believe it or not, the new cricket season is a mere six weeks away and, to prove it, the draw for the 2012 Orme Shield competition has been made.
Baslow, a club with a very distinguished Orme Shield record, are welcomed back into the draw this year.
Matlock, the 2011 Shield winners, are given a first round bye in 2012, along with Hathersage and Darley Dale. With Matlock and Elton in opposite halves of the draw, a fourth consecutive final between these keen rivals cannot be ruled out.
But Ashford, Elton’s first round opponents for the second successive year, may have something to say about that in what appears to be the most competitive tie of the opening round.
First round ties, to be played on Monday, May 14, are: Grindleford v Old Mannerians; St Anselms v Great Longstone;
Calver v Baslow; Stanton v Bakewell; Elton v Ashford.
In the quarter finals, to be played on Monday, June 11, the draw is: Matlock v Grindleford or Old Mannerians;
St Anselms or Great Longstone v Hathersage; Calver or Baslow v Darley Dale; Stanton or Bakewell v Elton or Ashford.
The Orme Shield semi-finals and final will be played at Bakewell in the week commencing July 9 (semi-finals on July 9 and 11, the final is on July 13).
Meanwhile, nine clubs will contest the Longstone League in 2012. Fixtures take place on Wednesday evenings commencing on May 2.