Cricket club's perseverance shows in ACT honours

THE Queanbeyan District Cricket Club's frequent showings in grade finals this season has paid off, with the club recognised for an incredible 13 achievemnets at the Cricket ACT presentation night on April 2.

The club then followed this up with their own presentation ceremony two days later where they were able to recognise these efforts themselves where ACT skipper of the year Blake Dean also announced his engagement to his long-time partner.

In the main two-day competition the club featured in the finals with first, second and third grade, with the firsts progressing to the grand final only to lose to Wests/UC at Manuka Oval.

The fifth grade side went all the way in their one-day competition, finishing as premiers by default after their grand final was rained out.

QDCC secretary and record keeper Ron Bates, who has been at the club since 2005, said its achievements for the season just gone along with recent years showed its strength in escaping from what he described "the doldrums" in the early to mid 2000's.

"When I joined the club we were at the lowest of lows," said Bates. "In 2005 every grade finished last, and the club finished last in the club championship."

In the 2006/07 season the club hired ACT Cricket legend Mark Higgs which attracted former players back to the club and new ones to come in, and Bates said that was where things took off for it again.

"We've been building ever since," he said. "In 2006/07 all five grades made the semi-finals. Fourth grade won the premiership that season, and current first grade vice-captain Dean Solway came up from the side."

It was this process of grade development Bates believes made the club a stronghold again, with Solway scoring 884 runs in 2013/14 to snatch his own club's batting award but also threaten for the ACT equivalent.

Major award winners for the ACT included fifth grade skipper Peter Jensen for batting and player of the year, second grade quick Darren Southwell for bowling, first grade skipper Blake Dean for captaincy and Douglas Cup final man-of-the-match Josh Bennett as best player of the finals series.

Second grade skipper Adrian Brunker and teammate Matt Harding were also recognised for their huge volunteering efforts in the running of their competition.

Bates said these awards reflected a culture within the club that is encouraging to players.

"We've developed from the top down, so when first grade are playing well, that role-modelling shines down through the lower grades as well," he said.

At a glance

QDCC 2013/14 premierships: First grade John Gallop Cup (one-day); second grade Twenty20; third grade one-day, fifth grade one-day.

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