Howzat?! Louth cricket club bowled over by 200th birthday with England stars
Louth’s cricketers have marked their 200th birthday with a week of celebrations – with cameos from top England cricketers.
The cricket club, thought to be the oldest cricket club in Lincolnshire and one of the oldest sports clubs in Louth, held a number of tournaments and special cricketing events to mark their landmark year.
Established in 1822, Louth is the birthplace of Lincolnshire cricket as the county's original cricket club was born here, and the original ground stood at Halfpenny Walk in Hallington. The first recorded away fixture took place in 1824 against Sherwood Forest XI in Southwell, Notts.
Until 1850, the club operated as a Lincolnshire side and would regularly beat top county sides from Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire.
The same year, Louth played an All England XI at Cow Pastures, Elkington – which was the club’s home ground from 1842 to 1869 – which thousands of spectators came along to watch England win the three-day match.
In 1887, a groundbreaking Gents vs Ladies match took place, where a show of chivalry saw the male players bowl left handed and used broomsticks instead of bats.
An extraordinary match in 1888 saw the best club bowling figures recorded — where Charles took eight wickets for just two runs, and Grimsby Town CC were bowled all out for just 5.
The team moved to the Cemetery Ground on London Road in 1869, where it remains to this day, with a new pavilion opening in 1934 and in 1997, a junior section was formalised with the formation of U13s, U15s and later, U11 teams.
In 2009, a multi-million investment saw the new pavilion, changing rooms and playing surface built, and Louth’s two Clubs— Louth CC and Louth Taverners CC – amalgamated to become the Louth CC we know now.
Over the years has withstood the test of time to offer several senior, junior and ladies teams.
The celebrations began with an U13 County Girls fixture on the Monday, followed by an Under-13s T20 tournament.
Then on the Friday, Louth’s XI played against an England XI, made up of Ashes and championship-winning former England players, including Ryan Sidebottom, Mark Ramprakash MBE, Devon Malcolm, Bangladesh international Mohammed Ashraful and bowler Dean Heatley, with Lincolnshire’s county cricketers making up the 11.
The match finished with Louth Cricket Club on 156-6, while the England All Stars secured a 20-run victory, finishing on 176-5.
Children from Grimoldby CC and the Grimsby area were also invited along to play mini games before the main match and during the tea interval.
The celebrations culminated in a Louth Taverners vs Louth Taverners Old Boys XI game.
Club chairman Adam Grist said “We had a fantastic week and think I can proudly say that we marked our anniversary in style.
"The week saw over 400 people play cricket at London Road - from under 11 tournaments to women's softball competition.
“The big game on Friday surpassed all expectations - 500 people watched a great game in brilliant sunshine. Just a fantastic day for the Club and many memories were made.”
Louth & Horncastle MP, Victoria Atkins, also joined in the celebrations. She said: “It was an absolute delight to celebrate Louth Cricket Club’s extraordinary double century.
“A huge thanks to Louth Cricket Club, the All Stars XI and everyone involved in making this memorable event happen, particularly the Rolling Scones WI Louth for baking so many delicious cakes for us all to enjoy.”