CLEOBURY Mortimer Cricket Club stalwart Doug Sutton has stepped down after 50 years, writes DANIEL WILKINS.

Doug has given great service to Cleobury Cricket Club, having played all the way up to the age of 70 years, said first-team skipper Ben Griffiths.

He stepped down from his treasurer’s post at the club’s annual general meeting last month and Griffiths said Doug had been ‘a great servant’ to the club.

Cleobury have been handed a tough draw in this season’s Davidstow Village Knockout Cup.

Cleobury are in the competition for a third time and will face the winners of the tie, between Eastnor and Wormelow, in the second round in the Herefordshire and Powys group.

Ben said: “Eastnor are a big club, but that’s what you enter the competition for.

“We’re realistic and will just take it one game at a time but, to win it, you have to beat top sides like Eastnor.”

Doug is the only change in the back-room for promoted Cleobury as they prepare for life in the Worcestershire County League Division Three.

Griffiths says Cleobury are relishing the opportunity of playing at the highest level in their history.

He said: “It’s definitely going to be a challenge for us this season.”

The Shropshire side will play the likes of Ross-on-Wye, Tenbury Wells and Stourport this year after they achieved promotion as runners-up to Old Vigornians in Division Four last term.

Once again, Cleobury have entered a 10 over-a-side indoor competition at the village’s sports hall which takes place between January and April.

Cleobury having won two out of their three games so far.

Weather permitting, the club’s outdoor nets are due to start at the beginning of April.

Although they are yet to confirm their pre-season friendlies, Griffiths said the annual warm-up match with local rivals Tenbury Wells looks likely to take place.

Cleobury’s season starts on April 26 at south Herefordshire side Ross-on-Wye, and for more details, call Ben Griffiths on 07966023754.