Trek to Imparja begins
By STEVE SPINKS
THE long road to the Imparja Cup begins this Sunday when the Twenty20 Bundjalung Aboriginal Cricket Carnival is held at Ballina.
The Imparja Cup, the symbol of cricket supremacy in Indigenous cricket, was won by NSW last year and Ballina all-rounder Andrew Gordon was part of it.
It was a fitting reward for Gordon, who had been in two losing finals at previous events.
The Imparja Cup, which is held at Alice Springs in early February, is contested by teams from each State and Territory.
From the carnival this Sunday a Far North Coast team will be selected to play Mid North Coast at Sawtell on November 25 in a selection trial for a North Coast team.
North Coast will then travel to Moree to play Central North on December 7 and players will be invited to trial for the NSW Imparja team in Sydney from there.
While selecting the Far North Coast Aboriginal team is the focus this Sunday, the Bundjalung carnival is going from strength to strength.
Now in its third year, Gordon, who doubles as the carnival organiser, is hopeful eight teams will play. Four teams contested the first carnival in 2005.
"We have five definite teams and three that are still determining players," he said.
Matches will be centred on Fripp Oval, with Saunders Oval also being used.
Teams that have confirmed they will compete include Casino, two Lismore Boomerangs sides, Coraki and the Woghun Warriors, while Gordon is awaiting final team lists from Bullinah, West Ballina and defending champions Cabbage Tree Island.
Matches will start from 9am on Sunday. The carnival is being supported by Ballina Bears Cricket Club, Cricket NSW, Blanchs Bus Company, Ballina-Byron Home Modifications, Beddoes Trophies and Barlows Bolt Barn.
An Aboriginal cricket junior development day will be held at Fripp Oval, Ballina, on December 2. For further information contact Gordon on 0429-868782.