Magpies speedster Chris Bridle in action for his home club, East Albury.
Several Camberwell Magpies stars have headed back to regional Victoria to play for their hometown clubs as part of their 2020/21 season preparations.
With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions coming before the resumption of the Victorian Premier Cricket season on November 28, a unique opportunity has presented itself in recent weeks for several Magpies originally from the bush to head back to where it all began.
Chris Bridle (East Albury CC), Chris Thewlis (Wangaratta Magpies CC), Simon Hill (City Colts CC) and Reuben Jamieson (Ovens Valley United CC) were among those to turn out for their home clubs last weekend, while Kieren Jamieson will suit up for Bright Wanderers Cricket Club this weekend.
All eyes from a MyCricket perspective were on the scores from the Wangaratta District Cricket Association, where Thewlis, Hill and Jamieson were all in action. Unfortunately for the large crowd that gathered at the Wangaratta Showgrounds, they didn't get the chance to see the typical Chris Thewlis pyrotechnics, with 'Cobba' dismissed first cherry of of the match caught at deep backward square leg.
In better news for the Wang Maggies, Chris' 15-year-old brother Jimmy turned in a superb all-round performance with 38 off 41 balls with the stick and 3/25 off 7 overs with his tidy off breaks, as the Magpies defeated Delatite (Will Walker's home club) in a thriller by one run.
Here's hoping young Jimmy can continue his wonderful start to the year when he comes down to the big smoke to play for CMCC's Under 16s team that will compete in the Under 16s Premier Cricket tournament over the next couple of months.
The Thewlis brothers, Jimmy and Chris.
Across the road at Barr Reserve in Wangaratta, it was Simon Hill's City Colts up against Reuben Jamieson's Ovens Valley United. Word around town is Simon's old man John, who is the Barr Reserve curator, spent considerably more hours than usual on the heavy roller during the week once he learned of Simon's impending return to City Colts.
For Hilly, it was the prodigal son's return to a club that helped produce one of Victorian Premier Cricket's greatest ever batsman, while for Reuben it was a return to cricket all together after missing all of last year with a serious foot injury.
Hilly made a steady return to the ground where he cut his teeth as a youngster with a well compiled 30 off 45 rocks (4 x 4s and 1 x 6).
Unfortunately for Reuben, his return to the bowling crease was short-lived, with a reoccurrence of the same foot injury as he charged in for his third over (1/13 up until that point). Hopefully the scans show some positive signs and we can see the immensely popular 'Roo Boy' get back onto the field for the Pies sooner rather than later.
Further up the Hume, Chris Bridle managed to escape Melbourne before the 'ring of steel' was imposed to play two games for East Albury CC. The first against Belvoir was washed out half way through before Brides had a chance to have an impact on the game, but the following week he took 2/19 off nine overs and scored 6 not out in East Albury's win over Wodonga Raiders.
The Camberwell Magpies Cricket Club would like to thank each of the regional clubs that have and will accommodate our players over this preseason period. Our club is committed to not only giving back to our local clubs in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, but also providing opportunities for cricketers from the country who wish to test themselves against the state's best.
Hopefully opportunities like this for our players to return to their home clubs is just the start of our club's renewed commitment to cricket in regional Victoria.