Top honour for Casino Stalwarts

TOP TRIO: Al Nowlan, Mark Bratti and Sam Irvine were awarded life membership to the Casino RSM Cavaliers cricket club.
TOP TRIO: Al Nowlan, Mark Bratti and Sam Irvine were awarded life membership to the Casino RSM Cavaliers cricket club.

CASINO cricket stalwarts, Mark Bratti, Sam Irvine and Al Nowlan, were named life members at the Cavaliers end of season presentation night.

Nowlan is still playing at 53-years-old and has been there since the beginning of the Far North Coast LJ Hooker League competition in 1994-1995.

He has captained the side to multiple premiership wins and is still achieving career milestones having taken his first career hat-trick in March.

Nowlan bowls plenty of overs and finished the season with 20 wickets.

If he plays next season he will eclipse 350 games with the Cavs.

Nowlan was part of the Cavaliers 2008 premiership win where Irvine scored a double ton in the final against Tintenbar-East Ballina.

His 215 not out has not been surpassed by any player in a final across the Far North Coast competition since.

It is believed the only country player to match his efforts with a double ton in a winning district final was cricket legend, Don Bradman, in the 1920s at Bowral.

Irvine went on to represent NSW Country numerous times and is still widely regarded as one of the best batsmen to have played in the local competition.

Bratti was an all-rounder who frustrated batsman with his disciplined medium pace and monstered bowling attacks with his power hitting.

He is now guiding Casino's next generation of Cavaliers as president of Casino Junior Cricket Association.

The Cavaliers also had an unprecedented three-way tie for Player of the Year with Mark Mison, Tim Martin and Sam Dietrich taking out the top award.

Cavs are breeding ground for cricket success

Since the Cavaliers started in 1994-95, there have always been waves of young talented players coming through to fill the ranks.

It all started with youngsters like Mark Bratti and Neil Hancock in the clubs first game.

Then came Adam Shields who would go on to represent NSW and Australian Country teams.

He provided plenty of experience when he returned for a season once Irvine had moved on.

Irvine was part of the strongest crop of juniors when he was a teenager in the 2000s.

He came into the top grade with the likes of Wade Sweeney, Scott Shephard, Sam Dietrich, Todd Summers, Myles McDowell and Josh Innes. Part of this group were in three-straight premiership wins between 2007-2008 and 2011-2012

The next crop are coming through now with an extremely talented Under-16 group who are being coached by Cavs fast bowlers Mark and Rob Mison.

The players include Kayn Blasher, Alex Newton, Harry Thompson, Hayden Mison and Cooper Mulcahy.