Blake Small had the best seat when Court House veteran Farran Lamb took a screamer of a catch at Wolseley Oval on Saturday.
Moving to his left at first slip, Lamb grabbed a one-handed catch off Ben Irwin's bowling, to remove Kookaburras opener Cameron Milne in a Twenty20 won by Court House.
Wicketkeeper Small was the first to congratulate Lamb, his skipper. Given their close proximity on the field, the two men often talk. Small enjoys the company.
"He's a great person," Small said of Lamb. "He's been a really good role model for most of the kids coming up."
When Lamb imparted advice, people listened, Small said.
"The way he tries to help people, it actually helps them - it's not being forced into them, if you know what I mean," Small said, adding that Lamb had a "calm" demeanor.
Opening the bowling on Saturday, Lamb finished with 0-3 off two overs and then made a 26-ball 31 not out as Court House chased down 7-73 to finish on 5-74 in the 19th over. It was the eighth win of the year for the competition leaders.
The 31-year-old's many years of first grade for Court House was punctuated by two seasons of lower grade cricket at Western Suburbs in Sydney. He joined the club after leaving Gunnedah High, having impressed his coach - who was connected to Wests - at the Imparja Cup in Alice Springs.
Living in Sydney was an "eye-opening" experience. Although the move to the city was made easier by him having family there, including sisters and his mother.
Upon returning to Gunnedah, he did a carpentry apprenticeship at Brad Smith Master Builder - where he still works.
"We're flatout at the moment," he said of work.
His busy work schedule was a factor in him not playing AFL with the Bulldogs last season, after being part of their 2019 premiership-winning side. In 2020, the Dogs made it back-to-back titles.
He did not want to commit to the Bulldogs "half-a**ed".
At Kitchener Park on Saturday, Albion beat Mornington by seven wickets - finishing on 3-98 in the 17th over after Mornington made 7-97.
New signing Ryan Smith compiled a 65-ball 57 opening the innings for Mornington, while Andy Mack finished on 37 not out for Albion.