Open­ing part­ner­ships re­mem­bered

Dubbo Photo News - - Sport - By GE­OFF MANN

FOR­MER Test opener Rick Mc­cosker and NSW bats­man Stu­art Webster were all smiles at the Baggy Blues Din­ner in Dubbo.

The pair were re­minded of the day they opened the bat­ting in a Tooheys Cup match in Rick’s home town of In­verell in 1977. The Test opener left early but “Web­bers”, who grew up in Orange be­fore rep­re­sent­ing NSW 23 times be­tween 1972 and the 77/78 sea­son, went on to make a hun­dred.

“I was build­ing a fence,” Stu laughed as he an­a­lysed the score­sheet brought by one of the bowlers on that day.

“It took me a while to break the run of sin­gles but then I found my range and hit the pick­ets a few times,” he smiled.

Mc­cosker, of course, is re­mem­bered for his stun­ning, self­less per­for­mance in the Cen­te­nary test in Melbourne in 1977. The gritty bats­man was felled by a bouncer from Bob Wil­lis and fell on his stumps but showed ex­tra­or­di­nary courage to re­turn to the crease in the sec­ond in­nings to help Aus­tralia record a mem­o­rable and his­toric win.

Rick’s younger brother Jim was Man of the Match in the first Dubbo Night Cricket fi­nal in the 1982/3 sea­son.

“He won it for sav­ing an RSL bound­ary that would have won the game and was car­ried off the field by his Rugby team­mates!”

Stu of course found his way back out west af­ter a stint in New­cas­tle and has been an in­cred­i­ble in­flu­ence on the lo­cal As­so­ci­a­tion. Apart from his tremen­dous bat­ting record in the Whit­ney Cup and rep teams, he has men­tored many promis­ing ju­niors in­clud­ing State play­ers Nathan Pilon and Don Nash and fu­ture Sydney first grade cap­tains David Car­son (UNSW) and David Tay­lor (Pen­rith).

Another of the Blues leg­ends who played in the Tooheys match at In­verell was wick­et­keeper, Steve “Stumper” Rixon.

All three men spoke of the bonds made through their crick­et­ing ca­reers and ex­tended their sup­port to the Ru­ral Ad­ver­sity Men­tal Health Pro­gram (RAMHP). THE Glenn Mcgrath Nets in Nar­romine are set to be com­pletely over­hauled fol­low­ing news of suc­cess­ful grant ap­pli­ca­tions by the lo­cal Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion.

Nar­romine Ju­nior Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion Pres­i­dent Dwayne Kent says the nets have been in poor con­di­tion for a num­ber of sea­sons, but with the in­jec­tion of funds from the NSW World ICC T20 Legacy Fund and other sources, a re­fresh is on the way.

“Nar­romine Shire Coun­cil will re­ceive $37,973 for the re­de­vel­op­ment of the Glenn Mcgrath Nets, which will be moved to Dun­das Park. It is a mas­sive boost for the game in our town. We may even be able to re­form our se­nior com­pe­ti­tion once peo­ple be­gin to train in top­class fa­cil­i­ties and re­alise the qual­ity of our grounds,” Dwayne said.

If all goes to plan, Glenn Mcgrath might be home to send down a few on the re­de­vel­oped net com­plex.

“Pi­geon” is a na­tional trea­sure so any time he comes home, the whole town flocks to catch up. Hope­fully he can show some of the young­sters how to bowl line and length and work out a bats­man’s weak­nesses.

Rick Mc­cosker, Steve “Stumper” Rixon and Stu­art Webster at the Baggy Blues Din­ner in Dubbo last month. PHOTO: DUBBO PHOTO NEWS

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