Sat, Jan 8, 2022 6:57 AM

Hayden heralded for longevity

Hayden Ingham has been awarded Wanderers Life Membership. Photo: Jonty Dine

Jonty Dine

If you ask Hayden Ingham’s wife, she will tell you his career on the cricket pitch is drawing to a close, but the man himself is determined to keep going as long as the body allows.

“My role is a bit more limited now and I’m not waking up completely crippled on a Sunday, it is a season-by-season thing now, just seeing how we go.”

After twenty years with his beloved Wanderers, Hayden Ingham has been acknowledged with a life membership to the Brightwater club.

“I’m very chuffed. You never set out to get recognition. It’s just what you do, but I’m very happy about that.”

An avid cricketer through school, Hayden left the game and began playing tennis instead.

However, a chance meeting with Wanderers’ Kerry Morrison lured Hayden back onto the pitch.

“He told me to come have a run for the seconds, which got me back in. They had a really good second grade team and it was so much fun with a heap of cool guys.”

After two seasons, Hayden was called into the premier side in 2003 where he has remained ever since, playing just short of 250 matches.

The stocky allrounder says there have been a plethora of highlights over his two decades.

“Any of our championships, we won the T20 champs three years in a row.”

He cites a period from 2010-15 as the strongest when the side made two one-day and two two-day finals.

In terms of personal cricketing accolades, Hayden fondly recalls his sole century which came against a Marlborough side.

“I had never got all that close to one before, I had a fair bit of luck to start with and I got a little help from the fielding team which was nice.”

Of course, there has also been plenty of tough times at Brightwater, chief among them the premier side being withdrawn in 2018 due to lack of numbers.

“That was pretty disappointing to make that call and pull the prem team which has been in the competition since ’83, it was tough to take.”

Fortunately, the side was able to return in 2019 after merging with Motueka.

“Andy Leonard and Marty Davis did a lot of the heavy lifting to get u back up and running with Motueka.”

Not only are they back, Taylors Contracting Wanderers Motueka has enjoyed a prosperous season, and currently sits second on the Tasman premier League table.

“The results have been really good, it’s nice to have a bit of success.”

Hayden says playing with the younger lads makes him feel much younger than his years suggest.

“The first year back was tough, we took some serious beatings, but now all the kids are progressing really well.”

When he eventually hangs up the pads, Hayden says he will likely remain involved in the club.

“I like to think so, I’ll want to keep my finger on the pulse.”