The finish Wells ‘couldn’t have scripted any better’
THIS is the second instalment in our series, My Favourite Sporting Moment, in which we ask the region’s leading athletes, coaches and administrators to share the achievement that holds pride of place in their careers.
JASON Wells’ earliest sporting memories are of cricket games in the backyard with his brothers Todd and Lachlan.
That love of the game blossomed into a celebrated career in which he would play in Rockhampton’s A-grade competition for 20 consecutive years and win 10 premierships, all of them with his beloved Frenchville Falcons.
The 37 year old said it was amazing to have enjoyed such success but admits he never had illusions of cricketing grandeur.
“I wasn’t one of those guys who dreamed of playing for Australia,” he said.
“I never had the drive to go to Brisbane and pursue a cricket career.
“I knew there was a really good country cricket pathway and I pursued that, making it as far as representing North Queensland in under-19.
“Representing my home region was well and truly enough to satisfy me.”
Wells was blessed to have an injury-free career and went 16 consecutive years without missing a game of cricket.
“I was very competitive, that’s just my nature,” he said.
“My goal was to keep playing and keep playing well.
“Once we started our winning streak, the goal was to beat Brothers record of six straight.
“Our run ended at eight but I was still only 30 then.
“By that point I became a bit of a statistician and I found out that, to the best of my knowledge, no one had played for 20 consecutive years or won 10 premierships.
“That became my motivation and fortunately, it worked out that way for me.”
Wells enjoyed so many special moments in cricket but not only as a player.
One of his most memorable achievements was coaching the CQ Seamers to victory in the Bulls Masters T20 Country Challenge grand final at the Gabba last year.
“I never thought I would ever be involved in a game at the Gabba. It would have been nice to have played there but the next best thing was to coach there and to get the win was very special,” he said.
But nothing, he said, could surpass that 10th premiership win in his 20th and final year playing in the Rockhampton competition.
“That’s my favourite sporting moment and I remember it vividly,” he said.
“It was a best-of-three finals series and in the first game we were outplayed by Gracemere.
“We went into the second game with our backs against the wall.
“We batted reasonably well but we bowled the house down, probably the best we’d bowled in two years to get the win there and level the series up.”
The stage was set for a thrilling decider between the arch-rivals.
Gracemere won the toss and elected to bat.
The Falcons continued their impressive bowling form, dismissing their rivals for 91.
Wells played a hand in the dismissal of the last Gracemere batsman, grabbing a catch on the deep mid-wicket boundary in front of the vocal Frenchville supporters.
He would then play a significant role in the run chase, coming to the wicket with his team three down and still needing 60-odd runs.
He was in the middle when the winning runs were scored.
“(Captain) Joe McGahan did all the damage. I just hung around and knocked a few around here and there to finish with 22.
“I was at the other end when the winning runs were hit which I was pretty happy about because I was a bit of a nervous wreck at that point.
“Joe and I had a quick celebration in the middle before the rest of the guys came running out and went ballistic.
“As we started walking off a couple of them said they wanted to chair me off the field.
“It was a weird feeling because you see it on the TV but they’re professional athletes, when you’re just a hacker in Rocky it doesn’t seem quite right.
“I still have the picture at home that appeared on the front page of The Morning Bulletin.
“It was fantastic and to come off and celebrate with family and friends is something I will never forget.
“To take the last catch in my time fielding and then to be out there for the winning runs was something I couldn’t have scripted any better.”