Spirit runs high

The Marrawah 50 and Over Cricket Club will host the Twilighters in a day-night match in Smithton this Saturday following a defeat to the Rovers on Sunday in the Mayor’s Cup.

Over 50. Another season is underway for the Marrawah 50 and Over Cricket Club.

Established in 1974 the club remains a stalwart of Circular Head and Tasmanian cricket with strong membership, loads of enthusiasm and a keen competitive and social spirit.

There are currently well over 20 registered players, most of whom have had some sort of cricketing history in Circular Head.

Marrawah travelled to Ulverstone on Sunday to take on the Rovers in their first away game of the season.

Each year the prestigious Mayor’s Cup is awarded to the winner of this game and as current holders of the cup Marrawah went in as favourites.

The Rovers batted first on the dry fast ground to score a solid 7/231 from 40 overs. The Marrawah bowling was tight for the first 30 overs but with a few dropped catches and some hard hitting, the Rovers piled on 83 runs in the last 10 overs to post a very competitive total.

Standout bowlers were Ron Nicholls with 1/19 from six overs, Dallas Burke 1/20 from six and Phillip Wilson 1/30 from his six.

Undaunted by the run chase, Marrawah started aggressively with Brett McMullen scoring a quick fire 28 before being caught from a miss-hit drive. Guy ‘Chalky’ Grey batted beautifully for an unbeaten 41 retired. Skipper Haydn Nicholls chimed in with a Big Bash like innings of 32 from only a handful of deliveries to really boost the run rate.

At the halfway mark, scoring at more than six runs an over, it looked like Marrawah were in the box seat but, alas, things can change quickly and with the loss of 5/44 between overs 25 and 33, Marrawah were dismissed for a disappointing 191.

Ross Arnold’s sponsorship deal is now in the spotlight after a disappointing two runs with the bat and being left out of the bowling line-up by the captain meanwhile Wilson experienced his first team defeat since starting his competitive cricket career just over 12 months ago and is seeing the team psychologist.

With a couple of practice matches already out of the way and seven roster matches scheduled for the season, including a trip to Flinders Island in March, perhaps the highlight of the year will be the day-night game set to be played at Smithton Recreation Ground this Saturday.

While the local team boasts some excellent cricket identities in Haydn Nicholls, Bevan ‘Goose’ Anderson, Gerard ‘Sheepy’ Blizzard, Paul Saward, Bruce Grey, Arnold, McMullen and Chalky, the visiting team – the Twilighters – also includes big names in Tasmanian and Australian veterans cricket.

Ian Fraser, the current captain and opening batsman is a past member of the Australian Over 60 team; John Bailey, father of Tasmanian and Australian cricket legend George Bailey is the current captain of the Tasmanian Over 60 Division One team; Roger Edmunds is a member of the Australian Over 70 team; and Alan Phillips is father of Tasmanian Women’s Big Bash League team member Meg Phillips.

Though the Twilighters are strong opposition, Marrawah enters the game with high hopes following two day-night victories in previous seasons.

Although the reflexes and speed may have waned, the skills and talent remain in Tasmanian veterans cricket and a hard fought game is expected this weekend.

Smithton Stars Cricket Club will cater the day-night match with the bar and canteen open and raffles to be run throughout the day. To see the action, drop by Smithton Recreation Ground this Saturday (January 27) from 4pm.

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