Blackheath-Dimboola cricket team in danger of collapsing

ON THE BRINK: Blackheath-Dimboola skipper Matt McKinnon believes Blackheath could go into recess if it does not find more senior players soon. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

ON THE BRINK: Blackheath-Dimboola skipper Matt McKinnon believes Blackheath could go into recess if it does not find more senior players soon. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

THE Blackheath-Dimboola A Grade alliance is in danger of collapsing because of a lack of players.

The club fielded a successful A Grade side last season, winning Horsham Cricket Association’s Twenty-20 and one-day finals and reaching the semi-final of the two-day competition.

It appears unlikely the team will be able to compete again this season, with only five A Grade players able to commit full-time.

Bulls skipper Matt McKinnon said if the team did not find at least three senior players who could play each week before its annual meeting next week, it would be forced to withdraw from the competition.

“I’m not hopeful at this stage, because everyone is struggling for numbers.

“I can’t see there being three blokes who are willing to play A Grade,” McKinnon said.

“We struggled for numbers last year even though we had a pretty decent side, but we’ve lost a couple for this year and five definite players is not enough.”

A withdrawal would spell the end of Blackheath Cricket Club, one of the oldest in Victoria.

Blackheath’s roots can be traced back to the 1870s.

Dimboola could field standalone teams in the minor grades, but Blackheath would withdraw entirely from the association.

Blackheath and Dimboola field separate sides in the under-14 competition but are merged in every other grade.

McKinnon said the clubs had merged due to lack of numbers.

“Both teams were struggling for numbers back then so we tried to strengthen the A Grade sides by merging, which worked,” he said.

“There’s no rift within the club or anything like that – it’s just that there aren’t enough people who care anymore.

“It’s not just us – every club is probably along the same lines, where they might have nine regular players and get two fill-ins every week.”

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