Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Hon has safe hands at champs

Echuca cricketer Shaun Hon finished his junior representative career with Northern Rivers last week.

ZACH HUBBER January 25, 2013 4:04am

Shaun Hon played cricket with Northern Rivers at the Victorian Bushrangers State Championships.

Echuca cricketer Shaun Hon capped off his Northern Rivers representative career when he played with the under 18 side at the Victorian Bushrangers State Championships last week.

Having represented the under 14s and 16s over the past four years, Hon’s final year saw the side win two matches and lose just as many.

The former Echuca College student missed the first round in December due to schoolies, but contested the final three rounds as wicket-keeper.

Hon said he was happy with his form behind the stumps.

‘‘I took eight catches from the three games and a stumping, but I struggled with the bat,’’ he said.

‘‘I think you learn a lot in that week because you feel more pressure, especially with the gloves.’’

Northern Rivers lost by 13 runs against North East Knights in the December match, but managed a win in its first match last week against Gippsland.

A do-or-die fixture against South East Sharks in round three saw Northern Rivers fall short by 66 runs, but Hon still managed four catches with the gloves.

The qualifying final saw the side defeat Western Waves by 123 runs, but it was not enough to book itself a semi-final.

Hon said losing the first match before Christmas did not help his side coming into last week.

‘‘We had to win on Tuesday (round three) to go through and we weren’t lucky enough to do that,’’ he said.

The Moama resident said he first became interested in wicket-keeping because of his brother, Ryan, who owned a pair of gloves growing up.

‘‘I used to put them on in the backyard then everyone got a go in under 12s and at primary school and then I guess I stuck through it in under 14s and under 16s,’’ he said.

The two brothers have both kept for Echuca’s A grade side throughout the season, but absences by both have rarely seen each put their hand up at the same time.

‘‘Ryan was overseas at the start of the season and then when he got back I went away on schoolies, so we’ve only played one or two games together,’’ Hon said.

‘‘I’ve just come back from overseas now, so it’ll be interesting going into finals.

‘‘I’ve usually kept, but it’s gone both ways. I’d probably keep and he would bat a bit higher because he’s a top order batsman.’’

While aiming to return to the A grade side after keeping for B grade last week, Hon said he had no desire to take his game to a higher level.

‘‘It’s just a social game for me,’’ he said.

‘‘I’m not looking for anything too serious.’’

Hon started a 12-month sports administration traineeship at Moama Bowling Club this week where he will complete certificate 3 and 4 in sports and recreation.

This season was the final time the under 18 competition will run after Cricket Victoria cut funding to the competition to specifically focus on the under 14s and 16s.

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