Dave tries his finger in Brisbane
By STEVE SPINKS
HE came, he umpired, he Went.
Lismore umpire David Went will not be in the middle when Far North Coast LJ Hooker League regional cricket starts this weekend.
No, he's not retiring.
Instead he's officiating in Brisbane with the hope of breaking into the big leagues.
Well, that's the plan.
Went has umpired in Lismore for the past eight years, but he will head north every weekend this summer to stand in the strong QCA grade competition.
"I want to try to attain the highest level I can," Went said.
"If you want to get any further and stand in Second XI or Pura Cup games, you need to be in a capital city.
"I'll still live in Lismore."
The 50-year-old officiated in the 2003-04 Hooker League final earlier this year.
It was his third regional club final.
He has also stood in a one-day final.
The regional manager of Kerry Pinnacle ? a bakery ingredients outlet ? Went considers himself a cricketer of little talent.
"My great claim is that I captained my school team," he laughed.
"My other claim is that I am a fourth cousin of Alan Knott (a former English Test wicketkeeper)."
He has already umpired a third grade match in Brisbane and he will start in second grade this weekend.
His aim is to be in first grade by about Christmas.
If he does crack the top grade, it won't be the first time he has umpired a city first grade contest.
Last December Went stood in a one-day match between first grade clubs Gordon and North Sydney at North Sydney Oval.
Pakistan paceman Waqar Younis was bowling that day.
"He was bowling at only three-quarter pace, but you still had to concentrate hard," Went said.
Asked for a comparison of the local competition with Brisbane, Went was complimentary.
"Third grade would be even with the top four sides in the Hooker League," he said.
"Second grade would be a level above.
"But remember, that's only the teams I've seen."
Went will umpire grade cricket on Saturday and the Lord's Taverners Cup, an Under-16 representative competition, on Sundays.
His wife is more than happy with the arrangements, as the Wents have family in Brisbane.