By TIM HOWARD
BROTHERS veteran player and administrator Peter Ryan has a long memory.
Walking off the field for the last time as a player two weekends ago, he was delighted and humbled to see the opposition players from Tucabia Copmanhurst form a guard of honour to cheer him from the field.
Peter said it was a surprising coincidence that his first game all those years was against the same club.
Or was it? Doo-doo-doo-doodoo-doo (Hum to the tune of the Twilight Zone).
nQUICK Singles congratulates all the teams that made grand finals in the Premier League, CRCA and LCCA competitions.
This is the game you've been playing to get in all season and the type of match all cricketers love to play in.
In Grafton the supporters of the Westlawn and South Services clubs will have a feast of cricket to support, with the clubs fielding the grand finalists in both Premier League and CRCA second grade.
Westlawn's elder statesmen will be trying to win a fourth consecutive title and South's young guns will be out to make a name for themselves by knocking them off. It's a match worth having a look at.
nDOWNRIVER United and Iluka do battle in the top grade after United's comprehensive outright win over Yamba.
In seconds Lawrence and Wanderers meet and the third grade decider will be between Brush- grove and Lawrence.
nTHE prospect of the muchneeded union of the upper and lower river competitions at first grade level seems to be receding.
Earlier in the year things seemed rosy with association presidents Kevin Styles down river and Bruce Baxter in Grafton working toward a united competition as early as next season.
However, opposition to the idea is growing with some players reportedly adamant they will not play in a combined competition.
Fair enough, that is their right, but is it fair they attempt to coerce others into that way of thinking.
The administrators and players pushing for this move have the interests of the game well into the future in mind and it is becoming increasingly obvious that combined competitions are the way to go.
nAS it stands now, the Bananacoast Community Credit Union Premier League theoretically straddles both competitions.
Over the years problems in the structure have emerged with some resistance to the CRCA being the umbrella group for the competition.
OK. So form a new umbrella group with equitable representation from both ends of the competition. Call the competition a new name and get it going.
Quick Singles feels like a broken record saying it, but the combined Under-16 competition provides the template for a similar senior organization.
More urgently the combined competition needs to form to give the current highly talented crop of junior cricketers an avenue to de- velop their games.
nQUICK Singles was pleased to hear the leg-spinning skills of Under-16 cricketer Jaryd Lynch have been developing nicely.
Young Lynchie has learned a valuable lesson at an early age: there's an easy way to get a lot of batters out -? bowl slow.
The grapevine says Jaryd has been on a hat trick four times this season and missed them all.
But he went mighty close in the final, taking three wickets in four balls.
nLAST week in Quick Singles was wearing his new Daily Examiner sports editor's hat when he presented trophies to the winners of The Daily Examiner Shield girls competition.
While congratulating the winners South Grafton High School for a pretty comprehensive win and presenting South High skipper Malina Rumble with the shield, the high spirits of all the players was noticeable.
Both winning and losing teams had smiles on their faces and were enjoying the post-match gathering.
The coaches said the game had been played in the best of spirits with the girls on both teams displaying sportsmanship of the highest quality.
Oh and congratulations to Angela Payne. Her all-round skills scored her both the Player of the Match and Series trophies.
nAS a quick stop press, Quick Singles congratulates the girls again on winning their way into the last four in the State with a comprehensive win over Hills Sports High School yesterday.
In a good team performance, South High scored 122 and Hills were never in the hunt, bowled out for 76.
nWHAT is it with Shane Warne? He can't even buy a new house and move into it without there being a drama.
First of all there was the fuss that he was going at all, then apparently he and wife Simone, had not agreed on the decision.
Shane Warne is a professional cricketer, making enough money that he has the opportunity to do some things most of us only dream about.
While he is still bowling beauti- fully for Australia, he can live where he likes.
nFORMER Australian opening batsman Michael Slater's admission on the ABC TV show Enough Rope, that he has bi-polar disorder, was a courageous and eventually inspiring story.
Dealing with mental illness is doubly difficult, as the illness incapacitates you, and the rest of the world thinks you're mad.
Slats displayed the same sort of courage he employed when opening the batting for his country, striking back and getting on with the game, or in this case, his life.
nAUSTRALIAN cricket has to sort out the 12th man position in the team when other big matches are going on.
It appears Brett Lee is unlikely to be allowed to play for Queensland in the Pura Cup final at the weekend.
And no doubt the same would apply to Michael Kasprowicz should he be asked to carry the drinks.
It's unfair on cricketers to miss out on games, even allowing that you have the honour of being the 12th man for the Test team. And having a drawcard like Brett Lee or Kasper in the game would make the Pura Cup final a better game.
In Black and White
LAST week ING Cup umpire Darren Goodger asked: The batsman hits the ball down to the long on boundary where the fielder in the process of catching the ball, overbalances and falls over the boundary. But while in the field of play, he throws the ball in the air before leaving the ground. The fielder then recovers his balance and returns to the field of play and completes the catch. He appeals for the dismissal. What is your decision?
Answer: the striker is out, caught.
For next week Darren asks: A batsman on strike hits the ball in the air, the non-striker, calls out loudly 'drop it' just as a fielder is about to make the catch. After the fielder drops the ball, the batsmen complete a run. Then a member of the fielding side makes an appeal of 'howzat' to the umpire at the bowlers end. What is your decision?
In Black and White is brought to you with the compliments of the NSW Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association, local contact Paul McErlean 66423815.