A YORK sports club recently at risk of folding is playing on at 176 years not out.

As reported by The Press earlier this year, Bishopthorpe Cricket Club (BCC) faced the threat of closure due to a lack of players.

However, a call out for fresh faces has now led to a bumper new fixture schedule, interest and sponsorship from within the village and without, and renewed infrastructure.

Now, almost a dozen friendly fixtures are in the calendar alongside league commitments and The Press went along to Ferry Lane in Bishopthorpe last night (June 11) after BCC were able to answer a call from Heslington East College for a game.

The home team was made up of roughly half from an existing pool of players, and half from new arrivals who responded since February's social media messages and other call outs.

Jack Cushing, 22, from Fulford, joined with two of his friends and was playing his third game for BCCJack Cushing, 22, from Fulford, joined with two of his friends and was playing his third game for BCC (Image: Kevin Glenton)

Playing his third game, newcomer Jack Cushing, a 22-year-old teacher from Fulford, said: “Me and two friends spent last year throwing a ball down to each other on the university campus.

“We all had a look at local clubs and thought we’d give it a go.

“BCC has exceeded my expectations, there’s been tonnes of opportunities since the first nets and training.

“It’s been worthwhile getting back into team sports.”

Chris Norton, 31, who lives close to York Racecourse, saw the call-to-arms and returned to cricket after a 15-year absence.

Like Jack, he was new to the BCC fold.

Chris said: “I read the messages calling for players and thought I could give some time up to help a club from going under.

“I knew I wouldn’t be the only new player trying out which made things a little easier.

“There’s a good mix here between having fun and playing the sport in the right way.

“The club has been welcoming not just to me, who didn’t know anyone when I joined, but to a lot of people who came in at the same time as me.”

Chris Norton returned to cricket after a 15-year hiatusChris Norton returned to cricket after a 15-year hiatus (Image: Kevin Glenton)

Club captain Ben Smith said: “The new players range between experienced cricketers who have already slotted into the league side, players who haven’t played for a number of years but have been tempted to take it up, and even people who have never played before but fancied giving it a go.”

BCC attracted sponsorship from Martin & Co Lettings and Estate Agents and found a caterer for that staple of the village game – the cricket teas.

Jeni Wood, owner of The Coffee Pod in Sim Balk Lane in Bishopthorpe, a new sponsor, said she was happy for them to prepare teas for the club’s home league fixtures after doing the same in Copmanthorpe in 2023.

Jeni said: “I’ve been connected to the village for about 15 years.

“I think it’s so important as a sport that has been around for a long time in the village and it’s been a part of the lives of a lot of people here.

“My parents live in Filey and there’s two teams there and you always want to stop and watch.

“The people here are getting to know the club again and there’s been lots of people watching which is lovely to see and some of the team have come in to grab a coffee as well.”

A newly-created club newsletter said local historians unearthed a match report in a local newspaper from 1848, which dates the club at 176-years-old.

Ben Smith added that due to the amount of cricket that BCC has now lined up for the season, new players are still welcome and more information is available via the club’s Facebook page.

Bishopthorpe Cricket Club batted first in the 20-over friendly against Heslington East College and posted 138 runs for the loss of seven wickets.

The visitors reached the 139 run target for the loss of one wicket with two overs to spare.