Heathcote Cricket Club president Ron Sheppard is delighted the club has won the Northern United Cricket Association in its first season in the league.By Zach Hubber
Heathcote’s Northern United Cricket Association premiership was more than club president Ron Sheppard could have asked for before the season started.
Sheppard was one of the key members who brought the club out of a two-year recess, which saw the Saints enter the abyss after exiting the Emu Valley Cricket Association in 2010.
He said the victory was a fantastic achievement by the players.
‘‘The match had everything and fortunately we came out on top,’’ he said.
‘‘There was a great atmosphere at the game. It felt like a football final.’’
In order to re-establish the club, Sheppard needed someone who could form a solid squad and lead the side.
It only took a chance encounter at a supermarket with Heathcote football captain Joel Condon, who immediately took up Sheppard’s offer to captain-coach the Saints.
‘‘We needed to appoint someone who was a people’s man,’’ Sheppard said.
‘‘Joel’s very professional and had the backing of the committee.’’
Sheppard said he expected the club to be competitive in its first season in the NUCA, but did not expect a premiership.
‘‘Hopefully success breeds success and we’ll go on next year with an even stronger side,’’ he said.
‘‘We’re trying to get the juniors up and running and we’re hoping some of the senior players can help guide the younger ones in the future.’’
Sheppard was thankful for the NUCA’s invitation to join the league after EVCA rejected Heathcote’s application because the turf wicket at Barrack Reserve did not match the league’s synthetic pitches.
He said the league boasted many high quality players and enjoyed the competitive nature of the season.
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