Kyle O’Connor appointed Read captain for 2012

Kyle O’Connor has been appointed as Read Cricket Club’s captain for 2012.

Taking over from Warren Eastham, he will be supported and mentored by former professional Jon Harvey, who has agreed to be vice captain.

Next season promises to be an exciting year for Read after finishing as runners-up in successive seasons.

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The club will look to give youth a chance, including the likes of great prospects like Andrew Laycock, Elliott Artingstoll, Sam Marsh and Elliot and Conor Lowes.

They, along with O’Connor, Joe Marshall, Andrew Rushton and Andrew Bennett are all products of the junior set up at Read.

Richard Sharples, another 19-year-old, who joined from Salesbury late in the season, will also be hoping to make the first team next year, potentially making Read one of the youngest sides in the league.

Eastham will still be around to add experience and he and second team captain Andrew Turner will be pushing the youngsters all the way.

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The club went into the 2011 season hoping to win at least one of the major trophies, but finishing as runners-up in both the Houldsworth Ribblesdale League and Ramsbottom Cup and gaining a Quarter-Final place in the LCB Knockout has hardly been a disaster. But still, there are a lot of disappointed players who have a lot to prove next year.

The club would like to wish Will Driver much success as he returns to the professional ranks at Rishton after spending the summer with Read, following his shoulder operation at the start of the year.

And they would also like to thank professional Stuart Hornby, who scored 1,099 runs in all competitions. He has been very popular with both players and supporters. However, with a son born during the summer, he is looking to play his cricket closer to home. The search for his replacement is progressing well.

Read have also had some great performances from their junior sides, with one Under 13s team winning their league, and a second and much younger Under 13s team finishing around halfway.

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The Under 12s side won their cup competition, a very young and an inexperienced Under 11s side finished runners-up in their league, as did a young Under 15s side.

There have also been several juniors representing the different age groups of the Ribblesdale League representative sides, and Ribble Valley District sides, and Joe Noone has been a regular in the Lancashire Under 11s side.

Many of these juniors have also gained some great experience in both third and second XIs and the club have high hopes of many of them continuing to improve next year.