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May Day Carnival a chance for comradery

May Day Carnival
Bundaberg Veteran Terry Collins cuts the ball at the May Day Carnival.

For two decades cricketing veterans from around Australia have descended on Kendall Flat for the annual May Day Carnival.

The teams come to the Bundaberg Region to battle their peers in an eight-a-side competition, but they know it’s more than just cricket as the competitors soon turn in to mates.

For the 20th anniversary of the May Day Carnival 14 teams from as far as Keilor in Victoria to Warwick in the west and a home team went head-to-head.

This year's event saw two female teams join their male counterparts on the pitch for the first time.

At the conclusion of the carnival, the top five teams were within two points of each other with the final played on Sunday afternoon between the Waterford Wounded and the Warwick Wizards.

Batting first, Waterford Wounded scored 136 runs and Warwick Wizards could only manage 123 runs.

Individual trophies included the most sixes which was won by Dale Steele with 19 sixes.

Bundaberg Veterans Cricket Club president Kevin Pratt watched over the five full cricket fields on the last day of the competition.

He said his passion for cricket didn’t come until later in life.

Bundaberg Veterans Cricket
Bundaberg Veterans Cricket Club president Kevin Pratt stands proudly in front of the Vets honour board.

“It was actually in 2008 when I first played,” he said.

“The only other cricket I had ever played was indoor, and technically I am still learning, and it went from that to one year when I heard there was a vets cricket club and I thought it was invite-only.

“Actually, I have even heard that today – someone said they didn’t turn up to play because they didn’t get invited. Whereas it’s actually open to anyone who wants to come along and play.

May Day Carnival
Bundaberg Veteran Cricketer Shannon Heycox plays a shot during the May Day Carnival.

“We’ve got guys here now who haven’t played since high school – so what. We are not here to win sheep stations – it’s just something to do that you enjoy.”

Kevin said the May Day Carnival was great for the local economy as each team, consisting of 10-12 players plus their families, would come to the region and often stay longer than the three-day weekend.

He said money raised during the competition would go toward supporting junior cricket.

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