The high performing Gympie club crying out for help
CRICKET: To look at Rainbow Beach Cricket Club's on-field performances you would not think for a second they play most weekends on a pitch that is barely passable.
You would not suspect their home ground, which doubles as a school oval, is mainly sand and you would be forgiven if you thought the club headquarters had a grandstand for all their supporters, not just two picnic tables.
Despite their humble setting, Rainbow Beach claimed back-to-back Gympie Cricket Association reserve grade premierships on Sunday, reaching Valleys' 131 run total in the 48th over.
The win cements the club as one of the association's best performers.
Rainbow Beach Cricket Club player Merv O'Neill is calling for infrastructure upgrades to the club's Carlo Rd headquarters, citing ripped artificial turf on the wicket and an uneven playing surface as factors that could prevent teams travelling to the Cooloola Coast for matches.
"We love travelling into Gympie for games but it just would not be feasible every week,” O'Neill said.
"The Gabba grass is about 25 years old and it's just past its use-by date.
"The nets are beyond usable so we just go down to the ground and have a hit (for training).”
Apart from the council mowing the Rainbow Beach cricket ground every two weeks, upkeep of the playing surface is done by club members.
O'Neill said the Rainbow Beach community was "crying out” for a sporting facility upgrade.
"It would be huge and it would impact on the school big time,'' he said.
"There are no footy posts, no basketball court and a ratty cricket pitch.”
Gympie Regional Council has met with cricket club officials to discuss potential improvements, and draft concept plans have been prepared.
The plans consider the size of the field as well as the earthworks needed to provide a mounded viewing area.
In the A grade match, Murgon was too good for Valleys after the latter failed to chase down the 115-run total set by the visitors.
Despite solid knocks, Valleys suffered a battling collapse and were bowled out for 91.