WEST and North Tamworth cricket clubs will play for a new Cup – the Kensell Lewington Cup – when their four grades match up in NICU Tamworth cricket matches across the city today.
The new trophy has been struck by the two clubs in recognition of the on and off -field cricketing work by club stalwarts Tim Kensell and Don Lewington.
All four grades will be a part of the new trophy, with points from all grades going towards determining just who holds the Cup after next Saturday’s second day of the two-day games.
North Tamworth sponsor Matt Zell said the idea was first suggested by Redback lower grader Dean Smith at the North Tamworth Cricket Club’s recent AGM.
“Our committee thought it was a great idea,” Zell said.
“We approached West with the idea and Crompo (West Tamworth president) went to his board.
“They were very receptive and also thought it was a great idea.
“Donny, as well as his mum (Gaye Chaffey) has been a big part of our club.
“Both he and Gaye were awarded life memberships at the conclusion of the 2010-2011 season.
“So this is as much a tribute to Gaye as well.
“A lot of Donny’s works goes unnoticed,” Zell said.
“He gives up his time to update the mycricket website and pick the teams.
“Both Donny and Tim are legends at both our clubs.”
The fact Zell now owns both the Imperial Hotel (sponsor and home of the North Tamworth Redbacks) and the Locomotive Hotel (sponsor and home of West Tamworth) makes it more attractive.
“Both clubs will come back to the Imperial after the first day’s play and then go back to the Loco after the second day,” Zell added.
North Tamworth skipper Michael Rixon said Lewington has been “good to me” over the years .
He’s passed on a lot to all the young kids,” he said.
“Hamish Batley and Leo Steyn have benefited recently and then others like Leggy (Ben Legge), Mitch (Holt) and Kris Halloran as well have all been helped by Donny.”
Crompton is the West Tamworth president.
“Tim started the same year as I did, back in 94/95 – just a junior then but he’s played 15 years plus already,” he said.
“He’s been a great player for us with both bat and ball.
“He’s won numerous first grade games with both bat and ball.
“He’s someone the young guys look up to.”
Crompton said the fact West has yet to win a game and sits at the bottom of the Tamworth first grade ladder added extra motivation for his club to upset a North side that has won all three first grade games.
“It is a bit of extra motivation for sure,” Crompton said.
“It’s a shame Kens (Kensell) won’t be here for the first day but he’ll be back for the second.”
Crompton said the fact the Kensell Lewington Cup would be decided by the results of all four grades makes it an even better club atmosphere for West and the Redbacks.
“It’s decided by the club with the best depth,” Crompton said. “And it’s up for grabs every time we play each other.”