Onehunga Mallers represent themselves with pride
A local cricket team represented New Zealand with pride at two international cricket matches, at Waikaraka Park in February. The Onehunga Mallers’ cricket team, and a team from the Auckland Cricket Society, took on teams from South Australia’s Veterans’ Cricket Over-60 League.
The Golden Oldie matches were part of an 18-day North Island tour by 25 Aussie cricketers. The Waikaraka games were the first of the tour, played the day after the Aussies had arrived. From Onehunga, the tour moved to Karaka for two more matches against Counties-based sides. Then, they went further south with games lined up in Matamata, Morrinsville, Reporoa and Rotorua, before heading to Wellington for their final games.
The Waikaraka leg of the tour resulted in a rare double New Zealand victory over Aussie cricket teams. The local Mallers easily defended 211, while the Society team had more of a cliff hanger, chasing down 167 in the last over.
The fact that the Kiwi teams had the advantage of younger over 40’s players, as opposed to the Aussies’ over 60’s, was of little concern. The tour was in the great traditions of the sport; the chance to get out on the pitch and have a game, followed by a convivial after-match function, was more important than the result.
The end of the day saw the visitors hosted to a full dinner in the Waikaraka Pavilion, and a chance to swap cricketing stories well into the night. The evening ended with the Aussies issuing an open invitation to both the Mallers and Society teams for a return tour of South Australia. Planning for that trip has already started