Seeing people he first met as juniors running the carnival named in his honour filled Max Shepherd with pride on Thursday.
The former Cricket NSW western region manager returned to Dubbo this week to watch a new generation of juniors compete in the Max Shepherd Shield.
Bathurst took out a rain-affected carnival with wins over Lachlan and Dubbo Blue (the under 14s team) on Tuesday and Thursday.
But Shepherd, who lived in Dubbo for 20 years, insisted seeing the youngsters enjoying their cricket was his highlight.
“The kids were really enjoying themselves,” he said.
It’s pleasing to see them using their love of the game to pass on to juniors.Max Shepherd
“I’m particularly pleased with the way the batsmen played, they got on with it and tried to make sure they were scoring runs … but the fielding was good.
“It’s only early in the season so it’s probably a bit hard for a few of them. But what better way to have a start to the cricket season than two good games of cricket?
“It’s great to come back and see the people that are running this carnival were juniors when I arrived in town.
“It’s pleasing to see them using their love of the game to pass on to juniors.”
Bathurst’s Blake Kreuzberger was dominant with the bat, finishing undefeated on 75 runs in both his innings.
On Thursday he managed a monumental strike rate – 130 for his 75 runs – while Dubbo’s star hitters Ant Atlee (25), Harrison Quinn (10) and Hugh Sienkiewicz (4) all fell cheaply.
Dubbo batted first and was restricted to 9/153 in tough conditions.
Calvin Windus also played a massive role, claiming 4/31 including the crucial wickets of Quinn, Sienkiewicz and openers Noah Brien and Lachlan Rummans.
“That was pretty restrictive for Dubbo,” Bathurst coach Craig Windus said.
“To keep them to 153 was pretty good and Blake batted really well again today … he’s a good talent and a good kid with a level head and he’s led the side well.
“Our bowlers bowled really well, we didn’t bowl a lot of wides and good fielding, we took some catches and that’s the way you win matches.”
By the 30th over Bathurst’s batsman were sitting pretty at 3/120 and looked set to reel in Dubbo’s total with ease.
With a wave of ominous-looking storm clouds threatening on the western horizon, they called the game three overs early with Bathurst claiming a handy 25-run victory.
Quinn was Dubbo’s best with the ball on Thursday, claiming 2/8 including the wicket of Gabrial Langdon.
Shepherd said it was also “wonderful” to see teams from across the region continuing to support the carnival.
“It’s a great thrill to be back and seeing the local people running it … it’s great to see it still going.”