Winton back in club cricket senior ranks
Winton will yet again be represented in Southland club cricket circles this season with a team entered to play in the Combined Country competition.
Winton were a real force in Southland club cricket for many years under the umbrella of Central-Western and in 2009-10 won Southland's one-day competition.
However following that victory the club folded and Winton has gone the past three seasons without having a cricket team.
Passionate veteran Southland cricketer Malcolm Walker has played a major handed in resurrecting a Winton team this season as they look to build up the cricketing stocks again.
Southland Cricket Association general manager Ian Mockford was thrilled that a senior cricket team would again be based out of Winton.
"I think it's great that there is a team from Winton again. Hopefully they can build that link between (Central Southland College) to give kids the opportunity to play for them."
Winton is one of four new teams entered in the 2013-14 Combined Country competition which will start on Saturday.
The Albion club have also entered a senior reserve team under their senior team which plays in the top level senior competition.
Albion will be made up mainly of pupils from St Peters College and Gore High School but there will be some adults playing as well to provide some leadership each Saturday.
Southland Boys' High School has also entered two teams in the competition, one the SBHS second 11 and the other the SBHS Colts team.
Both teams are likely to include some adults to help out with former Otago Volts player Michael Lamont the player/coach of the Southland Boys' Colts team.
Mockford said numbers at secondary school level in Southland were concerning and it meant for a struggle to have both a sustainable secondary school competition as well as competitive senior grades.
He said it was worrying that schools that traditionally had cricket teams like James Hargest College and Verdon College had opted to not enter teams in any Saturday competitions at this stage of the season.
He said it was a bit unknown how the school teams would go in the Combined Country competition but said there were some positives for the young players including giving them more cricket to play.
Waikoikoi have dominated the Combined Country competition in recent seasons and have opted to move up to the senior competition.
However the small rural Southland town have still found enough numbers to enter a second team in the Combined Country competition.
- © Fairfax NZ News