Pontoon cricket returns at Royal Motor Yacht Club, Toronto, on Australia Day

FLOATING PITCH: Action from last year's inaugural pontoon cricket match played in drizzle at Royal Motor Yacht Club, Toronto. Organisers are hoping for clear skies for this year's game on Australia Day. Picture: Jamieson Murphy
FLOATING PITCH: Action from last year's inaugural pontoon cricket match played in drizzle at Royal Motor Yacht Club, Toronto. Organisers are hoping for clear skies for this year's game on Australia Day. Picture: Jamieson Murphy

FORGET playing cricket on a drop-in pitch, the wags at Royal Motor Yacht Club, Toronto, much prefer to play on a tow-out pitch.

The pontoon cricket match will be the highlight of a busy program of events at the club on Australia Day.

Yes, it’s a game of cricket played on a floating pitch with the waters of Lake Macquarie as the outfield.

The bowling and batting resembles backyard cricket, with a tennis ball, house rules, and designating scoring targets.

It's the fielding that spectators come to watch.

Fielders use any small un-motorised flotation device they like.

The person at point might opt for a blow-up kiddies pool.

The sharp movers in the covers might go for a kayak or canoe.

While a tyre tube is usually the go if you are at floating slip.

The second annual Pontoon Cricket Challenge will pit the Anglers XI (fishing club) against the Boat People XI (sailing and cruising fraternity) from 11am.

Anglers XI vice-captain Tony Cummins said the club’s “curators” faced a challenge to get the pitch prepared in time.

“Our pitch is being repaired after being smashed into two pieces during the April storms, but we’re confident we’ll have it ready in time,” Mr Cummins said.

The Boat People won the inaugural match, but Mr Cummins said the Anglers XI were better prepared this year.

“We’re determined to avenge last year’s narrow loss to the umpiring...err, I mean the other team,” he said.

“More attention will be paid to our ‘on water’ fielding and, particularly our fielding craft where stability and speed is paramount.”

Spectators are invited to make a day of it.

For a gold coin donation visitors can enjoy lunch with a sausage or steak roll at the barbecue from noon.

Adults can indulge in a range of Aussie cocktails, while the kids enjoy a slushie, Mr Cummins said.

There will also be thong tossing, and a mechanical surfboard to ride from 1pm to 3pm.

“The club DJ will start pumping out the tunes from the club’s deck at 1pm, and there are some fabulous raffle prizes on offer,” Mr Cummins said.

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