Albion and Glenavy’s senior cricket teams believe the late Marshall Smith wanted the trophy named after him to be shared this year.
Smith, who was from Glenavy, died in 2016 while on a kayaking trip on the Waitaki River near Kurow.
He had played cricket for Albion and Glenavy, and was one of the instrumental figures who helped reform the latter in 2014.
This year, Glenavy made the step up to senior cricket. With the opportunity to play Albion, both clubs decided to honour Smith’s memory by way of a memorial trophy.
However, the trophy did not arrive in time for the first contest between the two teams last year and when the second clash was washed out, the clubs organised a non-competition game for last Sunday which was again, after five overs, rained off.
The clubs decided to share the trophy, Glenavy Cricket Club president Ross McCulloch said.
“[Smith] was a farmer too so maybe he thought we needed the rain instead,” McCulloch said.
“It is quite fitting. Although we would have loved to play the game, you can’t do much about the weather.”
Albion Cricket Club president Stephen Halliwell said Smith was a popular figure within the club.
“He was very loyal to both clubs,” Halliwell said.
“He always stayed behind for a beer and was good for a laugh.
“He was a big man, I might be under-doing it at six [foot] seven [inches], flaming red hair and a bright, intelligent and witty bloke – he was a good bloke to be around.”
Both sides missed Smith on the field as well.
In his last game, the second grade final of the 2015-16 season, he scored 102 not out batting six, and picked up five wickets.
The Glenavy team that he helped start has been carrying on his legacy this season, stepping up to senior cricket.
Although the Rangers only won one game, against Albion in the Dick Hunt Twenty20 competition, it was close to taking a few more scalps, including Saturday’s five-run loss to unbeaten Union.
“We should have won, probably,” McCulloch said.
“We were only batting with 10 [players], so that didn’t help.
“If we remember what happened on Saturday when we come back next year, it will help.
“A couple of wins would have instilled a bit of confidence.”
He said the team planned on returning next year and would hopefully pick up one or two extra players.
After the Union game on Saturday, the two sides had “quite a big session”, McCulloch said.
He was not entirely disappointed for Sunday’s game to be rained off.