Three Benalla cricketers have been awarded life membership certificates at Benalla & District Cricket Association.MONIQUE FREER March 1, 2013 4:23am
The Benalla & District Cricket Association held a successful Life Members night on February 13 at the Commercial Hotel in Benalla.
The purpose of the night was to award Life Membership Certificates to three new life members of the association in Geoff Brennan, Mark Yates and Ken Cousins.
All life members were invited and 20 of the 24 attended and, along with partners, family of the new life members and various others a healthy crowd of over 50 were in attendance. BDCA president Trevor Saker presented the certificates to each recipient following glowing tributes from various speakers.
All three recipients have been involved in cricket in the Benalla District for over 40 years.
Ken Cousins first played at Benalla Cricket club with his father Brian in the late 1970s, and played in senior premierships alongside Brian Hensley, Ivan Hayden, Terry Cameron and many other greats.
He moved to Mansfield to take up a teaching career in 1988 and played cricket in the Alexandra/Mansfield competition until they disbanded and his club Delatite joined the BDCA in 2000.
He has won the Trewin Medal (Cleary Shield player of the year) on two occasions. He has served on the BDCA executive for a number of years and is highly involved in junior cricket in Mansfield.
He is also responsible for the construction of the turf wicket at the Lords ground, which is now acknowledged as one of the best wickets in the competition.
Mark Yates has been a fixture at the Benalla Gardens Oval and the Diggers Cricket Club (now Benalla Diggers Cricket Club) for over 30 years.
A handy medium fast left hand bowler and gritty batsman Mark has represented not only his club with honour, but has represented the BDCA on many occasions over the years.
His main claim to fame however, is and has been his untiring work as curator at the Benalla Gardens Oval.
For many years he was understudy to the late Keith Sherwill and fellow life member David Ford. His tireless work on the Gardens wicket area for both his club and association fixtures ensures the ground continues as one of the best grounds in country Victoria.
Geoff Brennan first played senior cricket for Swanpool in 1968 and over the next 34 years played cricket with not only Swanpool, but also Tatong and Warrenbayne.
He was part of Swanpool’s Cleary Shield side from 1975 to 1984. While at Tatong he played in back-to-back Trewin Shield Premierships in 1992-93 and 1993-94.
He won the Joe Joyce medal (Player of the year in section two) on two occasions. He also represented the BDCA both at Melbourne Country week and Bendigo Country week.
But his best work was in junior cricket. He was the junior co-ordinator of the BDCA under-12 and under-14 competitions for four seasons.
He then took up umpiring in 2002 and became the premier umpire of the competition. He umpired seven straight Cleary Shield finals up until he retired last season, 2011-12.
In that time he umpired a Victoria Premier cricket round when played in Benalla in 2007, which he did with much aplomb despite some serious intimidation from one of the team’s captains.
All three are worthy recipients of Life Membership of the BDCA, and it was great to see so many life members at the night enjoying themselves and reminiscing of all their great feats over the years.
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