Two teams represented the Mid North Coast at the Veterans Cricket NSW Over 50s State Championships in Orange recently.
The three-day tournament took place from February 10 - 12 and saw the Mid North Coast represented by the Marlins in Division One and the Mudskippers in Division Two.
Both teams performed well, finishing fifth overall in their respective divisions.
The Marlins recovered well from an early hiding at the hands of the Central Coast to win their remaining two games.
Due to an unusual situation arising with play-off matches determined by quotients, they were were forced to play local team the Canabolas Cougars two days in a row, with the Marlins proving too good in both encounters.
In the first game, the Marlins made up for a tough grind in the field with a strong display from their batsmen to chase down the Cougars’ lead of 5 for 237.
Peter Morris, Dom Ashe, Mick Connolly and Jamie Hal all put together solid showings, before Terry Baldwin belted 40 runs to procure an unlikely victory and retire not out.
In the following day’s match-up against the Cougars, the Marlins really hit their straps and demolished the locals for 120 with all bowlers doing their job.
Skipper Greg Hall was thrilled.
“All of the guys had a dip and played as a team,” he said.
“It was a wonderful comeback after day one, and with a number of near 50-year-olds waiting in the wings, competition will be hot to make the squads in next year’s events.”
In division two, the Mudskippers were also successful in securing two excellent wins.
In the first, they survived a cliffhanger against the Central Coast, with newcomer Matt Lewis flicking one over the fence on the last ball to claim a thrilling victory against one of the competition favourites.
They then lost a close game against classy local team the Western Wildfires before recovering on day three to thump tournament first-timers Illawarra with a great all-round performance.
Among the stand-outs on the bat were Glen O’Brien, Matt Lewis and skipper Barry Everingham, who all scored 40 or more runs, while Gavin Gillard and John Kessey each took a number of wickets.
The skipper was understandably proud of his team’s efforts.
“We were a bit of a rag tag mob of younger and older guys with a number of withdrawals from earliest squad selections, but this group gelled and, among many sporting teams and memories, they have made me as proud as I’ve ever been,” he said.
The Port Jackson Reds chased down a mammoth 260 from defending champs Riverina to win division one, while Macquarie Valley was victorious in division two.
With selectors now looking to build a team for an upcoming state of origin clash against Queensland, it is believed that several players from the Mid North Coast will at least be considered for the side.
Anyone interested in taking part in local vets cricket can contact Kevin Pike at email@example.com