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Kooris battle back for Masters Games

The Koori Males cricket team raring to go at the Lismore Workers Club Masters Games.
The Koori Males cricket team raring to go at the Lismore Workers Club Masters Games. Mitchell Craig

IT was handshakes and hugs all round when the Koori Males cricket team reunited for the 10th Lismore Workers Masters Games at Mortimer Oval yesterday.

Some of them had not seen each other since the last running of the games in 2015 with the team enjoying the social side of the competition with no activity or training in the lead-up.

The Lismore floods washed away most of their equipment earlier this year and they rocked up with a couple of bats, a few pads with a stump and one ball in the kit bag for the first game.

"No training for us and we had talked about getting together for a barbecue a few weeks ago but that didn't even happen,” team captain Craig Jenkins joked.

"We have a few blokes in the team that have played cricket over the years but most of us are just battlers.

"Most of us are Kooris and the Koori Mail newspaper have supported us right from the beginning with caps, hats and everything else.

"We changed the name a bit for the play on words but that is where it all comes from. We're really just mates that get together and want to have a bit of fun.

The age range is 42-65 with the youngest member Ben Riley coming back from the Gold Coast to play.

It will be a busy weekend for Laurie Mercy who opened the batting yesterday and is also part of the Oztag competition.

Other members of the team include Norton Bolt, Stephen Ferguson, Andrew Fitzgerald, Colin Hill, Dennis Randall, Kenneth Randall and Shane Randall.

The team's proudest moment came in 2013 when they won the D-Grade part of the competition.

"That was a special year because we'd been playing together for a while and to get a win was fantastic,” Jenkins said.

"There can be some fierce competition here and the guys from Wauchope usually bring a pretty gun side.

"You can get some pretty serious cricketers here that aspire to play the A-Grade final but we're generally happy in D-Grade.