Rushton hope to build a better future from dire situation

Rushton have endured a tortuous campaign in the Northants Cricket League
Rushton have endured a tortuous campaign in the Northants Cricket League

The big talking point over the past few weeks in the Hevey Building Supplies Northamptonshire League has been the dire situation that has unfolded at Rushton.

The club’s first-team was removed from the Premier Division a couple of weeks ago with their record being expunged following a mass exodus of the playing squad.

It’s a sad old tale with the backdrop being the muddy waters and touchy subject of players being paid to play in the top-flight.

Rushton’s second team are continuing to battle the season out with relegation from Division Four being a near-certainty due to 60 points being deducted so far.

As ever, plenty of rumours have spread about what exactly has happened at Station Road both in the lead up and during the current campaign.

Stalwart and youth team co-ordinator John Pike was deployed to talk to about the situation at the club, which for a long time, was widely regarded as one of the big hitters in the top flight.

“Obviously, it was the last thing we wanted to happen,” Pike said.

“The first-team had become detached from the club with players being paid by an outside source.

“I know people don’t believe this but the club, as a committee, have never paid a player to play for Rushton, it has always come from an outside source.

“But players began to leave and, as was proven by the two occasions that we fielded teams, we don’t have more players with the ability to play in the Premier Division.

“We’re not going to stand here and lay the blame at anyone.

“We can only blame ourselves for allowing the situation to happen and we know there are those out there who have no sympathy for us.

“The league eventually had to make the decision and now we have to try to move on from it all.”

Indeed, the past can’t be changed but the future certainly can be and Pike believes there can be a future for the club.

And while he and everyone else would have preferred the regrettable situation not to unfold, he insists the downfall of the club’s first-team has seen a “massive weight” lifted off them while they have been left with “people who really do care”.

“The plan is to have two teams again next season in whatever divisions are deemed suitable by the league,” Pike explained.

“But once we get to September we will have to take stock, talk to the league and be realistic about everything.

“The beauty of all of this is that we have been left with people who really do care.

“It seemed like the end of the world having to go through everything with the league but two weeks on, it feels like a massive weight has been lifted off us.

“We have got people who are interested in coming back to play for the club now.

“We want to get it back to the way it was in the 1980s and 1990s with people playing the game they love for the right reasons.

“We are still running three youth teams as well as the second team and we will see this season out and then sit down and have a good look at it in September."