The second grade teams of Bowral Blues and Bundanoon Cricket Clubs launched a fundraising initiative during their match at Centennial Oval on Saturday to supply specialised outdoor matting for impoverished schools in Sri Lanka.
The joint club effort is seeing players donate money to purchase coir mats which are used to form makeshift pitches.
The mats will be used by as many as six schools in Sri Lanka’s Sigiriya region where children usually have no option but to play on uneven crude pitches.
It’s been agreed that the Bowral Blues and Bundanoon thirds sides will donate additional funds when they meet to play on 18 November.
Other opportunities will be taken during the season to build up more funds.
The initiative follows a two-week trip to Sri Lanka by players from both clubs in July, who enjoyed matches at multiple local fields and also donated cricket gear to local Sri Lankan clubs.
Blues and Bundanoon players gathered by the Centennial Oval nets at the end of the seconds match to celebrate the solid start to the charitable drive.
Time was set aside to sell and sip imported Sri Lankan beer, which resulted in more money than expected being raised across the day.
Bundanoon was in a slightly better mood for celebrating, having ending the match with a comprehensive win over a lean Blues side. Batting first, the visitors racked up 204 runs and the Blues fell well short of that target eight overs out from the 40-over innings.
The pick of the Blues players was Captain Ian McDonald who managed three wickets, and Michael Heinecke who put on 33 runs with the bat.
Meanwhile the Bowral Blues thirds grade side had the narrowest of losses against the Wingello Tigers at Stephens Park on Saturday.
With many key players away the Blues side batted first and did well to score 114 runs.
Wingello’s turn at the crease turned into a nail-biting affair, with the Tigers holding out to make it to victory with just a few deliveries left in the innings.
Father-son combo Gav and Christian Molloy were the stand-outs for the Blues, with Gav stepping up to achieve 32 runs as opening batter and Christian’s ever-elusive spin work claiming two vital wickets.
Although a lively and energetic match, a minutes silence to honour the passing of a senior figure of the Tigers Martin family the evening before play set a respectful and poignant tone.
With the Bowral Blues ‘Royal’ junior match against Oxley Scorchers rained out it was left to the Blues other junior team - ‘Sky’ - to shine on Saturday morning against their Robertson counterparts.
On a cold and drizzly Centennial Oval, the Blues batted first and whacked a cracking 275 runs in their 30-over allocation. Harry Pinczi, Jack McCallum, Nick Colgan, Matt Colgan, Will Watson and Hayden Willebrand all retired on 30 runs.
Tail-ender Harry Mattick was not out on 13. As rotational opening batter, a rare opportunity arose for Harry Pinczi to return to the crease once his team mates were retired and dismissed and hit another 40 runs, taking his total to 72. Well done Harry!
Robertson put on a notable, determined and gutsy reply with the bat but couldn’t chase down the formidable target.
The Blues ‘Sky’ have the bye next week while the Blues ‘Royal’ take on Chevalier College at Centennial Park.
- Matthew Watson, Bowral Blues Cricket Club