What a weekend of cricket!

WITH a few of our Derwent Valley and Central Highlands cricket teams having byes this weekend, it seemed likely that our report might be shorter than usual, but no, what a great weekend of cricket it was. From a game-changing double century to a hat-trick and quite possibly the most juniors and ex-juniors (who played junior cricket in the last five years) making up teams across the clubs, the last few days had it all.

Double Century: With the New Norfolk Is having a bye, a good chance was taken to play Nathan Rice alongside his father Stewart Rice in the New Norfolk IIs team. Coming in at number four with Claremont seemingly having the Redcaps on the ropes, Nathan went bang and changed the momentum of the game. He fired 19 massive sixes including one to bring up the double century and 12 fours to rocket to 202 from 91 balls before going to launch another into orbit and was bowled. The innings propelled the Redcaps to a 207-run win. The opposition was frequently scaling the fence to climb up the Oast House bank or down into the Lachlan Creek to retrieve the ball and were occasionally concerned for the News photographer’s welfare as the ball shot in his direction.

Nathan Rice in action at Tynwald Park yesterday.

Hat-trick: At Bagdad on Saturday the Bothwell Bucks had another easy win but it was spin king Matty Eyles who cleaned up the tail once again, this time taking a rare hat-trick teaming up with Nathan Eyles who took a good catch then with the wicket keeper for two great stumpings after deceiving the batsman with his flight of the ball.

Juniors: This weekend we witnessed a huge number of juniors or recent juniors of the past five years taking the field to play senior cricket across most of the local clubs. It’s well known out at Molesworth that Nick Ransley has become an important senior team player while also still playing juniors with Gretna. At Gretna, James Brazendale, Cooper Gleeson and Kayden Cunningham all played for Gretna II on Saturday and followed up with their junior team on Sunday. At New Norfolk we saw Jack Neads playing in the Redcaps II team, while the Redcaps III team was the youngest ever fielded with nine current or recent juniors. Jude Bannister made his senior debut after some great batting performances of late. Ex-junior Logan Hunt had responsibility of captaining the side at just 16 years of age. Playing alongside Logan and Jude were Tyson Smith, Liam Lowe, Haiden Smith, Bobby Nossiter, Tom Eiszele and Ronan Hunt.

Women’s cricket: Whilst on the topic of juniors how good is it that two of the Redcaps’ promising young women have been selected into the state Under-16 development squad and now have the opportunity to gain invaluable skills. A final state team will be selected in coming weeks and we wish both Addysen Nossiter and Angel Green all the best and send a huge congratulations to both.

Umpiring: With a shortage of umpires taking up what is often a thankless job, it’s great to see so many ex-players taking on the role of umpiring and it’s a great way to stay involved with the game they love. One of the latest to stand behind the stumps is ex-Gretna player Jordan Hastie who played over 150 games for Gretna and a handful for New Norfolk in the early years. Jordan ran his last quick single a number of years ago and hung up the bat at the end of last season.

Check back tomorrow for the weekend’s match reports.

JUSTIN BENSON

See more Derwent Valley and Central Highlands news online and read our print edition every second Friday.

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