FOR the first time in more than a decade the shout of “howzat” can be heard on a Saturday at Serpentine.
Cricket is finally back at Serpentine following the reformation of the club this season in the Upper Loddon Cricket Association.
Serpentine hasn’t had a cricket team since 2006-07.
The Bears Lagoon-Serpentine Cricket Club is filled with players from the town’s football side of this year, with the re-formation having been led by Wayne Wilson, who at this stage is effectively running a one-man committee.
“We’ve got so many young people out here playing with the football club and we’ve now got this beautiful redeveloped facility, I thought why not try to get the cricket club back up and going,” Wilson said this week.
“Last year after footy season the ground was a farm… we had 27 roller bales of hay on it and that just broke my heart to see it not having sport played on it.
“So halfway through the footy season I put the feelers out for cricket players and I’ve got about 25 who have come on board, which is fantastic.”
The first 11 to take to the field for the re-formed club in round one were Brodie Hawke, Jacob Murley, Lachlan Murley, Patrick Russell, Chris Lewin, Kaine Perry, Denny Gladman, Jayden Baber, Nic Treseder, Ben McRae and Andrew Bissett.
All-rounder Hawke – who played in Eaglehawk’s first XI BDCA grand final team two seasons ago – is captaining the side, which suffered a 19-run loss to Arnold in a competitive first-up showing.
Heading into day two of round two on Saturday BL-Serpentine has been set a chase of 220 by last season’s grand finalist, Kingower.
“We’ve only got three players from the first game playing in this one, so we’ve got the rotation policy happening at the club,” Wilson said.
“As long as we get a team together each week and everybody gets a go, that’s fantastic, and it’s great for not only the club, but also the community and to keep the ground being used for sport all year.”
Wilson – who wasn’t involved with the club when it folded after 2006-07 – is aiming to form a committee to share the off-field load.
“There has been a lot of work that has gone back into getting the club up and going again… getting accepted back into the league, working with the Loddon Shire council on getting a new pitch, organising all the uniforms,” Wilson said.
“There’s still a bit to be done, but right now we’re back up and about and playing and it’s fabulous.”
And Wilson is confident the club won’t be just making up the numbers this season.
“I believe that if we can get our regular side on the park then we can certainly push for the finals,” Wilson said.
“We’ve got some very good players at the club, so we’re looking forward to seeing how far we can go.”
Given the ties to the football club and the fact the Bears this year went from winless in 2016 to making the Loddon Valley league finals in 2017, it would seem nothing is beyond the cricketers in their return season.
• ULCA state of play:
Bridgewater 4-47 v Newbridge 136;
Inglewood 100 v Boort-Yando 2-66,
Kingower 220 v Serpentine;
Arnold 118 v Wedderburn 33.