By Justin Flynn
Most cricketers go their entire careers without ever taking a hat-trick, but Harry Hyland has achieved the feat twice in four weeks.
What makes it even more astonishing is that Harry is 14-years-old and did it in senior cricket for Barwon Heads playing against full-grown men.
The Hyland name is well known at Barwon Heads. Harry’s dad, Russell (Nipper) and grandfather Stuey are life members. His late uncle David and cousin Lewy both played in A Grade flags for the club.
But it might end up being that Harry trumps them all.
Harry took a hat-trick in D Grade against Barrabool on January 9 and then followed up with another on Saturday against Drysdale.
However, the game will also be remembered for Harry’s first senior half-century.
Opening the batting with his father, who contributed 46, Harry put his head down and made a fine 50 against some experienced bowlers. Nipper was more impressed with his son’s batting.
“He was really unselfish in his batting, but he batted within his limitations,” dad Nipper said.
“He was turning the strike over.”
Harry, however, reckons hat-trick number two was more enjoyable.
Nipper stumped the first batsman, the next was caught at mid-wicket by Michael Moulton and the hat-trick ball was an edge to first slip to Miller Moulton.
“I didn’t know I made 50 until I came off,” Harry, who goes to St Joseph’s College, said.
“The hat-trick was better. I was just trying to bowl a nice one on off-stump that would spin away.”
“I thought when Harry threw it up, ‘that’s not going to get a wicket, it’s too wide and a bit short’,” Nipper said.
Despite his success, Harry still prefers to play Under 15s with his mates.
He feels no pressure with the Hyland surname being so revered at the club.
“Not at all – definitely proud, but no pressure,” he said.
Harry loves playing for the Seagulls.
“I try to go to every training, seniors training, and it’s always good because you get a really good go and they are all supportive,” he said.
“They are an open club to anyone who wants to play.”
And the future looks bright for the club with Angus Mackie playing in the same game against men, taking one wicket for 13 runs from eight overs, including five maidens. Angus is just 11-years-old.