Stallions ‘building’ towards Elders Cup finals foray

Recent recruit Ean Martin is enjoying life as a Junee Stallion.

Ean Martin never intended to play cricket for Junee but it seems as though he was always destined to be a Stallion.

After moving to Junee for work, Martin was looking for a team to call home, and was considering playing in Wagga after hearing Junee didn’t have a team.

After a few ales at the Junee Ex-Services Club, a chance meeting with current Stallions had Martin on course to play for Junee in the Elders Cup.

“I actually came into the team by accident,” Martin laughed.

“I was at the club and I heard some guys talking about cricket. Some young bloke had done well and it must have been after the second round.

“I thought they must have been talking about juniors and later on in the night, they were still talking about it.

“So, I went over and introduced myself, and Nathan (Charlton), Raff (Darren O’Rafferty) and Stephen Turk were there and we were all pretty much well on the way by then.”

After a quick chat, Martin – a veteran of the Illawarra and Canberra cricket competitions – was soon roped in by the club.

“After talking with them, I just gave them a bit of my background,” Martin said.  

“I’ve played cricket since I was nine or ten years old and I had played in the strong Illawarra and Canberra competitions.

“They told me I was in and that was that. I drive the XPT, so it’s hard with shift work, but I finally made my way down to training and my first game was at Gundagai against Lotts (in round seven).”

The 47-year-old was instantly at home and he has even managed some starts as opener, scoring 17 not out against Lotts and 13 against Coolac.

“I’ve never played bush cricket before but I’m loving it,” Martin said. “I’m just here for the enjoyment and I’ve probably been a breath of fresh air for them, and they have been a breath of fresh air for me.”

Junee sit equal on points with Wyangle and Coolac at the top of the Elders Cup table and Martin said it was good to see the community getting around the Stallions. 

“We have a pretty strong team and because we are having a bit of success, a lot of the older fellas are starting to take a lot of interest,” Martin said. “We play in Tumut this week, but if we keep winning and with the Hedditch Cup coming up, the boys think we might start getting a crowd down there to watch.”

The Stallions, who were understrength, chased down 142 in their most recent match against Family, which was played before the Christmas break, finishing 2/149 and Martin said it was good to see his side firing.

“I think we are getting more and more confident every game,” Martin said.

“We had a lot of players out in that game before Christmas and the guys that came in stepped up and got them over the line, which I think shows where we are as a club.

“They chased a good target at Gundagai and it’s good for us to know if we have players unavailable, we have ready-made players that can come in and fill the void.”

Junee are certainly building, and with the second half of the Elders Cup season hitting off on Saturday, the Stallions have five rounds remaining to consolidate a top-two spot and a second chance come finals. 

“You want to win every game that you can and I think now, as we get into the back half of the season, wins are vital,” Martin said. 

“We want to keep that winning run going into the season and Hedditch Cup and I think the guys are up for it.”

Martin is fully committed to the Stallions and their run to the Elders Cup finals, which hit off with an away game against the Tumut Golf Club Lippers at The Bull Paddock on Saturday. 

“I have actually moved my roster around so I can play the season,” Martin said. 

“I want to see this side have some more success and I want to be a part of that.” 

Round 10 of the Elders Cup shapes as a big day, with Gundagai’s Family hosting Coolac at Stan Crowe Oval, Adelong play Gundagai’s Lotts at Adelong Showground and Tumut Plains host Wyangle at Tumut Plains Cricket Ground.

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