Old ground takes on new life

Congratulating each other after the game. Pictures supplied.

By Heather Dux

Amiens Old Boys have beaten the Glengallen IZs in a long-awaited 30-over challenge match at the Amiens over organised by the Amiens History Association.

The home team past the Glengallen total of 120 with just under five overs to go to win the trophy on Sunday.

The game was the brain child of the history association who have become Trusteeship of the former Pikedale Soldier Settlement’s Memorial Park and Sportsground and hope to return it to a valued part of the local and wider community.

After the final slashing, clearing, painting of border posts and restoring the pavilion, these dedicated people looked around to see if there was another cricket team somewhere in the region which would enjoy a game of social cricket.

Some of the AHA members contacted Izelle Barnard, Tourism Officer with the Southern Downs Regional Council who pointed them in the direction of Jonno Colfs, Captain of the Glengallen IZ cricket team.

The rest is history and Sunday was the result of a lot of planning and hard work by all. There were a few comments that the field was very reminiscent of Lords Cricket Ground with its gentle slope across the pitch which may have been a slight exaggeration.

The rules for the match were thrashed out, the President of the Amiens History Assn Inc, Dale Minchenton warned against kicking and gouging (she may have had a different sport in mind) and at 11 am the two teams assembled and the coin was tossed with the decision being made that Glengallen IZs would bat first. It was a lively match, particularly watching the older members adapt their style to accommodate a bit of a twinge here and there. Luckily, no defibrillators were needed on the day and everybody ended the day in good health even if the senior players seemed a little creaky.

After 15 overs, the lunch break saw the dedicated volunteers provide a sausage sizzle, buns, coleslaw, drinks, cake and goodies for the enjoyment of all. When the umpires walked back on the field, the teams realised the break was over and returned to the game. As the Glengallen team needed a body or two to even up the fielding numbers, some of the Amiens Old Boys became honorary Glengallen IZers, one of them being young Adam Harslett, a schoolboy who is a fourth generation descendant of a Soldier Settler who took up a block after returning from WW1. The family still farms that block.

The Amiens Old Boys knew they had to get 121 runs to be the winners of this inaugural Challenge as the Glengallen IZs had scored 120.

Bodies began to flag slightly but it still was a good game and Amiens Old Boys won with 121 runs scored with four and a half overs to spare.

The winning runs were scored for Amiens by Luke Brady and the Amiens’ Man of the Match was Alistair Carnell. It was a fun day and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and hope for a rematch.

None of this event could have happened without those dedicated volunteers from both teams. We must give special thanks to Alec Harslett and Alan Kerr and their amazing helpers who brought the ground up to a standard on which to play, Jonno Colfs from Glengallen IZs who is a real cricket tragic and thought it was a good idea, Tim Harslett who supplied the beer, Denise Harslett who provided the cakes and salad, the scorers Morwenna Harslett and Maria Hendry and Adam Harslett who filled in where needed.

It is hoped that local and nearby groups will use this park and Sportsground for family picnics, reunions, games days, different kind of sports days or just to picnic and wander among the wildflowers. There are no public facilities but portable toilets can always be hired if necessary. For enquiries emaill info@amiensqldhistory.com.

AMIENS OLD BOYS TEAM – Tim Harslett [Captain], Alec Harslett, Alan Kerr, Andrew Ferrier, Jamie Carnell, Luke Brady, Gordion Smith, Ken Smith, Nunzio Ricca, Alistair Carnell, Lachlan Carnell, Rohan Brady. Nick Casey, Adam Harslett. Umpires – John Hendry, Alan Kerr, Scorers – Morwenna Harslett and Maria Hendry.