It is said that for a club to survive it needs stalwarts, players who will dedicate themselves to the club and play week in week out.
Antony ‘Ants’ Cromwell is an example of this. After moving to Oamaru during his childhood Antony has made Union his home. From playing in the Junior grades in the club he has gradually moved to higher grades, at times showing good leadership potential, and made his way into the Senior team during the 2001-02 season as a team regular. It was this leadership potential that saw him elevated to Senior team captain in 2004 and it was as captain that the team won the Dick Hunt Memorial Trophy, the Senior holiday competition during the 2004-05 season. He continued in this role until near the end of the 2005-06 season.
Since his first senior game Ants role within the team has varied changing from an off-spin bowler, top order batsman then to a fast-medium pace bowler but it is in his role now as a wicketkeeper where he has excelled and has been continually rated as the best keeper in North Otago club cricket. In recent weeks , since the departure of James Cutt back to his native England, Ants has shown signs of a maturity that has developing in the past few seasons, when he decided to take the opportunity to make the vacant opening spot with Duncan Drew his and so far looks to have good potential in this role.
In a true testament to his loyalty to the club, Ants has only played half a season in North Otago Cricket for a team outside the Union Cricket Club, when he was selected to play for the Waitaki Boy’s High School 1st XI from the Union Senior Reserve side. At the start of last season, showing how much pride he has playing for the club, he modified his cricket helmet, spray painting it blue and finished it off with the clubs logo from one of his playing caps glued onto the visor part of the helmet.
During this season Ants was rewarded with a Senior 100 games cap which was presented by his grandfather Bob Pile. It was a proud moment for the two as for the first time it saw a grandfather and his grandson reach 100 senior games for the Union Cricket Club. Ants became the 18th player to receive this honour while Bob Pile was the first.
In areas other than playing Ants has coached junior cricket and has been a committee member. For the past few seasons he has helped the senior side not only on cricket field but also in the organising of the team making sure there are 11 players on the field each week.(Feb 2009)