Sunday, November 16, 2014

National Over 60s Cricket Championships - Melbourne

A 'holiday' at home may not have all the additional attractions of a holiday interstate or overseas however it was still a week away from normal activities.

The 9th National Over 60s Cricket Championships was played from 8 - 13 November on various grounds, primarily in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Twenty-six over 60s teams took part in four divisions while another eight teams played in the over 70s competition so it is a big event.
Vic Metro 1 team
The Meet and Greet was held at Sandown Race-course on the Saturday evening. This provided an opportunity for the players and their partners to socialise with team members and also with those from other teams. It was good to meet a number of people we had met last year when the championships were held on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. This year the Victorian teams in the first division were Vic Metro 1 and Vic Country 1. Each team played matches on the Sunday and Monday and Wednesday. Tuesday was a rest day and the finals were played on the Thursday to determine the final places in each division.
Shepley Oval, Dandenong
The first match played by Vic Metro 1 was against Queensland at Shepley Oval in Dandenong. The Victorians made 227 runs which was considered reasonable until Queensland passed this total with about seven overs to go. Vic Metro 1 won their next two games against Western Australia at Narre Warren North and against South Australia at Keysborough. This left us with New South Wales to play on the Thursday for third or fourth place in first division. All the games were played on turf and the pitches generally favoured the batsmen. In Over 60s cricket batsmen retire when they reach 40 and in one match at least five of the Vic Metro 1 batsmen retired and no wickets were lost during the innings.
Narre Warren North
On the Monday the Vic Metro 1 match against Western Australia was a Day Night Game at Narre Warren North. This was an experiment which hopefully will not be repeated in furture Over 60s Championships.
As the sun was setting the fieldmen were frequently unable to see the ball as they were looking into the sun. Later when it became dark, and the only light was from the lights overhead, both the players and those watching the game had difficulty seeing the ball. The lights turning themselves off at 8 o'clock didn't help the situation, especially as we had to wait half an hour until they came back on. The day had been moderately warm but during the evening it became very cold for players and spectators.
By Wednesday the weather was warmer and the players enjoyed playing a normal day game.
Our final game was at Berwick and by this time Melbourne was showing the diversity in our Spring weather with temperatures in the mid 30s. We especially appreciated the hospitality shown at this club from the sign welcoming the Over 60s teams when we arrived at the ground to the scones and jam which were an addition to the Subway rolls which were the normal lunch.

All in all it was another successful carnival. Queensland won the Over 70s competition and New South Wales won the second, third and fourth divisions of the Over 60s. Congratulations to Vic Country 1 for winning the First division. Vic Metro 1 came a credible fourth. Generally the games were played in good spirit - a feature of over 60s cricket - though unfortunately a few of the New South Wales 1 players appeared to have forgotten about sportsmanship when they played Vic Metro 1. The Championship dinner at Sandown Race-course provided a sociable ending to the 9th Over 60s Cricket Championships. We look forward to attending the 10th championships in Hobart next November.

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