It’s that time again where I give a shout out to all members, parents, sponsors, volunteers and anyone else who’s a part of our great club. Thanks for all your hard work and support over this challenging season. You have all been doing a great job and everything you do, big or small, is greatly appreciated.
What’s happened in the last month or 2 has been quite exciting !!!
Old Boys Day
First up was our annual ‘Old Boys’ day held in February. This is where players past can re-connect with the club and reminisce about their time. It was a great day filled with nostalgia and lots of laughs and even though there was no cricket due to rain it didn’t dampen the spirits of our members and former members on the day. Another successful initiative for the club and a big thanks to Dave Reading for pulling it all together.
5th Annual Coast v Country Carnival
On Sunday 28 February saw us hosting the FNCJCC Coast versus Country T20 bonanza with the best of the best junior cricketers from Casino to the border putting on a great show of skills. This year we had a special inclusion of a showcase match between FNC U16s playing Redlands Bay U16 to finish the afternoon. This event was very successful, with 98 players along with their family members, team officials and FNCJCC committee there with all reporting we were really good hosts. To our amazing venue, volunteers, players, members and ground staff it’s a massive thank you from myself and our committee for all the hard work put in to make the day a winner. Special thanks to umpire Chen who supplied the Zing stumps, they were a massive hit with players and spectators!!
Murwillumbah hosts Inter-district representative games
On 7 March Murwillumbah Cricket Club hosted two inter-district games in the U12s and U14s. In the 12s Tweed had a strong win by 9 wickets, bowling Northern Rivers out for 73, then chasing them down in the 17th over only 1 wicket down. We had a strong Murwillumbah presence in the Tweed rep side with Charlie Housen and Cooper McCabe both taking 2 wickets, Hugo Portus taking 2 spectacular catches and scoring a quickfire 17, Billy Smith was undefeated on 35 and George Fisher captained the side with calm maturity. Max Palmer and Dougall Hughes were also in the side, and while they didn't get to bat, bowled superb line and length and kept the opposition tied down. In the 14s Northern Rivers were too strong for the Tweed side. They batted first and posted 9-195 from their 50 overs, with Murbah 14s captain Kwinn Wolf taking 3 - 12 from 4 overs for Tweed. Batting second Tweed were bowled out for 122. It was great to host these rep games, and definitely shows the awesome potential our cricket facilities have, with our clubhouse nestled in between our two fine turf wicket ovals John Rabjones oval and Les Cave oval. We hope to be able to host more of this high quality junior representative cricket in the future and make Murwillumbah a high quality cricket hub for the Far North Coast region.
Murbah on the field
Now for a wrap on cricket from the last month. Some real notable performances from right across all our grades and programs.
First of all our girls only program - the 'Pink Panthers' - has proved to be a great success with them being able to enter a team in the TDJCA stage 1 U11 programme and really enjoying themselves. For most of the girls this season has been their first taste of cricket and to have gained the skills and confidence to now be playing in a team in a real competition is an amazing achievement so three cheers for the girls!!! Congratulations and thank you to Jess Willemse and Mel Reeves who have really driven this program forward this year. Also thanks to Sport NSW and the ICC world cup legacy fund for their support through a grant for this program.
Our U11s boys have been clearly working hard on their skills as I have noticed their improvement from the beginning of the season. A big shout out to Steve Hosier and Marc Portus who have been steering our budding new stars in the right direction, and also to the parents who I know have been spending countless hours in the back yard doing many, many, many throw downs and catches and brushing up on your own batting skills. This time is really valuable in their development so thanks for all your efforts.
Now to our U12s teams - WOW! What a great performance from both the Panthers and the Roar this season with both teams in the top 3 on the BDJCA ladder. With that said there has been some amazing individual performances amongst the two teams as well. Great work you guys keep it up and I am looking forward to and hoping for an all Murwillumbah grand final this year in the U12 competition. Congratulations to Fred Hughes who has done a great job coaching the Panthers and I have had a great time watching the 12s Roar develop their cricket this season too.
U14s have been working real hard at their game and being low on numbers has made it hard for them too, however four of their players have been selected for TDJCA and FNC representative duties so they are definitely doing something right in that squad. Great effort to all the Murbah players selected to represent at higher honours you do us proud. There's a slight feeling that this group hasn't quite performed to their potential so I'm sure good cricket times are ahead for many of the 14s Panthers. It looks like they will finish the season only 2 wins out of the top 4 so they haven't been that far off the pace. Thanks to Marc Portus who has coached the side.
U16s have managed two good wins after Christmas and there has also been some very impressive individual performances from these guys right across the season, it’s very promising to see what new talent is being fed into the senior ranks over the next few years. Very bright future ahead for the Murwillumbah Panthers Cricket Club. Special mention to Jacques Peenz and Jaxon Miller who have been selected for higher rep honours this season and played very well in the higher senior grades this year too. I also extend my thanks to club secretary and first grade player Sid Ewing for coaching the 16's this year.
In the senior ranks our beloved Murwillumbah Panthers third grade squad has been doing it a little tough this season in terms of their win-loss ratio! However they too have had some outstanding personal achievements with blokes taking '5-for’s', scoring 50's and some life long mile stones reached, along with welcoming new playing members to the club. These guys might not get the flag this season but they sure as hell are thriving through cricket and embracing their love for our great game. Despite not winning too many games they seem to enjoy themselves which is a vital ingredient in most sporting teams. Well done fellas.
Our Second Xl has been a bit hit and miss on their team performances but once again some real stand out individual performances with hundreds being scored, '5-for’s' being taken and just some good old fashioned cricket being played with some players fresh out of our junior ranks really nipping at the heals of our first Xl. This team had a really strong finish to the season with a couple of wins, so things are very promising for season 21/22 for second grade.
Well what an impressive season it has been for our flagship First Xl! Finishing the season in 8th position is a very positive move for the boys and a testament to all the hard work they’ve being putting in on and off the park, along with head coach Grant Parmenter. Last year they finished bottom of the ladder but we always knew it was a young group with potential - mix with a little hard work and watch the upward trajectory. I'm very much looking ahead to next season where we are aiming for a top 6 finish (or higher!), plus there's one or two former Murwillumbah players wanting to return to the club to compete for the chance to earn one of our prestigious Baggy Greens.
I'd also like to make a special mention to the first grade players who have made a concerted effort to connect with the junior ranks this year, by assisting with ground setups, canteen and other general assistance around junior home games on Saturday mornings. It is noticed and appreciated by many.
With great connections between the senior and junior ranks there are exciting times ahead for our beloved club.
End of year presentations
Our Senior and Junior presentations for season 2020-21 will be at the Murwillumbah Leagues Club as follows:
Seniors, Saturday 20th March, 6.30pm arrival; 7:15pm dinner; 8pm presentation
Juniors, Sunday 28th March, 11am arrival for a 11.15am presentation.
Please come along to help celebrate what has been a very positive season for the club and recognise those players and volunteers who have participated this season.
GO THE PANTHERS!!!!!
Yours in Cricket,
Murwillumbah Cricket Club
A club for all to come and thrive through cricket