Battling arthritis, Nick a great leader with ton of courage
WHEN you score a masterful l78 at this stage of your career, you can't be batting too badly.
That is especially the case when you have to deal with arthritis and are captain of a talented young side that needs an experienced hand to guide them.
Ipswich Hornets Second Grade captain Nick De Giusti is doing just that in this year's Allan Pettigrew Shield competition.
De Giusti's fine 249 ball knock against Redlands at Wellington Point last weekend left him understandably sore after holding the team's innings together.
"It was pretty good. I come in when the team sort of needed it,'' he said, batting at number four and having wickets fall around him.
The Hornets resume on Saturday at 9/310 with the skipper still deciding whether to bat on or declare straight away.
With the Hornets needing to win their last three games to have any chance of qualifying for the Second Grade finals, De Giusti hinted his team could be out in the field early.
With a number of schoolboy cricketers in his side having other commitments, De Giusti has taken on a vital mentoring role at the club.
"I love doing that,'' he said. "It's good to give back a bit.
"It would have been great to have someone like that for me when I was coming through.
"I give some of the younger guys a bit of knowledge and help them out where I can.''
As for his latest century with the Hornets, De Giusti said it bettered his 140 not out against University playing for the Hornets first graders some years ago.
He joined the Hornets program in "the second or third year'', being a valuable all-rounder until suffering arthritis in his hips and knees.
"I had to back off for a little while,'' he said.
After a season break, the popular cricketer returned to help the Second Grade side in a role head coach Aaron Moore appreciates.
"He's so good for the club because those sort of people are hard to come by,'' Moore said.
"Nick's been invaluable for the club because he takes on a coaching role as well.
"Having him mentor a few of the younger players, they are just benefited from his knowledge.''
De Giusti, 25, said sharing his cricket know-how was enjoyable, having grown up in Lismore.
"There is a lot of talent but a lack of experience,'' he said.
Although the Hornets second graders have a tough task qualifying for the two-day finals, they showed their promise reaching the one-day final before Christmas.
"We were pretty proud of that. We just fell short in the final,'' he said.
De Giusti said his team had plenty to keep them focused on Saturday.
"We're in a position where we need to win the next three games to make the finals,'' he said.
"We're clinging on to win on the weekend and try to make it.''
The Hornets first graders will also be keen to get stuck in on Saturday having restricted Redlands to 9/289 at Walker Oval.
The Hornets top side are just outside the top four and also need to keep winning to make this season's finals.
A new round of Cricket Ipswich fixtures starts this weekend.
Qld Premier Grades
Ipswich v Redlands (Saturday)
1st Grade at Walker Oval: Redlands 9/289
2nd Grade at Wellington Point: Hornets 9/310 (Nick De Giusti 178).
Sunday: Women's cricket
1st Grade: Ipswich Hornets v Sunshine Coast at Walker Oval
2nd Grade: Ipswich v Sandgate Redcliffe at Deagon
Under 19s: Ipswich Hornets v University at Marsden No.2
1st Division (Saturday - round 14 or 16)
Thunder v Marburg Mt Crosby Thunder at
Laidley District v Brothers at Bichel Oval
Central Districts v South East Redbacks at Limestone Park
Points: Laidley 83.81, Northsiders 69.05, Centrals 40.64, Brothers 34.98, Redbacks 27.82, Thunder 18.56.
2nd Division (Rd 13 of 15)
Thunder v Northsiders at Marsden No.2
Brothers v Laidley at Jim Donald Oval
Redbacks v Centrals at Raleigh Oval
Points: Laidley 90.62, Northsiders 76.66, Redbacks 76.34, Thunder 73.60, Centrals 31.68, Brothers 14.35
3rd Division (Rd 19 of 24)
Thunder v Laidley at Fernvale
Northsiders v Strollers White at Marsden No.4
Strollers Blue v Redbacks at Strollers
Points: Strollers White 70, Laidley 68, Thunder 61, Strollers Blue 44, Redbacks 32, Northsiders 12.