The season promised so much and delivered plenty in another very busy 12 months for the association. We headed into the season with the prospect of having a paid administrator for the first time in about 11 years. Adrian Morgan joined our ranks as a part time admin in December and has been a real asset. Adrian joined us as part of a Pilot Project with funding from NZC following the Astle/Hill review for a maximum of 20 hours per week. He has been nothing short of a huge success.
The Crosby Morris was held at Molyneux Park in October with the final round played in Queenstown. The Wakatipu side came out on top. There was a change in boundaries to create a more even playing field with the new configurations called Maniovalley, South Otago, Wakatipu and Upper Clutha. The Hawke Cup boys saved their best for last with a good win over Mid Canterbury at home with one highlight of the season being the documentary done by Sky Television on the Otago Country lads. This provided a real insight into the grassroots of the sport. In that game Bailey Andrews-Kennedy took 6-20 in the second innings to set up the win followed by a good chase with Liam Cotton, Barry White and Rueben Pyle chasing down the runs. The team has a great vibe going and results will follow. Fraser Wilson has introduced a development program of two fixtures against Southland teams that will help introduce up and coming players to the standard required to go to the next step.
Congratulations to the Queenstown Club for taking out the ‘Club of the Year Award’ at the NZC Awards. This was excellent recognition of all the work they have done promoting not only the senior club but the work they do in the youth field. It was also a pat on the back for the work Club Manager Emma Campbell undertakes not only managing but running the programs and coaching.
Daniel Gibbons and Emma Campbell receiving the NZC Club of the Year Award on behalf of the Queenstown Cricket Club.
How fortunate we are to get to use the magnificent facilities at both Molyneux Park and the Queenstown Events Centre. We also get to use great grounds at Clyde, Oturehua, Cromwell and the likes of Millbrook. The Molyneux Park back grounds hosted the Otago Volts pre-season with a four-day game against Canterbury the highlight following a week of training on the No 2 block which rates in the top couple of training blocks in NZ. It was brilliant to see first class cricket return to Molyneux Park and a great game ensued. Northern Districts took the honours but it was a close run thing. Congratulations to Gary Smith, Guy McCone and team at Asplundh for the playing surface, training strips and outfield provided. Great achievement first up.
The last wicket falls in the Plunket Shield match between Northern Districts and Otago at Molyneux Park, Alexandra. Photo courtesy image central.
Northern Districts 456 and 135-9 dec (Jacob Duffy 5-49, Michael Rippon 4-30) beat Otago 248 and 318 (Brad Wilson 111, Anaru Kitchen 69 not out, Shawn Hicks 63; Ish Sodhi 5-124, Anton Devcich 3-40) by 25 runs. The game went late into the fourth day and finished while all around there was flooding and road closures. The Stewart McKnight game at Oturehua on the Sunday was washed out with Otago Country having posted a formidable total.
The Queenstown Events Centre in hosted nine games in the U19 World Cup with eight being televised. Brilliantly fine conditions for the first eight days and then the heavens opened on day nine. Such a shame as Andrew Douglas and his crew laid on superb surfaces for the boys to showcase their skills.
Our rep sides all performed with distinction and carried themselves well while representing our association. There was a great clip on Sky TV of the SIPST (Boys) team on the bank at Nelson during the BLACKCAPS ODI and they presented themselves very well during the brief interview. Congratulations to this side who received the Eastern Southland Fielding medal.
On the representative front, huge congratulations to Kate Heffernan who produced some outstanding performances representing Otago Country at the School Girls Tournament and went on to play for the White Ferns.
It takes a huge amount of work from a large number of people to get the eleven representative teams to trials, then selected, trained and then to all their games and I thank all those that contribute to make this happen. Your work is greatly appreciated.
Richard Golden died on the 9th January 2018 aged 79. Richard was a Life Member of Otago Country Cricket Association and was a long serving player and administrator for the Alexandra Club and Vincent Sub Association. Richard also represented Maniototo and had a stint in North Otago. He was a long serving secretary of the Vincent Association and was on the ‘Shell Committee’ that ran the 1st Class games at Molyneux Park. Senior Reserve players in the Vincent Competition play for the Richard Golden Cup. When Richard gave up playing he donned the white jacket and joined the Central Otago Umpires Association and was an active member and secretary for several years. ‘Goldie’ was a special part of our association and is sadly missed.
In recent years our association has signed Service Level Agreements/Partnership Agreements with Otago Cricket and NZC that included a tagged funding component which required us to complete certain functions before the tagged funding was released. We retained a level of ‘operational’ funding that came to us as of course. Moving into the current season that has all changed whereupon we now have set KPI’s to achieve before we receive any funding and a ‘risk and reward’ component should we achieve our set targets in a timely manner. A quite new challenge but one we are committed to. It should be said that OCA alongside NZC do fund our development people and part of our administrators’ payment.
Graeme Buttar receives plaque from OCCA Chairman, Malcolm Jones, acknowledging his service to junior cricket in the district.
As we moved to the end of the season we lost two very well respected members of our board to retirement. Graeme Buttar and Fraser Wilson have both decided that their spare time should move in a different direction. Graeme was our Junior Cricket guru for 13 years while Fraser led that next level up and operated our Hawke Cup program for the last 4-5 years. They will both continue to contribute to the association in the future, but I would really like to thank them for the contribution they have made to our Board and association.
Playing numbers across the association were up slightly with an increase in senior numbers the reason. South Otago maintained six senior sides and have shown continued excitement in their formats and support for the Crosby Morris competition. The Vincent Club competition had five senior sides and nine senior reserve teams while total playing numbers in the association registered at 2,078 which was up 35 from the previous season. KiwiSport again assisted us to provide our Skills Challenge Program in schools and our development staff delivered to 4,716 participants.
Our association received funding and/or support from the following groups during the season and we thank them greatly. Breen Construction, New Zealand Racing Board, New Zealand Cricket, Otago Cricket, Sport Otago, White Water Plumbing, Kookaburra, Bendigo Sports and Charity Foundation, GeoSolve, Cancer Society Otago Branch, Central Otago District Council, Mark Wilson Marketing Specialist, Promo-X.
I would like to congratulate and thank all our great volunteers. You are the life-blood of our organisation and without you we wouldn’t exist. The mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, wives, girlfriends, partners and supporters that allow our players to enjoy our great game THANK YOU.
Malcolm Jones (Jonesy)
25 September 2018
Otago Country Cricket
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