GCA players rejoice after long-awaited return to play

November 25, 2021 BY

Newton and Chilwell captain Dylan Hodge bowled nine overs and snagged two wickets for 25 runs in his side's win over Highton on Saturday. Photo: MARCEL BERENS/SPORTS MEDIA IMAGES

LAST weekend was a long-awaited one for all clubs within the Geelong Cricket Association (GCA).

GCA competitions usually begin in late September, but following a two-week postponement, a lengthy statewide lockdown and a Round 1 weather abandonment, all three divisions and eight one-day leagues finally hit the wicket on November 20.

Continuing with last season’s one-day format as opposed to the traditional two-day schedule, GCA players were treated to a cloudy but familiar day for sport.

For Newton and Chilwell captain Dylan Hodge, it was a great feeling to put his team’s lengthy preseason into action against Highton.

“We’ve been pretty lucky with our facilities and being able to train the last four to six weeks,” Hodge said.

“It was good to do that and spend time with the team but being able to play games and finally work towards something is a lot more enjoyable than just training, that’s for sure.”

The Two Blues were able to prevail over Highton Cricket Club at Queens Park in what was technically the side’s home opener, following the abandonment of last week’s contest with South Barwon Cricket Club.

Newtown and Chilwell’s 8/147 were enough to chase down Highton’s 145 runs on the back of Tom Meredith’s 66 runs (not out).

Out in North Geelong, it was not the ideal start for the reigning premiers over the weekend as the Magpies went down to Lara at Osborne Park.

North Geelong struggled to tally a substantial run rate, getting bowled out for 158 with Lara’s Casey Young and Luke Wilson each taking three wickets.

Nevertheless, North Geelong’s vice-captain Adam Costello said while it was disappointing his side could not get their side’s season off on the right foot, it was a day full of fun and getting back to what they love.

“It was unreal mate. Just to be back and up and about, everyone was happy,” Costello said.

“Everyone had been a bit overtrained towards the end of preseason, training two days a week and not playing on the weekend. It became a bit frustrating.

“But to finally get back on the field it felt really good.”

Round 3 of GCA action commences this week with North Geelong traveling to King Lloyd Recreation Reserve to face Murgheboluc, while Newtown and Chilwell and Lara both look to start their seasons with 2-0 records at Bisinella Oval.

Bell Post Hill faces off with East Belmont, Grovedale will host St Josephs and Highton squares off with South Barwon rounding off this weekend’s contests.

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