Perseverance pays off for Killarney stalwart Heaton Jarrad

LONG WAIT OVER: Killarney foundation cricketer Heaton Jarrad won his first Grassmere Cricket Association grand final. Picture: Susie Giese

LONG WAIT OVER: Killarney foundation cricketer Heaton Jarrad won his first Grassmere Cricket Association grand final. Picture: Susie Giese

TECHNICALLY speaking, Saturday’s Grassmere B grade premiership was the second Killarney stalwart Heaton Jarrad has to his credit.

But  it was the first the 383-gamer “won”.

Killarney’s B graders previously claimed the premiership courtesy of a washout “about 15 to 20 years ago”, but Saturday’s six-wicket win over Wangoom holds much more importance for Jarrad.

“That’s exactly how it should happen, no matter what,” he said.

“But it (winning the premiership) is a funny thing, from my perspective. I play the game of cricket for the game of cricket.

“I’ve not got it in my family or in my culture that you play for that win.”

Jarrad doesn’t share the same sporting background as most cricketers. He had barely played any sport until the year he turned 30, just “a bit of squash and a bit of tenpin bowling”.

But that summer, he took up cricket with a bunch of young men who had never played before to help Killarney field a B grade team.

“Only two guys had ever played cricket before. The rest, they hadn’t played school cricket, they hadn’t played any kind of cricket at all,” Jarrad said.

“I didn’t play the game we were all out for 13, but I did play the games where we were out for 15, 17, 19.

“We were really, really chuffed if, as a team, we made 50.

“Almost always, we were bottom of the ladder.”

Those struggles seemed a lifetime ago for Killarney on the weekend, as the Crabs pulled off an incredible feat in taking out the A grade, B grade and C grade grand finals.

It was an achievement that, even a month ago, would have seemed an unbelievable effort for a club  that was struggling to get the numbers to fill out its B and C grade teams.

Jarrad, who had chipped in to help the C grade team on occasion, lauded the efforts of everyone at the club.

“I really had no expectation at all that all three teams would win,” he said. “Maybe just that little hope (they could do it).”

Jarrad started out his career as a number 11 batsman, and his determination to not be the player out at the end of the innings – which he said went to plan about a third of the time – saw him develop a reputation as the team’s designated blocker.

It eventually saw him promoted to the top of the order, where he held down one end to try to extend the Crabs’ time on the field.

The 61-year-old teacher, who has turned his attention to bowling and rarely bats now, said he draws inspiration from clubmate and fellow veteran Peter Wood, who played in the C grade win.

“I reckon if he can be playing cricket at 67, I’ve get nothing to be grizzling about at 61,” Jarrad said.

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