CQ sportsman back in action after spinal injury
CRICKET: Todd Harmsworth has returned to competitive sport for the first since suffering a spinal injury.
It was a triumphant return, the 31 year old captaining Gracemere to a commanding victory in the opening round of the Frenchville Sports Club Capricorn Challenge on Saturday.
Todd got medical clearance a fortnight ago to resume normal activities after he fractured his C4 and C5 vertebrae in a boating accident in May.
He admitted he felt a little nervous before taking the field against Capricorn Coast but started to feel more comfortable as the game went on.
“My back survived, so that’s a positive,” he said yesterday.
“I was a bit under-done but I feel like things are coming together.
“I dived a couple of times without thinking and it did hurt but it was just my muscles grabbing.
“It was good to do that so I know I can do it.
“I think it’s just a matter of getting more confidence in it.”
Todd batted at five and made 12 before he was stumped.
It was his brother Aaron who led the way with the bat, top scoring with 61 of 59 balls.
Opener Kris McDonald made 46 and Steve Porta 24 as Gracemere piled on 218 runs.
Their bowling attack then dismissed Capricorn Coast for 79 in the 23rd over.
Left-arm off-spinner Adam Van Vael took 4-9 off five overs, two of which were wicket maidens, and Kade Horan and Porta bagged two wickets each.
Todd made special mention of teenage paceman Jack Connor, who finished with figures of 0-22 off five overs on debut.
Gracemere earned a double bonus point for their 139-run win.
“It was the perfect way to start the season. You couldn’t ask for a better effort,” Todd said.
“We’d been training really well. Having a few new recruits and some young fellas has brought life back at training.”
Todd said the players had focused solely on fielding in the off season and that paid off on Saturday with no dropped catches and three spectacular ones taken.
He said it was exciting to see a second Gladstone team – Port Curtis Cavaliers – join the competition this year.
“Every team looks like they’ve picked up some players and everyone’s keen,” he said.
“I reckon this year will be one of the closest comps we’ve had in a long time.”
In the other Round 1 fixtures, defending champs The Glen easily accounted for competition newcomers Port Curtis and Frenchville scored a 44-run win over Rockhampton Brothers.