Cricket: Applecross eyes return to top flight cricket

Applecross Cricket Club president Ryan Carmody turns the sod on his club¿s new turf wicket.
Applecross Cricket Club president Ryan Carmody turns the sod on his club¿s new turf wicket.

APPLECROSS Cricket Club has its eye on a return to top flight competition after gaining City of Melville approval to install a turf wicket at Bert Jeffrey Park.

The club will fund the wicket while the City has committed to upgrading reticulation at the park.

The Applecross Cricket Club was established in 1975 and has more than 150 active players across eight sides, including Colts.

The club plays in the WA Suburban Turf Cricket Association but was booted from the first grade competition two years ago because it lacked a turf wicket at its home ground, Shirley Strickland Reserve.

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“Last year we won second grade playing every game away and we’re currently top of the second grade ladder with a fixture and a half to go,” club president Ryan Carmody said.

“Five of our other senior sides are first and our Colts are playing in grand final.”

Mr Carmody said the club had been saving for more than a decade to pay for the project and hoped to have the wicket ready to go in time for next season.

“Going forward, we may need to put some temporary facilities in terms of storage and changerooms but in the meantime the City is redoing the reticulation,” he said.

Melville chief executive Shayne Silcox said the City had been working to address the future availability of sporting and non-sporting reserves for some time.

“Bert Jeffery Park was scheduled to undergo a reticulation upgrade in 2017,” he said.

“Once it was determined the park could accommodate a fullsized cricket field it provided an ideal environment for the installation of turf wickets complemented by a specifically designed new reticulation system, and presented an opportunity to deliver a positive outcome towards the future needs of the sport.”

Mr Carmody said the club would continue to train at Shirley Strickland Reserve, where its clubhouse is located.