Exmouth Town chairman joins Maer men for the coming cricket season - when it starts
PUBLISHED: 08:37 14 April 2020
There may be no prospect of cricket any time soon in the Tolchards Devon Cricket League, but players are looking ahead to the time when umpires call ‘play’ again, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.
Veteran spin bowler Stuart Shaw is on his way to Exmouth to give 2ndXI captain Richard Baggs a useful new option once cricket resumes.
Shaw, who has previously captained Alphington and Exeter St James, started his cricket career with Chudleigh, where he was a member of the side that won the B Division title in 1998.
Spells at St James and Shobrooke Park followed before Shaw made a long-term commitment to Alphington. He arrived at the Chronicles for the 2009 season, was appointed captain in 2010 and skippered up to 2017 before handing over to Luke Phillips.
Work commitments and his role as chairman of Exmouth Town FC have limited Shaw’s time for cricket in the last two seasons, although he did squeeze a handful of games in when needed.
Eleven seasons at the Chronicles produced more than 200 league wickets. Shaw’s best day with the ball was a six-for-26 haul against Clyst St George in 2017.
Shaw, at 49, knows he does not have that many years to play at the best level available, which was part of his reasoning for switching to Exmouth. But not the only one.
“I live just outside Exmouth and from a travelling point it makes sense to play for the club nearest to me,” said Shaw.
“Playing second team cricket at Exmouth is a higher level than being in the first team at Alphington, where there will be lots of players vying for places following the merger with Countess Wear.
“Also, there used to be close links between the football club and the cricket club in Exmouth which have faded over the years. It would be nice to be part of something that helps restore them.
“One more season, maybe two, at Exmouth would be a nice way to finish my cricket career.”
Shaw may have left Alphington & Countess Wear, but new chairman Will Pring said the club has plenty to remember him by.
“What can you say about Stuart other than he left his mark on our club,” said Pring.
“Stuart was the fund-raiser extraordinaire and without his hard work alongside Steve Baxter we would never have had the new nets built on the ground.
“Through his own firm, LWS Interior Solutions, Stuart sponsored our shirts for many years – and he sponsored us before that through the firm he worked for at the time.
“Stuart committed to playing 18 games a season when he was captain – and started a youth section from under-13 upwards.
“Stuart has been a tremendous servant to the club. We could not have asked for more from him.”
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