CONGRATS to the HRDCA and the three levels of government support for making the Wayne Richards Sporting Complex possible since planning began in 1996. Watching the first twenty/20 game under lights last week was a great spectacle and perhaps in the years to come the venue can compete with the Coffs Harbour International Stadium and host major events with the addition of a grandstand, scoreboard and PA system. Without getting ahead of ourselves, one day we could have the Swans or Giants play an AFL pre-season trial game or have the NSW Blues feature in a one-day game at the Koala Street field. However Port's Regional Stadium will still be our No.1 venue for all rugby league, union, football and touch footy fixtures.
SPEAKING of the late Wayne Richards, why not honour the former mayor's passion for sporting facilities and junior participation by naming the HRDCA third and fourth grade twenty20 competitions after the great man? The Wayne Richards Trophy for thirds and Wayne Richards Shield for fourth grade would just be a small token of appreciation for his commitment to local sport and junior athletes.
YOU'VE got to love the fashion sense of Wauchope's Lindsay Hopper in donning the Australian Word Series Cricket gear when competing against Comboyne in the first day/night game. It was a brave fashion statement but one that brought much laughter and smiles to those in attendance. Although the game itself was entertaining, including the unexpected blackout at 9pm, the venue lacked a little atmosphere. It's unlikely that fireworks and dancing girls will be added in the near future but a small investment in a DJ and massive speakers pumping out top 40 hits would certainly add to the spectacle. Not sure if residents living near by would approve of that though.
COMBOYNE stalwart Darren "Good Guy" McCudden is busy organising the 17th Annual Beechwood 7s tournament which will be held on Sunday, February 17 next year, with eight teams contesting the knock out format. The action will commence at the ungodly hour of 8am. Port Magpies beat Bonny Hills in last season's decider, meaning the newly-merged Port City Leagues Magpies will try to defend the title. Along with Beechwood, other teams expected to play include Wauchope, Comboyne, Port Panthers Pirates and the Invitational All-Stars. There's speculation that Leagues Pies opener Chris Cole is looking at having a run with the All-Stars, just to mix things up a little bit.