Kirkby Portland Cricket Club and the ground that they now own at Nuncargate both enjoy a wonderful heritage. The Club was formed in 1878 and first played on a farmer’s field near Portland Colliery. They were Notts. Senior League Champions four times and Notts. Senior League Cup winners once in the early part of the last century. The Club has also had a considerable amount of success in recent years in both adult and junior cricket. The Club purchased their ground at Nuncargate in 1990 from Scottish & Newcastle Brewery after taking out a lease on it more than ten years earlier. This was the pitch that the legendary Harold Larwood first played cricket. The Club’s new brick pavilion, which was opened in 2002 by his daughter Enid Todd, is named in honour of this great Notts. and England fast bowler who tamed the Australians.
Many of the players from the Notts. Golden Years of Cricket came from Kirkby-in-Ashfield. The Club aims to ensure that this heritage is never forgotten and that cricket in this region has a bright future.
Kirkby Portland are an England & Wales Cricket Board Focus Club within Nottinghamshire and they have also achieved ECB Clubmark accreditation. They are therefore adjudged by both the England & Wales Cricket Board and Sport England to be a safe, effective and child-friendly organisation. This pedigree has borne fruit in recent years with Sport England granting the bulk of the funds required for the new pavilion and the England & Wales Cricket Board contributed similarly for the Club’s new fully enclosed cricket nets. This funding from the ECB was part of their Community Club Development Programme. Kirkby Portland were given the accolade of being one of only three clubs in Nottinghamshire and two hundred clubs throughout the United Kingdom who were deemed eligible to receive money from this fund.
Kirkby Portland field three adult sides in the Gunn & Moore South Notts. Cricket League on Saturdays and three on Sundays in the Mansfield & District Cricket League. In addition the Club runs two Kwik Cricket teams for the younger members plus hardball teams in the Mansfield & District Youth Cricket League at Under 11, Under 12, Under 13, Under 15 & Under 15 girls.
Training is given at Nuncargate each week during the summer and at Kirkby College during the winter to individuals from the age of eight upwards, including girls as well as boys. Two of the Club’s Committee are stalwart members of the West Notts. Cricket Development Group. This group meets on a regular basis, with the sole aim of furthering and enhancing junior cricket.
The Club has strong links with a number of local schools, both primary & secondary. These schools are visited for coaching and also school tournaments are held on Nuncargate during the summer months.
One Sunday during the summer the Nottinghamshire County Disabled Cricket Team use the ground at Nuncargate to play a league game against another county. They also play an additional friendly against Kirkby Portland. On another Sunday the ground becomes a sea of marquees and there is a strong smell of good food in the air. These sights and smells, together with side stalls and events, are all part of the Club’s Annual Fun Day when the local community are invited to enjoy junior kwik cricket matches in the morning and a fun kwik cricket competition for local adult sides in the afternoon.
The Club are positive for the future and they are currently wishing to expand by acquiring or renting a second ground within the Kirkby-in-Ashfield area. They know that land is not easy to come by but they are seriously seeking their new goal.
Kirkby Portland are a club which believes that cricket should be played seriously but they also wish their members to enjoy the game and have fun. Visitors and spectators are always given a warm welcome.