Rockhampton’s Paul Donovan is captain of Donovan XI, which is competing at the Country Carnival for the fifth straight year. Picture: Pam McKay
Rockhampton’s Paul Donovan is captain of Donovan XI, which is competing at the Country Carnival for the fifth straight year. Picture: Pam McKay

Rocky’s Country Carnival a family affair for this team

CRICKET: The Frenchville Sports Club Country Carnival is a family affair for Donovan XI.

Rockhampton’s Paul Donovan is the captain and senior statesman of the family outfit whose members range in age from 12 to 68.

“We come from all over – Brisbane, Bundaberg, Blackwater and Bluff – and one member’s even flown over from Arizona in the US,” Paul explained during a break in play.

Alex Raguse bats for Rolleston Roosters on the opening day of the Country Carnival. Picture: Jann Houley
Alex Raguse bats for Rolleston Roosters on the opening day of the Country Carnival. Picture: Jann Houley

“We’re pretty much all cousins and the next generation and we’ve got three rings-in to make up the 13.

“The family get-together is the main attraction for us but we’re a cricketing family so we enjoy the cricket.

“We don’t practice too hard for it but we’ve got enough young members to make us competitive.”

The team won the second grade turf division last year and were an “outside chance” of defending their title if other results went their way.

Jolt Cafe’s Rupert Collins hits out at the Rockhampton Cricket Grounds. Picture: Jann Houley
Jolt Cafe’s Rupert Collins hits out at the Rockhampton Cricket Grounds. Picture: Jann Houley

They lost a close game on Friday night, had an easy win on Saturday and looked set for victory against Gale Force today.

Thirty-six teams – 16 playing on turf wickets and 20 on concrete - played at this year’s carnival.

Donovan XI made their first appearance at the event about 25 years ago and played for a couple of years before making their return five years ago.

Paul first took part in the event in 1969 and has played 15 times in total.

Rolleston Roosters’ Blake Wells. Picture: Jann Houley
Rolleston Roosters’ Blake Wells. Picture: Jann Houley

One of his fondest memories is from 1980, when a batsman joined him at the crease when their team was 8/18.

They put on 140-odd runs, with Paul making 97 of them.

Paul said the family members would continue making the annual pilgrimage to Rockhampton for the carnival.

“We’ve gone and bought a set of stumps now so that makes us semi-permanent,” he said.

Barbarians won the inaugural women’s competition, beating North Rockhampton Tigers in the final on Sunday.



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