Kialla Knights-Toolamba players intended to enjoy their cricket after combining before the Cricket Shepparton season, but they did more than that, they also made the B-grade grand final.OLIVER CAFFREY March 26, 2014 4:15am
Kialla Knights-Toolamba player Joe Dwyer was one of a number of players to lift the combine to the B-grade final.
Kialla Knights Cricket Club was in trouble at the start of the season.
No A-grade side, players leaving the club, not even enough players to field a stand-alone B-grade team.
However, the combined B and D-grade teams with Toolamba proved to be one of the more remarkable stories of the Cricket Shepparton season.
Barely given a chance of winning a game in October, the B-grade combine collected six wins, including one outright victory on its way to the minor premiership.
The Knights are proud of their achievements during the past six months, despite comfortably losing the Clyde Young Shield grand final to Mooroopna on Sunday.
Kialla president Grant Rowe said it had been a struggle to find players on a weekly basis, which made for low preseason expectations at the club.
‘‘It (making the final) was well above our expectations at the start of the season,’’ Rowe said.
‘‘We’ve had it tough at times and we even had a (B-grade) side that I played a game in earlier in the season.
‘‘The fact is we’ve been up against it every week to find enough players, even from the two clubs.’’
But out of the hardship has bred friendship and success.
While the combine agreement between the Knights and Toolamba finished following the season, Rowe said there had been lasting bonds built among players.
‘‘The deal we had with them is over, but there’s no hard feelings, it’s just the way it is and we’ve got to start again and try something to get the club back up,’’ Rowe said.
‘‘Whether we look at doing something similar next season will be decided over coming months.
‘‘It’s been a great season and it’s been played in good spirits, especially for guys that didn’t know each other that well before a few months ago, there is genuine friendship now between so many of the players.’’
Kialla’s Callan Mears, who led the B-grade team this season with Toolamba’s Cameron McGregor, said the side did not take itself too seriously and that paid off.
‘‘The people from Toolamba — Cam McGregor, Jordan McGregor, Justin Dimond and Mick Burgess, it’s been really good with them,’’ Mears said.
‘‘I think I’ve had more fun with cricket this season than I’ve had for a while.
‘‘Not only are they good cricketers, but they’re really good people who are fun to have around.
‘‘We were pretty laidback throughout the whole year, we just made the decision pretty early on to just have fun with our cricket and see where that takes us, and luckily enough it took us to the final.’’
While it was a successful season for the combine, Rowe said the ultimate goal was for the club to return to Cricket Shepparton’s top-flight.
‘‘It would be a dream to have an A-grade team back again, but we would need to have a few guys come to the club to boost numbers,’’ Rowe said.
‘‘We’re not not ruling it out, but to be honest at this stage a lot would have to go right to get us back in there for next season.
‘‘We’re pretty happy with how this season has gone and it’s been a success, so hopefully the grand final appearance spurs people on.
‘‘We do want an A-grade back and hopefully we can attract people to the club to make that a reality.’’
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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