30 October, 2018
Another ton’s up for multi-talented local stalwart
Code-crosser… Ben Wall in action for North Shore Cricket (above) and North Shore United football premiers (below)
Ben Wall is such a versatile sportsman he played every position in well over 100 games for North Shore United football premiers – even a few games at goalkeeper.
And last weekend marked another milestone for the allrounder: he kept wicket for North Shore Cricket premiers against Howick/ Pakuranga at Lloyd Elsmore Park in his 100th game for the side.
Wall (29) is Devonport “born and bred” and started playing football and cricket for the local teams aged about five.
He took up wicketkeeping at around age 10 after a stint playing softball “so I knew how to catch”.
He attended Westlake Boys High, where he had the stunning record of playing first XI cricket, first XI football and first XV rugby.
At 17, he was playing for the local premier teams in both cricket and football.
In football, “I started up front and moved through every position… I played nine games in goal for them.” He also scored around 65 goals.
He played 147 games for the team, “ finishing up” when he was about 25, to concentrate more on cricket. He played a season of cricket in London for Ickenham.
Wall made the Auckland under-15 and under-17 cricket teams but “didn’t kick on”. But he’s more than happy with the successes he’s had with local sides.
“In footie one of the highlights was getting promotion from division two to division one in a team with a lot of Shore boys, born and bred.”
And in cricket he recalls his first game for the premiers as though it was yesterday. New Zealand player Matt Horne was in the opposition for Papatoetoe.
“It was amazing to be on the same field playing someone you idolised.”
Another highlight was winning the Auckland T20 championship last season – “my first championship for the club”.
As premier wicketkeeper he has taken 131 catches and 26 stumpings, and with the bat scored 639 runs, with a highest score of 51 not out.
Wall hopes to play on for a few years yet, with the immediate goal of gaining promotion this season to the first division.
“It’s a division we feel we should be in – it’s a matter of putting in the hard work to get there.”
Source: Devonport Flagstaff 2 November 2018. View Online.