THE feel-good factor surrounding Dunfermline and Carnegie Cricket Club has seen greater numbers of youngsters stepping up to the crease.

Player-coach Steve Rowley told the club's Annual General Meeting recently that such has been the enthusiasm of kids looking to play and learn the game, the last training session was held well after the end of the official season in August.

Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, Dunfermline and Carnegie have enjoyed a hugely successful year, with both their first and second teams winning promotion. The firsts claimed the East Division Three league championship, with the seconds claiming promotion from Division Seven.

Rowley told the meeting that the relaxation of COVID-19 regulations in May had resulted in coaching sessions resuming after a gap of a year, and that Friday night training had seen an average of 25 young cricketers involved.

He commented: "It was a bit of standing start when we got down to business in May but almost from the first session, the kids showed fantastic enthusiasm and a desire to learn the game.

"Amazingly, when the official cricket season ended at the end of August, the youngsters wanted to keep practising and our last session was not until Saturday, October 23!

"We have around 60 kids on the books in under-12 and under-16 categories, and hopefully, later in the winter, we will be able to have indoor nets organised for them."

Around 20 matches were played in various age groups, with a highlight being hosting the Scottish Vitality Under-12 Cup finals in June.

The coach concluded: "It really was so encouraging to see the enthusiasm of the young cricketers and their parents, and it augers well for 2022."

Dunfermline and Carnegie president Martin Honeyford said: "We went into East Division Three unsure of how we would fare but the team knuckled down to the task well and won the first three games.

"As the summer developed, the unbeaten run stretched significantly, and, indeed, by the time we got to August, we had won nine out of nine starts and ended up with the title, winning 13 out of 13 games. As far as we know, it is the first time this has been achieved by a McKane Park first XI.

"But, to add to that, the second team played really solidly from June onwards, and managed to clinch second-top spot in Division Seven and also clinched promotion.

"Both teams can look forward to setting their stall out to make an impact in their new divisions next season and add the development of the youth set-up to all that, it is an exciting time for the club."