RIGHT: Casino Cavaliers fast bowler Al Nowlan fires one in during a Far North Coast LJ Hooker League match at Fripp Oval, Ballina.
RIGHT: Casino Cavaliers fast bowler Al Nowlan fires one in during a Far North Coast LJ Hooker League match at Fripp Oval, Ballina. Photo: Rodney Stevens

Body holds up for ageless Al

HE might have celebrated his 50th birthday a fortnight ago but there is no stopping Casino Cavaliers fast bowler Al Nowlan from playing another summer in Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket.

Nowlan is the longest- serving player in the competition and was there for the inaugural Hooker League season in 1994-95.

Casino is a young side in a rebuilding phase with Nowlan the last player left from the team that he captained when they were joint premiers with Ballina Bears in 2011-12.

He will be there for the Cavaliers when they travel to take on Lennox Head in a one-day game at Meagan Crescent Oval, Lennox Head, today.

"I didn't think I would last this long but the body has held up surprisingly well,” Nowlan said.

"I know every little niggle in my body and how to stretch it, I find a way to go and once I get out there I'm pretty well right to keep going.

"I wear (prescription) glasses when I bat and seeing the stumps isn't as is easy as it once was but I'll keep playing for as long as I can.”

The closest player to him in age is Cudgen left-arm spinner Anthony Kershler, who will turn 50 in July.

Nowlan has never had any problem taking wickets and he finished the season with 45 when the Cavaliers won the premiership in 2009-10.

Teenagers Tom Carlton and Sam Walters look to be the future of the fast bowlers at Casino while they have an off-spinner in Nick Ensby and a leg-spinner in Barry Franks.

Nowlan has been bowling fewer overs in the past couple of seasons but could be back opening the bowling this weekend with Casino limited in its fast bowling stocks.

"That might just about finish me off but I'm up for the challenge,” Nowlan said.

"I actually feel like I'm bowling a bit quicker this season but that might all fall apart after a few hot days.

"It's the young guys in the team that make training fun and they bring that enthusiasm.

"We haven't really got any other old heads but I think we can sneak up around that top four.”

In other games today:

Marist Brothers take on Tintenbar-East Ballina at Nielson Park, East Lismore.

Defending premiers Alstonville play Cudgen in a rematch of the 2016-17 final at Reg Dalton Oval, Kingscliff.

Murwillumbah host Pottsville at Rabjones Oval.

Ballina Bears have the bye.



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