Rocket Oval has lift-off.

Kamo High School officially opened its new artificial cricket pitch and ground with a match pitting past pupils against the current crop of talent yesterday.

The past pupil side had to hoped to include the school's only Black Cap representative, Bryan Young, but he was unavailable for the match, although strong rumours suggested he might make the after-match function.

Former Northern Districts representatives William Fowler and Alan Adcock were part of the "past" side which took on the KHS side at what has become known as "Rocket Oval" after ex-pupil and long-time Northland representative Roger "Rocket" Turner.


The nickname was formalised yesterday with the revealing of a "Rocket Oval'' plaque, recognising Turner's input into revitalising cricket at the school.

The school's first XI is a strong competitor in the Whangarei reserve grade competition - and Turner has been a key driver in the construction of the school wicket that has allowed competitive cricket to return to the school grounds.

Turner also organised yesterday's match.

Known as Rocket for as long as anyone can remember, Turner still turns out occasionally for the school side, after his career was rejuvenated by two knee replacements in the past few years.

Kamo High School's Nathan Parkes lets fly watched by KHS captain Max Turner and Past XI batter Warren Parr.
Kamo High School's Nathan Parkes lets fly watched by KHS captain Max Turner and Past XI batter Warren Parr.

Along with the unofficial record of the oldest player still involved in competitive cricket in Northland, Turner also holds an unofficial record for the most games for the KHS First XI.

It is widely considered though, that two years in the fifth form extended Turner's secondary school tenure, allowing him extra time to play for the side.

"It was great to get some of the old comrades back along to the game. It's been a great day welcoming in the ground,'' he said yesterday.

"The park itself is in really good shape. We've got the boundaries a bit further back than when it started.

"There'll be a pavilion coming along in the next couple of months that will be used for rugby and football initially. We'll get to use it when the new season comes along.

"Kamo High School have been brilliant in helping get this pitch up and running. They've been really supportive in what we wanted to do and now we've got one of the nicest grounds in Northland I think."

Yesterday's 25-over match was won by the First X1, who scored 156 and then dismissed the past side within their 25 overs.