On Monday, Ian “Ravo” Ravenscroft was honoured for more than a half of century of services to cricket with a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).
“Ravo’s” cricket started at school in Gladstone and he has fond memories of his youth and the important role the Gladstone cricket team played in his development before going to Adelaide and ultimately the Yorke Peninsula - and becoming a SACA District A grade cricketer and a long time servant of the game as a player, coach, administrator and volunteer.
“Starting in the game, the Gladstone Cricket Club was very helpful in my early cricket development,” Ravenscroft said.
“In particular they picked me as 11-year-old as the 11th man in an outstanding A grade team.
“My team-mates coached and encouraged me, something I’ll never ever forget.
“Val “Rocky” Glenn, the three Lloyd brothers – Bob, Trevor and Colin – along with Cyril Jolly were great mentors.
“Back then, there wasn’t any colts or B grade cricket, but we did played Friday afternoon primary school cricket.
“I was selected with fellow Gladstone cricketer, the late Graham Sweeney, in the State under 14 team as wicket keeper.”
Ravenscroft would played State Under 16 Shell Shield team and won the Charlie Walker Memorial trophy in the winning West Torrens team. He had a long career with the West Torrens District Cricket Club progressing through the grades and won the Eagles A grade batting trophy in 1976.
“I opened the batting (and he top-scored) in a losing grand final on the Adelaide Oval against Woodville Cricket Club,” he said.
“I faced fearsome Australian tearaway Rodney Hogg when this wrecking speedster at his peak.”
He also had a successful tenure in Adelaide Turf cricket with Hope Valley and Walkerville before buying the Moonta Hotel in 1985. This started more than three decades of service to cricket on the leg.
Among the many highlights were five country cricket senior championships titles as coach, a first in 44 years for the Yorke Peninsula.
“Ravo” is a life member of the West Torrens District Cricket Club, Moonta football and cricket clubs, along with life membership of the Balaklava Racing Club.
In 2006, he was a Recipient of a Legend of Yorke Peninsula cricket award.
He also secured a 50-year service to Australian Cricket award from Cricket Australia and the SACA in 2016.
“I am very grateful to the ongoing sustained support of my wife Jenny who has stood shoulder to shoulder with me throughout,” Ravenscroft said.
“My parents for their great guidance in life and sport, and my associated family, whose love and playing of cricket has kept me around the game.
“Much thanks also to all associated clubs who have provided me a medium to play or administer as a volunteer, and to provide such great memories.
“I just love cricket!”
On Saturday, at Woodville Oval, there was a large contingent of Mid North footballers in both the curtain raiser and the league match.
In the first game the West Torrens reserves played the South Australian Under 18 team.
Aaron Nietschke continued his solid season, while strong performers for the Eagles included defender Ryan Bruce from RSMU, former South Clare lad Lachlan McNeil.
The league game was between the Eagles and Adelaide with the host winning by nine goals, although the Crows showed some signs in the second and third quarters.
For Woodville West Torrens, Nick Hayes finished with three goals while Balaklava boy Sam Rowland played his 50th league game.
Jack Hayes won plenty of contested ball but had a day to forget in front of goals finishing with 1.5, while another BSR player, Jackson Lee, also played in the contest.
For the Crows, Blake Launer, from Eudunda-Robertstown, also participated.