By Jackson Russell
The Gisborne and District Cricket Association returns this weekend, with both senior and junior teams taking part in a regional club competition until metropolitan clubs return to begin the season proper.
The friendly competition has been organised into six pools, with teams grouped according to their usual grade. Pool A consists of McIntyre Cup teams, Pool B consists of Johnstone Shield teams, and so on.
The entire competition will consist of one-day matches so a confirmed case of COVID-19 will not affect a two-day match.
Matches have currently been scheduled up until October 31.
Romsey will field teams in Pool A and Pool C, Lancefield will field teams in Pool D and Pool F, and Wallan will have four teams across Pools B, E and F.
GDCA president Rob McIntyre said numbers at training had been good after communities were starved for community sport throughout winter.
“People are certainly keen to get out and play some sport even if it’s not for points,” he said.
With metropolitan Melbourne unable to meet its target for easing restrictions, McIntyre said the association was waiting for an announcement from the State Government on the return of metropolitan clubs.
He said a decision would be made on Sunday about the future of the season and whether the association would have to continue with just a regional competition.
Romsey president Michael Richardson said the club was looking forward to getting out on the field.
“They just want to play sport. Quite a few of the boys normally play footy and haven’t been able to do that and we’re looking forward to the season and it’s a bonus that we’re able to get the practice matches going,” he said.
“Normally we have three teams and we’ve got about eight blokes that play for us that live in Sunbury and Melbourne so a few of these are ones players and we have to wait until the next stage before they get out there.
“Those that are training are enjoying it and those that are in Sunbury are very jealous. I’m getting a lot of calls from them asking how we’re going.”
Romsey is still looking for junior players for boys’ and girls’ teams across all age groups.
Wallan president Sam Mahony said the Magpies were on the verge of being able to field a fifth senior team along with six junior teams.
“We’ll have four senior men’s teams playing this Saturday and we’ve got under 17s, under 15s, and two under 13 boys’ sides also playing this weekend. We’ve also got under 15s and under 13s girls teams starting after the Melbourne Cup,” he said.
“We’ve had 53 at training so we’re close to a fifth side and we’re encouraging everyone that they’re more than welcome to come down.”