Topsham St James scorer is off to Lords

PUBLISHED: 23:27 29 May 2013 | UPDATED: 23:27 29 May 2013

Topsham St James scorer Sheila Harding is set for a very special day on Saturday when she will be scoring at Lords.

Sheila will be responsible for scoring all the matches played by one of the six teams entering the J P Morgan International Cricket Cup competition.

What’s more, her trip to cricketing headquarters means that she will not be available to score for Topsham St James for the first time in over five years!

The grand lady of scoring says: “I have done ever single league game plus a lot of Sundays and T20s since we re-formed and came back into the League in 2008.”

Sheila initially passed the Introductory Level Scorers exam in 2007 and 12 months later took, and passed the next exam to become a ‘qualified scorer’ under the old ACU&S.

This governing body was then transferred to the ACO and, after assessment Sheila was confirmed as a Level 2 Scorer under the ACO. As a level 2 scorer she went onto the MCC Register in 2009 and, since then, has done two or three matches a year for them in the West Country. However, this call-up to Lords has come out of the blue.

She says: “I never dreamt all this would lead to an appointment such as this coming Saturday.”

Sheila explained how she initially got into scoring saying: “I did a bit of hit-and-miss basic scoring in my youth but actually started doing it regularly in 1999 when my son, then aged 14, moved from Exmouth Colts to what was then Exeter St James CC. Initially, I mainly did Sundays and then some 2nd XI scoring plus fill-in 1st XI scoring. Exeter/Topsham St James has remained my club since that time, although I did one season of scoring for the Sherborne School 1st XI and continue to do matches for their Pilgrims (Old Boys) team including the Cricketer Cup as well as the Devon Dumplings and MCC.”

She recalls the very first game she scored saying: “I thought that the first ‘proper’ game I scored was at Bishopsteignton in the South Devon Cricket League, but, on checking the book, I see that the previous week (July 11, 1999) I scored a match in the same League at Roborough.”

We wish Sheila well in what will, surely be a day to savour.

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