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News Archive > Sport > Top half finish is the target for Newquay

Top half finish is the target for Newquay

By Tom Howe 17th February 2021

Top half finish is the target for Newquay

Captain Callan Jenkin insists Newquay will be far more competitive in County One this season, admitting his side are ‘much better’ than that which were relegated out of Cornish cricket’s second tier in 2018, writes Tom Howe.

Newquay dropped out of the division after just six wins in 22 fixtures that season, before a transitional campaign in which the town’s team won 19 times on their way to the Division Two East title.

Preparations for their return to County One in 2020 were disrupted by the covid-19 pandemic, which resulted in an abridged tournament, the Bond Timber Trophy, replacing the traditional format last season.

A year on, Newquay are looking ahead to the upcoming 2021 campaign which, at time of writing, is set to go ahead as usual, with the team set to get their season underway at Paul’s Hutchens Park on Saturday, April 17. 

“It was a shame the 2020 season was cut short and massively influenced by covid,” explained Jenkin when speaking to the Voice earlier this week.

“We were ready and prepared for County One. With covid, it meant that three or four of our better players weren’t committed and therefore there were some games where we struggled.

“The only real effect from the captaincy point of view is that availability could become even more difficult. A large number of players enjoyed doing other sports and activities last year and getting people back involved could become difficult.

“With all the uncertainty around travelling, acquiring an overseas player is becoming hard.

“Luckily this isn’t needed but more a luxury. I know financially we have lost a few sponsors and, unless replaced, that will make sustainability more difficult and improving facilities even more problematic.

“Apart from the usual work that is undertaken over the winter, there has been some development regarding improving the outfield and making the ground feel more like a cricket home rather than a sporting complex. This includes investment in both trees for surrounding areas and investment in a tractor to enable better preparation regarding the outfield.”

Jenkin has boosted his squad with the signing of wicketkeeper Antony Leaney, who joins Newquay in their step up from Division Two East after leaving Roche, who finished seventh in his new side’s title-winning season of 2019.

Perhaps more importantly, Jenkin has been able to keep the core of Newquay’s team together and is looking to build on that by enticing some of the town’s successful former players back into the squad.

“Fortunately there hasn’t been any departures and everyone is keen to get the league campaign started. There has been one addition in ex-Roche wicketkeeper Antony Leaney.

“We are still trying to acquire an overseas player to bolster our bowling and help push us towards the top half. Apart from that, it is more about looking to bring some previous players back into the fold, the likes of Jon Hancock, Nico Murlowski, Lachlan Brace, Tom Eggins etc.

“Our targets are to continually improve. We feel that we are a much better team now than when we went down in 2018.

“We as a team are confident and feel we should be pushing for the top half, if not the top three of this league.

“I think the majority of us are just excited to get back out there now. Not just because we enjoy the game but we also enjoy the social side, interacting with different members of the club and other clubs too. It’s amazing what a team sport can do to help improve mental health etc, especially at this time.”

While Newquay visit Paul for their season opener, the town’s second-string will take centre-stage at the Sports Centre with their Bude counterparts providing the opposition.

Newquay’s fourth-team visit fresh opponents in St Erme’s new third-team. Newquay’s own third-team don’t get going until Saturday, May 1 when Werrington’s fourth-string make the trip to the Sports Centre.

By Tom Howe 17th February 2021

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