THERE is not much that Greg Burgess does not know about the Napoleons-Sebastopol Cricket Club.
Greg is the club historian and life member.
“The Napoleons- Sebastopol Cricket Club is one of the oldest cricket clubs in the state,” he said.
“We can trace our history back to 1884, some 133 years ago and this current season is the 25th that we have been playing in the A Grade competition of the BCA, and today (Sunday)is the Club’s 299th match in the A grade competition.” Greg added that since playing in the A Grade competition Napoleons- Sebastopol has had 6 members play 100 games with the club.
“Also since we’ve been in the A Grade we’ve had 4 E J Cleary medalists, including current captain Mathew Ringin,” Greg added.
“Today we have playing with the club a new recruit from Yorkshire in England, Ryan Gibson, and he becomes the 129th Napoleons- Sebastopol player to represent the club at first 11 level in the A Grade competition.
“The club has not won a premiership since they have been playing in A Grade but they have made the grand final on 7 occasions and one of the most memorable games that we’ve played in a grand final we got beaten by one run by Mount Clear and it was down to the last ball of the game. We needed two runs to win but it was a dot ball and Mount Clear won by one run – that was around 6 years ago, the 2011/2012 season.” Adding history to the Napoleons-Sebastopol Club are the Ringin brothers with 5 out of the 6 brothers playing cricket.
We are told the boys grew up with a cricket bat and ball and honed their skills in the backyard.
What stands out at the Napoleons-Sebastopol Cricket Club is that it is much more than a club, it is one big family and one that the four Ringin boys (Mathew, 26, Simon, 24, Justin, 22 and Will, 17 – stand behind.
This was evident when a nineteen-year-old Justin went to England to play cricket.
While there his mother, Gayle, was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Justin felt very much alone and wanted to come home to be with his mum.
What Justin didn’t realise was that while Gayle was undergoing treatment the Club rallied around her and her family.
Sitting alone in a corner of an English pub, contemplating what to do, he was noticed by Ryan Gibson who was on the same Yorkshire team.
Gibson noticed that the young man was alone and became concerned, insisting that Justin come and stay with his family while he was in England.
Ryan Gibson is now playing for Napoleons- Sebastopol and staying with the Ringin family.