Dad’s Day Out

My Dad was always good at sport, a real all-around athlete. It didn’t matter if it was football, basketball, golf, tennis or in this story cricket, he always excelled.

It was the 13th of February 1993. I was 16 years old and sitting on the grass out front of the family home in Linton (a small country town west of Ballarat) on a chair with a book and a cool drink having played junior cricket in the morning and senior tennis in the afternoon when some cars pull up tooting the horn.

It was Dad and the cricketers. Dad got out with a huge grin on his face as he got his gear out of the car boot one of the occupants said, “Your old man made 302 not out today!”

For a minute or two I was convinced they were trying to pull one over on me and that they were stirring me, until one of the guys in the back seat produced the scorebook. And I was totally amazed by what I saw. It was true!

Linton played in District Division 2 in the Ballarat Cricket Association. They were playing against Eastern Station and were 4/93 when Dad strode out to bat. He took with him a new knocked in Kookaburra Super Legend. He thought he would give it a go. The poor bat was clueless about what was to happen.

Linton’s score in 70 overs was 7/517. Dad featured in a club record 8th wicket partnership of 217 with one of the newer guys (Mark), who only contributed 8 runs in the partnership as Dad was hitting a single off the second last or last ball of every over to retain the strike. He hit 48 fours and 4 sixes.  I think Dad even surprised himself.

All the players came to our place later that night for impromptu BBQ and drinks to celebrate Dad’s amazing feat. Dad turned 43 a couple of days later. He couldn’t have asked for a better birthday present. At the end of the season Dad won a $1000 gold watch for the highest score for the season across all grades; an outstanding feat considering he was three days shy of his 43rd birthday!

Another great moment occurred a couple of years later on the 2nd of March 1996, when Dad and his three sons all played in the same game. He didn’t show much emotion but we knew deep down he was so proud of us being able to play one match together. By this time Dad was 46, I was 19, Leith was 17 and Rhys was 13 (and only in his second or third year of junior cricket).

Dad (who was the Captain), Leith and I all had a bowl and Leith (who bowled faster than Dad or I ever could) made it extra special for the family by getting a hat trick – all 3 wickets comprising of different dismissals (caught, bowled and LBW). Most importantly the team won the one-day game and it remained the one and only time we all played together.

I’m real proud of my Dad and think he’s a legend – well he always will be to me anyway!

About Brent May

A lifelong fan of Essendon and the Melbourne Storm. Having spent 21 years in a quiet country town just outside Ballarat and 15 years in the South East of South Australia in Mount Gambier (half way between Adelaide and Melbourne) he now resides in tropical Brisbane where a winter's day is still above 10 degrees. You can't take the Victorian out of the boy and he's about ready to don the Lions colours but not the Broncos (yet!).


  1. Neil Anderson says

    A lot of our Dad’s become our heroes in quiet unassuming ways. Your Dad is like a super-hero to you and your brothers in a very overt way. He even had the town celebrate his feats with a barbecue and a gold-watch presentation. Nothing subtle about your Dad’s hero status.
    Must be fun when the family gets together for beach-cricket at holiday time.
    When I hear Linton mentioned, I think of the fires in the area perhaps a little bit later than 1993?

  2. Great tale Brutus. Are your Dad’s jokes really funny?

  3. Linton fires were 1998 Neil.

    Thanks Dips. NO = my Dad is an awfully joke teller but he’s still competitive at 65. Plays off a golf handicap of 9 or 10 and hates to lose :-)

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