The Alstonville U12 Gold team are a credit to the game of cricket. L-R Back - Caelan Hagate 11, Nkosilathi Malaba 11, Danny OToole 10, Ethan Rhodes 12, Middle - Alistair McRae 9, Blake McQueen 10, Nicholas Dougherty 10, Zak Bedwell 10.Sitting - Tom Stredder 12, Aidan Rogers, Mason Lasserre 11, Tyson Black 10, Sam Stredder 10. Absent, Lawson Ward. Back - Coach Peter O'Toole with assistants Steve McQueen and scoring manager, Ray Black.
The Alstonville U12 Gold team are a credit to the game of cricket. L-R Back - Caelan Hagate 11, Nkosilathi Malaba 11, Danny OToole 10, Ethan Rhodes 12, Middle - Alistair McRae 9, Blake McQueen 10, Nicholas Dougherty 10, Zak Bedwell 10.Sitting - Tom Stredder 12, Aidan Rogers, Mason Lasserre 11, Tyson Black 10, Sam Stredder 10. Absent, Lawson Ward. Back - Coach Peter O'Toole with assistants Steve McQueen and scoring manager, Ray Black. Alison Paterson

Young cricketers get top marks for sportsmanship

WHEN it comes to outstanding sportsmanship, camaraderie and dedication, elite cricketers could learn a lot from the recently formed Alstonville Under-12 Gold team.

They may have lost their first six matches, but according to coach Peter O'Toole the boys, who have come from around the region, are winners in positive thinking.

Watching the boys playing a practice match at their home ground at Geoff Watt Oval, O'Toole grins when he talks about the optimism and courage the players have shown.

Alstonville U12 Gold Crickets team's main bowlers, L-R Mason Lasserre, Alistair McRae, Blake McQueen, Ethan Rhodes , Tyson Black and Sam and Tom Stredder, show their spin
Alstonville U12 Gold Crickets team's main bowlers, L-R Mason Lasserre, Alistair McRae, Blake McQueen, Ethan Rhodes , Tyson Black and Sam and Tom Stredder, show their spin Alison Paterson

"They are a fantastic team and despite the results, they are all enthusiastic and love their cricket,” he said. "We came close last week. They only lost by 10 runs and from the boys' reactions you would think that they had won the World Cup.”

O'Toole said the team was a real united nations of players who had gelled magnificently.

Alstonville U12 Gold team's main batters, L-R,Danny O'Toole, Nicholas Dougherty, Aidan Rogers, Caelan Hagate, Zac Bedwell and Nkosilathi Malaba at Geoff Watt Oval take a break from their weekly training session.
Alstonville U12 Gold team's main batters, L-R,Danny O'Toole, Nicholas Dougherty, Aidan Rogers, Caelan Hagate, Zac Bedwell and Nkosilathi Malaba at Geoff Watt Oval take a break from their weekly training session. Alison Paterson

"There is a real mix of boys and most of them have not played much before,” he said.

"Two are in Year 3 in Ballina, three have South African parents, one is Scottish and one is half-English.

"The boys always encourage each other and there has not been any negative behaviour from them and they all turn up for training keen as anything.”

Alstonville U12 Gold Cricket Team practising at Geoff Watt Oval, display great sportsmanship in their first season. Caelan Hagate bats with team captain Aidan Rogers is wicket keeper.
Alstonville U12 Gold Cricket Team practising at Geoff Watt Oval, display great sportsmanship in their first season. Caelan Hagate bats with team captain Aidan Rogers is wicket keeper. Alison Paterson

The coach also paid tribute to the players' families, whom he said had got behind the youngsters on and off the field.

"The parents are great, they come along and help with training and scoring, and this makes a real difference,” he said.

Team captain Aidan Rogers, 11, who bats No4 as well as being the wicketkeeper, said he was super proud of the way the boys trained and played.

Alstonville U12 Gold Cricket Team practising at Geoff Watt Oval, display great sportsmanship in their first season. Danny O'Toole is batting while captain and wicket keeper Aidan Rogers looks to catch.
Alstonville U12 Gold Cricket Team practising at Geoff Watt Oval, display great sportsmanship in their first season. Danny O'Toole is batting while captain and wicket keeper Aidan Rogers looks to catch. Alison Paterson

"This is the first time I've been captain and there are challenges in leading a new team,” he said.

"You need to get to know everyone and learn who likes to play where, so if someone wants a go in a different position, I'll swap them and give them a go.”

Aidan said while he looked up to national and international players as role models, he reckons the elite women as really showing the world how the game should be played.

"The Southern Stars are really good,” he said with a smile.

"They are better than the men.”

Substitute captain Tyson Black, 10, said leading the team in Aidan's absence was a big responsibility.

"It's a really important duty,” he said.

"If the captain is not here you fill in and you can't mess things up.”

This week the Alstonville Gold Under-12 team has a bye so will keep their form up with an adults versus kids match.

If they are an indication, the future of Australian men's cricket is in good hands.



"Someone could have been injured or killed"

premium_icon "Someone could have been injured or killed"

An RFS crew sheltered in their truck as the grass fire overcame them

How this Ballina mum juggles kids and a thriving business

premium_icon How this Ballina mum juggles kids and a thriving business

"Kids are amazing but... having a passion is fulfilling as well”

GALLERY: Burnt out fire truck

premium_icon GALLERY: Burnt out fire truck

The RFS truck will probably be written off.

Local Partners