REVEALED: Fresh faces enter battle for Gympie cricket crown
CRICKET: The new Gympie Regional Cricket Association season is just around the corner, and with it comes some fresh faces looking to put their stamp on the competition.
Former Sunshine Coast mainstays Kenilworth will join the fold in 2019/20, beginning a new chapter in their history after a year of dormancy from competitive action.
LATEST GYMPIE CRICKET STORIES
They will replace the outgoing Kingaroy side, joining the four existing Gympie teams as well as Murgon to vie for the regional crown when the season proper begins this weekend.
Led by president Kelvin Cochrane and captain Tyron Blinco, the newcomers got a sneak peek of what they can expect this year with a pre-season hitout against Harlequins at the One Mile ovals on Saturday afternoon.
The match ended in a draw with both teams bowled out for 248, while Cochrane (105 runs from 69 balls) found fine form with the bat.
Cochrane said the Kenilworth lads were excited to begin a new era for their club ahead of their tough introduction against the reigning premier Colts at Kozminsky Oval.
"We didn't field a side last year, before then we'd been part of the Sunny Coast comp, so we've been playing there for about 40 or 50 years,” Cochrane said.
"The club's always been a part of the Sunny Coast comp so this is something new and different for us to come here, but last year we just couldn't get enough guys interested, so with the 12 month break they've all come back keen.
"With the move to Gympie - it's a really exciting comp with the one day format, it looked exciting to be a part of. I've played a couple of games in it, and talked to the boys who sat out last year and they were all pretty keen to come back.
"The move just seemed logical for us, we know a few guys out at Murgon and some other guys in the Gympie teams.
"The GRCA, the whole committee were really accommodating to teams and really understanding of the situation.”
Cochrane said the "exciting” one day format had played a big role in the club's decision to switch leagues.
GRCA president Rod Venn welcomed the new era, noting some of the Kenilworth players had already taken their game to the region during the club's year off.
"It's great to see them in the league, we think they're going to be a strong team and very competitive,” Venn said.
"A lot of their players filtered in to Gympie teams and have now gone back ... it's a good move for Gympie cricket.”
The new GRCA season is set to start this Saturday.