Who would have thought that the pop classic penned by the Spice Girls would resonate with so many cricket teams over 2 decades later. Cricket like so many sports is fighting to exist at the grass roots level and in many cases merger is the only answer to keep the wolves from the door.
It is now 3 years since Tranent and Preston Village entered into discussions that ultimately lead to the merger. For those who dont know never was there a more unlikely merger. The rivalry between Tranent and Prestonpans `could best be described as being competitive similar to the football rivalry in Glasgow but there was a will to succeed and a deal was struck.
After 3 weeks of league cricket Preston Village were on their last legs and were one game away from automatic relegation and 4 games from being expunged from league cricket. Tranent were also suffering from a mass abandonment of first team players and were reduced to two league teams, both of whom were toiling to play competitive games as most players now had to play games 3 or 4 divisions above their norm. The "deal" was more than some players could take and many departed for pastures new and refused to be involved in a merged team.
After 3 years the new club continue to be challenged with issues. The Russell's knees continue to defy medical science and look likely to continue in 2020, Graeme Barrie is required to continue his transition from opening bowler to opening batsmen and the club still needs to find slots for the 5 established wicket keepers in the 2 sides it sends out each Saturday.
On the positive women returned to play cricket during 2019 and hopes of forming a women's team are returning. The club fielded many schoolboys in 2019, there is now a school cricket side at Ross High with hopes of a team forming in Preston Lodge next year and the Club Captain Aiden Hoenigmann has brought back new ambition to drive the club forward again.
The new club has taken a while to bed down and for the first time there are new green buds forming on the old branches. Could it be a false new dawn? Well perhaps it could be but time will tell. But as Ginger Spice says;
"Set your Spirit free. It's the only way to be"