THE Dobson family can now boast three bowlers who have claimed hat-tricks after dad Mel and youngest son Henry achieved the rare feat within the space of 11 days.
The Tattenhall CC pair have followed in the footsteps of Henry’s older brother George, who took his own hat-trick – three wickets in successive balls – back in 2005.
Mel, 44, said his treble for Tattenhall against Middlewich in the Cheshire County League at the end of last month was his first as far as he could remember.
He was amazed when, less than two weeks later, eight-year-old son Henry took a hat-trick for Tattenhall’s under 9s team in a match against Crewe, finishing with astonishing match figures of 6-0.
Mel and Henry have now caught up with George, whose hat-trick came while playing junior cricket for Oulton Park against Wistaston.
“We each have one now, which is nice,” said Mel, who lives with his family in Tattenhall.
“I didn’t sense it was coming really because it happens so rarely. Usually if you are on a hat-trick the incoming batsman will just drop his bat on the ball and block you out.
“But I got an lbw and that was it, I had the hat-trick.
“Then a week later Henry pulls off an even more impressive feat, including his first hat-trick.
“His had been coming for a while though, he had been on the brink of one a number of times this season.”
The Dobson family certainly seem to have bowling in the genes. Not only are the three current Dobson players masters of the art, but previous generations were also known for their skill with the ball.
“I’m not sure if the bowling skill has been passed down in some way, but we have all always bowled, My father bowled, as did my grandfather,” said Mel.
“Both Henry and George are always dragging me down to the club to practice. When I was young that was normal but with all the distractions of computers and such that exist these days it is nice that more than anything they want to play cricket.”
And Mel revealed that Henry’s versatility was key to his astonishing six-wicket haul.
“He has a good standard fast-bowling action,” he said. “But he will change to a leg-spinner at will. He can bowl yorkers, googlies, the full range.”
While he believes his boys can go on to be very good cricketers, Mel’s ambitions are more sentimental these days.
“I have a few years left but I can’t see myself playing into my older years,” he said. “I may not get another hat-trick. My ambition now is to play in the same team as my boys, probably in Tattenhall’s second team in a couple of seasons.”