LONG INNINGS: A file picture of John Lee batting for his beloved Eastern Districts in a Lismore fourth grade match at the Recreation Grounds. Lee was guest of honour during a match at Oakes Oval to celebrate his 80th birthday and as the Far North Coast’s longest-serving player.
LONG INNINGS: A file picture of John Lee batting for his beloved Eastern Districts in a Lismore fourth grade match at the Recreation Grounds. Lee was guest of honour during a match at Oakes Oval to celebrate his 80th birthday and as the Far North Coast’s longest-serving player.

Lee makes 80 not out

A TRIBUTE cricket match was played at Oakes Oval last Sunday to honour the Far North Coast's oldest competition player.

John Lee turned 80 last week and a match was arranged by the Lismore Emerging Greys Cricket Club to celebrate the milestone.

Lee is a life member of the Eastern Districts club and the Lismore District Cricket Association, while his wife Marie is also a club stalwart and was a great worker for women's cricket, with an oval at South Lismore named in her honour.

Although a long-serving member of the Lismore Legends, this time Lee led an Eastern Districts XI against the veterans' team.

Lee's XI included his sons, Colin and Stephen, and a number of Easts identities.

The umpires were Harold Crozier, John McMahon, Jeff Walsh and Norman Ryder.

Fittingly, Lee opened and batted through half his team's 40-over innings.

"He smashed 10 singles from gully to backward point," Geoff Gaggin, one of the organisers, said.

"A feature was a neatly executed single to the on side, which strangely enough did not bring about a fielding change."

Others among the runs for Lee's XI in a total of 145 were Andrew Mustard (31), Malcolm Bird (30) and Vinnie Bell (25).

Chief wicket-takers for Lismore Legends were lefties Bernie MacDonald (2-6) and Geoff Gaggin (2-9), along with Keith Doherty (2-12) and Pete Koskela (2-16).

In the spirit of the day, the Legends tied the game from the last ball.

Bill Crane (30), Koskela (27), Kevin Wilson (20) and Greg Pearson (15) batted well. The best of the bowlers were Ray Sanders (3-12), Shane Stevens (2-11) and Wayne Cox (2-26).

Along with John Lee, three other veterans of Lismore cricket turned 80 this year - Crozier, McMahon and Ken Trimble.



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