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4th May 2010
Sky's the limit for Carradale Cricket Club
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Eleven members of Carradale Cricket Club enjoyed the trip of a lifetime recently when they visited Loughborough University courtesy of the burgeoning Sky Sports ECB Coach Education Programme.

Having travelled from Carradale on the Wednesday as guests of Sky Sports the local lads stayed overnight before rising on the Thursday morning to attend a coaching session with Andy Flower, the England Coast and David Parsons the Academy Director.  There they enjoyed their billing as centre stage with Sky TV’s cameras rolling which continued into the afternoon with a match against the University side – a far cry from what must be one of the remotest Cricket Clubs in mainland  Britain!

Club Captain Aidan Keogh said “We learned that we had won back in January and it was fantastic news for us, and we couldn’t wait to climb on the bus and head down to Loughborough,”

“We have school pupils in our ranks, and our age range stretches from 13 to 60, but we are passionate about our cricket and this will give Carradale a big boost as we try to build up our profile.”

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Andy Flower said “We tried to give them a taste of what the England lads do and they put in a terrific performance during the whole session. We started with a warm-up, then we got them doing fielding practice and had them diving all over the place. I had a bit of trepidation about that, because one or two of the guys were on the old side and it is one thing to worry about somebody tearing a hamstring, and another thing entirely to be apprehensive about them suffering a heart attack.

"But they were right up for it,” said Flower, who is an ambassador for the Sky-backed initiative. “Then we worked on their batting skills and they spent 10 minutes in the nets, while I split them up into groups and showed them how to defend, how to hit over the top, and they were really attentive, they soaked up loads of information.

"We used a bowling machine to test them out with some short-pitched stuff, then we put them up against the 'Merlin' spin bowling machine, which can replicate what a Muralitharan or Warne might do. Finally, we looked at their actions and used technology to record their bowling speeds and the amount of turn their spinners were getting. There was a great rapport between us and I hope they benefit from what I have told them.”

“When I was playing in the Central Lancashire League, I did a little cricket tour to Scotland and I saw for myself just how many people were dedicated to the sport. So I am not surprised that the Carradale lads made the effort to travel all the way down to Loughborough and responded with such enthusiasm to the visit. It will be nice to come back up this summer and I’m sure that it will be another competitive match.”

Keogh added “It was absolutely brilliant and Andy treated every single one of us as if we were professional cricketers, which obviously we aren’t.

"The experience of being involved with him and then taking on a Loughborough team in a 20/20 tussle, while Sky were filming us, was something that we will never forget,” said Keogh, whose club launch their 2010 campaign on May 9 against the Arran-based side, Sannox.

For more information on Carradale Cricket Club and their season ahead please visit their website at
www.carradalecricketclub.com

www.southkintyresportscouncil.com

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