THE 70 or so people who attended the Bananacoast Community Credit Union Premier League and CRCA presentations on Saturday night will understand that cricket in the Clarence Valley is teetering on a precipice.
Behind us we have a past, that was once glorious, but which has pushed local cricket to the edge of a chasm.
There is no going back: local cricket can try keep struggling on, trying to keep balance on the edge of the cliff, risking a disastrous fall.
Or it can take a leap into the future.
The key step in this bold move into the future is to form a combined Clarence Valley first grade competition.
The challenge is to forget old rivalries and imagined differences. The goal is to form a combined competition that provides us with good competition and a venue to develop the game we all love.
-THIS will not happen with wishful thinking.
Administrators have already invested many hours of talks, phone calls and meetings putting these plans together.
As CRCA president Bruce Baxter noted in his address, the clubs must be prepared to come on board, ready for action well in advance of the start of next season.
The momentum this concerted action creates is irresistible and will be crucial to the success of the plan.
-PLANS for a combined competition are not the only change to the local cricket landscape.
The CRCA night competition, while a well-run adjunct to Saturday cricket, is beginning to show a few cracks.
This season a team dropped out, making it a five-team competition. Although this had no bearing on the standard of play, it's a pointer to a need for change.
The success of the introduction of Twenty20 cricket in Australia has shown administrators there is a market for abbreviated forms of the game that can run in parallel with longer forms of the game.
Bruce floated the idea of a Super 8 competition or at least a variation of it, which could involve not only cricket clubs, but also businesses and other organisations in two games on Monday nights.
-QUICK Singles congratulates all the winners on the night. The Westlawn Club's premier league titles and the CRCA second grade major premiership and Coutts Crossing in third grade were all deserved winners.
Andrew Firth continued to dominate the 2GF Cricketer of the Year award and this year also won the notoriously tough Russ Ellem All Rounder's Trophy.
South Services' Matt Hartmann capped off a great year by winning The Daily Examiner Rookie of the Year.
The column also wishes outgoing CRCA president Bruce Baxter and secretary Bill Wynn all the best. They have done a great job.
-THE Clarence Valley's Sydney metropolitan connection did not have any success when it came to finals cricket.
The unluckiest of these would have to be former Brothers' allrounder Tony Martin's Randwick Petersham thirds.
After finishing top of the competition, it played the sixth place team in the semi-finals.
Unfortunately the Randy Petes lost the toss on a dodgy track. Things only got worse from there.
Not only did they lose the game, but other results in the finals series meant they were out of the finals altogether ? a bit tough to take when your team has lost only two games all season.
-OTHER players Quick Singles has been tracking, former Westlawn wicketkeeper batsman Ted Neaves and South Services batsman Ashley Cowan, also dipped out.
Ted was playing with the Rand- wick Petersham fifths and Ash was one of Sydney University's fourth grade team's big guns.
ONE Clarence cricketing identity who did feature in the finals was our own umpiring guru, Darren Goodger.
Goodger, rated the umpire of the season last year, umpired the second grade grand final last weekend, an appointment that delighted him.
"The players couldn't make it. It was up to the umpires to carry the flag for the Clarence," he said.
-TONY Martin's disappointment at his team's finals' performance is sure to be shortlived.
Marto is about to head off to England, playing cricket in Northamptonshire during the English summer.
Although proud dad Neil was a bit short on the details as yet, it appears Tony will be in a semi-professional position providing coaching a few days a week in addition to playing commitments.
And to make the trip even more pleasant Tony's wife Katie will be able to join him for 10 or 11 weeks of his stay.
-TUCABIA-Copmanhurst Cricket Club held its senior presentation at the Good Intent Hotel recently. The night was well supported by players, Life Members and trophy donors, family and friends.
After the meal, presentation and some inspiring words from guests at the presentation, entertainment by way of karaoke took place.
First grade's tribute to their baby sitter' by way of a re-worked classic Do Do Do Rhonda' will go into the archives as a classic. However, some of the vocals as the night proceeded would have had the neighbourhood hounds running for cover.
Club spirit was at a premium and everyone is looking forward to next season.
Tucabia-Copmanhurst Cricket Club would like to express great thanks to its supporters and especially the crew on both sides of the bar at the Good Intent Hotel.
-CRCA junior cricketers are in for a treat later today, with NSW Pura Cup opening bowler Stuart Clark the guest of honour for their presentation night tonight.
Clark took 40 wickets for the NSW Speedblitz Blues this season and was one of the reasons the Blues pulled off their surprise Pura Cup win this season
Part of the evening will include a DVD presentation of highlights from Clark's career followed by a question and answer session.
The evening begins at 5pm in the South Grafton High School auditori- um.
-SOUTH Services will hold its presentation night on Saturday in the South Grafton Ex-Services Club.
-THAT'S it for another cricket season.
Thanks to Darren Goodger for his input. Thanks to all the people who write and phone in and lastly, thanks to The Daily Examiner for publishing it.