A 20-year dream for Moree cricketers became a reality recently when a traditional white picket fence was installed around one of the cricket fields at Ron Harborne Oval.
The fence has been on the wishlist for Moree cricket for the past 20 years, and now, thanks to a partnership between Moree junior and senior cricket clubs and Moree Plains Shire Council, has come to fruition.
“It’s something we’ve always wanted,” Moree Junior Cricket Association president David Watts said.
“We’ve been talking about it for 20 years and many committees have tried to make this happen.”
Costing a total of $49,500, the fence was half funded by council while Moree junior and senior clubs contributed the remainder.
Money raised at Moree Junior Cricket’s upcoming Sports Dinner on Friday, October 20, will be put back into the cost of the fence, as well as other upgrades to the cricket facilities at Ron Harborne Oval.
Mr Watts said the biggest incentive for building a fence around one of the cricket fields is to eventually get more items ticked off the wishlist.
“The goal is to continue applying for other grants,” he said.
“We needed to have a number one cricket field and it needed to be fenced to apply for grants.
“We’ve got a big wishlist.”
Other items on the wishlist includes new lights, new sideboards and screens, as well as general upgrades to the cricket facilities, which Mr Watts said won’t only benefit junior and senior cricket, but other sports, including AFL.
The new fence was installed by members of both Moree Junior Cricket and Moree and District Cricket Associations during the first week of the school holidays, while IK Fencing erected the posts.
Mr Watts said Ron Harborne Oval now looks “like a proper cricket oval”.
“Some of our older players have never played on a decent field with a picket fence,” he said.
“It’s very rewarding to see it up, we’ve been getting lots of compliments from the community.
“We’re positive about it and the cricket community is happy with it.”
Prior to the installment of the fence, council funded a new turfed pitch with five new wickets, which Mr Watts said is another win for local cricketers.
“It enables us to play junior and senior cricket on the turf,” he said.
“We did [have turf] but it wasn’t a good wicket, it needed a lot of work.”
The new turf will be used for the first time this Saturday, October 14, as both the senior and junior cricket season begins.
Registrations are still being taken at www.mycricket.com.au and Mr Watts encourages all boys and girls aged five to 14 to get involved.
“It’s a good sport, Moree cricket is very strong and we’ve got some good juniors coming through,” he said.
Tickets for Moree Junior Cricket’s Sports Dinner are still available.
The dinner will feature sporting celebrities Brad Haddin (former Australian cricketer), Abbey McCulloch (NSW Swifts netballer) and Tom Carter (former Waratahs rugby union player), with Sydney Radio Show’s Big Sports Breakfast Jimmy Smith to MC.
There will also be auctions, a major raffle and lucky door prizes.
Tickets are $100 which includes hor d’oeuvres, a main and dessert plate, and can be purchased at A Tasty Surprise.