When organisers sat down to create an event late in 2018, they could not have foreseen the success ‘Matt Day’ would have on the Australia Day weekend in 2019.
Fast forward a year and it is all about to happen again.
Before the amalgamation of the Rochester United and Rochester Tigers cricket clubs to form Rochester Cricket Club, there were two names synonymous with the individual clubs - ironically, both were Matt’s.
Matt Dingwall and Matt O’Donoghue were larger than life identities, known for their enjoyment of a great time with mates, love for their families and respect within cricketing circles.
The sudden deaths of the men rocked families, friends, the cricket clubs and the community, but one thing was for sure, the memory of the pair will never be forgotten.
In 2019, the inaugural ‘Matt Day’ was heralded an outstanding success, as more than 200 onlookers were entertained with a fast-paced exhibition T20 cricket match, with the two sides made up of mates of Dingwall and O’Donoghue.
Both were known for their aggressive stroke play and eagerness for a short stint in the field when playing cricket, so the T20 concept would be looked upon favourably by the pair.
The iconic Windridge Oval in Rochester will again be the backdrop for the event, which is hosted by Rochester Cricket Club.
The Dingwall XI will be looking for revenge on the O’Donoghue XI and there will be no love lost when the sides cross the boundary to face the first ball of the day.
After the match, both families will decide on the ‘Player of the Day’, with the award not necessarily to the best cricketer on the day but rather the player who displays the greatest ‘Matt’ characteristics.
The award is donated by Rochester SportsPower and will be presented by the fathers of Dingwall and O’Donoghue, Bill Dingwall and Ian Crouch.
Organisers are again anticipating a huge crowd on Sunday, with a timely Australia Day holiday on the Monday, making for a family friendly event accessible for all.
Crowd participation will also be increased this year, with competitions including high ball catching, fastest and most accurate throwing and relay races for the children running throughout the day.
Full bar and food facilities will be available all day.
The match starts at noon, with the stories and memories of the boys being shared well into the night.
For information, contact Dylan Cuttriss on 0409 583 766.