Cricket celebrates 50 not out
IT was a weekend for catching up with old friends and celebrating the wonders of cricket.
A sell-out crowd attended C-ex Coffs on Saturday night as the Diggers Ex-Services Cricket Club celebrated a milestone of 50 years participation in the Coffs Harbour District Cricket Association.
Formed as an off-shoot of the famous Diggers Rugby League Football Club, the cricket side was established when league captain-coach Dave Heptonstall and his footballing mates decided they needed something to keep the team fit and together over the summer months.
So the team to wear cream-coloured clothing was formed and Heptonstall became the obvious choice for inaugural skipper, eventually leading the team to three straight premierships starting with the 1961-62 season.
A legend in local sporting circles, Heptonstall attended the weekend's festivities.
Later the ‘Ex-Services' tag was added and further titles followed in 1969-70 (captain Les Rollins), 1973-74, 1978-79, 1979-80 (Rod Kratz), 1980-81 (Dudley Cockburn), 1983-84, 1984-85 (Ross Haworth), 1985-86 (John Rowe), 1990-91, 1991-92 (Ross Haworth and tied with West Coffs), 1994-95 (Paul Fredericks) and 2000-01 (Steve Meakins).
The club has won numerous lower grade premierships.
With the Bill Rae Medal introduced in 1997-98 to anoint the player recognised as best and fairest in the competition, Diggers' representatives Damien Webeck (shared in 1999-2000) and Troy Herbert (2006-07) have been listed on the winners' trophy.
The weekend started in the best possible fashion with the top-grade side taking first innings points against Bellingen.
At the Saturday dinner an all-star team from the first 50 years was announced before the party continued yesterday.
Current players took on an Invitation XI made up of ‘legends' of the half-century at Fitzroy Oval with activities planned for the juniors and a lawn bowls challenge to complete the festivities.