CLACTON Cricket Club are thriving – both on the pitch and off it.

That’s the view of chairman Barrie Dunwell, reflecting on the rapid progress being made at Vista Road.

The Seasiders look well-placed for a second promotion in two years, as they push for the division three title in the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship.

However, the current euphoria is in stark contrast to the events of February 2014, when they were forced to pull out of the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League. The Seasiders said they could no longer afford to compete at such a high level due to a financial settlement with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

Although there was no suggestion of wrongdoing or mismanagement, they were hit with a bill relating to costs and expenses.

They reached a settlement but, as a result, could no longer meet their financial obligations to play in the Premier League.

Now the picture looks very different and Dunwell, who took over as chairman three months ago, is predicting bright times at Vista Road.

“Things are going fantastically well,” said the 71-year-old. “On the pitch, we’re very fortunate to have a damn good opening batsman (Imran Sheikh).

“We’ve got a very good bunch of boys who fight for each other and always give their all.

“Off it, and financially, things now look far healthier than they did three months ago.

“To be honest, I never thought we’d be in such a strong position.

“I’m here to help make the club financially sound and to get it back where it once was.

“To begin with it was a daunting task, but people on the committee have been extremely helpful.

“We’ve correlated all our finances.

“We can pay our bills, know where we stand and have money in the bank.

“I’m absolutely delighted and things look a lot brighter.

“The club-house was packed out the other day and I envisage more of the same in the coming weeks and months.”