Sunday, December 9, 2018


25 November a seniors cricket match was to be held at Benalla between Ringwood and Benalla over 60s teams. On the Saturday morning we received a phone call advising that the game was cancelled due to heavy rain during the week. Having booked accommodation we decided to spend the weekend at Benalla anyway.

Our accommodation for the weekend was at the Rose City Motel approximately one kilometre from the centre of town.
After settling into our room we walked into town to investigate.
Benalla is referred to as Rose City because of the extensive plantings of roses, originally established in 1959, in the Botanical Gardens. There are masses of roses planted in sections with the name of the roses displayed.
The Broken River runs through Benalla. The Art Gallery is situated on one side of the river.
On the opposite bank is the Benalla Historical Society Museum and the Benalla Ceramic Mural.
The image on the side of the museum shows that Benalla is part of Ned Kelly country.
Before going to the motel we called into the information centre for ideas on exploring Benalla. It was obvious from talking to the lady in the information centre that art was a feature of the area.
Throughout the town walls of buildings have been painted by a variety of street artists. The project began in 2015.
Wherever you walk you are aware of these paintings.
It is quiet and peaceful walking by the river on a Saturday afternoon.
Flood markers are on some of the trees near the river banks. At the showgrounds we were surprised to see a large number of parked vehicles with no people around. Apparently this was a parking area for cyclists participating in the Great Victorian Bike Ride.
Bridge over the Broken River.
The streets of Benalla were quiet on the Saturday evening. On the way back to the motel we had dinner at the Bistro of the Royal Hotel and enjoyed a delicious meal of lamb shanks in a wine gravy. A good start to our weekend in Benalla.

Day Two - Benalla and District

Benalla and district

Next morning we wandered back into town and had breakfast at the Rusitik Cafe in Bridge Street. Breakfast is served all day and the difficulty is making a selection from the wide range of food on offer. Robin ordered the big breakfast (which was huge) while I enjoyed the salmon stack. The food was great. We knew that we would not need lunch that day.
Opposite the cafe Christmas decorations were being added to a large tree.
Beneath the trees at each end of the main shopping strip were piles of boxes waiting to be attached to trees.
As this was meant to be a cricket trip we decided to check out the ground where the game would have been played if the rains of the previous few days had not intervened.
The out-field of the Benalla Gardens Cricket Ground was not bad but there was a very wet section near the wicket which had been fenced-off with flags.
It was a beautiful morning, an ideal day for cricket - however it was not to be. We therefore set out to explore Benalla and the surrounding region.
As we were leaving the gardens we passed the impressive band rotunda which was built in 1911.
We had been told of the silo art that was located near Benalla so our first stop was Goorambat where the image of a barking owl looks down at spectators. Another silo building is painted with an image of the habitat of this endangered species.
Leaving Goorambat we stopped at the Uniting Church to view the image of Sophia.
Back in the car we drove to Devenish where new silo art was commissioned to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War.
The image on the right is of a World War I nurse while the image on the left is of a woman serving in the army medical forces today. The images were completed for Anzac Day 2018.
The agricultural museum is located next to the silos.
On a Sunday morning, Devenish is very quiet except for the people viewing the silos.
On the way back to Benalla we stopped off to view the Winton Wetlands. The image above is of the wetlands near the boat ramp. It has generally been dry in the area for some time.
There may have been water in other parts of the wetlands but we decided not to explore further on this occasion.
Later in the afternoon we visited friends who live in Benalla - Ron and Sally Taylor.
Ron played cricket with Robin for Bayswater Park many years ago so it was good to catch up with them again.
Later that evening we had dinner again at the Bistro at the Royal Hotel.

Next morning we returned to the Rustik Cafe for a 'small' breakfast before returning to Melbourne. We thoroughly enjoyed our relaxing weekend in Benalla.

Day One - Benalla

Friday, October 12, 2018

Second Over 70s National Cricket Championships - Sunshine Coast

The 2nd Australian Overs 70s Cricket Championships were held on the Sunshine Coast from 12-18 September 2018.
We left home on the Wednesday morning to fly to the Sunshine Coast. At Tullamarine Airport it was easy to recognise other players also heading north. At Maroochydore we collected a hire car and drove to our accommodation for the next week at Mooloolaba.
From our rooms at the Landmark Resort we had a great view of the beach.
 We also had a view of the Marina.
After buying provisions for the week we went to  Club Mooloolaba, around the corner from the apartments, for the Meet and Greet. We met other members of the Victorian team as well as catching up with players from the Australian Over 70s team with whom we had recently toured in England.
After the Welcome we had dinner at the club - Tuscany Penne (chicken, mushrooms and spinach) and fish 'n' chips. A good start for the week ahead.

Second Over 70s National Cricket Championships - Sunshine Coast - Day One

Another beautiful day in Queensland. Our first game was at Read Park, Tewantin, north of Moolaba near Noosaville.
The ground and surroundings were very Queensland.
When we arrived the grounds staff were finishing preparing the ground.
Meanwhile the Victorians relaxed before going out to play. Les Quarrell had decided to come and watch the over 70s in action.
The Queensland Stormers team photo.
The Victorian I team then had their team photo.
Back row from left to right: Joel McGlynn (team manager),  Wavell McPherson, Bruce Pooley, John Costello,  Ian Gibson, Robin Court, Ron Kasputtis
Front row from left to right: Ian Rowland, Ian Gibson, Arthur Pritchard (captain), Ian Longmuir, Ron Lovell, Wayne Warner
Victoria won the toss and put Queensland Stormers into bat. The Stormers were 6 for 109 at the end of the 40 overs. Ron Kasputtis, Ron Lovel, John Costello and Ian Longmuir all got one wicket while Bruce Pooley got 2 wickets.
Victoria won the game reaching 4 for 110 during the 32nd over. Ian A Gibson (37 runs) and Wayne Warner (27) were top scorers for Victoria.
Scorers for the game - Joel McGlynn scoring for Victoria. Jill Drescher was looking after the live scores for the match. Phil Drescher was a member of the 2015 Over 60s tour of England and it was to catch up with Phil and Jill at different times during the carnival.
During the afternoon I went for a walk into Trewantin and then down to the river.
The Noosa River
These pelicans were having a rest near the marina
A very pretty location.
From the marina there is a walking track by the water which I have been told is worth exploring but there was insufficient time on this occasion.
Back in Mooloolaba we had dinner at the Fish on Parkyn Restaurant on Parkyn Parade. We had enjoyed dinner there on our last vist to Mooloolaba so decided to have dinner there again. This time Bruce Pooley came with us. I had the special fish 'n' chips, Robin had the Mooloolaba prawn spaghetti while Bruce chose the crispy grilled atlantic salmon. Another good meal.

Second Over 70s National Cricket Championships - Sunshine Coast - Day Two

Another beautiful day and we once again drove north of Mooloolaba to Yandina.
Our opposition on this second day of the championships was South Australia. Their captain, Alan Reid, had been a player in the recent Australian Over 70s team in England so it was a different experience with him playing in the opposition team.
Before the game some of the ladies enjoyed a cup of tea or coffee and a chat.
From left: Helen Gibson, Shirley McPherson, Julie Warner, Jan Rowland, Lesley Pritchard, June Thornhill, Ann Edmunds
Victoria won the toss and batted first. At the end of the 40 overs Victoria was 6 for 129. Top scorers for Victoria were Ian A Gibson (40 retired), Ian Longmuir (35 n.o), Ian Rowland (22) and Arthur Pritchard (16).
In reply South Australia was all out for 88 off 37.4 overs. Ron Kasputtis and John Costello each took one wicket, Bruce Pooley 2 and Ron Lovel 6 wickets.
A happy Ron Lovel after the game.
South Australian captain, Alan Reid, presenting Ron with the Man of the Match award.
During the morning I went for a walk. Phil and Jill Drescher had called into the game in the morning and told me how to find the Buderim Ginger Factory.
I had heard of the ginger factory from when my grandparents lived at Buderim but had never visited it. The complex is entered via the shop where an array of ginger related products are available for purchase.
Tours of the factory itself are available at set times.
On part of the property, rainforest has been replanted and visitors can walk through these areas.
A small train is also available to take visitors on a tour of the complex and provide information about ginger.
Across the road from the Buderim Ginger Factory is Nutworks.
A range of macademia nut products can be purchased.
A number of interesting mountains overlook this area - Mt Ninderry (above) overlooking the Ginger Factory and looking along railway line towards Mt Cooroora (below).
Back in Mooloolaba we had dinner at Bella Venezia where we were served by Jacob - a waiter with plenty of personality. Robin had Spanner Crab Ravioli while I enjoyed Risotto all'Anatra (wild mushrooms and smoked duck).
A good end to a good day.