Fitting farewell for fast bowling maestro
CRICKET: One of the most revered fast bowlers on the North Coast over the past 25 years has called it a day.
Chris Adamson struck fear into batsmen throughout the 1990s, and then inflicted it upon their sons a generation later. But the 43-year-old who has epitomised longevity bowled his last ball in the GDSC Premier League on Sunday as part of GI Hotel Tucabia-Copmanhurst's grand final winning outfit.
"I probably decided about four or five weeks ago," Adamson said.
"I wasn't getting any wickets and getting myself right to play every week was taking longer, and I just figured that the old body is starting to go. It doesn't recover like it used to."
Adamson announced his decision in the days leading up to the grand final, and was greeted by a guard of honour by his Brothers Clocktower Hotel opponents when he walked to the crease for the last time with his team needing just two runs for victory.
Despite teammate Rohan Hackett hitting the winning runs with a six, Adamson was given a hero's send off on the shoulders of Tom and Dan Cootes. Celebrating grand final glory for a third time - and the side's first since 2012-13 - was a fitting conclusion to a distinguished career.
"We've been in a few grand finals the last few years and always come up bridesmaids," he said. "It's nice to finally get the monkey off your back, and to go out with a win is a bit more special.
"It's been a long time since I've featured in a winning one, and the last time Tucabia won one I was actually in Hawaii."
Despite going through what he considered a lean patch by his own standards this season, Adamson finished with enviable statistics of 20 wickets at an average of 12.55. He has taken 244 wickets since when records started being kept on the MyCricket website in 2011-12.
Adamson still remembers the first time he played first grade as a 16-year-old for South Services.
"I was only a gently medium pacer back then and that didn't go to plan. I plugged away at Souths for a little while, and came across to Tucabia when we went through undefeated in 94-95.
"That was probably a big point for me, to stick with Tucabia, and I've never looked like changing clubs since.
"Everyone is mates, and it's not just the players, it's a very good family club and we all pull together when things need to be done around the club. It's not just left to one person all the time as is the case in most clubs, and we have a ball after every game.
"A highlight for me was when I was 17 and I got my first seven wickets, whch ended up being 8-for against Westlawn. I've still got that trophy sitting there.
"Also the two grand finals previously that I have won."
Adamson, who took 1 for 9 off 7 overs in the grand final, leaves the club's bowling stocks in good hands, highlighted by the fact his three fellow bowlers Brad Chard (2 for 35 off 12), Brayden Pardoe (5 for 11 off 9.3) and Rohan Hackett (2 for 29 off 9) created most of the carnage to bowl Brothers out for just 87 in the grand final.
"If Bradley, Rohan and Brayden continue to keep going, you can build a bowling unit around them, so I think I've left it in good stead," Adamson said.
Most batsmen came off second best in the 22-yard battle against Adamson's swerving upright seam, not least the scribe who failed to negotiate one that straightened on middle for a two-ball duck for Coutts Crossing the last time we squared off during the 2016/17 GDSC Premier League minor semi-final.
However, some were up to the challenge.
"The most stuboorn person I bowled at was Ed Munday from Harwood," Adamson said.
"The hardest bloke would have to be Matthew Kroehnert, because he could just take the game away from you. It doesn't matter who's bowling, he was just a fierce batsman that would take any attack on."
Since he first donned the whites aged 11, Adamson's number one supporter has been his mum, Rhonda Adamson.
"I hated cricket, I wouldn't even put it on the TV," Rhonda said. "But after a couple of years, parents would drop their kids off and as usual there'd be no one there, so I started scoring.
"You get more involved in the game that way. Since then there's been many trips away in old buses and so many different memories.
"He's got a lot out of cricket Now I hope he decides to give back to the game."
That could well happen in the next chapter of Adamson's cricket journey, as a father.
"The only time I'll get itchy feet is once the nine-year-old starts playing," he said. "A return to third grade I'd say."