Sheppey Cricket Club History
Sheppey CC was formed in 2003, having previously been Sheerness East Working Mens Cricket Club for over 70 years. In their former existence, they had primarily played just Sunday friendlies, albeit at a good standard.
This all changed in the early 1990s when they decided to enter the Central Cricket League. SEWMCC continued to play on Sundays alone, but as the league developed, and merged into the Kent Feeder League around the turn of the millennium, they were required to play on Saturdays instead.
This proved to be the beginning of the end for Sheerness East as it brought them into direct conflict with the working men's club, to whom football took priority on Saturdays.
After much discussion and disagreement, the Club's members were asked to vote on whether the cricket club could still use the ground, but the vote went against SEWMCC and they reluctantly had to find new playing facilities, and quickly.
As luck would have it, just a few hundred yards away and across the road, Sheppey Sports Club had a cricket square that had been unused for many years. They were more than willing to let the old Sheerness East cricket club move to their ground lock, stock and barrel.
In late 2002 hard work began to restore the cricket square to its former glories and the following year the rebranded Sheppey Cricket Club was born.
The facilities at Sheppey Sports Club were much more amenable to cricket then their previous surroundings and the proprietors encouraged the club to develop their cricket section. The sports club also decided to invest in coaching local juniors to ensure the club's future.
A few of the clubs stalwarts went on coaching courses, and some of the players' children encouraged local juniors to attend the coaching sessions. It started slowly but eventually, many youngsters attended these sessions, at a time when England's Ashes victory in 2005 raised the profile of the sport to new heights.
This positive approach to developing youth cricket culminated in the club's under-15s winning the Swale Junior Cricket League and Cup double in 2008.
Sheppey CC spent a few good years at Sheppey Sports Club as it entered the Kent Regional Cricket League in 2010, but the relationship began to deteriorate when the landlords could not guarantee tenancy at the ground. Before long the changing room facilities fell into a poor state of repair and the manager refused to finance any practical improvements. A parting of the ways became inevitable and in 2018 Sheppey CC made arrangements to play their future games at Eastchurch CC in 2018. Tenancy was guaranteed at Shurland Meadow and it was deemed perfect for future development, with excellent changing facilities.
Sheppey has almost 40 playing members currently and is run entirely by volunteers. Junior training sessions for those aged between seven and 15 are held on a weekly basis.
Two Saturday teams play in the Kent Regional League - the 1st XI in 1A Central and the 2nd XI in 2B Central. A midweek XI also participate in the Swale Evening Cricket League.