By Simon Hiscocks

CRICKET has been played in Dinas Powys for 138 years. The game has seen many changes over that time but the fundamentals remain.

The club’s primary aim is to provide access to the game within the community for people of all ages and ability.

A small club by most standards, it offers both competitive and social cricket. Run entirely by a small band of volunteers and committee who give up their time to enable others to enjoy the game, the club is led by current chairman Rob Tucker.

Originally playing mostly social cricket, by 1970 league cricket was taking off. Initially, playing within this new structure wasn’t universally welcomed and some clubs including Dinas took time to adjust.

The club was accepted into the Glamorgan Alliance League with a membership of just 10 which included strong clubs such as Abercynon, Cefn Forest and Mountain Ash. The club initially struggled, but with high quality players such as Richard Winder, Ian Rees, Doug Lucas and Glyn Rees were never a pushover.

In 1979 the first junior section was formed. This proved to be highly successful and many juniors graduated quickly to senior cricket. Some are still playing for the club today including Geoff Colley, John Clogg and Simon Westphal.

1995 witnessed a major step forward in the club’s development with the Vale of Glamorgan’s newly prepared cricket facility at Parc Bryn-y-Don being available to us. Phil Sutton made history by leading the first Dinas Powys team out to play on this brand new pitch. Just for the record the opposition was Pentwyn.

During this time the club experienced a few major setbacks. Some machinery including their newly acquired motorised roller was stolen. A few months later on St David’s Day 1997 the cricket pavilion on the common, erected in 1914, was destroyed by fire.

With support of members and many friends, replacement machinery was purchased and without delay discussions took place to decide whether or not to build a new pavilion. There were many complications but to accommodate three senior teams and the ever-growing junior section it was an easy decision.

None of this would have been achieved without the efforts of a few people to whom the club remains eternally grateful including Mark Jones and his workforce, David Harries (architect), Nick Osbourne (president), John Brain (project manager), Glyn Rees, Geoff Colley and other current and former members of the club.

The “new” pavilion is now over 20 years old and is still looking impressive especially after a recent lick of paint on one of the club’s annual Cricket Force weekends.

Over the next few years the club generally progressed well within their respective league and even enjoyed the occasional championship title and with it, promotion.

In 2012 the club gained entry to the Glamorgan and Monmouthshire Cricket League from the Welsh Club Cricket Conference and 2016 saw the merger of the Welsh Club Cricket Conference and the Glamorgan and Monmouthshire Leagues into a single South East Wales Cricket League (SEWCL) .

As can be seen from the story so far, running a cricket club has never been straight forward and is often demanding, problematic and frustrating so, it is essential to have a well-balanced and reliable committee headed by keen and resolute leadership.

In that regard Dinas have been and are very lucky.

The club must thank recent past chairmen Mike Lowe and Jason Harries for their efforts in moving the club forward over the last decade or so whilst current chairman, Rob Tucker is leading the way forward with abundant energy and enthusiasm.

The club currently runs three senior league side on a Saturday playing in the SEWCL, a Sunday friendly XI, and a side playing in the Cardiff & Vale Midweek League. 1st and 2nd XI league games are played at the council-maintained Parc Bryn y Don on the outskirts of the village, whilst all other games (senior and junior) take place on the Common, the spiritual home of the club for almost 140 years.

Whilst numbers in the traditional junior age groups (U9-U15) have fallen recently a challenge many clubs are facing, the club did run an U9 programme last year led by our Junior Lead Coach Bryn Fogden.

In addition, in the last three years the club has run a highly successful All Stars programme for 5-8 years-olds. This programme introduced by the ECB couple of years ago aimed at getting children more interested in the game in a fun way, and with around 50-60 registered in each of the last three years, it’s certainly done that.

2020 was supposed to see the launch of a parallel Dynamos programme for 8-11 year-olds but this, along with all cricket activity has been put on hold by the Covid-19 pandemic. The club would like to run U13 and U15 squads but need more coaching capacity to enable us to do that.

The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the club in a number of ways. The most obvious is that the ECB suspended all cricket activity early on, and currently there is unlikely to be any cricket of any description until 1st July at the earliest.

The league have indicated they think a return to cricket is unlikely even then, and many believe that no cricket will be played this year as social distancing rules could make playing the game virtually impossible.

Everyone’s health and safety is paramount, and the club has to be guided by the ECB and the league, as to if and when a safe return to the game can take place.

Generally, apart from the lack of cricket, the club is in a fairly comfortable position at the moment.

There are no building or staff costs and any lack of income from member subscriptions is offset by no having to pay for pitches, match balls, league fees etc.

The club is always looking for new players of all ages and ability to join what we believe to be a friendly, social club.

And if you don’t fancy playing, but still want to get involved, the club is also always keen from anyone who’d like to get involved as a volunteer – perhaps as a scorer, umpire, grounds help, fundraising or in any other capacity.

You can get in touch with us via our website, Twitter @DinaspPowysCC or find us on Facebook or contact secretary Simon Hiscocks on 07904 867208.