South West cricketers pay their respect to Phil Hughes

Local Cricketers Pay Their Respects

My usual feelings of competitiveness and desire for victory were absent, replaced with a need to take to the field with the opposition as one, and play in a game dedicated to Phillip Hughes.

Shamus Henry

Cricketers took to the field around the region and the nation last Saturday with a strange feeling of sadness and grief. 

In the wake of the tragic passing of Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes from an injury sustained in a Sheffield Shield match there has been an outpouring of emotion from all many quarters. 

Phillip Hughes’s untimely death touched not just cricketers around this region, but the entire cricketing world.  There have been several references in the past week likening the outpouring of grief to that experienced by the nations collective when Phar Lap died under dubious circumstances or the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race tragedy of 1998. 

Tragedy’s occur every day, but when they occur on a sporting field in front of the nations eye, it is different. 

On a personal note, I travelled to my game on Saturday unsure of how it would feel to play under such circumstances. 

My usual feelings of competitiveness and desire for victory were absent, replaced with a need to take to the field with the opposition as one, and play in a game dedicated to Phillip Hughes. 

Fittingly, a directive from Cricket Australia to don black arm bands and dedicate a minute's silence at the start of every game was given, but not required as we all would of done it anyway. 

When I walked into my local hardware store on Saturday morning to buy a roll of electrical tape for my teams black armbands, my friend the owner and a retired cricketer knew why I was there. 

He was busy serving someone else but smiled and when I went to pay, he waved me on and said “not today, not for that”. 

It was a timely reminder of how this tragedy has affected everyone and a very emotional moment for me. 

For the record, we (Dunsborough) won our game on Saturday but it didn’t really seem to matter that much. 

The game began with 22 cricketers and an umpire, standing shoulder to shoulder at the wicket for a minute’s silence in memory of Phillip Hughes. 

Saturday afternoon had opponents all around the Busselton Margaret River Cricket Association starting their games in the same way, and then for the few hours that followed, opponents became mates in a much bigger team, galvanized by a common feeling of grief and a recognition of love for our sport. 

We all remembered Phillip Hughes and prayed that we would never have to feel like this again. 

Through all the reflections, tributes and commentary of the past week has been an unwavering voice of support for the other victim of this tragedy, the young bowler Sean Abbott. 

None of us really know what he is feeling or how, or even if, he will be able to play again, but we hope so, for him and for us.

St Mary’s defeat Margaret River

St Mary’s cricket club registered important wins over rivals Margaret River last Saturday in the Busselton Margaret River Cricket Association. 

Playing in Margaret River, St Mary’s won in both A and B grades but conceded to their southern rivals in C grade. 

In A grade, Margaret River captain Matty Kent won the toss and sent St Mary’s into bat on a damp wicket.  Despite loosing early wickets, the St Mary’s middle order dug deep with captain Ben Lloyd and Jeremy Murphy batting for 30 overs ensuring the local side posted a competitive total of 8/174 off their 50 overs. 

Lloyd top scored with 89 runs and was happy with the total. 

“I thought we batted well in difficult early conditions and gave ourselves a total to bowl at,” he said. 

In reply, Margaret River fought bravely but a steady fall of wickets saw the home side bowled out in the 43rd over for 139. 

The best of the bowlers for St Mary’s were Josh Houlison(4/38) and Ben Mattock(1/25). 

Lloyd was quick to praise all his bowlers- “all our bowlers bowled well and executed our game plan, its something we have been working on."

St Mary’s A grade now look to this Saturday's game against Cowaramup as an opportunity to continue to build towards the Christmas break. 

In B grade, St Mary’s 8/187(Brown 75, Cook 25) proved to strong for Margaret River’s 10/133, whilst in C grade Margaret River’s 9/176 was too strong for St Mary’s 10/158.

The other A grade match between Dunsborough and Cowaramup provided a fitting tribute to the late Phillip Hughes. 

On bowling Cowaramup out for a low total of 62runs, Dunsborough declared their innings closed at 2/63, the same score that Phillip Hughes was on when he was tragically struck down last week.