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Bens - Joes meet at cricket for the Mack/Croner Trophy at Kotahena

St. Benedict’s College and St.Joseph’s College will meet in their traditional inter-school cricket encounter at Kotahena on Friday and Saturday, play starting at 10.a.m each day.

It is of interest to note that this game will be contested for the Mack/Croner Trophy.

The organizers should be congratulated for initiating a trophy for this game, which has over the years generated much interest and played in the best spirit of the game.

Malcolm Mack and Trevor Croner in whose memory this game will be played for, were wonderful cricketers and shone for their respective schools. Both captained their schools - Mack in 1976 and Croner in 1977.

In ‘76 Croner captained SJC in the game against the Bens in the absence of appointed captain Dhushan Soza. Mack a stylish right hander who made his debut for the green, white and green school in 1974 under Basil Perera scored an elegant century against the Joes in 1976 the year he captained the school. Mack later played for Saracens SC.

If my memory serves me right, I think Mack was the second Benedictine to score a century against the Joes, the first being the stylish wicket/keeper batsman Anton Sethupathy in 1951 and the last Ben to score a century was Maurice Joseph in 1981.

Croner first played for SJC under Gary Melder as a wicket keeper/ left hand batsman in 1973. He continued playing from 1973 to 77, captaining in 1977 where he ended up as a fast bowler. Croner was and Schoolboy cricketer of the year’ in 1977. Croner also won Sri Lanka Schools colours in cricket and soccer in 1976/77. Colours also came his way for swimming and athletics at SJC. He later played for Nondescripts CC.

Croner migrated to Australia in 1979.He was a level 3 coach for Queensland.

The Bens and Joes have met at cricket on 88 occasions since 1898. The Darley Road school is way ahead with 40 victories while SBC has tasted victory only on four occasions.

The Darley Road school last won under Ruwantha Fernandopulle in 2008 at Kotahena. Jeremy Saverymuthapulle, son of a former Benedictine captain Joe led the Bens when they last beat the Joes after 37 years at Darley Road.

The guests will be the family members of both Mack and Croner.

Sadly Mack and Croner died of terminal illnesses. We are sure both will be watching the game from where ever they are.

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