On Friday July 21st 1882 the Northampton Mercury reported that Yardley Hastings beat Cogenhoe C C by 11 runs, it was the first reported match played by the village and the beginning of 129 years of village cricket. Those 129 years have produced some exciting matches, seen life long friendships borne and contributed to the sense of community you can only find in quintessential village England.
In 1982 Tim Street produced the superb club centenary booklet which was full of information about the early days of the club and contains some fascinating facts on how the club was run then which we can compare with today’s running of the club.
In 1891 club membership was 2/6 which is about 25 pence, today it is £10, something our current Treasurer will no doubt be casting an eye over. In 1891 the club had two contributions from Vice-Presidents which totalled Twenty Three Shillings, today the club are superbly supported by over 20 Vice-Presidents and over 15 sponsors whose generosity every year means the club can continue not just to exist but grow.
Home to Cogenhoe Cricket Club is Compton Park on the outskirts of the village on the Brafield Road. The club sub-lets the playing area from the football club who in turn lease the field from Compton Estates of Castle Ashby. This has been the clubs home since 1998. In early times the club has played at Billing Aquadrome, various fields around the village and before Compton Park the village playing field.
Up to 1968 Cogenhoe only competed in friendly fixtures, then under the guidance and driving force of David Welch, the club decided to lay a concrete wicket and join the town league. The club joined section three of the town league in 1968 and despite losing their first fixture away to Avon Cosmetics II at the Racecourse on April 27th, they bounced back the next week in some style against Y M C A “B” with David Bliss 129* and Terry Tarpley 76, sharing in a second wicket stand of 212, a club record that stood for 35 years. The season ended with the club finishing in second place and promotion to section two. Over the following years Cogenhoe were promoted and relegated on numerous occasions between the top three leagues before in 1998 seeking the challenge of the Northants Alliance League and then the Northants Cricket League, where they now play in Division Six. A second XI was set up in 1976 and ran until 1981 in the town league. The seconds reappeared in 1992 and remained in the town league until 1998 when they too joined the Alliance and now play in Division Twelve of the NCL. Like many clubs Cogenhoe has had its shares of ups and downs but the strength of a village club like Cogenhoe is its history and tradition, we may not be the best cricket club in the county but we are one of the friendliest, who always try to play the game in the right manner win or lose. We have had a few famous names play for us as well as producing some excellent club cricketers whose talents would have been welcomed at a higher level but who chose to stay loyal to their village and their club.
Our most famous son is Mal Loye who played for the club as a teenager in the Eighties before going on to greater things with Northants, Lancashire and England. Peter Lee also of Northants and Lancashire played for the club in 1991/ 92 and helped the club to reach its highest ever town league finish in 1991 second behind the mighty United Social. Peter is also fondly remembered for his 5 wickets in 5 balls against Bugbrooke St Michaels in 1991. George Thompson played for the club and Northants and England in the early 1900’s, indeed George joined the club as a junior in 1891 paying 1/6 on August 10th to become a junior member of the club.
While those names may be known to cricket watchers, the strength of a village club like ours is the loyalty shown by players who have played for the club for years through thick and thin, from Les Robjohns, Bob Sketchley, Tim Street and Terry Tarpley in the sixties and seventies who were followed by Dave Foley, Albert Irons, Syd Mason, Pat Loye, Tot Manning, Jason Roberts, and Phil Whiteman. Dave Evans, Shaun Roberts, Paul Hargreaves, Leigh Woodward and Nobby Wykes through the eighties and nineties leading on to today and Danny McLaughlin, Gareth Goddard and Matt Irons.Today the club is as healthy as it has ever been. Two senior sides, a midweek XI and junior sides at under 11’s and 13`s. The juniors play an important part in the clubs development while we do see some talented youngsters leave the club for the bright lights and better standard of cricket a larger club can provide, the youth system has produced some very talented cricketers for our club. Indeed the club could quite easily play a first XI all aged under 30 and of a good standard, which in this day and age for a small village is quite something.
Recent years the club has enjoyed success both on and off the field of play.2010 saw the first team finish as runners up to Oundle Town II`s in division 8 of the NCL a feat they repeated in 2011 and so will play division 6 cricket in 2012 .Also in 2010 the club won the ground of the year award for divisions 8 to 13 , the second time we had won the award the last being in 2004. The club also won the Ian Davidson Memorial Trophy in 2010 for best publicity of a club via the media. A hat-trick of awards in that year saw Ashley Davis pick up the young bowler of the year award for divisions 1 to 14. Ashley was just 14 years old and took 28 wickets for the seconds. In October 2011 the club was awarded Clubmark status becoming the 25 th club in the NCL to become accredited quite an achievement for a small village club. In 2012 the First team continued to make progress with a third place finish seeing them promoted to division 5 for 2013. Also more off the field accolades as first the club were again awarded the Ian Davidson Memorial Trophy for its media work with the clubs super Saturday tweets actually trending very highly. In November 2012 the club received probably its most pleasing award when we were voted the Northamptonshire Community Club of the Year. 2013 saw the first team come back down to earth with a bump as three successive promotions were halted by relegation back to division 6. But there was success for the second team who finished runners up in division 12 an therefore are promoted to division 11 for 2014. Chairman Roy Quennell also picked up an award when he won a Northamptonshire OSCA`S for his Behind The Scenes work at the club.