The Albury Domain was in full swing on Saturday as it hosted its first bit of cricketing action in nearly a quarter of a century.
To celebrate 145 years since the original Albury Cricket Club was established, Albury took on Burkes Pass in a rural village clash for the ages, as both teams vied to take home the coveted Rutherford Tankard.
The tankard, which dates back to 1860, was given to the club by Mark Rutherford, a cousin of club founders John and Robert Rutherford.
After losing the toss, Guy McCone’s Albury side were sent into the field by Burkes Pass captain Sam Innes. Burkes Pass posted a steady 105 in their 20 overs. Issac Wilson led their scoring efforts with a knock of 17.
With a storm constantly threatening to ruin the day, Albury got off to a strong start with the bat but fell two runs short in the end, finishing their innings on 103.
Ryan McNab and Hayden Dwyer scored 22 and 18 respectively.
Both teams put on tidy bowling performances under the watchful eye of umpires Jeremy Sutherland and Rit Fisher.
Albury bowled only five wides and Hugh Sutherland bowled the only maiden over of the match.
Burkes Pass were also economical with the ball, sending down only four wides and bowling two no-balls.
Unusually, no bowler took more than one wicket for either side. Fortunately, by the time the storm fully hit, everyone was happily tucked away in the Albury Inn for the after-match festivities.
Organiser Jeremy Sutherland said he hoped to have a Rutherford Tankard match between Albury and Burkes Pass every year.
‘‘We’re definitely going to do it again.
‘‘We decided what we’ll do next time is have it in the spring.
‘‘It will probably make it easier to roll the pitch as well — we rolled it a fair bit but by the end it started to disintegrate.’’
It was great to get a match played at the domain again after all this time he said.
He hoped to see it used more often in the future.
‘‘The problem with the domain is it’s subleased to a local guy who grazes sheep in it, so we have to wait for him to get his hay off or chase the sheep off.
‘‘There is no actual water connection on the ground itself. It’s buried underneath and noone knows where the tap is — we’ve all sort of forgotten.
‘‘We’ve thought we might try to dig it up and do something with it in the future though — it just takes a few events and things like this to get the domain going again.’’
They planned to have the tankard mounted to make it a proper trophy.
‘‘We have the wood all sorted — Rit Fisher has a big bit of totara from an old fence post, so we’ll cut that.
‘‘I’ll get a friend to turn it on a lathe and we’ll put a silver band on it and start from there.
‘‘The match is also going to get its own score book.’’
It was a blast from the past for many who had been involved in the club, and one memory in particular stuck in Mr Sutherland’s mind.
‘‘One memory that came back for a lot of us that had spent a lot of time down there in the old days was the wives turning up with massive bacon and egg pies and scones.
‘‘Rit’s wife Sarah came out with the most enormous bacon and egg pie — it would have fed the whole team. That’s just what those people do.
‘‘James, the publican, asked me if he should do some chips and I said no, a lot of these guys will have turned up with mutton sandwiches and a whole lot of wives will bring a lot of stuff to be shared around — and that’s exactly what happened.’’