Cricket clubs with lion hearts roar down the pitch
A SEASON without winning a single match might have broken the spirit of a lesser cricket team.
But the players in the Alstonville Gold U12 are made of sterner stuff.
A year ago the Northern Star ran a story on how these lads from the Alstonville & District Junior Cricket Club were staying positive despite facing an almost insurmountable losing streak.
Week after week they were losing matches, albeit by less and less.
But this season, they have regrouped, kept the faith by training harder and working together to emerge triumphant.
And while some clubs might see a score of two wins and two losses not good enough, for these players it's an immense sense of achievement.
Team captain Lawson Ward said the camaraderie has been crucial in giving everyone a feeling they are part of something special.
"All of us have really become friends,” he said.
Vic-captain Sam Stredder said everyone has been making a strong effort to improve.
"We are training harder and taking it all a lot more seriously,” he said.
According to coach Peter O'Toole, the boys are showing a maturity beyond their years.
"We have six from last year, Zak Bedwell, Danny O'Toole, Nick Dougherty, Sam Stredder, Lawson Ward and Mason Lasserre,” he said.
"Our new players are Dominic Pearce, Damon Dwyer, Rory Hollingsworth, Braydon O'Connor, Sam Dayhew and Kirvlan Lasserre.”
O'Toole said the team has concentrated on communicating more clearly as well at practice and during the match.
"They seem a lot more confident this year, they have grown up a bit more and understand they have to work together more,” he said.
"Especially after the first win this year, they lifted and have been playing really well.”
Meanwhile, the up-and-coming players in the Alstonville Maroon U12 are also showing they are also on their way to glory.
Coach Luke Davis said the player are seriously talented and full of enthusiasm.
Davis said the team which comprises brothers Harry and Oliver Condon, Toby Perkins, Will Gage, Zach Rojo, Harrison Crether, Harvey Moore, John Gooding, Oliver Davis, Lachlie Barns, Harvey Standen and Charlie North are a joy to coach.
"I'm really proud of the boys, they have won two of their four matches so far,” he said.
"They are training well, trying hard and playing great.”