England in Geelong

On November 29th, Newtown and Chilwell Cricket Club helped host a visit to Geelong by around 30 England Over 60s players and their partners.

One of the GCA’s legends, Robert Agg, fulfilled a boyhood dream at the age of 63 of captaining Australia.  That was the main game at Kardinia Park against an England side that include Ray Swann, father of the English off-spinner. The English won.

Down at Stinton Oval, where we hosted an England XI playing the Geelong over 60s, it was a different story.  The locals prevailed.

But forget the result for a minute and reflect upon just how brilliant it was to see the names Geelong and England in red letters up on Barnso’s scoreboard.

It certainly was a red letter day, for our club, for our game, and for our region.

The “two and froms” after a disastrous trip to New South Wales couldn’t believe the facilities we had to offer them here in Geelong.

Those that played on KP thought it as good as any ground they had ever seen – and the pitch.

And when they got down to Queens Park, they joined the chorus of their colleagues who spent the day there in declaring it one of the best club cricket facilities they had ever seen.

GT had produced a belter.

The game was decided in the penultimate over.

Clare’s food won rave reviews.

The chink of English coin at the N&CCC bar was a great thing to hear.

Next morning, we got an email from one of the best cricket administrators Geelong has had and will ever have congratulating N&CCC for the way it hosted its game, then the function afterwards.

There were a host of N&CCC people who put their shoulder to the wheel to make it happen.  No names, we – and they – know who they are. There is no I in N&CCC, but there is a U in club.

Every accolade was deserved.

Others – and we know who they are, too – can spend their lives in childish self-denial, but Queens Park, Stinton Oval, GT’s pitches, the sightscreens, the new practice facility, the men’s shed, the balcony, the rooms, the aspect across the ground, through the ancient trees and on to the Barwon, they make it a no contest.

If you don’t believe us, just ask the lovely woman from St Joeys from a few weeks back when our neighbours from across the river visited.

This the finest place to play – and watch – cricket in Geelong.