REVEALED: Top 10 veterans in Clarence Valley sport
THE Clarence Valley is a melting pot for sports lovers of all ages and skill levels to come together and try their hand at just about any code.
We’re not talking about the sports with a veterans category like golf or bowls, which require their own set of skills, but the physically demanding codes where these masters of the game are taking on people half their age.
Being a cricket mad country, we have our fair share of seniors playing across competitions in the Clarence and on the North Coast, but the hockey and rugby league scenes have been home to some impressive efforts from the older generations.
Without further adieu, here is The Daily Examiner’s Top 10 veterans in Clarence Valley sport:
10. Geoff Simmons, cricket, Maclean United: Kicking things off is Maclean United Cricket Club veteran Simmons. The experienced batsman had himself another strong season last year with 182 runs at a 20.22 average and a high score of 41.
Simmons looks certain to make an impact with the Lower Clarence Cricket Association powerhouse in the season ahead.
9. Kurt Schevermann, rugby league, South Grafton Rebels: A true workhorse, Schevermann returned to the Rebels reserve grade last season and had a huge impact to help take the side to the Group 2 Reserve Grade grand final.
8. Dean Cribb, boxing, Grafton Amateur Boxing Club: At 47, boxing coach Cribb is training the next generation, but earlier this year he decided to step back into the ring. While it didn’t go his way, it was a huge effort from a Clarence legend.
7. Steve Kirby, rugby league, South Grafton Rebels: Another returning player to the Rebels reserve grade side last season, Kirby was colossal from the front and lifted his side around him. Yet to see if he has anything left in the tank but you just can’t write him off.
6. Matt Pigg, cricket, Tucabia-Copmanhurst” Still a mainstay in Tucabia-Copamnhurst’s dominant Premier League side, Pigg has been piling on the runs and serving up the spin for decades now and is feared by bowlers and batsmen alike across the Clarence River Cricket Association.
5. Matt Young, cricket, Harwood: While the name is quite contradictory at the age of 51, the Harwood stalwart is still young at heart and continues to show the young’uns how to play year after year.
4. Dave Dart, hockey and Oztag, City Bears: Dart by name, Dart by nature, this one’s sharp. A mainstay in a dominant City Bears Hockey Club A Grade side, Dart has offered his services longer than most and has been key in the club’s success.
Playing in the Oztag national championships is just another of his long list of sporting achievements.
3. Mick Russ, hockey, City Bears: If you know Grafton hockey, you’ve heard of Mick Russ. The City Bears legend has had multiple Australian caps across a range of age groups and continues to school the kids in GHA competitions.
2. Mark Ensbey, cricket, Harwood: The last cricketer on our list, Mark ‘Dicky’ Ensbey is the lifeblood of Harwood’s North Coast Premier League side and has led by example for the flourishing next generation. When Dicky gets the willow in his hands you know he’s in for a good knock.
1. Matt Lobsey, hockey and cricket, Royals and Easts Westlawn: A jack of all trades, Lobsey tears it up on the cricket pitch in summer and the hockey fields in winter. Another multiple time Australian representative, Lobsey has done it all. What’s next for the top veteran?
There you have it, the Top 10 veterans in Clarence Valley sport. Let us know if we missed anyone in the comments below.