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Eastnor's changing times leads county cash boosts
6:00pm Tuesday 20th August 2013 in Sport
STEVE Hughes can rest much easier now Eastnor Cricket Club have hit the jackpot with a £50,000 grant from Sport England.
He slept at Clenchers Mill Lane ahead of Eastnor’s showpiece weekend, which included a fundraising match against star-studded Lashings.
“I stayed out at the cricket club with another lad for four days because we had to make sure everything was safe and secure,” said the dedicated Hughes.
“My wife didn’t see me for a few days and she gave me a card which said, ‘Well done, I am very proud of you but never again’.”
Hughes, who organised the match against Lashings, said the busy day should prove a big success in their bid to raise £209,000 for a new pavilion.
The club has taken a giant step towards the target — and are hoping the building will be in place for the start of next season.
Eastnor’s grant from the Inspired Facilities Fund is part of a major £150,000 boost for sport in Herefordshire.
Hughes, Eastnor’s fixture secretary and Sunday team skipper, said: “There are not many clubs who play in such a fantastic spot like us with a good outfield and wicket.
“But it’s the pavilion which probably lets us down.
“We hosted Herefordshire seconds on Sunday and Herefordshire under 17s this week. We are hosting a touring team for three days next week.
“The original target was to raise about £10,000 from the Lashings day and I think we’re on track.
“It wasn’t about the result — it was about attracting people to Eastnor. But to beat a team like Lashings was the icing on the cake.”
The club hope to land £50,000 funding from the England and Wales Cricket Board.
Eastnor chairman Jim Sandford helped to build the club’s existing pavilion with Hughes’ father Malcolm in 1984.
The pavilion will be demolished and replaced by a new one with larger and additional changing facilities, showers, toilets, disabled access and a communal room.
Meanwhile, fifth-placed Eastnor retained an outside interest in the Birmingham and District League Division Two promotion race after a thrilling 31-run win over Stourbridge in third.
Eastnor looked in good shape as Clive Chadhani (39) and Andrew Fisher (12) took them to 39 without loss.
But this rapidly became 39- 3 as Matthew Bradley bagged a hat-trick, including the prize scalp of Atiq ur Rehman for a duck.
Shahid Ahmed (37) and Mohammad Adeel (17) rallied the innings but Eastnor’s final total of 139 looked below-par, especially when Stourbridge raced to 80-2 in reply.
But then Shahid (4-29), Atiq (2-21) and Jabran Khalid (2- 26) powered through the rest of the batting to dismiss the visitors for just 108.