Barkers Creek prove a powerhouse

The Barkers Creek A Grade side celebrate their seventh win in recent history at the Camp Reserve. Photo: Max Lesser

Castlemaine District Cricket Association sides battled out grand final contests across the competition last weekend. 

Some close matches and upsets were recorded as teams vied for the ultimate prize. 

It was a weekend for the bowlers with many batsman struggling to make an impact. Highlights of the round were North Castlemaine A Reserve batsman Nathan Anderson’s half century with the bat, whilst C Grade/Under 16 young guns North Castlemaine/Guildford’s Max Matheson 5-10 and Harcourt’s Mason Chamberlain 5-17 led the way with the ball. Results were as follows: 

A Grade 

Barkers Creek has won their seventh final in recent history after a strong display against opponents Guildford. 

Barkers Creek won the toss on Saturday and elected to bat first. Opener Bodhi Robinson made a positive start with 28 but fellow opener Darby Semmens 8 and Thomas Walters 4 fell cheaply before Nash Robinson stepped up and steadied the ship with 34. Lewis Stabler 22 and Benjamin Leech 16 helped the side to a total of 10-125. 

Matthew Manning led the way for the Guildford bowlers claiming 3-36 and was well supported by Cordie McKendry 2-20, Iran Indika 2-26 and DS Wijemanna 2-26. 

Guildford were in trouble early in their bid to chase down the target of 125 losing openers Nathan Webster 1 and Troy Thomas 9 to an inform Lewis Stabler. Seasoned campaigner Tom Reece came in at number three and made 11 before too he was bowled by Stabler. Joshua Eastley 15, Elliott Massina 12 and Cordie McKendry 12 not out dug deep for Guildford but in the end the contenders were dismissed for 10-85 and Barkers Creek had claimed another title. Lewis Stabler eventually claiming 5-34, Sean Smith 2-9, and Nash Robinson 2-20. 

A Reserve 

The A Reserve grand final contenders were not decided until the 11th hour after a dispute over player eligibility. 

Taradale eventually facing off against North Castlemaine which took to the field without the player in question. 

Taradale won the toss at Barkers Creek Oval and elected to bat first. 

Opener Brock Fletcher led the way making 47 and was well supported by fellow opener David Millard who made 17. Middle order batsman Alec Purdon also stood up making 26, Steve Learmonth 26, Leigh Bennett 17, and Steve Curnow 15. North’s Karsen Beer was on fire taking 5-56 with teammates Darren Hinck 2-17 and Andrew Ferres 2-52 chipping in to see Taradale all out for 182. 

North were in trouble early in their chase after losing experienced opener Gavan James for 4. However, fellow opener Nathan Anderson kept his calm racking up half a century, Robert Chapman made a solid 26 and the middle order stood up with Jamie Allan 41, Andrew Ferres 33 and young gun Max Matheson 13 keeping the run rate ticking over. North eventually inched over the line 6-183 with four wickets remaining in hand to claim the 2023-2024 title. The pick of the bowlers for Taradale was Alec Purdon 2-46. 

B Grade 

Campbells Creek Colts caused an upset defeating top of the table Heathcote to claim the B Grade premiership honours. 

Colts certainly hit their stride in the final rounds with some great performances. On Saturday at Barrack Reserve Heathcote the visitors won the toss and decided to bat first. 

Creek opener Graeme Beith made 33, Clint McLeod 21 and captain Tayler Walsh 20 on their way to a total of 10-105. 

Heathcote’s bowlers were in great form with the wickets shared by Nicholas Malavisi 3-21, Tim Gleeson 2-15, Rhys Ashen 2-23, and Kyle Seidel 2-28. However, the Creek bowlers also had their eye in claiming both openers for a duck. Middle order batsman Nicholas Malavisi 25 not out and later order batsman Benjamin Poulton 13 worked hard to put some runs on the board for their side but in the end Heathcote fell for 8-65 and Creek claimed the premiership honours. Best with the ball for Creek were Matthew Stahl 3-6 and James Collie 2-6. 


The top-of-the-table Newstead Women’s side capped off their stellar season with a win over second-placed Guildford before their home crowd at the Newstead Recreation Reserve last Friday evening. Newstead won the toss and elected to bat first with great performances by Dawn McNabb 13 retired not out and Eve Righetti 13 not out and every other player chipping in important runs towards their total of 103. Guildford claimed four wickets with Alexandra Manning, Bobbie-Lea Blackmore, Brenna Ross and captain Tenille Thomas claiming one each. The Guildford ladies worked hard to chase down the target but fell short in the end making 73 despite their best efforts. Jemma Finning made a creditable 12 not out. Best with the ball for premiers Newstead was Dawn McNabb 3-5. 

C Grade (Under 16) 

In the C Grade final, second-placed Harcourt lined up against fourth-placed North Castlemaine/Guildford at the Harcourt Recreation Reserve. Harcourt won the toss and elected to bat first making a solid target of 10-141 on day one. Best with the bat were Koby Simmons 45, Jack Archer 35, captain with Mason Chamberlain 17 and Darcy McLachlan 11. 

The pick of the bowlers for North Castlemaine/Guildford was Max Matheson with an impressive 5-10. 

North Castlemaine/Guildford were in trouble early in their chase when they lost opener Max Matheson for 9, but fellow opener Levi Bruce made 17 and strong performances by captain Zac Hinck 19, Alex Welch 21, Jordan Hardy 26 not out and Rainz Webster 12 saw North Castlemaine/Guildford hold on to win 8-142 with two wickets in hand. Best with the ball for Harcourt was Mason Chamberlain 5-17.