Dereham back after the flood

We're back!

That's the message from Dereham Cricket Club chairman Neil Irons on the eve of the new season after a frantic few months following the devastating flood in December.

'All I can say is that is something I never want to happen again,' said Irons.

'Seeing the damage to the building, then being told we were only going to get 65pc of the insurance claim, my heart sank.

'We had only decorated the place last year and all that work had to be done again, plus a lot more,' said Irons, who urged all clubs to check their insurance policies.

'They need to make sure they don't get the wrong end of the stick like we did. Our insurance company have been so helpful in getting us back on track.'

The damage totalled �22,000 in the end, which was far worse than first thought.

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Irons said: 'We have come through the most difficult time off the pitch, the club funds have been eaten by this. We have pulled so many strings to get the place up and running.

'All those involved have been fantastic. Painters, electricians, floor layers – even a donation of a skip by Norman Wenn helped the club. But with just a few days to go before the start of the season we damn well did it.'

The final touches coincided with NatWest CricketForce and more than 20 volunteers turned up over the two-day event to do various tasks.

Irons said: ' 'The place looks so fresh' said a passing neighbour who came to see the work. How pleased am I is an under-statement.

'When the club needed help it was there, my phone still rings with offers of labour and help.

'Companies still wanting to can advertise around the ground, this will help our funds get back to the level before the flood. From me the club chairman a massive thank you to everyone.'

Dereham kick off the new season with a local derby at Mattishall on Sunday and the Saturday league fixtures start on April 30.