17 September, 2022

Legge looks to finals for Atherton cricket

ATHERTON is gearing up for a highly competitive cricket season as their A grade side rebuilds and attempts to make a semi-final appearance with new coach and veteran player Shane Legge at the helm.

By Rhys Thomas

New Atherton cricket A-grade coach Shane Legge is hoping to steer his team to a finals appearance this season.
New Atherton cricket A-grade coach Shane Legge is hoping to steer his team to a finals appearance this season.

The Atherton local began playing cricket in his hometown competition in before it was affiliated with the Cairns competition, playing in sparse games with no real organisation. 

It wasn’t until many years later that the junior competition became somewhat organised and players on the Tablelands like Legge started being recognised for their talents.

“There was not much organised cricket back then I just played whenever I could – I don’t even know why I got into it I’ve just liked it for as much as I can remember,” he said.

“A couple of enthusiastic fathers used to gather some kids together split them into two teams and have a game, that was our junior cricket.” 

It wasn’t until Legge’s later teenage years that he would take his first steps in representative cricket, being picked as a shadow player for a Far North Queensland school boys’ side, the only Tablelander to be picked in the side. 

Legge was on the cusp of playing a visiting West Indies team around 1991 when he was 12th man in a Queensland side, a time when the West Indies were regarded as one of the best and most feared teams in the world. 

He also spent some time in the home of cricket as he played county cricket across England against ex-county and ex-test players, furthering his cricketing knowledge and experience.

Legge seeks to impart some of his hard-earned knowledge to a rebuilding Atherton A grade side as they head into a new season, with a mix of old blood and fresh faces set to populate the field. 

Consistency both in the side and in their results and performance is a key area Legge will be focusing on heading into the upcoming season.

“It is consistency we are after, last year we were losing games we should not have lost and in the end that is the difference between third and second and first – you have to win those games,” he said.

“Getting a consistent side together is important as well which in country cricket is not easy.” 

Several years ago, Atherton was the strongest team in the Cricket Far North competition, blitzing through the season and winning the T20, one day and two-day titles, the team has since lost some of their key players including Paul Nasser and Dan Parnell. 

“A couple of the older heads are going to have to stand up until we see what we have got,” Legge said. 

“We have a couple of younger fellas coming through so it will be an inexperienced side certainly compared to past years.

“The young fellas are going to be thrown into the deep end to see how they swim but sometimes that’s what they need.”

While every team aims for the finals, Legge believes a more realistic goal for Atherton this season would be to make the semi-finals.

“I know everyone is supposed to say we are looking to win the comp and of course you are but realistically we are building a little bit,” he said. 

“Tackling a team like Mulgrave looks like a bit of a big step but certainly we are aiming to get into the finals – there is enough skill and enough talent here to make a semi-final.”


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