THE sporting similarity between brothers Ben and Josh Julius is they can swing a cricket bat in convincing style.
The difference is they do so for rival Grassmere Cricket Association (GCA) clubs, Josh for Hawkesdale and Ben for Yambuk.
The brothers are close and both work in the horse racing industry, yet they have rarely played cricket for the same side.
Josh, 24, was in A grade and Ben, 23, was in C grade at Macarthur a few years back and they spent one season together at Hawkesdale.
Ben then moved to Yambuk last season to play with mates from Port Fairy.
Their story is similar when it comes to football.
“He’s played for a few different footy clubs and I’ve gone off footy since I had my knee reconstruction,” Josh said.
“We were living with one another for quite a while. We’re pretty close, but we’ve always been separate as far as clubs and sport goes.”
The brothers will at least be on the same ground when Hawkesdale travels to Yambuk for a round 14 match, although Josh is unavailable for day one.
Their cricket origins stem back to matches on Christmas Day with cousins, which preceded junior careers with Woolsthorpe.
“Summer was always cricket. We had an uncle who got us hooked on it. He was the one that got us out to Macarthur,” Josh said.
“Cricket was always the choice because it was a lot easier to bowl at someone than chase someone with the footy when they’re running away.”
So how do they compare when it comes to swinging the willow? Josh says he’s more patient than Ben, who has somewhat curbed his recklessness.
Josh has made 348 runs at 58.00 as the Cats captain this season, including knocks of 101 not out against Mailors Flat and 95 against Wangoom.
Ben has played fewer games but is also in the midst of a solid season. He has made 302 runs at 37.75 with a high score of 87 against Purnim.
Ben said his Yambuk teammate Steve “Worm” Gleeson, arguably the best batsman in the GCA, had helped curtail his aggressive mentality.
“Worm, he’s helped me out a lot. One game last year I got dropped three times in the first over I went out there,” he said.
“He came to me at the end of the over and said ‘I don’t care what you do’ and walked away. Ever since that game I’ve settled down.
“He’s helped me a lot with my batting. I used to throw the bat but now I’ve got a lot better defensive side. He’s a very good batsman.”
But self-improvement is not their only ambition. The brothers are super competitive and are quick to find out how the other fared each Saturday.
When Josh reached three figures on the opening day of the season, Ben was “shattered”. But the tables turned seven days later.
“The next weekend when he made 80-odd he rang me straight away to find out what I got and I only made 49,” Josh said.
In other GCA round 14 matches starting today, Panmure hosts Killarney in a potential semi-final preview.
Grassmere plays Purnim at Purnim, while Wangoom can climb off the bottom of the ladder by beating Mailors Flat at Wangoom.