Dubbo has dominated the under 14s invitational carnival at Bowral, going through undefeated, but that wasn’t the most memorable part of the week for coach Marty Nelson.
The manner of victory in each game last week was outstanding but the most pleasing thing for Nelson, the rest of the coaching staff, and all the parents, was the way the side played.
The final of the tournament was played at Bradman Oval and the Bradman Foundation had a huge amount to do with the carnival.
A real emphasis was placed on the spirit of the game and a highlight of the carnival was the Bradman Foundation gifting every participating player a special certificate detailing the Marylebone Cricket Club’s Spirit of Cricket and Preamble to the Laws.
Renowned international umpire Simon Taufel gave a speech one night early at the carnival and the way he spoke about playing the game the right way was “outstanding” according to Nelson and it clearly left an impression on the Dubbo side.
“They taught our kids about how to play and they were all fantastic,” Nelson said of his players.
“They thanked umpires after each game, thanked scorers, had respect for the opposition and the parents.
“That was the highlight for us. There was no animosity between any of the boys and seeing that was really good.
“That’s how we treat kids and that’s how we want them to treat others.”
Nelson said the Bradman Foundation is determined to eradicate negative cricket and things like sledging, especially in light of what has occurred with the Australian side during it’s tour of South Africa and the resulting bans for Steve Smith, Dave Warner and Cameron Bancroft.
The Foundation also made it an area of concern following interviews for its annual scholarship.
Given to a talented cricketer heading to university, this year prospective recipients were asked about early memories of senior cricket and the bulk of the answers came back relating to the amount of sledging they noticed in senior cricket.
And while the attitude of the Dubbo players impressed at Bowral, their talent also shone.
The side went through undefeated, downing Crookwell comfortably in the final.
Koda Sissian finished as leading run-scorer, ahead of Dubbo teammate Tom Coady while Paddy Nelson was the leading wicket-taker.
All three of those players made half centuries in the final at Bradman Oval, capping off an incredibly long season littered with representative achievements.
“Last year we were inconsistent and relying on a couple of players but this year we took 12 players and changed the team around and all 12 players had a time to shine,” Nelson said of the side.
The coach singled out Nate Ambler, who also scored a half-century at Bowral, as a player who had improved the most and enjoyed a “breakout” carnival.