COMPETITIVE junior cricket returned to Long Lee for the first time since 2003 last Thursday when their Under-11s took to the pitch at Crossflatts.

Though the match ended in a 30-run defeat, Long Lee gave a strong account of themselves against the reigning champions, with the occasion marking the first time that six of their eight players had ever played a cricket match.

With both senior sides out of action on Saturday due to the weather, attention turned to the club’s Under-9s, who posted 238 to claim a fantastic 21-run win against Cullingworth on Sunday.

Though there has not been any competitive action for the youngsters, the club have been running junior training sessions on Friday nights for the last two years, which have proved popular with the local community

“Since 2019, we have offered free coaching sessions with Level 2 qualified coaches,” said Richard Ayrton, one of the club’s senior players who volunteers his services.

“It’s proven very successful, and on a weekly basis, approximately 35 children attend our junior training.

“The feedback from parents and players has been extremely positive, and we’re looking to support and sustain junior cricket in the local area for years to come.”