Eoghan Delany has started the season in great style, hitting a century for Preston in the Victoria Cricket league first division.
The Clontarf man skippers the Australian side, and he led by example at the weekend, rescuing his side from a precarious 45 for 5 in their clash with Mount Waverley.
Delany scored exactly 100, adding 125 for the 6th wicket with Sri Lankan Chaminda Vidanapathirana.
"I'm very happy to start the year with a century," said Delany. "Scoring hundreds is a pre-season goal most batsmen would have, so to tick that box early on gives me a good opportunity to build a big season.
"It was a hot day and the pitch looked decent. They also have a very good Sri Lankan left-arm spinner who would prove more than a handful chasing on a day two pitch, so I elected to bat after calling correctly. It probably didn't play as well as I thought it would for the first 30 overs. Being a bit tacky underneath, the ball was holding up and gripping. But once it baked out it was excellent, and the outfield was lightning.
"After finding ourselves 45-5, we were able to take our time and work our way back into the game because of this. Chaminda and I put together 125 for the 6th wicket. We both left the ball well, which is something our batting line-up struggled to do for long periods last season. There was no real cash-in period, Mt Waverley bowled pretty much one side of the wicket the majority of the day.
"But with the outfield as fast as it was, it was just a matter of placing your shot well when they did stray. That said, I had to make it to three figures with our number 11 for company, so with the field back my shots got a little more inventive - the ramp came out more than once! I'd have taken 120 after the early exchanges, so to bat 5 hours and get 218 is a tremendous fight-back.
"Mt Waverley will certainly be worried given their record chasing last season and knowing what might have been. The pitch will be quite flat next Saturday, but we've probably got the quickest seam attack in the comp so we will try blast out 3 or 4 early wickets while the Kookaburra still swings and apply scoreboard pressure from there."
It wasn't such a happy debut for Ireland U19 and Wolves all-rounder, Fionn Hand, dismissed without scoring in the difficult early period of the match.
The North County youngster is one of a significant batch of Irish players plying their trade overseas this winter.