Tough choice looms for selectors
GOOD hand-to-eye co-ordination, speed, agility, determination, concentration and the love of the job are all important ingredients for a successful wicketkeeper.
The ’keeper is the stalwart of a good cricket team. Often underrated, the ’keeper is critical to the success of a team.
Graeme Payne, John Fenn and current Harwood captain and gloveman Tim McMahon all epitomise what good keeping is about.
But will they make the Clarence Valley Dream Team?
The Clarence has produced many outstanding ’keepers over the years dating back to the legendary Adie Lawrence.
At Country Week in 1938 Lawrence reportedly did not concede a bye in five days of play.
In recent times Westlawn’s Nathan Westbury made a statement with both gloves and bat.
Described as the ultimate keeper/batsman who had few peers in a stellar career.
Brilliant behind the stumps, Payne was more than capable of playing at a much higher level and probably should have.
Payne was an automatic selection in representative sides and toured with the Emus.
Players who took the field with Payne were of the opinion he could keep with his eyes closed.
Lethal on the leg-side Payne was an outstanding bat who was both aggressive and technically correct.
Legend has it Fenn was so quick stumping batsmen down the leg side that square-leg umpires were too slow to react.
Lightning behind the stumps Fenn, like Payne, stood up to the stumps, even to the quickest of bowlers. He was described as the genuine package who continually kept the pressure on the batsmen.
Batting out of your crease was a definite no-no with Fenn ready to pounce.
Fenn was also a competent middle to lower-order batsman
Still doing the business behind the stumps even with his worn out knees, McMahon is right up there with some of the best ’keepers the Clarence has produced.
Like most great glovemen, McMahon has no problem standing up to the stumps and has produced many brilliant stumpings in a First Grade career spanning 34 years.
McMahon’s captaincy and competitive nature has made him one of the most respected players to ever grace the cricket field.
His influence on young cricketers has been invaluable and when you mention Harwood Cricket Club, the name Tim McMahon invariably pops up.