BACK IN BUSINESS: Jonathan Milroy, pictured batting, is helping Lands CC return to the Darlington and District League after an absence of just one season
BACK IN BUSINESS: Jonathan Milroy, pictured batting, is helping Lands CC return to the Darlington and District League after an absence of just one season

CRICKET will return to Lands next season after the club’s application to rejoin the Darlington and District set-up was accepted at the league's annual meeting.

Lands folded at the end of the 2017 season due to a shortage of players – despite winning the prestigious Eggleston Cup competition and finishing in the top five of the A division during what turned out to be their final campaign.

At the time, officials pledged to keep the ground and facilities in order, should cricket be resurrected at the club.

While some players have found new teams, others have expressed an in turning out for Lands again, albeit in the Darlington and District C division.

Among them is Jonathan Milroy, who has taken on the roles of secretary and chairman of Lands CC.

He turned out for Evenwood II last season, but is happy to be back at Lands.

He said a meeting held in September had resulted in a 12-strong committee being formed and the application being made to rejoin the league.

“A lot of players who did not want to play in the A division will be happier playing the C division,” he said.

“We said we would get back together and see whether the club was a dead duck or not.

“We have got the money, we have got the ground and the committee.

“We asked around and got about 30 players expressing an interest. We just need to made sure people follow through with what they have said.”

Mr Milroy said he also hoped to attract junior players who could learn their trade in senior cricket in the C division.

He said it was important for cricket to return to Lands sooner rather than later as the chance of reforming the club would become increasingly unlikely with the passage of time.

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Former Lands players Craig Talbot and Michael Crane will return as captain and vice-captain next season.

Club treasurer Carroll Simpson said the ground was in good condition.

“Last season, I kept on cutting the square and some of the outfield.

“The pavilion is in very good condition,” he said.

SPENNYMOOR’S second XI have been confirmed as full members of the Darlington and District League.

The club endured a difficult season after arsonists torched the pavilion last July.

However, fellow clubs rallied to Spennymoor’s side with offers of support and help and as a result, only one fixture was lost as a result of the blaze.

League president Brian Jones applauded the response of clubs to Spennymoor’s plight.

He said: “The events of July were appalling, but the response demonstrated what a great league this is.

“Thanks to the amazing response of everyone at Spennymoor and the support of all our clubs, Spennymoor continued fulfilling all but one fixture last season, securing promotion to the A division.

“The club hopes to have a new pavilion ready by April. Congratulations to everyone at Spennymoor for all their hard work.

“We wish the club all the best for the future.”