May 282020

From one Western Australian to another with Royce Blight following Nolan Hall with his recollections of his time at Heywood. Royce had played at Midland Guildford with Bobby Cross and the two quickly became great mates and Royce would go on to spend 4 seasons at Crimble and is arguably the most successful overseas amateur the club has had. Over 3,000 runs, two Wood Cup winners medals and two League titles. And a conversion from lager to bitter in the process!

Royce with his 2008 title winning teammates

Royce with his 2008 title winning teammates

What do you remember of your Heywood debut?

Back in 2005 it was a glorious sunny day at Crimble against Crompton I think. We were chasing around 170 and knocked them off fairly easily only 3 or 4 down. Managed to get a couple of wickets and 20 odd not out, more importantly a victory to start off my Heywood career.

Unofficial debut was a friendly in Leeds early April that year. Conditions were absolutely Baltic, I have never experienced cold like that previously or since. Could not hold the bat! Proceeded to have 9 pints of Stella on the top road post game to warm up, which was a bit too much for a slight 19 year old Aussie lad. Needless to say I didn’t arrive that early in April again for my further 3 seasons.

What was your favourite game for Heywood and why?

Many favourite games along with any win for HCC, but one that sticks in my mind was in 2005. Was a Wood Cup semi-final at home against a very strong Littleborough side. They set us around 240 odd to win which we chased down in front of big Heywood crowd, setting us on our way to cup glory with ease against Monton & Weaste at Ashton. Both wins were well celebrated as always.

What was your favourite away ground?

Would say Middleton, enjoyed the surrounds and the wicket seemed to have a bit more pace and bounce than most in the CLL. Though it was the scene of the Valentine’s Day Massacre in 2006. Crossy will remember that!

Littleborough was a nice ground but I don’t think I ever bothered the scorers too much there.

Best professional you played with and against?

Lucky enough to play with 4 very high level professionals. However watching Sherwin Campbell in full flight from the other end was a sight to behold. Unbelievable bat speed and hands. Pure genius.

Against is a tough one, Wayne Madsen was class. Scored 360 degrees coming from his hockey backround. Saeed Anwar Jr was a solid all round cricketer.

Best amateur you played with and against?

R.J.Cross was the best amateur I played with. His record speaks for itself along with his leadership and devotion to the club. Had that ability score runs on any type of wicket and adapt to any situation required for the team. Had many good times with Crossy over the years.

There were many quality amateurs in the CLL, it was hard to pin point one. I remember always having trouble with Steve Oddy’s bowling from Rochdale. Didn’t bowl bad balls, made you have to play good cricket shots to score runs.

Best memory on the field?

Tom Hardman hitting the winning runs in the 2006 Wood Cup final against Rochdale. Was a really tough tightly fought game the whole way through. The suspense in that last over made it all the more special, the roar and emotion of the crowd was unreal. Made it back to back Wood Cups, as well completing the double that season.

Best memory off the field?

The people and the passion for the club. Created a brilliant atmosphere to be around and involved with. Winning trophies does help but success is very hard to achieve without that constant support. Having a beer in the change room with a top group of lads and then in the clubhouse with all, the club functions, race trips, cricket trips to Worcester and many more are all great memories. Can remember always being the weak link in the boat race and wasting half a pint of the precious J.W Lees.

Only fond memories of my time at Heywood CC which has brought about lifelong friendships. Grateful for the opportunity and life experience. Sad to see the CLL is no longer but still always follow the progress of HCC. Thoroughly enjoying reading the old stories and memories from everyone.

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 May 28, 2020  Add comments

  3 Responses to “Crimble Memories – Royce Blight”

  1. Top lad on & off the field great memories

  2. Royce omitted a life lesson that I taught him. When you’ve had 9 pints of Stella on an empty stomach; always take a plastic bucket to bed with you. It worked Royce didn’t it ?
    Great to hear from Royce who is yet another connection to Heywood Cricket Club from Perth W.A. So many friendships have been started from that wonderful City that began with Nolan and the other guys from Kalgoorlie back in the 70′s. Possibly originating with Keith Slater coming over as Pro in 1959 and all his connections.

  3. Like many of the overseas we have had Roycey is a great lad who comes from a fantastic family. Daryl, Sue, Nathan and of course Gino were very welcome visitors to Heywood and were amazing hosts when I spent time in Perth.

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