Kapunda North Hotel host open Aussie Day backyard cricket match

HOWZAT: North Kapunda Hotel patron's club members poised to celebrate Australia Day on January 27 with a cricket match at the town square (from left) Steve Norman, Dave Lillie, Scott Hayman, Bec Harris, Jacki Williams, Fabio Antonioli and Leoni Boyd.
HOWZAT: North Kapunda Hotel patron's club members poised to celebrate Australia Day on January 27 with a cricket match at the town square (from left) Steve Norman, Dave Lillie, Scott Hayman, Bec Harris, Jacki Williams, Fabio Antonioli and Leoni Boyd.

A jovial bunch of mates from a patch in SA's Mid North, popular for its mining history and ghosts, will host an Australia Day backyard favourite in their town square for the first time.

The best part - everyone is welcome.

Watering-hole North Kapunda Hotel adds a friendly game of cricket to its line-up of entertainment on Monday, January 27, from 12.30pm.

While the hotel's patrons club see the positive change as Aussie as vegemite and pavlova, they explain that it replaces their 'yabby race' which has run for the past nine years.

Patron Jacki Williams shared how the ongoing drought has resulted in little to no dam water levels.

"Yabbies are out so cricket is in," she said.

The shift to cricket has created a buzz among the patrons who each have tall tales to tell.

Steve Norman shared how as a lad he was "pretty useless" at the sport referring to himself as a "specialist outfielder".

"I didn't have the skills to match the intensity," he said.

Yet that didn't stop the country boy from finding a paddock cleared of hay and stubble to practise his skills with mates.

He said the trick was to hit and bowl as hard as you could.

"We were all chasing sixes," Steve said.

He embellishes how his boundary line was a fence some three kilometres away.

Cricket is the fabric of our society and brings cultures together.

Kapunda resident Fabio Antonioli

Fabio Antonioli, who played competition cricket for Whyalla, also recalls his love of the sport in the backyard with neighbouring kids.

"That was many moons ago and when I had hair," he laughed.

It was also a time when play ended as daylight faded.

Mr Antonioli, who describes cricket as "the fabric of the Australian society", is proud to see its presence bringing cultures together.

As for the day's play, the modified match is aimed at children and adults, and will depend on the weather, and more than likely some old injuries.

For example, Kapunda business owner Scott Hayman graphically shared details of a long-gone, but well remembered ankle cut, courtesy of his brother whacking him "accidentally' with the bat during play.

While cricket might not be everyone's cup of tea, rest assure the patrons club have another 'googly' up their sleeve with a table tennis tournament and the annual 'Pie, Lamington and Iced-Coffee Chug-off'.

Individuals or teams ranging to three people can enter the eating contest and will be required to devour those three Aussie foods, one after the other.

The first to finish is crowned winner - a much-sought-after honour.

It is tame compared with previously-held mud and jelly wrestling.

Importantly, proceeds and donations from the Australia Day barbecue celebration will support fire-fighters on devastated Kangaroo Island.

The town square is opposite the hotel, off Main Street.