Struggling Stayley staying upbeat

STALYEY are confident the controversial housing development at nearby Churchfields will have a positive spin-off for the Millbrook cricket club.

Club officials have had talks with developer Maunders and have a verbal agreement they will sponsor the club.

While the development has not been welcomed universally in the village, club official Billy Bird said: “From the club’s point of view, we can’t wait for it to happen.

“We have agreed a sponsorship deal with Maunders and, when the homes are built, hopefully we will get some youngsters off the estate to play cricket.

“The land was always designated for building and it will smarten the area because it has become a target for fly-tipping.”

Stayley will also soon be installing a defibrillator at their ground thanks to a £375 gift from Stalybridge and Dukinfield Rotary Club who have matched what the club has raised.

“It is something not only for the club, but also for the community,” explained club chairman Derek Whitfield.

Stayley are having a tough time in division 1A of the Greater Manchester Cricket League.

They have lost every game, including all seven in the league, to left them rooted in last place.

Billy added they are finding it tough to compete against the “vast amounts of money” paid by some clubs at their level.

He explained the loss of the Roberts brothers who returned to Uppermill on the eve of the new season has also hit them hard.

Billy says the club will live within its means, adding: “We will soldier on and try to keep morale up, though it is not easy when you are losing every game.”

The second team, however, is flying high in division five, south and east of the GMCL. It has won six of its first seven league games.

Stayley’s youth policy is also showing promise as there has been playing success elsewhere.

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