A Brief History of Lymington Cricket Club

According to Norman Gannaway's comprehensive 175 Years of Lymington Cricket Club, published in 1982, cricket was first played in Lymington in 1807 with three matches against Southampton. Until 1836 the club played its matches on Pennington Common before moving to the Sports Ground where it has remained ever since.

In the mid 1800s Lymington ranked among the county's best clubs, although the club occasionally fell on hard times and indeed disbanded temporarily during the 1850s.

The club's lowest ever recorded total occurred in 1897 when Ringwood dismissed Lymington for just eight runs. However, in 1926, a record 509 runs were scored against Zingari, and eight years later the highest individual score by a Lymington player was recorded when Dick Jenvey accumulated 202 not out against Aldenham.

The post-war years represented a testing time for Lymington. A feature of cricket in the town was the annual Alderman Stone Cup competition which would attract large crowds to the Sports Ground for matches between the major clubs in the New Forest. During one such match in 1934 Perce Goff scored a record 158 in less than an hour. The last 25 years have been marked by steady progress in the club's fortunes. Lymington won the Southern League in both 1983 and 1985 and although there have been no titles since, the club has generally been one of the major forces in the League.

The new Millennium brought a new challenge for Lymington, however, with the restructuring of club cricket in Hampshire and the formation of the Southern Premier League. In 2000, having failed to secure a top ten finish the previous season (which would have guaranteed a place in the much vaunted 'Gold' league), Lymington First XI began life in the new Premier League in Division II ­ the first time the club had been out of the top flight since joining the League more than 20 years before. In each of the four years since the League's inception Lymington have flirted with promotion at various times. In 2001 they led the table for a number of weeks before being pipped by Portsmouth and Cove. In 2002 Lymington set the pace before finishing third behind the Hampshire Academy and Easton & Martyr Worthy. It was a similar story last season when a mid-season collapse saw the side slip down the table before a late surge saw Lymington regain their familiar third place yet again. In 2001 the club enjoyed its finest run in the SEC Trophy (formerly known as the Echo Trophy) as Lymington defeated OTs, BAT and Rowledge on their way to beating Andover by 9 wickets in the final at the Rose Bowl.

The Second XI gained promotion to Hampshire Division I in 1994 and started the 21st century in Division III of the Premier League before dropping down to Division One of the Hampshire League in 2002. Last season they finished a creditable fifth under Guy Hayward's excellent captaincy.

The Third XI has progressed to South West Division II of the Hampshire League, while the Fourth team were last season promoted to South West Division I largely on the back of James Lowe's amazing season which saw him accumulate 616 runs at an average of 154! Led by Mark Gannaway the Fourths provide a stepping stone for the talented youngsters emerging from a highly successful colts set-up which has gleaned two Europa Cup titles in recent years.

Lymington were founder members of the Cross Solent Sunday League and won the first three titles.

The club has been blessed with some talented cricketers through its history and a number of Test players have at times appeared in Lymington colours. Henry Jupp, the club's professional in 1883, played alongside WG Grace for England while New Zealand batsman Andrew Jones played for Lymington in 1982 and 1983.

More recently, the England Under 19s and Under 15s were captained by Lymington's Zac Morris and Damian Shirazi respectively. Many Hampshire players have also played for the club, including Tony Middleton, Jon Hardy, Peter Barrett, Stephen Andrew, Sean Morris and Martin Thursfield. Lymington have also fielded some fine foreign players over the years. Andy Jones went on to represent New Zealand during the 1980s, while more recently the club's overseas player for 2001 Brian Clemow was a former Wisden Young Cricketer of the Year in his native Australia. Clemow underlined his undoubted quality by smashing a record 213 not out against Cove. Aaron Heal, who played for the club in 2002, is currently playing First Class cricket for Western Australia and the Lymington captain for 2004 Dan Peacock has represented Zimbabwe A.

Copyright © 2002-2011 Lymington Cricket Club, last update: 03-May-2011