Saturday was a special day for the Oamaru Cricket Club.
Not only did it secure a place in this weekend’s Borton Cup final, but seven players were written into club history as they were presented with commemorative 50th-game caps.
At a ceremony on Saturday morning, life member Mark Julius presented Ben Coleman with his 50th cap. Coleman then presented caps to fellow players Nick Johnston, Reece Curle, Matt Murphy, Jordan Bartlett, Robbie Breen and Andrew Brookes.
Coleman, Oamaru Cricket Club vice-president and life member, said it gave him “an immense amount of pride an honour” to present caps to members who had played at least 50 senior games for Oamaru Cricket Club and to Brookes for his long service.
The caps were not just in recognition of their skill level, he said.
“It’s also in recognition of your loyalty to the club, your camaraderie with your mates, the spirit with which you conduct yourself on the field, the honour which you carry when you’re wearing Oamaru colours, the pride you’ve got for your club and it really is something to be intensely proud of,” Coleman said.
“These are the moments, right now, that you will remember when you’re an old man with your grandchildren on your knee.”
Oamaru Cricket Club has had an exceptional season.
The 2018 Borton Cup holder is undefeated in this year’s senior competition, won the Dick Hunt Memorial Trophy for the first time since 2009, and has also added its name to the Payne Tempero challenge trophy and the David Sewell Shield.
Coleman said the next step was to reinvigorate the club’s junior ranks and field second grade and senior reserve teams in next season’s competition.
“We’ll be looking to those projects in the near future, he said.
Coleman’s involvement with the club started two days after he moved to Oamaru from Wellington.
“I’d come down to continue my career as a solicitor and I went out to watch some local cricket and Stuart Dean literally approached me on the sideline and from that point onward I’ve been a big club man,” he said.
“It’s a great club – aside from my wife, my children, my family and work, it’s right up there.”