Hanafin bring up game 350

Tony Hanafin bowling in his 350th game for Queenscliff. (Ivan Kemp) 384566_19

Tara Murray

The opportunity to help the next generation keeps Tony Hanafin coming back and playing at Queenscliff Cricket Club.

Having joined the club as a teenager, he has been there since as a player as well as holding a number of other different roles.

This round, he is playing game 350 for the club against Ocean Grove in the Bellarine Peninsula Cricket Association A1 grade competition.

“I feel like I’m old,” he joked between day one and two of the match.

“I’m pretty passionate about the game and I’ve been around the club since I was 12 or 14.

“I grew up in Queenscliff.. I played footy for Queenscliff for most of my life as well. I keep playing for the kids. We have some developing juniors.”

Hanafin said they had a strong program now at the club which includes two women’s sides and a junior girls team after diminishing numbers in the years he’s been at the club.

He said people enjoyed going fishing instead of spending their Saturdays on the cricket pitch.

“We are pretty strong through juniors,” he said. “Our under-17s lost their first game last week.

“I’ve coached a lot of the kids. Four or five of them are in A-grade. Being the oldest player they listen to me.

“They are like sponges and hopefully I’ll be able to pass it onto them and then when I’m playing in the lower grades, I can hopefully watch them win flags.”

Hanafin said they had a number of kids coming through in the B-grade and C-grade sides as well and hopes they keep pushing through into the top side so he can drop down.

He said his greatest achievement at the club was playing in an A-grade premiership in his first year of president in the 2012-13 season.

He said it was something other former presidents were jealous of.

Hanafin showed exactly why he’s still picked in the A-grade side with his performance on day one of the match against Ocean Grove.

He took 3-22 off 12 overs as they bowed Ocean Grove out for 111.

“They keep picking me in the A-grade side, they know what they are going to get,” he said.

“I got to do the toss and called tails and won the toss. They kept asking them [Ocean Grove and umpires] after 50 overs did he really win the toss as they thought I wanted to bat.

“We held our catches and got up and about.”

Queenscliff will resume at 1-42 on Saturday as its searches for its third win of the season.

Ocean Grove gave Hanafin a guard of honour on day one and he said it was something he was thankful for.

He said like the other sides in the competition, they could have a good game and then have a good time off the field as well.

“I don’t mind a bit of banter,” he said. “I have fun on the ground and do what you have to, to win the game, then after the game, have a beer.”