The Littlehampton, Clapham and Patching Cricket Club is a cricket club in Littlehampton, West Sussex, England.
The earliest record of cricket in Littlehampton was of a game on 2 July 1802 on the Littlehampton Green when a match between the Gentlemen of Sussex and the Storrington Club was played. On 3 June 1813 a team from Littlehampton played a team from Lancing and in 1816 the residents played a visitors’ side. By the end of the 1860s an occasional cricket ground was on the Common immediately south of the Roman Catholic Church, where there was ‘a level plateau of perfectly natural formation’, known locally as “The Cow Ground”.
The Littlehampton, Clapham & Patching Cricket Club is a member of the Sussex Cricket League, which administers the Sussex Premier League. After being relegated in 2012 they spent four years in the West Sussex Invitation League. In 2017 the 1st XI won Division 1 on the last day of the season against rivals Arundel CC to gain promotion back into the Sussex Cricket League. There are Sunday XI’s that play friendly cricket.
Recently after a period of consolidation LC&PCC has begun gain success. In 2016 the 1st XI won the West Sussex Invitation Cricket League T20 Competition. Also in 2016 the 3rd XI won division 7 on last day of the season backing up their title of division 8 in 2014, while the 2nd XI won the West Sussex Invitation League Division 6 in 2015. Off the field the club were awarded a grant in 2015, to redevelop the Old Pavilion which has now been renamed The Somerset Pavilion.
The Club also entertain a number of mid-week touring sides.
The former Littlehampton Cricket Club won the Sussex Championship League in 1975 and 1977 and was the runner-up in 1976. After this success the Club was accepted into the Sussex Cricket League in 1978. The Club won the Sussex League Cup in 1989 and was the runner-up in 1984. The 1st XI was the League runner-up in 1991 and the 2nd XI achieved this distinction in 1977. In 2003 the 2nd XI won the Division 1 of 2nd XIs and secured promotion. The 1st XI was promoted at the end of the 2004 season.
The former Clapham and Patching Cricket Club was the runner-up in Division 2 of the Sussex Championship League in 1993 and was also the runner-up in the Sussex Championship League Cup in the same year.
In addition, the Club plays in the Worthing and District Knock Out Cup – an evening competition and has been the winner of this Cup on several occasions. The Club has also entered six-a-side teams in the Worthing and Bognor Regis indoor cricket competitions. The Club is the most successful local side by far in these indoor contests and has numerous trophy wins over the past thirty years.
During the 2005 season the club secured the services of Chris Cooke as their overseas player who later signed a contract with Glamorgan CCC.
Formation of the Club
The first record of the formation of a Littlehampton Cricket Club came from the West Sussex Gazette of 29 September 1859 when it was reported – “This is the first season of the Littlehamptonites forming a cricket club, they have played eight matches.” However, there were few reports of subsequent matches, which indicated that the Club had ceased to exist by 1866.
Reformation of the Club
On 15 December 1870 the same paper reported that cricket enthusiasts had got together to form a cricket club for 1871 under the presidency of the Reverend W. B. Philpott. His Grace the Duke of Norfolk favourably received an application for the cricket ground on the Common to be permanently established.In 1873 notice was received from the Duke of Norfolk’s Arundel Estate Office that the cricket pitch on the Common would no longer be available. Arrangements were made in 1875, with the Duke, to rent a field of six acres (2.4 hectares) at the rear of Selborne Road.
Cricket at the Sportsfield
Cricket in Clapham and Patching
The first reference relating to cricket being played by Patching was reported in the Sussex Weekly Advertiser on 22 July 1771 when Hurst played Patching and Portslade at Hurstpierpoint. Clapham and Patching were the runners-up in the Nind Challenge Trophy in 1897. The trophy had been presented by Mr. P.W.Nind for the East Preston Cricket League. Clapham and Patching Cricket Club remained a difficult side to beat into the early 1900s. In 1914 the Club played in the six-a-side Blauw Tournament at East Preston when the performances of Arthur William Fitzroy Somerset and Arthur Plantaganet Francis Cecil Somerset brought about a win for Clapham and Patching. The organisers took exception to this and the Competition was not repeated again for over half a Century.
In the 1930s the Club, which was then known as Patching and Clapham Cricket Club, was linked with the former Durrington Cricket Club and played on a pitch behind the Coach and Horses and used a Southdown Coach as a pavilion. During the course of the Second World War the pitch at Frog’s Hole, Clapham deteriorated into an overgrown field and it took two weeks to relocate the cricket square. The Club constructed a hut to use as a pavilion and this existed until 1978 when the Village Hall was constructed. The freehold of the Ground was owned by the Duke of Norfolk’s Estate and when offered to the Club for £11,000 in 1974 the Chairman rejected the offer without consulting the Club Committee. The Village Hall Management Committee purchased the ground with a covenant that safeguarded the future of cricket at Frog’s Hole in perpetuity.
The village pitch name, Frog's Hole, relates to the large number of frogs that inhabited the wet surroundings. Some romantics have erroneously suggested that the name derives from a nearby prisoner of war camp that existed for the French soldiers during the Napoleonic Wars.
In 1999, the Clapham and Patching Cricket Club merged with the Littlehampton Club which not only secured the future of the village Club but also enabled the new Club to field a 4th XI on Saturdays and consistently to field two Sunday XIs.