Peter, you've been a stalwart of the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association for years and in particular the Dennington Cricket Club. Where did your love for cricket come from?
I'll never forget we lived in a little place called Byaduk which is situated between Hamilton and Port Fairy. Cricket was played on Saturday afternoons on a picturesque ground opposite our place. The ground has some magnificent willow trees around it. I was always over there watching cricket being played when I was a youngster. From the age of 13 I started playing junior cricket in Hamilton and the seniors were short at Byaduk so I got a game there. I ended up playing seniors in Hamilton for a side called College for two seasons. There's one game that still sticks out in my mind when I played for College against Grampians in a grand final. I was 18 years old and watched Shane Franklin get nine wickets for us in one innings including a double hat-trick but sadly we got beaten in that grand final which was really disappointing.
Peter, when you played cricket in Hamilton did you get many wickets?
I got a couple of five-wicket hauls when I was opening the bowling at College. I was 16 years old and made the under 21 squad which represented Hamilton in the country week at Bendigo.
What year did you make the move to live in Warrnambool?
It was in 2007 when Emily and I decided to make the move and I joined the Dennington Cricket Club. I was studying sports development at South West TAFE and ended up getting my certificate as a personal trainer before I had a career change nine years ago when I joined the Warrnambool Standard.
Can you remember anything about your first senior game of cricket for Dennington?
I've still got vivid memories of snaring five wickets when I opened the bowling for Dennington against West Warrnambool. It was a huge thrill to get the five wickets. We went on to win which made the game even more satisfying. My biggest disappointments at Dennington would have to be when we were beaten in the grand finals in 2009 and 2011.
Have you played many games of cricket with Dennington?
In total, it's just over 190 games which comprises of 100 games in division one and 90 in the second division. I played my first game for the season on Saturday. I've had a bit of trouble with inflammation in my right arm which has caused a bit of discomfort and I had family commitments which meant I missed the early games. The inflammation, which builds up in the muscles, is caused by bowling fast over a few years so I had to have a cortisone injection to ease the pain.
What's your highest score with Dennington?
I got 96 not out in division two against Brierly in one game. I'm not usually a batsman so it was great to get 96 not out, the only sad thing is I never got the 100 runs.
With the housing developments around Dennington over the past few years have you noticed more players are jumping on board for a game of cricket?
Yes. There's a lot of interest. We've got good numbers in all our grades especially at the junior levels and that involvement is due to new housing developments in the area. I would say one of the most heartening things about the club is how our junior players have come through the under 13s, 15s and 17s over the past few years and now developed into senior players. Dennington Cricket Club is like all clubs in the WDCA - they are fortunate to have had the likes of Terry Beks, Jamie Fogarty, Michael Howley and Dustin Drew as the backbone of the club. All the clubs have hard-working volunteers who put in endless hours ensuring the clubs continue to grow and survive. Terry is still playing and giving vital assistance to our younger group of players. He has an amazing knowledge of the game while Jamie is the curator and filled numerous other roles at the club over the years. Michael is the president and has put in a lot of time working on our junior development program and Dustin is a stalwart of the club. He hasn't played this year because of commitments with family and greyhounds but he's in the background helping the club. We're hopeful he'll play a couple of games over the next few weeks. The club offers a great family environment and is working on improving our training facilities. Our old training nets at Dennington have been pulled down and we're using the facilities at Mack Oval for training purposes. We've got teams in the three senior grades plus the four junior grades and we're looking at having women's sides in the future.
Peter, do you think the WDCA competition is stronger now than what it was when you first started back in 2007?
Good question. I would say there's not as much depth across the WDCA this season compared back to 2007 but I think that may change. It was a positive move by the executive of the WDCA to introduce sides from the Grassmere competition who have amalgamated with some WDCA teams and to have Mortlake onboard is a plus. I'm sure once this initial season is behind us it will leave the association in a stronger position.
What's your job at the Warrnambool Standard?
I started out as a sales representative and now I'm the sales manager. It's an exciting time to be at The Standard. I've witnessed lots of changes over my nine years. The main change relates to the rapid growth in digital advertising opportunities we offer to clients. We have 15 different digital products which give clients an amazing coverage.
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