Local batsmen, Ryan Gibson is hoping his roller-coaster cricket career will be an omen for Penrith as they enter their third finals campaign in four seasons, having qualified in sixth position.
Gibson has been prolific in all forms of the game. Photo 77 Media.
The Penrith RSL junior, who is no stranger to having played finals both for and against Penrith in consecutive seasons, hopes that it will bring the club some luck as they pursue a rare feat in Sydney Grade Cricket, winning the Belvidere Cup / One-day Title double, despite the challenge presented in playing this weekend’s quarter-final away to minor premiers, Sydney University.
“It’s actually happened twice so far in my cricket career. In the under 15’s I played for Fairfield against Penrith in a final and then went back to Penrith to play in a final for them the next year,” Gibson told Nepean News.
“Hopefully it happens that way again and we go all the way and win the Belvidere Cup because not many teams have done it (winning those two titles in one season) but we do have the team to do it.
“Finishing sixth doesn’t really matter because you know you have to beat the best to be the best.”
Gibson left Penrith four seasons back to link up with Campbelltown-Camden, where he became one of the competition’s top batsmen, culminating with another finals appearance against Penrith last season.
But while Gibson said he was always destined to return to Penrith, he only did so once he was confident about his own game.
“I was always going to come back,” Gibson declared.
“But the stage I was at when I left, I needed the change because I didn’t think I was improving myself and was just going through the motions here at Penrith and I didn’t like that.
“So I decided to make a change that would push me to take my game another level up and prove that I am first grade worthy or higher.
“Once I felt comfortable with where my cricket was at, I knew I needed to come back to Penrith.”
It would have been easy for the son of former Socceroos goalkeeper, Michael Gibson to follow in his dad’s footsteps and pursue a footballing career but the gun batsman said he preferred the comradery cricket had to offer.
“I like the cricketing environment a lot more, spending virtually the whole day with your mates out on the field,” Gibson said.
“Whereas with soccer you’re kind of with them for that ninety minutes and when the game is over you don’t see them again until the next week.”
Ryan Gibson hits out against Sydney. Photo: Michael Gibson.
And who can argue with Ryan given that 2016- 17 has been a stellar season to date, having earned selection in the Cricket Australia XI domestic one-day squad, before being given the opportunity to make his debut in both Shield for New South Wales and in the Big Bash League with Sydney Thunder.
Gibson says while making his debut for the Thunder in the season opener before a sold-out Spotless Stadium was a highlight, he couldn’t go past making his Shield debut at the hallowed SCG.
“It’s been a roller-coaster ride but I can’t go past making my debut for New South Wales,” Gibson declared.
“To make my debut for the Sydney Thunder in front of a packed house of 20,000 plus was up there but getting that “baggy blue” (cap) was probably the highlight for me.
“Steve (Small) was there when I got presented and so too were my parents making it a special day and one I will remember for the rest of my life.”
But while Gibson has scored over 1,300 runs in all forms of the game throughout the season, a grade hundred with Penrith has so far eluded him, despite playing some important innings for the club of late.
“I’m pretty disappointed in that to be honest,” Gibson admitted.
“I keep getting to sixty to eighty in grade and keep finding a way to get out.
“But hopefully I can go back-to-back-to-back (hundreds) in the finals, that would be nice.”