Lincolnshire County Cricket Club
Club Honours: Minor Counties Champions 1966 & 2003, 2001 (Joint)
Eastern Division Winners 1995, 2001, 2003, 2008 & 2010
Leagues played in: Unicorns Championship Eastern Division, Unicorns KO Trophy
Contact details: Chris Farmer, Chief Executive – firstname.lastname@example.org
By Chris Keywood
Although there is evidence of cricket in Lincolnshire in the seventeen hundreds, records of the early years of a county club in Lincolnshire are scarce and obscure. It is believed that the first Lincolnshire County match took place on 9th July 1828 against Norfolk at East Dereham. A return fixture was played at Louth in 1829. The club only survived for these two seasons. The first official county club was formed in 1853, but again only survived for two seasons. Further attempts were made in the latter half of the nineteenth century to form a club but all folded after three or four seasons.
It was not until 1906 that a successful attempt was made to re-form the club and admission was gained into the Minor Counties Championship for the 1907 season. Apart from the period 1915 to 1923 and of the Second World War, Lincolnshire has remained in the Championship to date.
In the early years, matches were of two days duration. In 1909 Lincolnshire had a fine season winning the Eastern Division with seven victories from their ten matches, ultimately losing in the semi-final to Wiltshire. In the inter-war years Lincolnshire struggled to maintain a high position in the Championship and only twice (1928 and 1936) during this period did they finish above halfway in the table.
After the Second World War the playing fortunes of the Club improved somewhat and up to 1955 they finished well up in the top half of an increasingly strong Minor County competition. After that, performances fell off until a truly fine side were runners-up in 1965 and then duly won the Championship in 1966. One of the major successes of the County Club was in 1974 when they defeated Glamorgan by six wickets at Swansea in the Gillette Cup, one of the very few instances of a minor county defeating a first class county.
Such success was not to come again until the mid 1990s and then a further period of success in the first decade of the twenty-first century. The Eastern Division was won in 1995, 2001, 2003, 2008 and 2010, and the Club were joint champions in 2001 and outright champions in 2003. In addition, they were Knock-out Trophy runners-up in 1990, 1994 and 2010. The first decade of the twenty-first century was their most successful ever.
Currently the Club play in the Eastern Division of the Unicorns (Minor Counties) Championship (six fixtures of three days duration each – three home and three away). The Eastern Division winners play the Western Division winners to determine the champions. The Club also compete in the Unicorns (Minor Counties) Knock-out Trophy (50 overs per side) which commences with group fixtures prior to the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.
In addition, the Club run a Development XI with a comprehensive list of one-day, two-day and three-day fixtures to attune the County’s up and coming youngsters to become familiar with the longer form of the game.
The County Club have no ground of their own and are, therefore, reliant on the co-operation of clubs in the county making their grounds available for county matches. Over the years many clubs have done so from Appleby Frodingham and Grimsby Town in the north to Burghley Park and Long Sutton in the south and Skegness in the east. Currently, county matches are played at Bracebridge Heath, Cleethorpes, Grantham and Sleaford.
Over the years a number of Lincolnshire players have gone on to play at first class level. Most recently, Andy Carter with Nottinghamshire and now Derbyshire, and his younger brother Matt who in 2015 made his debut for Nottinghamshire in the County Championship.