Gunnedah District Cricket Association: Luke Ryan making the most of his time on the field

CHANGING IT UP: Golf pro Luke Ryan swaps the sticks for the bat each Saturday for Albion. Photo: Ben Jaffrey
CHANGING IT UP: Golf pro Luke Ryan swaps the sticks for the bat each Saturday for Albion. Photo: Ben Jaffrey

Albion’s Luke Ryan didn’t realise how much he missed the camaraderie of playing a team sport until he returned.

After 10 years out of the game, Ryan took up an offer to play for Albion last season after moving to Gunnedah and the golf professional hasn’t looked back.

Ryan has been a key player for the first grade side this season and produced his best figures the year with 3-14 from 14.3 overs against Kookaburras last weekend.

The opening bowler said he’s happy to have the wickets next to his name but that’s not why he plays.

Cricket is an opportunity for Ryan to get around his mates and it’s become a solace of sorts for the 27-year-old.

“You miss the boys more than anything,” Ryan said of his decade of not playing cricket.

“I played golf solely for about 10 years there and I enjoy it. I love playing [golf] tournaments but to be able to get out on a Saturday afternoon, it gives you a bit of peace of mind out of your work place as well.

I love playing [golf] tournaments but to be able to get out on a Saturday afternoon, it gives you a bit of peace of mind out of your work place as well.

Luke Ryan

“Working at a pro shop six days a week – it’s nice to get out and do something different.”

Ryan has formed a formidable opening combination with Brad Jenkinson this season.

The quicks have combined for a combined 23 wickets this season with Jenkinson (17) picking up the majority of the scalps.

Ryan was happy for that to continue as long as he was doing his job for the team.

“If I can hold up one end and let him get all the wickets, I’m happy for that to happen,” Ryan said.

The duo will again play a part this weekend in the second day of their clash against Kookaburras.

Kookaburras ground out 53 runs from 53.3 overs last Saturday before Albion took out first innings points.

Albion captain Andy Mack knocked out 43 not out to have his side at 3-66 at stumps.

Albion will resume on Saturday with a chance to take an outright victory.

Despite being firmly in the box seat, Ryan said there was still plenty for Albion to do.

“We’d love to declare but Kookaburras bowling attack is as good as any,” Ryan said.

“There’s no reason they can’t come out and knock us over for 20 more runs.

“All teams have the ability to do it, it’s just a matter of putting together on the day. If we play a few silly shots it could all turn around.”

The match will continue at Wolseley Park on Saturday.