Former Test cricketer Greg Matthews (centre) enters the fray and directs a fieldsman to move.
Former Test cricketer Greg Matthews gives a pep talk ahead of the junior cricket training session at George Griffin Oval, Bega.
Greg Matthews (right) dishes out some advice to a young local cricketer.
Alex Blacka prepares to send down a delivery during a Kanga Cricket game ahead of the Bendigo Bank Big Bash.
Alex Blacka swings, but misses the ball during a Kanga Cricket match.
Harry Peterson shares a huge with dad Martin ahead of the junior cricket training clinic.
Former Test cricketer Greg Matthews (left) catches up with locals Dave, Jack and Tony Allen.
Bendigo Bank Pambula Branch manager Kim Stevenson flips the coin for the toss as captains Drew Mudaliar (left) and Adam Blacka watch on.
Santa makes an appearance at the Bendigo Bank Big Bash.
Former Test cricketer Greg Matthews (left) meets Bendigo Bank Pambula Branch manager Kim Stevenson and director Russell Fitzpatrick.
Members of the FSC Thunder and FSC Sixers cricket teams with Greg Matthews and Santa before the Bendigo Bank Big Bash.
Santa prepares to open the bowling during the Bendigo Bank Big Bash.
FSC Sixers captain Adam Blacka launches a ball through mid wicket.
FSC Sixers opener Wayne Fitzgerald fails to connect with a ball outside the off stump.
FSC Thunder's Ben O'Reilly slides along the boundary to keep the ball in play.
Adam Blacka helps put Rob Stevenson's hat back on his head during a lighter moment of the Big Bash.
Sam Hodder looks back after being dismissed by FSC Thunder's Shane Garrett.
FSC Sixers captain Adam Blacka trudges off after being dismissed.
Andrew Dedman gets up on his toes and awkwardly deals with a delivery.
Former Test cricketer Greg Matthews is cheered onto the field for his first appearance.
Relaxing at the cricket are (from left) Mitchell Jessop, Benjamin Imison, Quinn Fletcher-Barrie, Lennart Imison, Isaac Robertson, Ashlin Degan-Smith, Ely Badger and Fergus Ascott.
Greg Matthews attempts to mankad FSC Sixers batsman Andrew Dedman.
Dylan Jordan works a ball through the leg side while wicketkeeper Rob Stevenson watches on.
Andrew Dedman blasts the ball over cow corner.
Former Test cricketer Greg Matthews sends down a delivery.
FSC Thunder's Brad Moon drops a catch, much to the dismay of supporter Harry Peterson.
Andrew Dedman smashes another six during the Bendigo Bank Big Bash.
Special guest Greg Matthews shares a joke with junior cricketer Harry Peterson.
Enjoying the Bendigo Bank Big Bash are (from left) Brett Evans, Lou Evans, Sandra Bunce and Tarni Evans.
The girls from the Eden Area Gymnastics show off their talent during the half-time entertainment at the Bendigo Bank Big Bash.
The Eden Area Gymnastics members finish their routine, while the cricketers begin to warm up.
Bega leg spinner Lukas Santinon sends down the first delivery of the second innings.
FSC Thunder opener Shane Garrett tees off over square leg.
Rob Stevenson defends a delivery during his crucial unbeaten knock for FSC Thunder.
FSC Thunder's Ben O'Reilly smashes a six over cow corner.
Ben O'Reilly belts another boundary during his match-winning knock of 78 from 29 balls.
Greg Matthews (right) celebrates with team-mate Robbie Ringland after snaring the prized wicket of Ben O'Reilly.
Former Test cricketer Greg Matthews celebrates after bowling his final over during the Bendigo Bank Big Bash.
Luke Ryan prepares to smash the ball down the ground.
Former Test cricketer Greg Matthews (centre) shares a joke with Bendigo Bank Big Bash umpires Colin Badrock and Ian Jessop.
AN OUT-OF-THIS-PARK performance by Ben O’Reilly led the FSC Thunder to victory during last Friday’s Bendigo Bank Big Bash.
Spectators at Bega's George Griffin Oval were forced to crane their necks to watch where the ball was headed as O’Reilly teed off.
O’Reilly smashed 13 boundaries, including nine sixes, during his innings of 78 from 29 balls.
The Tathra batsman finished with an incredible strike rate of 268.9, with highlights including landing the ball in the nearby tennis courts.
However, the star of the show was always going to be former Test cricketer Greg Matthews.
Whether on the field, offering tips to juniors or mingling with the crowd, Matthews proved to be a hit.
Event organiser Dave Allen said it was a boon for Matthews to appear in Bega.
“He was excellent,” he said.
“Greg went around talking to everyone at the ground – he was a real ambassador for the game.”
However, when Matthews was brought into the bowling attack, there was no sign of respect from either side.
Matthews bowled four overs for the Thunder and Sixers, finishing with figures of 2/90, as O’Reilly and Andrew Dedman in particular batted aggressively.
While O’Reilly grabbed attention, Dedman scored an unbeaten 57 from 36 balls, including six sixes.
Dedman received support from Adam Blacka (35) and Dylan Jordan (15) as the Sixers scored 161 for their allotted 20 overs.
Chasing 162 for victory, the chances of a Thunder win seemed slim when the side fell to 4/28.
However, O’Reilly, Rob Stevenson (26no) and Luke Ryan (23no) saw Thunder home in the 19th over.
Allen said it was a great contest.
“The hitting was some of the best you’ll see,” he said.
“They weren’t slogging, they were playing some good cricket shots.
“I spoke to Greg Matthews after the game and he said the game was of a high quality.”
The inaugural Bega Big Bash began with a junior coaching clinic last Friday afternoon.
This session was followed by Kanga cricket matches for young cricketers, before the seniors took to the field for the Big Bash.
Matthews was on hand to offer plenty of handy tips to all juniors.
“The best part was the positive feedback we received from parents after the kids clinic,” Allen said.
“Greg was great with the kids.”
Allen estimated that 3-400 cricket lovers attended the event.
“It was probably not as many people as we wanted, but everyone gave very good feedback,” he said.
MATCH REPORT: THUNDER TAKES OUT BIG BASH