The Garbutt Magpies
Noel Ross Memorial side
A majority of players of Aboriginal and Torres Strait descent had arguably the biggest number of supporters at the Goldfield Ashes Cricket carnival in Charters Towers over the Australia Day long weekend.
Magpies competed in the B-2 grade and last played at the Ashes in the late eighties.
The side consisted of players of Darnley, Mer and Stephen Island descent and was named in honour of the late Noel Ross who had been a champion Townsville Australian Rules player for Garbutt Magpies and also a quality cricketer.
Family members in the side of Darnley heritage included Gordon Ross snr, Jamahl Ross, Noel Ross jnr, Celestino Ross jnr, Randal Ross, Drue Ross, Curtis Ross, Justin Ross, Jordan Ross, Jermaine Ross snr, Jermaine Ross jnr, Darryl Ross, Kai Ross and Jaylell Ross.
A total of 223 teams competed at the Ashes with seven in A grade, 28 in B-1, 130 in B-2, 48 in Social, 10 women’s sides.
Games were played on a total of 78 fields around Charters Towers in a carnival which started in 1948 with just six teams.
It was estimated that more than 500 Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders competed.
Rain in the lead up to the carnival resulted in lush green fields but temperatures in the mid thirties saw the players comfort level low.
Garbutt Magpies lost their first two games against Cunning Stumpz and Queentown Papershop then beat Farmer’s XI on the last day.
“Our first game was all the old boys, our second was the young bloods and the third we put a strong side together to get a win, which we did against the Farmers X1 at Six Pack Downs Oval, A great weekend overall,” said team organiser Jermaine Ross snr.
Drue Ross said the carnival was aimed at teaching the young team members and supporters all about participating in sport and the benefits.
“We had a big group here including sons and nephews and they enjoyed it,” he said.
Jermaine Ross snr scored a half century on day one and said his team had some great players.
“Leon Abdul Rahman and Irwin Ambrym batted well and Celestino Ross jnr, Anthony Satini and Max Cedar were consistent,” Jermaine said.
The Torres News also spoke to Mackay based batsman John Williams on Stephen Island descent after he was dismissed for 20 in game one.
“It was hot out there but is a great carnival,” he said.
Indigenous sides Black Bream ladies and West Indigies men both won their three games at the Goldfield Ashes.
There were some strange team names such as Dreaded Creeping Bumrush XI, Grazed Anatomy, Simpson Desert Alpine Ski Team, Ducken Useless, Smashed Crabs, Hormoans and many others.
In the lower grades there are some unusual rules observed by teams.
Batsmen who fail to score making a duck or fieldsmen who drop a catch must wear a women’s dress – until the next team player repeated.
One team Scud’s XI in B-2 grade had two players dressed in lycra one piece suits and the Travelbugs ladies team had a strange ritual when somebody took a wicket.
Players came from as far away as Adelaide, Brisbane and throughout North Queensland for the 2015 Ashes.
The much anticipated Twenty20 clash between the Queensland Bulls Masters and a local Invitational side scheduled last Sunday for the Goldfield Sporting Complex was cancelled due to a downpour.