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17th annual Mayor’s Cup reconciliation cricket match brings people together

17th annual Mayor’s Cup reconciliation cricket match brings people together

The 17th annual Mayor’s Cup reconciliation cricket match was held at the Regional Australia Bank Armidale Sportsground on 2 March. The Twenty20 match is an opportunity for the local community to come together and play cricket in the name of reconciliation.

William Green, member of the Mayor’s Cup reconciliation cricket match organising committee, said that the individuals who participated in this special event all play for different clubs and complete against each other weekly during the cricket season. However, for this event they unite.

“In the 17 year history of the match, this year was the first time that Aboriginal and non Aboriginal players played in the same teams. Even the captains were swapped. Easts Cricket Club’s Aaron Whackett captained the Aboriginal XI and Barbarians Cricket Club’s Clarrie Moran captained the Mayor’s XI,” said Mr Green. “The match was played in the spirit of the event and all the players had an enjoyable afternoon of cricket.”

The Mayors XI won the toss and sent the Aboriginal XI into bat. Top scoring for the Aboriginal XI was their skipper Aaron Whackett with 43 and also well supported by veteran Clifford Smith with 41. Some tight bowling from the Mayors XI kept the Aboriginal XI to 116 after their 20 overs.

Special mention has been made of Hillgrove Cricket Club’s youngster Maurice Kelly making his debut in senior cricket alongside his uncle Clarrie Moran in the Mayors XI. Maurice, along with Ex Services quick Leon Clifford, were the pick of the bowlers in the Mayors XI.

“The Mayors XI started the run chase reasonably well but lost a couple of early wickets before Hillgrove Cricket Club’s Michael Cursons and Jack Carey settled the innings to almost reach the target before both players were dismissed. With 6 runs off 12 balls needed to win, the Mayor’s side looked as though they would coast in for the win but the Aboriginal XI quick and veteran Jason Boland produced a cracking maiden over leaving the Mayor’s XI still needing six runs off the last over,” Mr Green said. “The first ball off the last was a dot ball, still with six needed. Then a four off the second ball relieved a very tense batting side. The last two runs were scored off the next ball giving the Mayors XI a five wicket win with three balls remaining.”

The Deb Walford Memorial Man of the Match was awarded to Barbarians Cricket Club’s Clifford Smith who was presented the trophy by Deb’s mother Margaret Walford.

“Cliff was very humbled and honoured by the award as he was one of the few players still playing who had the honour of playing alongside Deb in the Armidale District Cricket Association many years ago,” said Mr Green. “It was a touching moment and one of the many highlights of a great day. We look forward to next year’s event!”

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