Sully Spartans launch petition over use of cricket ground
CAMPAIGN: Sully Spartans' Dave Morgan says the club have launched a petition to back their appeal to use Burnham Avenue for league cricket next season.
SULLY Spartans Cricket Club have launched a petition in support of their appeal to Sully Community Council to use Burnham Avenue as their home ground for league cricket next season.
The Spartans want to use the playing fields, administered by Sully Council on behalf of the Vale of Glamorgan, every other Saturday.
They say they applied to play league cricket at Burnham Avenue in 2013 under the assumption that Sully Centurions CC, who currently use the facilities, would be playing at their new ground - Glebe Field - next year.
But having been told the new ground is not yet suitable for the Centurions 1sts and 2nds to use, and that they intend to continue using Burnham Avenue as well, the Spartans' future has been left up in the air.
Spartans fixture secretary Dave Morgan said he fears for the future of the club - started six years ago - if they cannot play league cricket in 2013.
"We currently have the best group of players we have ever assembled - but unless we can progress on to league cricket I think we will fold, as players will leave," he said.
"We accept the council is in a difficult position trying to please everyone, but we do not have a ground of our own and we have to protect the future of Sully Spartans CC.
"To that end, to ask the council for use every other Saturday at the ground - donated to the residents of Sully many years ago for the use of all Sully clubs - does not seem unreasonable.
"We know of no other club in Wales which has a ground of its own and which is also given priority use of a council ground as well, over that of a club which does not own a ground."
Secretary of Sully Centurions - who have played at Burnham Avenue for more than 50 years - Mick Fisher, said the move to Glebe Field had been intended to make the relationship between the two clubs more harmonious.
"We thought it would free up more time for them to play at Burnham Avenue, as we said we could use Glebe Field for friendly games," he said.
"But Glebe Field will not be suitable for Premier League cricket for probably another two years, and our first and seconds play at Burnham Avenue on alternate weekends, so if the Spartans are applying to play league games on a Saturday there will be a scheduling conflict."
Spartans secretary Gavin Beddard said the club just wanted a 'fair crack of the whip'.
"All we are asking for is a transparent and impartial decision on the use of the ground with all parties involved - including the residents," he said.
"We will abide by any democratic decision that is made."
And Spartans chairman Mark Cunningham said he was confident an agreement could be reached.
"I am sure with goodwill on all sides a compromise can be found, and both Sully cricket teams can flourish in league cricket next season," he added.
Sully Councillor Kevin Mahoney, speaking in a personal capacity, said it seemed like a meeting involving all parties would be the best way forward.
"I think the best way will be to thrash it out, and I will suggest that at the next council meeting," he said.
"All members of the community council are fair minded individuals and all we are interested in is helping established Sully sports clubs."
Sully Community Council said they discussed the issue at their ordinary council meeting on October 2. Clerk Dave Roberts said: "The Community Council has no desire to stop Sully Spartans using Burnham Avenue, and the Council is willing to accommodate them, by negotiation, to continue playing there as they have done for the past few years when there is availability."
Sully Spartans have asked for the issue to be on the agenda for the Sully Community Council meeting on November 6.