A brief look at cricket in Cuckfield...
The first match played by the Club at Cuckfield Park was on 3rd May 1891 against St. Wilfred's Working Men's Club, from Haywards Heath. This would have been on the North Field, then known as the Lower Park, or on the area to the north of the avenue then known as the Upper Park. It certainly was not on the present main ground, which was constructed ready for the 1895 season, by C.W. Sergison, owner of Cuckfield Park and the Sergison Estate. This move, along with the return of Montague Turner (later Club Captain) undoubtedly stabilised the Club and was the foundation for all we enjoy today.
A Saturday 2nd XI and a Wednesday XI have played since the early 1900s and, in 1951, a Sunday XI first took the field. The Wednesday XI was, however, discontinued in 1961 due to lack of players following the formation of a Wednesday side in Haywards Heath. The re-introduction of a colts team in 1971 after a 100 years gap gave impetus to an enlargement of the Club. Many juniors have progressed to the senior teams and indeed now form about half of the adult members.
To meet demands a Sunday 2nd XI was started in 1975, a Saturday 3rd XI in 1987, a Sunday 3rd XI in 1993 and a Saturday 4th XI in 2004. Finally the Taverners began playing on Thursday evenings in 1983 and the Over 40s on Wendesday afternoons an 1989. Sadly Sunday cricket has become less popular and only one Sunday side is now fielded.
In addition the Club has, since 1905, hosted a Cricket Week starting on the first Monday in August. For those who wished to travel, a Club side visited Spain in 1997 and the Over 40s have taken part in festivals in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and Sri Lanka, visiting Hong Kong, Singapore and Zimbabwe on the way.
The first pavilion, consisting of one small room was constructed in 1920 and replaced by a wooden structure in 1958. That building was destroyed by a fire in 1968, but a temporary construction was in place within six weeks of the disaster and lasted 20 years! The present pavilion was built in 1988 and extended in the last few years. The ground, itself, was purchased in 1968 on the break-up of the Sergison Estate and the North Field was first leased to the Club in 1990.
The Club's various youth teams have won numerous League and Festival competitions, including two Under 16 Finals at Arundel Castle. The Girls Under 15s reached the National Semi-finals in 2015. The 1st and 2nd XI Saturday sides won their respective Sussex Invitation League competitions in 1997 and within a few years thereafter were invited to join the Sussex League. After a difficult first year in the Sussxe League, Chris and Tom Mole returned for the 2002 season and promotion to the top flight came in 2005. In 2007 the 1st XI were runners up in the Premier League and won the inaugural T20 Cup Competition. Winning the Premier League is still in the future!
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