Remember this likely lad? Welshman Owain Hopkins (Hutch) who joined the City Cricket Club as ‘pro’ in the 2005/06 season. It would only be fair to say that Owain become the resident pro and part of City Cricket Clubs furniture over the six year period that he was here. The Northland community certainly got used to seeing both Hutch and Simon Kuhn (Kuhny) cruising the streets in their beloved City sign written professional car, there was certainly nowhere to hide considering both Hutch and Kuhny’s names and numbers were splashed all over the reliable but challenging blue station wagon.
City Cricket Club have been very fortunate with the quality pro’s they have had throughout its history. With that Hutch would certainly sit at the top of this pile, this being highlighted in in 2006/07 when he took out City’s most prestigious Cooney Cup for Club Man of the year. A highly likable character not only with the older members but amongst the many City juniors that he worked with during his time as the City junior coach within the local schools and down at the Cobham Oval on club training days.
As a player Hutch was talented all-rounder who represented Northland. A right handed ‘touch player’ when it came to scoring runs and a niggly right arm bowler who had a knack of consistently hitting the seam and being at times unplayable and extremely tough to score from on bowler friendly wickets.2007/08 Hutch captained the City side to NCA one and two day championships along with leading the side through to being one of the top six clubs to compete at the prestigious national club championships held at Cornwall park in Auckland.
In 2009 /10 he received the Kimber Trophy for most wickets in a season along with also the Wilson Trophy for most overall points in a season showing his all-round skills on the park. Hutch fell in love with the spa at the residence house he was living parking himself up after a weekend of cricket and celebrations and during his stay spending more time there then his own bed – it was thought that he must have had shares in the local power company! He will be remembered as a player that was never flustered, extremely popular figure who always had time for the young and and old and found that nothing was ever to be a problem.
He went on to make many friendships not only within City Cricket club family but throughout the wider Northland community. He was well known for using the word ‘Perfect’ as his reply to ‘yes’ in a sentence. It’s fair to say Hutch was the ‘perfect’ City pro !