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When he was sixteen, he all but gave up cricket for tennis. Although he had enjoyed his cricket in junior grades he bought himself a new racquet and tennis gear. He did not think he would enjoy senior club cricket so much. It turned out very differently. Although the establishment of Central Districts in the Plunket Shield competition ostensibly brought many more county players into contention, it was very difficult to win recognition when playing in a remote, rural area. Congdon played for Nelson in the Hawke Cup contest a sort of minor counties' competition in 1959 60 and the following season won a place in the Central Districts team. In 1971 72 he changed his alliance to Wellington and in 1972 73 to Otago. Townsend. It required a round trip of 70 miles, twice a week, but Congdon found it very useful. "Les was pretty straight forward in his coaching", says Congdon, "it was a matter of hitting the ball, and he did not make basic alterations of style".