• Matt Cleary

Sport: Around the Grounds, Issue 4, Apr 2021

The January lull is done and dusted, and footy season is in the air. But our cricketers, softball players and dragon boat racers are still in their swinging and splashing.

Fast, furious and fun – Dragon Boat Racing, Bei Loon style!

Cricket

The Beacon Hill Hawks have defeated Manly Rugby League Cricket Club Sea Eagles by six wickets in the grand final of the Mike Pawley T20 Plate competition. Set 166 to win in their 20 overs, the Hawks went ballistic from the get-go with Aarka Saha (47 off 29 balls), Robin Singh (31 off 13) and notably Gunpreet “Big Gun” Deo (65 off 27 including 8 sixes and 1 four) cruising past the Sea Eagles’ total with 5.2 overs to spare.

In the grand final of the WG Foster Shield at Campbell Park in Chiswick, Manly Warringah’s U12 Division Two cricket team beat North Shore by four wickets. Chasing North Shore’s 6/125 the Manly boys were in dire straits at 4/12 in the 40-over fixture. Cometh the hour, cometh Dylan Thompson (48*) and Rory Toole (31), who shared a match-winning 49-run partnership before Thomas Walker scored a quick-fire and valuable 20 runs at the end. Thompson would hit the winning runs in the 36th over with his team six wickets down. Best with the ball for Manly were Thomas Walker, Will Cunningham, captain Henry Matthews and left-arm tweaker Freddie Schneidereit.

Softball

The Peninsula Raiders faced an uphill battle from the start in their match against Warringah Hunters, with star pitchers Kirra Gilchrist and Gracie Tetz out for the weekend attending U/16 Selection Camps for the NSW state team. On top of that the Raiders’ coach Kellie Cohen and youngest player Talea Tonga were missing in action because of a clash with the Touch Footy State Championships in Port Macquarie.

That left the Raiders with seven fielders, no pitcher and needing a huge team effort in very hot and trying circumstances. They turned one on. The “Magnificent Seven” of Jess Fraanje; Anna Butler; Emily Harrison; Kirra Wilkins; Carys Thomas-Mcdonnell; Ingrid Frew and Izzy Frew prevailed 9-8 over Warringah in a cliff-hanger.

Dragonboat Racing

Scotland Island has a famous swimming race for dogs and a less famous but more spectacular one for dragons. Well, dragon boats, actually. And on the morning of Saturday, 30 January, they set off from Rowland Reserve, Bayview and lapped the prominent rock, carving through the Pittwater like Vikings from Japan. The race has been going ten years, with nine teams from NSW and the ACT contesting two races this year.

Each boat holds up to 20 people which meant there were about 100 competitors smashing their oars into the briny as their brightly-coloured racing boats surge through the spume. “At 9.5km it’s the longest sanctioned race on the annual calendar,” said Bei Loon Dragon Boat Club media official, Andy Kyiet. “Normal racing distances are between 200m and 2km. And it’s held at what’s generally agreed to be the most spectacular location for the sport. Visiting clubs relish the opportunity to compete in our unique endurance event, which takes 45 to 55 minutes at racing speed,” said Kyiet.


Keep up to date with the local sports action in the Northern Beaches Sports Tribune www.northernbeachessportstribune.com.au

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