Will Jenkins in action as nippers from the Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore Surf Lifesaving Club and cricketers from the Ballina District Junior Cricket Association took part in games of beach cricket at the weekend.
Will Jenkins in action as nippers from the Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore Surf Lifesaving Club and cricketers from the Ballina District Junior Cricket Association took part in games of beach cricket at the weekend. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Beach cricket prove a hit with Ballina nippers

BEACH cricket could become a regular fixture for nippers at the Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore Surf Lifesaving Club.

Nippers and cricketers from the Ballina District Junior Cricket Association took part in games of beach cricket recently.

Cricket NSW was also on-board, with Breakers leg-spinner and former Ballina girl Angela Reakes part of the action.

She was joined by Australian first-class coach and former Sheffield Shield cricketer Matthew Mott.

"It's a combination of two great Australian traditions with cricket and surf lifesaving," surf club captain Andrew Dougherty said.

Morgan Smith keeps an eye on the ball.
Morgan Smith keeps an eye on the ball.

"A lot of our nippers play cricket and it's a good thing to have something like this at the end of the season."

Nippers took part in their usual Sunday morning activity while various games of six-a-side cricket were played.

They hope to grow the concept to involve senior players and possible T20 games of beach cricket next season.

"We've had about a 15% increase in membership since the clubhouse was finished, which is pleasing," Dougherty said.

John Atkinson takes off for a run in the sand.
John Atkinson takes off for a run in the sand.

"I could see us doing more of this sort of stuff, maybe at the beginning and end of the season.

"Some of the junior cricket matches around town were rescheduled for today so we'll definitely have bigger numbers next time."

Dougherty welcomes any of the Ballina cricketers who aren't part of nippers to join the surf club next season.

"We're all part of Ballina and we want to work together to get kids involved in sport," he said.

"Whether it's on a cricket pitch or on the beach, that's up to the kids."

Ryan Richards takes a swing.
Ryan Richards takes a swing.

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