Tuesday, September 26, 2023 - 17:50

The Red Rose FC girls sweltered in 30°C heat during the first match of the season on Saturday 9 September.

With the league insisting that matches went ahead despite the oppressive conditions, the game was played at a frantic pace with neither side wishing to take it easy in the heat.

The team coaches sensibly made sure there were plenty of drinks breaks for the girls, and at half-time, those that wished, which was pretty much all players, were drenched with cold water to cool down.

The second half produced the only goal of the game for Red Rose to take a narrow win.

Despite both teams creating many chances it was thanks to the brilliant performances of both teams’ goalkeepers that only a single goal was scored.

The match ended with smiles all round as the players were given ice lollies to help cool down.

The same day also saw the launch of this season’s Red Rose Wildcats for any new players that wish to try football: girls from school years 2–6 are welcome to come along.

All sessions are free up to half term. Sessions are held at Cawston Church of England Primary Academy, Aylsham Road, Cawston, on Saturday mornings from 10–11.15 am.

Red Rose is a Football Association certified and registered club.

Paul Willmott

Above: Some of the Red Rose FC girls after their hottest match of the season. Below: Red Rose players Phoebe and Jessie with player of the match awards, with teammate Pixie at the rear. Photos: Red Rose FC

Thursday, September 7, 2023 - 09:15

Red Rose girls’ football club is launching the new season’s Football Association Wildcats sessions for the local area every Saturday, starting 16 September.

Red Rose Football Club is based at Cawston primary school and is now in its 20th season.

In recent seasons the club has been running Wildcats sessions for junior school-age players.

Sessions are open to girls from Year 2 to Year 6 and are free during September (£2 per week after that).

The FA Wildcat sessions are targeted at new players interested in trying football. However, the sessions are managed so they will be challenging for both new and more experienced players – all levels are welcome.

Red Rose Wildcats sessions are held at Cawston Church of England Primary Academy, Aylsham Road, Cawston, on Saturdays from 10 am to 11.30 am.

Fully qualified female coaches run the Wildcats programme, and Red Rose is a fully accredited FA club.

The sessions concentrate on fun-based skills development, teamwork and confidence building. For girls that develop and progress, the club runs teams in the Norfolk girls league.

Parents are welcome to stay and watch the sessions. Changing, toilets and drinks are available on site.

For more information contact Red Rose FC 07926 004994.

Paul Willmott, Red Rose FC

Wednesday, June 14, 2023 - 17:14

A hot weekend around the country saw both teams in some scorching form to make it an unbeaten week for the club.

The Over 40s dispatched Happisburgh in slightly colder conditions midweek, Clive Dunn (30 no) and the lesser-spotted Andy Matley (24) impressing with the bat, with Jonny Bundock (3-11) and Ali Cubitt (2-4) delivering with the ball.

There was a nailbiter at Salle, with the Second XI winning by just two runs. Batting first, they were all out for 185 – Paul Harwood with 62 and skipper Gary Hinchliffe with a brisk 52 from 43 balls to set a challenging total.

A tight start from RSCC’s oldest-ever opening bowling pair – Mark “Big Red” Lester (2-36 from 10 overs) and skipper Gary (1-16 from eight overs), with a barely believable 120 years of experience between them, really showed the youngsters how it was done.

Regular wickets continued to fall to leave Fakenham 138-8, Ben Lee with 3-28, but a solid ninth wicket stand meant the visitors needed just 12 runs to win with one wicket remaining. The miserly Jo Kerkham (1-5) kept things tight and snared the last wicket to secure a memorable victory in an entertaining game.

The First XI made the short trip to Dereham, missing only 409 runs in the batting line-up from the previous week. Luckily, the bowling attack was still in fine fettle, reducing Dereham to 10-3 and eventually 113 all out after some stubborn resistance from the hosts. James Hardy stole the headlines with 4-29, but contributions from captain Raj Chaudhary (3-19) and George Wright (2-25) were equally invaluable.

In reply, the Dereham opening bowlers were excellent first up to leave RSCC 42-2 from 17 overs. Runs started to flow thereafter though with Liam Riseborough (26), Will Allen (25) and Harry Brown (21) making important contributions to get us over the line six wickets down to maintain our unbeaten record.

Toby Armiger

Thursday, June 8, 2023 - 11:46

Just the one game over the weekend for the club as the Second XI’s fixture away to Sheringham was called off with the home team unable to raise a side.

The Firsts were in action at the Salle Cricket Ground, hosting Bradenham 2’s on a sunny day. With the pitch looking a good one to bat on, it was no surprise that captain Raj won the toss and elected to bat first.

It proved a good toss to win, with the batters making hay. In what is a club record total, we amassed 464-3 from 45 overs at a rate of more than 10.3 runs per over – the club’s highest-ever total and the highest ever in the Norfolk Alliance Cricket League.

In another club first, there were three centurions in the same innings. Opener Tom Brett reached his first-ever 100 from just 68 balls, with some classic stroke play through the covers and down the ground.

Will Hollis batted through the innings for a well-made 132no from 93 balls, accelerating through his innings and hitting one enormous six.

However, not for the first time, Dani Long-Martinez stole the show with an outrageous 175 from 80 balls, including 18 sixes. Thoughts go out to the poor fielder who managed to drop him on the boundary on only his third ball.

With a daunting total on the board, RSCC made early inroads with the ball. It says something about how well Liam Riseborough has bowled this season that his spell of 2-15 from six overs was one of his least economical of the season so far.

James Hardy stole the show though, picking up five wickets for just five runs to curtail the Bradenham innings within 27 overs and seal a victory by a massive 335 runs, another record for RSCC.

Credit goes to the Bradenham team for staying positive despite a gulf in class and some injuries in the game.


Toby Armiger

The RSCC First XI celebrate their highest ever total (463-3), the highest total in the Norfolk Alliance League and the club's largest ever winning margin (335 runs). Photo: RSCC

Left to right: Tom Brett (102), Will Hollis (132no), James Hardy (5-5) and Dani Long-Martinez (175) celebrate after a record-breaking weekend for the club. Photo: RSCC

Tuesday, May 30, 2023 - 14:16

The First XI made the trip to Postwick to play Norwich CC, looking to extend their lead at the top of the table.

The hosts won the toss and elected to bat. With four spinners in the side, it was a novel sight to see spin opening from both ends.

Liam Riseborough was miserly as ever, bowling four maidens in a row in his first four overs and only going for 12 runs in his nine overs. The returning James Hardy, opening from the other end picked up 3-39. Will Allen was equally impressive chipping in with 2-19 off his set and young Louis Miller, making his first team debut, bowled nicely, too.

Norwich’s total of 146-9 reflected another tidy bowling performance. In reply, Tom Brett (41) and Will Hollis (56) broke the back of the chase after an early wicket, with the target reached in under 27 overs with four wickets down.

At Salle, the Second XI were in search of their first win of the season hosting Swaffham. Batting first, it was a real team effort to post their highest total of the season with 252-8 – Harry Brown (62), Jo Kerkham (41), Paul Harwood (37), Sam Smith (34) and a cameo from Gary Hinchliffe (28no) with the bulk of the runs.

With short boundaries and a great batting track at Salle, the target was gettable for the visitors. However, despite a strong start, Swaffham couldn’t quite chase the total down, coming up 10 runs short with four wickets in hand.

Two wickets apiece for Des Curry (2-58) and Nathan Raines (2-34) and some tight bowling from skipper Gary Hinchliffe (1-34) got the Seconds over the line despite a tight finish for a much needed victory.

In midweek, the over 40s hosted a strong Norwich side (including a surprisingly cheery Chris Sutton with the football season coming to a close). In an entertaining match, nearly 400 runs were scored in 40 overs.

Unfortunately, Norwich’s 224-4 was too much for us to chase, reaching a respectable 172-5 with unbeaten 30s for Daves’ Henry and Loxton, Jo Kerkham and Jonny Bundock. The less said about the bowling figures the better.

A good week for the churches with great weather. More cricket to come this week too.

Toby Armiger

Wednesday, May 24, 2023 - 17:09

The First XI hosted Horsford on a long-awaited, warm, sunny day at the Salle cricket ground, looking to remain unbeaten and top of the league.

Raj’s team continued their good form with the ball, dismissing Horsford for just 91, Liam Riseborough the pick of the bowlers with 4-16. In reply, the target was chased down inside 16 overs, with Tom Brett top scoring with a swashbuckling 34.

The Second XI made the short trip to Drayton looking to reverse their fortunes with a victory. Batting first, they set what looked to be a challenging total of 189, Ciaran Chapman top scoring with 50. However, the total proved not to be enough, with the home side reaching it one wicket down. Despite the result, the side remains positive with plenty of cricket left.

The U13s began their season at home against Bradfield. They set a total of 79 and bowled the opposition out for 31, Max Cubitt with 20 and Finn Grey with 4-2, including four wickets in four balls.

The over 40s were victorious against Sprowston, restricting the home side to 99 and chasing the target comfortably with unbeaten 30s from Simon Walker and Trevor Groves.

The T20 side beat Felthorpe on Tuesday night with an inexperienced side. Bowling first, they restricted Felthorpe to 113, Elliot Auld and Tom Fisher opening the bowling well and getting two wickets apiece. Harry Vergerson managed the chase well with 47, supported by Sam Smith with 29no.

The season is picking up pace now with five games last week and lots more cricket to come.

Toby Armiger

Thursday, May 11, 2023 - 18:17
Reepham & Salle Cricket Club match reports, 6 May
The First XI continued their good start to the season with victory in a rain-shortened match away at Lowestoft.
Agreeing on a 30-over game, captain Raj Chaudhary won another toss and elected to bowl first. A tidy opening spell from Raj and the returning Ollie Kerkham before excellent control from spinners Liam Riseborough (1-7 off 6) and Will Allen (2-20) kept a lid on the scoring throughout. George Wright bowled with real penetration and control to finish with 3-15.
The bowling units’ excellent work was not helped by some poor catching in the field, but luckily it did not cost the team too badly. With a pitch offering something for the bowlers, a soft outfield, big boundaries and rain in the air, a score of 96-8 left the game in the balance.
With rain starting to fall, it was imperative to be proactive in the run chase. Tom Brett (29) did this well, but a middle order collapse to leave RSCC at 55-5 with the rain getting heavier meant that a rebuild was needed. Will Allen (29 n.o.) took charge of the game excellently and eventually saw us home inside 20 overs.
Massive credit to the Lowestoft side for staying on in some wet conditions at the end to get the game to a conclusion.
The second XI faced Aylsham St Giles at home in a tough fixture. Batting first, no one really got going, with only two players reaching double figures in a total of 59. The visitors reached the target inside four overs with some destructive six hitting.
Another tough week but valuable experience and some hard cricketing lessons for the youngsters in the side. With early season availability issues, skipper Gary will be hoping for a settled side sooner rather than later.


Tuesday, May 2, 2023 - 14:23

First XI

The First XI began life in the Norfolk Cricket Alliance with a comprehensive win over Beccles Town Cricket Club 2nd XI.

With the Salle church ground looking resplendent as ever, skipper Raj Chaudhary won the toss and decided to bat first.

Beccles started the innings well, removing Raj early and keeping a lid on the scoring in the first 10-15 overs, with some close LBW calls and edges not going to hand.

The pitch definitely had something in it for the bowlers, but massive credit to Joe Hollis and all the ground staff after all the rain in the past week and in the lead-up to the season.

The runs started to flow post-drinks, with the arrival of Dani Long-Martinez to the crease and Will Hollis batting ever more fluently after toughing out a tricky opening spell. The two put on 129 together before Will departed for a well-made 90, craftily avoiding a jug, as every good student should do.

Dani carried on his onslaught to the end of the innings for an unbeaten 136, with 11 sixes entertaining the spectators enjoying the spring sunshine and the ball flying to all corners of the ground.

RSCC finished on 314-6, an imposing target for the visitors, who never looked like getting close after a miserly opening spell from new boy Liam Riseborough (9 overs, 7 maidens, 2-2) and wily veteran Raj (9 overs, 6 maidens, 1-8) going at less than a run per over each and not giving the Beccles batters a loose ball to capitalise on.

With the game all but over as a contest, Beccles battled through, but George Wright (2-15) Elliot Marks (3-7) and Jo Kerkham (1-13) cleaned up the rest of the opposition wickets to bowl the away side out for just 67.

There was even the rare sight of Joe Hollis charging into bowl, rolling back the years and looking as textbook as ever. Let’s hope he can walk today! A solid all-round performance, and a great start to life in the alliance, with Dani rightly taking the man-of-the-match award.


RSCC First XI after the clubs’ first game in the Norfolk Cricket Alliance. Back row (left to right): Will Allen, Will Hollis, Jo Kerkham, Dani Long-Martinez, Tom Brett (wicketkeeper), Toby Armiger, George Wright, Elliot Marks. Front row (left to right): Joe Hollis, Jim Everton (club president), Raj Chaudhary (captain), Liam Riseborough.

Second XI

The Second XI travelled to North Elmham in a tough early-season fixture and the first of Gary Hinchliffe’s tenure as captain.

There was a mixture of youth and experience in the side, exemplified by veteran Des Curry (3-26) and debutant Elliot Auld (1-20), who opened the bowling well. Ali Cubitt was the pick of the bowlers with 5-36 as North Elmham made a competitive 187-9.

In the run chase, things didn’t go to plan with the top four managing just one run between them. With a total of seven ducks in the innings, it’s at least good to see the “most ducks” trophy is being hotly contested so early on in the season.

Eventually bowled out for 42, it was a batting innings to forget, but a week is a long time in cricket.


Both teams look forward to next Saturday’s fixtures. Huge credit to both skippers for getting 22 players on the field with so much early season unavailability.

Monday, February 27, 2023 - 10:54

The Cawston Red Rose FC girls under 12 team, sponsored by Beechcroft Barns, entertained Gorleston on Saturday 18 February in changeable weather conditions, ranging from bright sun to hail or both, but this failed to dampen the girls' spirits with an excellent match with enthusiasm from both teams,

In an incredible display of resilience, battling wind and the elements, the Red Rose girls came back from 2-0 down to snatch a 2-2 draw.

In the first half, Gorleston took a 1-0 lead despite a great display and many good saves from Olivia in the Red Rose goal.

Early in the second half, Gorleston scored again to make it 2-0 but with the strong wind now behind Red Rose they slowly became the more dominant team forcing several corners.

On one of these occasions a corner was swept in by Sydney into the danger area in the goalmouth which then took a slight deflection into the goal to make it 1-2.

More pressure from Red Rose resulted in another corner, again taken by Sydney; this time the ball was curled expertly on the wind directly into the net to make the score 2-2.

Showing great game management and determination the Red Rose girls battled hard to hold onto the lead despite a late Gorleston resurgence as they desperately tried to regain the lead. However the Red Rose girls defended well for a well deserved 2-2 draw.

The club thanked the supporters from both teams for observing the Football Association-inspired silent weekend but still creating a wonderful footballing atmosphere for the girls with applause only. Thanks also to our junior-qualified referee Sam for a brilliant performance.

The opposition choice for player of the match was goalkeeper Olivia; the referee’s choice for his player of the match was Sydney.

Meanwhile, our young, Aaron Stangroom-sponsored team had an away match against Norwich.

Red Rose stormed into the lead with two early goals in the first 10 minutes, but then allowed our opponents back into the game by failing to track players back towards our goal, and with some sloppy marking conceding three goals before the team rallied again in the last 10 minutes to hit back with two more goals and take a deserved 4-3 victory.

For our younger girls' squads we are still looking to add to our pool of players from Year 4 and especially Year 5.

Girls interested in coming along to the only girls-only football club in the local area can contact Paul Willmott by email or text 07926 004994.

Paul Willmott, Red Rose FC

Pictured above: The Cawston Red Rose FC girls under 12 team entertained Gorleston in changeable weather conditions. Photo: Red Rose FC

Wednesday, February 15, 2023 - 19:35

The Cawston Red Rose FC girls under 13 team celebrated the news of renewed sponsor support from IT Kitchens for next season with a well-deserved draw at home to North Walsham.

Red Rose started strongly, dominating the game, with Eva T scoring a corker of a goal into the top left corner.

In the second half, Red Rose started a bit sleepily and gifted North Walsham a goal to equalise. The half was an even tussle but eventually play broke in favour of Red Rose with Bella pressuring the keeper into a mistake and the ball hitting the back of the net. North Walsham then retaliated with a quick goal.

Overall, it was a good performance from all the girls on both sides and an entertaining match with final score 2–2. The Red Rose Player of the Match was Eva T; the Ref Player of the Match was Bella.

The team followed this up with a great result the following week. again at home, against Yarmouth girls, securing a brilliant 5–0 win.

Red Rose started the match as they meant to go on, totally dominating the game from the start. An early substitution due to a heroic head block (poor Neave) saw Izzy T strike the ball sweetly to score her first Red Rose goal.

The second goal came from a bombardment of Red Rose attacking their defence, this time with Ellie scoring her first Red Rose goal, too.

But she wasn’t quite done just yet, scoring her second, third and spectacularly fourth goal before half time! Congratulations Ellie.

In the second half, Red Rose used the opportunity to switch players, giving everyone time on the pitch. There was lots of attacking play by the girls but their keeper pulled off some good saves.

Another clean sheet for our defence with the final score 5–0. The Red Rose Player of the Match was Neave; the Ref Player of the Match was Ellie.

Girls from school years 2–8 (any skill level) are welcome to come to a training session with the Red Rose girls. Telephone/text 07926 004994 or email.

Paul Willmott, Red Rose FC

Pictured above: Cawston Red Rose girls under 13 team with kit sponsored by IT Kitchens. Photo: Red Rose FC