Riverina’s over 50’s cricket side has taken out the Veterans carnival which was played out in Armidale last weekend.
The side went through the three-day carnival undefeated and accounted for New England Thunderbolts in the final, which was played at the Armidale Sportsground.
In the final against hosts New England Thunderbolts – the drive won the toss and batted first making a very competitive score of 8/198 [45 overs] Peter Stimson 43 retired Mark Favell 37 Tom Purcell 33 and Peter Hamblin 33 defeated New England Thunderbolts 8/185.
O’Farrell Cup legend Paul O’Malley bowled the last over with the hosts needing 20 runs, they scored just six runs. The penultimate over was bowled by John Stephens yielded just four runs.
History was made for these dedicated cricketers from the Riverina.
On day one, at the Armidale School, Riverina were sent in, and they obliged by scoring 3/295 five Riverina batsman had to retire at around 40, Peter Stimson 45, Mark Favell 42 Eric Koetz 40, Gerard Hines 41 Peter Gerhard 44 defeated Central Coast Green 7/151.
The bowling was evenly shared David Bolger 2/27 from nine overs while Peter Gerhard’s off spinners saw him capture 2/11 from six overs.
The semi-final on Saturday was played at the Armidale Sportsground - Riverina won the toss and compiled 4/216 Peter Stimson 42 Mark Favell 40 and Peter Gerhard 40 –all retied not out, defeated Mid North Coast Sharks 86.
The fact that 9 of the 13 players still regularly play cricket held the team in good stead
and they were very competitive. The team certainly had plenty of batting depth scoring 709 runs in the three matches.
The organiser of the team and captain Mark Elia from Cootamundra was of full praise of the side that saw the team gel well with a number of the players meeting each other for the first time.
Elia said, “The side turned out to be a fantastic balanced side, with the experience of Tom Purcell, Paul O’Malley, Gerard Hines, John Grinble and Peter Hamblin complementing the energy and power of Peter Stimson, Peter Gerhard, Mark Favell, John Stephens and Eric Koetz.”
“From making up a side, we became a team. Great to play with our own age and peers.
Playing cricket week in and week out is a definite advantage”.
This type of carnival opens up a heap of opportunities for more players and teams to come on aboard.
Last February 10 teams took part in an over 50’s two day carnival at Port Macquarie. This carnival just completed in Armidale saw 18 teams compete in two divisions over three days..
All the players paid their own way, four nights’ accommodation; brought specially made shirts and caps. The team nomination fee was $1500, which covered ground fees, balls, umpires, and lunches. In most cases, players had 8-10 hours travel each way. However, no one complained, they all did it for the love of the game.
Speaking to the Armidale Express, carnival convener Graeme Andrews said it was an exciting finish to the successful event and it was fitting the home team managed play in the decider.
“I was there at the end and it was very exciting when the run chase was on,” he said.
“Riverina had some very good players.
“They had three or four players who had played for NSW Country which in the country is the highest level you can go to..
“I always thought Riverina would have a very strong side because they picked players from Griffith, Wagga, Cootamundra, Young and Temora.
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