on and off the field. We've been approached by a local school to host a series of fixtures on our artificial wicket - yet another recent investment by the club and one which has brought massive benefit, both in our ability to practice in wet weather but also provide juniors and seniors alike with a facility to play more games. It has also allowed us to host our annual Boxing Day fixture with Brooksbottom CC.

Tuesday is practice night, and the Meadows was host to a group of hardy souls who turned up despite the damp weather. Our ladies rounders side also play at the Meadows on alternate weeks - this night they were just a short hop away at local rivals Tottington St Anne's, but having defeated their opponents, many returned to enjoy the club hospitality.

Wednesday night saw a famous face down at the club. In 2010 we began what we hope will become a recurring fixture with Ramsbottom Traders, a keen group of shop and business owners and residents from the neighbouring village. Their team now features Graeme Hawley, who many readers will know better as Corrie's villainous John Stape. A combined XI emerged victorious on a night which attracted more than 50 people down to the club. Sadly (for him), Graeme was unable to butcher the bowling, but he did warn us to check our facility to make sure his alter ego Stape wasn't hiding away ...

Thursday brought the monthly committee meeting, and with it exciting discussion about a range of developments we hope to put through in the coming year; these incldue a new roof, a car park, and - excitingly - the possible extension of the facility to provide a function room. Discussions took place in the pavilion while outside a rounders cup game was underway on the top field, and a junior football team was undergoing a coaching session on the outfield. Attention was also drawn to the newly-painted side of the building and the cosmetic work performed inside and outside the pavilion this week by our friends, supporters and those volunteers who willingly give a little time and effort to help our club.

As the weekend arrives, the club is once again a hive of activity, with 3 senior games (2 at home) and the juniors in action on Sunday. There's no let up! In the coming weeks we'll be hosting more 20/20 games, one possibly involving a group of local professional cricketers, a rounders fun day, and other events.

It's safe to say the Crompton Meadows is perhaps rather more than the quiet field you may see when walking past!

I Will if You Will Biffaward

Beryl Avenue, Tottington, Bury, BL8 3NF
Twitter: @TottyStJohnsCC