Newquay cricketing stalwarts notch up record 23,000 runs
A PAIR of cricketing stalwarts from Newquay have scored more than 23,000 runs for the town's club in 1,400 matches, and joked: "Not bad for a pair of old gits."
Tony Roberts, 66, and Mike Jelbert, 56, have played in every season since the club entered the Cornish Cricket League with the opening of Newquay Sports Centre in 1972.
All-rounder Tony took part in his 800th match earlier this summer, while batsman Mike swung for the boundary in his 600th on Saturday last week.
Tony holds the club record with 1,300 wickets and 12,000 runs, with Mike breathing down his neck on more than 11,000 runs.
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In their most memorable partnership, Tony smashed a six over the pavilion at Fowey and Mike slogged the ball over a row of houses – almost knocking a child off his bike.
But despite keeping a close eye on each other's run rates, the dynamic duo claim there is no major rivalry between them and they have loved every minute at Newquay Cricket Club.
Former hotelier and grandfather of five Tony said: "We've scored a lot of runs between us, which isn't bad for a pair of old gits. It was certainly easier when I was younger and able to see the ball. The frustrating parts now are not being able to sprint or throw the ball in over the top of the stumps like before. I tend to field in the slips or gully, too, where I don't have to run."
Mike, the head teacher of Lanivet School, near Bodmin, added: "Thinking about playing in my 600th match definitely makes me feel old. It's a long time and a lot of effort for one club but it's been worth it.
"There's no real rivalry between Tony and me because we've played together for so long now. Tony's record is amazing but I would like to overtake him. I did at one point but then he came back and overtook me. I'll get him one day though."
Having played both as an outfielder and wicket keeper, it is believed Mike may also hold the Cornish record for the most catches – he has taken more than 100 as an outfielder and more than 200 as wicket keeper.
He said the game, and the club, had changed beyond all recognition since the pair began playing in the Seventies."We never used to have a roller, so the wicket was dodgy to say the least," said Mike, a father of two.
Neither has any plans to retire, although Tony is training to become an umpire.