Alan Davidson tribute match to help bushfire appeal
Former Australian all-rounder Alan Davidson unleashes a cover drive during his playing days.
A host of celebrities, including four-time world boxing champion Danny Green and Wests Tigers coach Michael Potter, will pad up for a charity Twenty20 cricket match in Sydney on Sunday, November 17 to raise funds for the victims of the recent bushfires in NSW.
The Battle of the Smashers, which was created in 2010 by Fairfax Media reporter Daniel Lane to raise funds for worthwhile charities, will this year double as a tribute to Alan Davidson, one of Test cricket's all-time greats. The match will be played from noon at Davidson's spiritual home ground of Pratten Park in Ashfield, where he belted many sixes and took many wickets for the famous Western Suburbs Cricket Club.
Davidson, who made his Test debut 60 years ago on the 1953 tour of England, will play a prominent role on the day. He was thrilled to think his milestone was not only being remembered but being used to raise funds for the Salvation Army's Bushfire Appeal.
Among those who'll play is Green, Potter, Canterbury Bulldogs legends Steve Mortimer and Hazem El Masri, former Australian Test opener Phil Jaques, Kiwi fast bowler Daryl Tuffey, Greater Western Sydney AFL stars Steve Coniglio (who was a member of the West Australian cricket squad before focussing on Aussie Rules) and Samuel Frost. Former grand final-winning prop Todd Payten will join other members of the Wests Tigers squad to have a crack.
Supporters, who are asked to simply make a gold coin donation upon entry to Pratten, are invited to attend a fun-filled day and to savour a village cricket atmosphere. Wests Cricket Club president John Hardgrove said those playing in the game, which was being supported by Wests Ashfield and Pirtek, had plenty to live up to.
Wolves book their place in the big dance
Windsor secured their first win of the season over the Knights when it mattered most to secure their spot in the NSW Cup Grand Final with a 36-32 win at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday.
In a game where both teams scored six tries, it was the goal kicking of the competition’s most accurate goal kicker, Wes Naiqama, that ultimately prevailed over the competition’smost profilic point scorer, Josh Mantellato.
Both teams made key changes with Windsor bringing in Penrith Panthers under 20’s hooker Josh Tangitau into the 17 while Newcastle were boosted by the inclusion of Will Smith although Kevin Naiqama was withdrawn due to first grade duties the previous night.
Newcastle, through their big pack, dominated the early exchanges and it was no surprise to see them opening the scoring in the 12th minute when half Adrian Davis went on a searching diagonal run towards Windsor’s right edge before finding Chanel Mata’utia with a brilliant cut out ball to score in the corner to give the Knights a 4-0 lead.
Windsor hit back soon after on the back of a fortuitous but correct decision when a Adrian Davis pass from a Knights scrum win cannoned directly into referee Zbigniew Przeklasa-Adamski, giving the Wolves the scrum feed 10m out. From the scrum, a left step from Blake Austin left Timana Tahu grasping at air as the five eighth strolled over underneath the posts and with Naiqama’s conversion Windsor led 6-4.
Newcastle soon regained the lead on the back of some repeat penalties conceded by Windsor which allowed Korbin Sims to score from close range, with Mantellato’s conversion giving Newcastle a 10-6 lead after 27 minutes.
Despite Newcastle dominating field position and having nearly 60 percent possession, Windsor seized the initiative scoring twice in the closing minutes of the half. An Austin cross field kick to Mantellato’s wing on the last tackle allowed the Flying Fijian Porter, Eto Nabuli, to amazingly outleap his opposing winger to score next to the posts.
Their second try in as many minutes, came after quick hands to the left allowed Moylan to lay on the short ball for Daniela to steam onto and score virtually unopposed under the posts, giving Windsor an unlikely 18-10 halftime lead.
Newcastle came out the quicker in the second half, when a Mitchell Frei line-break deep into Wolves territory allowed Panthers-bound five-eighth Will Smith to put in a cross-field kick on the next play for Siuatonga Likiliki to score in the right corner to put Newcastle back in the game at 18-14.
Windsor restored their eight-point lead with 30 minutes remaining, after interchange back-rower Tom Eisenhuth went on a searching diagonal run towards Newcastle’s left edge before producing a loose offload which was luckily regathered by Naiqama who showed great vision in passing out wide to his unmarked winger, Travis Robinson who did the rest to go 35m and score in the right corner.
From the kickoff, the referee controversially ruled Sam Anderson lost the ball when TV replays suggested a strip in the tackle. In the ensuing set, Davis went to the line and double pumped before providing the perfect short pass for Peter Mata’utia to storm on to and score out wide from close range. Mantellato’s conversion brought the scores back to 22-20.
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