The University of Manchester Cricket Club was formed in its current guise when the Victoria University of Manchester merged with UMIST in October 2004. Since then, the club has had lots of success, with the 1st XI and 2nd XI winning their leagues in 2006. This culminated with the club winning the Athletic Union Award for most improved club. The following year, the 2nd XI continued their winning streak by winning their league again and reaching the quarter finals of their respective BUSA knockout competition. This was also the first year that the club entered a 3rd XI into a BUSA competition.
2008 was a year of unprecedented success for the club. The 1st XI, under the leadership of Alexis Fuller, were runners up to UWIC in the national indoor competition, before carrying on in the summer by winning promotion to the BUSA Northern Premier League and winning the BUSA trophy competition, defeating a Loughborough side containing players who had played 17 matches of first class cricket. The 2nd and 3rd XI consolidated their positions in their respective leagues, with the 4th XI winning the majority of their matches against local oppositions. It was particularly pleasing that the club fielded a 5th XI for the first time.
2009 saw the club build on the previous year’s success, with the 1st XI staying in the Premier League after heroic performances against Nottingham and Birmingham, and the 2nd XI- captained by Alan Clarke- winning every league match to be promoted emphatically. The 3rd XI were again solid in their league while Richard Paton’s 4th XI won several games. The club fielded six teams with the 5th XI finishing runners-up in the inaugural Intramural League, and the 6th XI placing third in their first year of existence.
2010 was a year, which saw the club grow even more, with a 7th XI being fielded for the first time. The 1st XI were relegated from the Premier League to the Northern Premier, but took heart from the fact that they were extremely competitive against teams from UCCE’s, who fielded players with first class experience. The 2nd XI continued their unbeaten streak, gaining a second consecutive promotion to Northern 1A. The 3rd XI consolidated their position in the league, regularly outperforming various 1st XI’s from other universities. James Walton-Gould led the 4th XI to promotion at the first attempt with this year being the first year that the club fielded 4 BUCS XIs. The 5th XI won the majority of their matches whilst the 6th XI dominated the intramural league, winning the league comfortably. The year concluded with a successful tour to Amsterdam, where opposition included Dutch international captain Peter Borren, who sent deliveries from a variety of members flying all over Amsterdam.
2011 continued the sterling work of the previous seasons. The 1st XI consolidated their position in the Northern Premier, and the 2nd XI built on their back-to-back promotions by surviving among many other 1st XIs. The 3rd XI were the success story of the season, winning the league under their inimitable captain, James Tuplin. The 4th XI followed their promotion with a solid season and our 5th XI, making their debut in the BUCS leagues performed admirably. The 6th XI had an excellent season against local and other university sides (including their first ever away trip),and the 7th XI had a good season in the intermural league.
Five recent members- Hasan Khan, Stuart Grant, Andrew Hutchinson, Alexis Fuller and Richard Paton- were inducted into the University’s illustrious XXI Club, and both Hasan and Stuart gained representative university honours.
2012 saw the club reach over 120 members. The 1st XI once again retained a place in the Northern Premier League (Prem B North),and the 2nd and 3rd XI retained their places in the Northern 1A League during a weather-torn season in which promotion and relegation were scrapped due to the relentless rain. This season held one of the most memorable matches the UMCC has ever seen, when during a 2nd XI v 3rd XI match in the Northern 1A League, Billy Head hit a six off the very final ball of the innings to win the match for the 3rd XI.
The UMCC Invitational XI took their first away trip to Nottingham during the summer for the 6s/7s annual away match. A tour to Prague followed the season, during which more beers were drank than runs scored.
2013 was the year that Henry Comyn took charge of the UMCC. Under his stewardship, some well-earned money was invested back into the Armitage Centre. The Pavilion got a facelift, and the square was revamped with a new astro laid in its place.
On the cricket field, the cricket was not at its best. Due to the 1st XI’s relegation into the Northern 1A Division, the 2nd XI and 3rd XI were subsequently relegated into the Northern 2A League, despite performing well. 2013 was the final year that the 5th XI played BUCS cricket, after three years in the competition.
Following the season, a tour group embarked on a journey to Sri Lanka on the club’s first tour to a fellow ICC Member Nation.
2014 was a turmulative year in the UMCC. The 1st XI backed up a poor performance in 2013 with another in 2014 and managed back-to-back relegations. With the 2nd XI topping the Northern 2A League, they were unable to be promoted owing to the 1st XI relegation, meaning the 3rd XI were relegated into Northern 3A. The 4th XI similarly had a poor season and were relegated from Northern 4A into the bottom tier of BUCS cricket, the Northern 5A. Despite the doom and gloom on the pitch, a successful summer tour to Malta occurred, along with a steady influx of new members in the club, keeping membership at over 110.
2015 was the year of the sheep, and the year Dickson Lau, the prophet, brought his business brain to helm of the UMCC. With new partnerships agreed with Uber Taxis, Bierkeller and Gray Nicolls- to support the current partnerships with Kingfisher- the club was able to produce better results on and off the field. Manchester Grammar School replaced their sports hall, so the UMCC relocated to Emirates Old Trafford Indoor Cricket Centre for training over the winter, something that greatly benefitted the club. One of the highest influxes of freshers- 70 strong- was recorded, and the club was heavily refreshed. The 1st XI breezed through the Northern 2A League ending up as champions, but unfortunately the 2nd XI couldn’t quite do enough to get promoted along side the 1st XI. Our 3rd and 4th XI both remained in their respective leagues. The end of term saw another UMCC tour, this time to Barcelona, with the UMCC marking off another city on the European tour.
2016 was a successful year for the club. The 1st XI secured their second promotion in two years, and in doing so returned to the Northern Premiership B division. The club fielded four BUCS teams throughout the season, and on the first match day, all four claimed victories- an unprecedented feat. Lacking a venue for winter nets due to reconstruction at the Manchester Grammar School, the start of the year was a challenge, but under Chairman Mitcham’s stewardship, the club maintained a sustainable intake. The season finished with a tour to Sri Lanka.
2017 saw further success for the club. Four teams were entered into the BUCS competition. The 1st XI reached the top of the BUCS Northern Premiership, but narrowly missed out on promotion to the National League in the playoffs, beating the University of Oxford’s 1st XI, but losing to Bristol. The team had a 100% win rate in league matches. The other teams had a fairly average season, achieving decent wins, but facing tough oppositions, both of which showed in results. The UMCCFC won the campus league and a cup double in this season, following promotion in the 2014-15 season. A tour group went to Malta during the Easter break, beating players from the Malta National Team whilst there.
2018 has been the biggest year of development for the club so far as it saw the Men’s club merge with the Women’s club. From September 2018, the two clubs will operate as one, under the banner of the UMCC. The new development also sees the creation of a fresh website.
In terms of the actual cricket played, it was a difficult year on all fronts- weather, ground availability, and player availability. The 4th XI managed to get 2 games over the season, but the torrential rain that came over the country during April didn’t exactly set the stage for a season of cricket. This was reflected across the four BUCS teams. Surprisingly, the 5th XI managed to play most of their games and, owing to exams and lack of availability for BUCS games, also managed to have almost every member of the UMCC play at some point during the season. The 1st XI managed to remain in the Northern Premier League, despite losses to Leeds Beckett and the Scottish sides- Edinburgh and St Andrew’s, both of which were away. The 2nd XI had a tough season with difficult oppositions and a lack of core players, again owing to availability. Similarly, the 3rd XI had a difficult season, but the highlight for the boys of the 3rd XI was Bangor away, which became a “great UMCC day out”, but not much more, especially on the cricketing front.
Two tours were taken this year, the first to Prague over the Easter break, during which many pints were consumed by the group (725 to be precise),and then to Ireland in the summer, during which 3 games were played- Malahide CC, Trinity College Dublin and the Railway Union CC. With a large, active fresher intake and a club full of good blokes the season ended in good spirits, even if the cricket wasn’t as good this year.