It might have taken a few goes, but the Marshall Smith Memorial Trophy has finally been played for – and won.
Albion beat Glenavy by three wickets on Saturday to claim the trophy, after the two cricket clubs shared the honour last year.
Smith, who was from Glenavy, died in 2016 while on a kayaking trip on the Waitaki River near Kurow.
He played cricket for both Albion and Glenavy over the years, and was instrumental in helping re-form the Glenavy Cricket Club in 2014.
While Glenavy initially played second-grade cricket, Smith wanted to play at a senior level and played about 50 games for Albion at that level.
In 2019, the memorial trophy did not arrive in time for the first contest between the two clubs, and when the second clash was washed out, the clubs organised a non-competition game last year which was again, after five overs, rained off.
After that match, the two sides were happy to share the trophy for the year.
Smith’s parents and siblings were among the spectators at the Glenavy Cricket Ground on Saturday, and the win meant a lot to the club, Albion captain Ricky Whyte said.
“It’s been a pretty tough season for us. We haven’t won a lot and with the Marshall Smith Memorial Trophy on the line for the first time – it’s pretty bloody good. It was good with [Smith’s family] there to get it done.
“We are still pretty scratchy but getting our name on that trophy for the first time [was great].”
Albion batsman Jonty Naylor finished not out on 86, digging the team out of a hole, Whyte said.
Glenavy’s Ethan Booth was handy, making 51 runs for his side.