ARTICLE NO 23
29th MARCH 2019
Season 2018-19 has been a truly remarkable one as, as at a month back, eight of the 10 sides could have mathematically made the finals with only North Geelong and Bell Post Hill out of contention. However an East-Belmont and Grovedale grand final is deserved by both sides, being no 1 & 2 on the ladder after the semi-finals. East finished 28 points or a tad under 5 games clear over its arch rival and neighbour in Grovedale but once a grand final commences “anything can happen” and weather permitting it should be a highly competitive grand final with Tigers captain Barry Tsitas playing his last match after publically announcing his decision to retire at season’s end. Tsitas will retire “on a high” as he won the competition bowling average with 41 wickets @ 13.9.At the time of writing this article, showers are predicted over the weekend which adds another dimension to the game tactically. Jack Sing Medallist, East-Belmont captain Sean O’Neill has enjoyed a record-breaking season, his 14 innings all converting to 33 or more except a failure with 14 against North Geelong, his 997 runs including 4 centuries @ 83.1. His aggregate runs is the most ever in GCA 1st X1 cricket with just another 3 runs to hit the magical 1,000 runs. The most ever runs before was by Jake Thorne for North Geelong with 980 runs @ 108.9 in 2013-14. Jack Sing had a splendid season in 1948-49 with 944 runs @ 118.0 but he missed two home-and-away games plus the semi-final so he batted in just 8 games, compared to O’Neill’s 13 games (he did not play in round 6 against Lara, being the side’s only loss for the year).
St.Josephs started the season poorly with just one win after the first 5 rounds, then won 6 matches in a row to be second on the ladder but lost the last two home-and-away matches to Grovedale and Lara and slipped to 4th and in the semi-final was a threatening 1/115 chasing East-Belmont’s achievable 8/260, but then lost 9/109 due to Dylan McMahon’s first 5 wicket haul, 5/55 in his 41st match after not playing in the 1sts this season until round 6. The other losing semi-finalist, Newtown & Chilwell had an erratic season and was blitzed by Grovedale, 9/311 to 200 after defeating Grovey in round 5 in a comprehensive victory blowing away Grovedale for 105, being the lowest score by all Newtown opposition for the year.
TOP 10 BATSMEN TO COMPILE MOST RUNS IN A SEASON (INCLUDING FINALS)
Newtown & Chilwell
Grovedale was admitted to GCA 1stX1 cricket in 1985-86 at the expense of North-Shore Norlane and over those 33 years East-Belmont has clashed with Grovedale only twice in a grand final, in 2005-06 and a decade later in 2015-16. The ledger is one apiece with East the premiers in 2005-06 and Grovedale triumphant in 2015-16. East-Belmont made it back-to-back premierships in 2005-06 over a gallant Grovedale by just 33 runs. Under captain-coach Grant Dew, the East premiership side was Dew, A. Baars, B. Carroll, D. Allan, S. Scannell, P. Quick, M. Hanley, J. Timberlake, L. Allan, H. McDonald and M. Lineker. Match scores were East-Belmont 7/273 (B. Carroll 88, A. Baars 84, D. Allan 41, M. Hanley 27, K. Ford 3/55, C. Millard 2/37) defeated Grovedale 240 (B. Hall 87, G. Yelland 42, M. Baker 29, C. Ford 26, R. Furphy 22, A. Baars 6/49, P. Quick 2/38, D. Allan 2/47). Peter Quick retired after the match but the performance by Andrew Baars was particularly sweet for him after being dropped from last year’s grand final side, he bounced back with a fighting 84 opening the innings followed by a career best 6/49 to become the first player ever to compile 80 or more and take 6 wickets in a grand final. In the 2015-16 match, what the scribes considered the game would be an epic one was in fact, a fizzer! Grovedale won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first and compiled 8/220. However at 6/88 they were on the verge of collapsing but a stubborn 77 from Michael McNeel and a 50no from Barry Tsitas batting at no 8 and never before (or since) has notched a 50 deposited Grovedale at 8/220. David Lineen toiled hard and collected 5 of the 8 wickets to fall with 5/56. In reply East started in disastrous fashion losing opener Andrew Baars for a duck and were quickly 6/32. All batsmen were removed for 16 or less with the exception of B. Nguyen with 42no, East-Belmont an embarrassing total of just 115, being its lowest score for the year. Chris Young (4/32) and Brendan Allen (3/34) both starred with the new ball. Premiership team – B. Tsitas (cc), G.Yelland, A. Korth, M. Blain, J. James, T. Hogg, N. Hyden, M. McNeel, D. Brew, B. Allen, C. Young.
Regardless of the grand final outcome, season 2018-19 will always be remembered as “Sean O’Neill’s Year”. Not just the Jack Sing Medallist and on-field leader of East-Belmont which won the Club Championship (points for wins in 1sts, 2nds, 3rds & 4ths) with a runaway 104 points to second-placed St.Josephs with 85 points to win its 14 Club Championship since 1967-68 when the Award was introduced 42 years ago, he also was the Geelong Advertiser “Champion Player of the Year”, won the DeGrandi Intersport MVP Award and was captain of Geelong’s Country Week premiership side and statistically now has no peer with 997 runs and a probable 1,000 runs after the grand final to be the first man ever with 1,000 runs in a season. He first played for Thomson for 6 seasons between 2005-2011 two of which were in the GCA 1st X1 then moved to East-Belmont from 2011-12. It’s interesting to digest his 1stX1 runs by season –
Clearly he has matured over the last 5 seasons, his aggregates increasing every year. With 10 career centuries, seven of them have come from his flashing blade over the last 2 years. It should be an epic grand final with East-Belmont in pursuit of its 9th.premiership and its last season whilst Grovedale is looking for flag number six, all previous five coming in the last 15 seasons.
ON THIS ROUND – 88 YEARS AGO – SEASON 1930-31
South Geelong won its only premiership (also winning the 1931-32 flag but a “joint” premiership with Geelong Footballers as an outright win after 6 Saturdays not achieved and the Western Oval then required for football). South took the 1930-31 flag on the back of 16-year-old High School boy Gordon Warren with a chanceless 116, the youngster giving the game away just three seasons later having amassed 1,812 runs at the super average of 49.0 including 5 centuries and a best of 186 no against Geelong City in his final match. Following the grand final, the VCA announced that it had appointed Harold Hendry as its “Country Coach” for next season whereby he would visit all GCA clubs on practice nights “to teach young cricketers the finer points of the game”. Bill Eason retired on this round whose career spanned Pre and Post WW1, his 7 wickets in an innings taken an incredible 20 times with George Smart (14 times) and Bert Brown (11) his closest rivals, His 547 wickets are just behind record holder Greg Wells (574) but he has a wonderful average of 10.7 a wicket (Wells 14.8).
GRAND FINAL ON THIS ROUND – 18 YEARS AGO – SEASON 2001-02
Bell Post Hill returned to 1st.X1 cricket this season for its fifth stint at the top level yet won two flags with back-to-back premierships in 2001-02 & 2002-03 in its roller coaster ride some 33 years ago since it first affiliated in 1985-86. However its maiden flag was special when it played perennial finalist North Geelong with 3 premierships in the previous 6 seasons. Playing in just its third finals campaign and second grand final, the Hill won the ultimate prize and could not have started the match much better with openers Michael Brown and Neil Alford both back in the pavilion without a run on the board, Darren Welsh collecting both big scalps. However North regrouped and the middle order of Alf Clark (57), Rory Priddle (43), Sam Hall (38) and Ross Aylmer (21) lifted North Geelong to a competitive but losing 9/211, being ironically the same score, it compiled against Lara in the semi-final. Welsh finished a punishing physical day with his season’s best figures of 6/74 from 30 overs.
ARTICLE NO 22
MARCH 25th 2019
The GCA was the poorer with the passing of Newtown & Chilwell’s Laurie DeGoldi last week. Laurie made his debut for Newtown & Chilwell against Geelong City in January, 1961 and played between 1960-61 – 1977-78 and mustered 102 games which realised 1594 runs @ 19.2 but a ton proved elusive, his best being 96 against Corio in 1964-65.The Holder of 111 catches, his only wicket was that of Doug Toulmin of North-Shore Norlane in season 1970-71. He also jointly holds the Association last wicket partnership of 115 with 32no and Murray Allen (80) against St. Josephs in 1976-77.
The final four is now settled with East-Belmont, Grovedale, Newtown & Chilwell and St. Josephs fighting it out for the premiership. It is the first time ever in 107 years of combat since 1896-97 (GCA folded in 1912-13 and reformed in 1928-29 and also did not play in 3 years of WW2) that this year’s four sides competed in a final’s series together. For South Barwon it was another fruitless premiership year after being on top of the table after round three with 3 wins and finishing the season with just another 3 wins but boasting Joel Davies as the competitions aggregate 4th batsman with 588 runs and the competitions 8th leading bowler in Nicholas Lynch with 22 wickets. So South Barwon will have to wait to season 2019-20 to chase its elusive premiership last achieved in 1976-77. A flag would reward long-suffering all-rounder Brad Hauenstein, the winner of countless batting and bowling awards at South, Hauenstein not making his 1stX1 debut until 1993-94, being 17 seasons since South’s last premiership.
Lara finished the season just half a win outside the four but only has itself to blame! It stormed home winning the last four games of the season with victories over finalists St. Josephs and Newtown & Chilwell and having beaten comprehensively Premiership favourites East-Belmont in East’s only loss for the season, its batting line up included three of the competitions top 10 batsmen in Andrew Hughes (7th 587 runs @ 65.20, Brad McMaster (8th. 516 runs @ 40.0) & Daniel Weigl (9th 509 runs @ 56.6). Toss in brilliant all-rounder, veteran Danny Hughes being third best in the competition with 28 wickets @ 14.4, being the only pace bowler in the top three (following spinners Tsitas & Williams) and the holder of a 99 not out this season, Lara’s premiership of 2009-10 remains with what a season 2018-19 “could have been”.
The accolades continue for star East-Belmont batsman Sean O’Neill. Fresh from a finals berth, last week’s round of matches witnessed his 100th game since making his GCA 1stX1 maiden match against Highton. His weighty amount of runs this season of 880 @ 80.0 topped the competition’s batting aggregate and average. His aggregate was an East record of most runs in a season of home-and-away matches (previously held by current team-mate, Mathew Lineker with 640 runs @ 71.1 in season 2015-16) and most runs in a season including finals of 697 runs @ 69.7 previously held by Chris Banbury with 697 runs @ 69.7 in season 2012-13. If he maintains his average over a potential two further innings he could not even celebrate back-to-back premierships but also break the rarely achievable total of 1000 + runs.
With the home-and-away season now completed the top 10 Run makers & Wicket-takers were ….
S. O’Neill EB
C. Williams EB
R. Oliver GC
L. Kentish SJ
T. Mathieson NG
J. O’Donoghue SJ
B. McMaster Lara
N. McGuane N&C
D. Weigl Lara
A. Willerton EB
L. Ford Grove.
M. Talbett SJ
The top 10 Run makers and Wicket takers by Club for the home-and-away season were ….
N & C
ON THIS ROUND – 58 YEARS AG0 – SEASON 1960-61
With the GCA conducting its monthly meetings at the Geelong Trades Hall and matches in all sections played between the hours of 1.30 – 5.30, “The Association’s Rules for the finals will be rigidly followed and enforced by the umpires regarding late starting, the umpires to give 5 minutes warning of the start of play”. Leopold tied with South Barwon, “with scores level, 3 balls left to bowl and all fieldsmen packed around the batsmen, Keith Scott’s middle stump was uprooted by Barry Abbott”. South Barwon introduced youngster Ken Musgrove in the tied match after which both sides exchanged Season’s Greetings during the afternoon tea break GWC&FC captain Frank Pike’s “copybook batting with jabs, drives and long hits” realised the season’s best score of 157.
ON THIS ROUND – 21 YEARS AGO – SEASON 1997-98
On Wednesday 25TH March the plaque unveiled by the GCA in 1987 commemorating the 125th.anniversary since the first International match, the All England X1 against XX11 of Geelong was played at the famous cricket site of Corio Oval in 1862 was replaced by a new
One a significantly more superior plaque was joined by the Geelong Football Club which the GCA approved, Corio Oval having been used for Australian Rules from 1878 to World War Two. Two further significant achievements prior to the grand final of 1997-98 were the John Hughes “juggernaut” rolling on with another century, 151 in Division One 2nd X1 cricket, lifting his career centuries – all sections – to 32, a continuing GCA record, whilst Bell Post Hill’s Russell Mundy smashed the previous record of 265 by team-mate Adam Kosic in 1996-97 with 275 undefeated against St. Josephs 6th X1.
ARTICLE NO 16
15th March, 2019
This column wishes to acknowledge the assistance of GCA Secretary, Garry Goodman with the publication of my articles over the last 2 weeks whilst I was in hospital for a minor procedure. Thanks again Garry.
Tomorrow’s penultimate Saturday proceeding the finals sees South Barwon yet again chasing that elusive premiership it has not achieved for four decades. On top of the ladder winning its first 3 matches of the season the season looked promising and a flag would justify long-serving loyal Brad Hauenstein’ s 13 years. Playing against Newtown & Chilwell its only hope of finals action was for Newtown to lose and South to win outright to replace St, Josephs which would crash from 2nd.to 5th. Also if South and Lara win and Newtown Looses, Lara with a massive percentage would be 4th. If Grovedale loses with the best percentage in the competition, it would remain in the four. Current stages of play suggest the final four will be East-Belmont, St. Josephs, Grovedale and Newtown & Chilwell. Newtown compiled a challenging 258 led by brothers John Simson (64) & Will (54). Luke Brown put the brakes on with 3/14 in a six over cameo performance before Harry Christie pounded a 49 ball 49.
Bell Post Hill’s par score of 159 should be overhauled by Grovedale, Captain, Englishman Harry Gee recording his first 50 in his debut season @ 26.1. He is the only Hill batsman with 300 or more runs and he features in all top 10 partnerships for the year. When Gee was dismissed it was Barry Tsitas in his final home-and-away match after earlier announcing his retirement at season’s end collected another haul of 3/60 to lift his total to 41 wickets at a trim 13.9, being his most productive season ever since his debut season in 2007-08 when he collected 48 scalps @ 13.7.
Leopold, which it believed to be a serious finals contender this season has the upper hand on equally disappointing Geelong City with 196 led by Corey Ogle (88) and Pat Richards (58) being the sides only two batsmen to compile 300 runs or more (Ogle 461 @ 38.4 & Richards 408 @ 37.1). In reply City is reeling at 2/6 with the competitions leading bat in Richie Oliver before the round with 837 runs dismissed for 2 by Declan Gibson.
Despite North Geelong’s 9th position on the ladder, at 1/9 it has the batting skills to overhaul league leader East-Belmont’s modest 195. It was only the second time that East lost all 10 wickets and has the competitions best runs per wicket of 32.6. The other occasion when it lost all 10 wickets was its only loss this season against Lara in round 6. The Lions score was again headed by Sean O’Neill with 44 runs to win the competition batting aggregate with 880 runs @ 80.0. At 7/117 East-Belmont was in a perilous position by its own high standards but enter opening bowler Dave Lineen and he hit a career best 43 from 64 balls of shear concentration having never compiled a 30 in his 94 games over 8 seasons. Jack Hall took the bowling honours with 4/56 and was supported by Tom Mathieson’s 3/64 but Mathieson’s 28 wickets for the season were taken at an above average of 21.5 and Hall’s 12 victims @ 20.9. Toss in Shaun Kingwell’s 18 dismissals at 24.6, their collective high averages is a major factor in North’s failed season. North suffered a body blow with captain Sam Hall (4) trapped lbw by Dylan McMahon, the Magpies completing the day at 1/9. The loss of Hall was disappointing as his previous two treks to the crease realised his two best scores for the season, 49 & 68. On a personal level, spinner Chris Williams requires 4 wickets to finish with 42 wickets to win the bowling aggregate from Barry Tsitas with 41 after Tsitas’3/60 last week.
St. Joseph’s first 3 batsmen were in vintage pre-finals form with Luke Ibbs (68), Andrew Hodgson (55) & Justin Foss (37) depositing the Saints at 9/248 against Lara. However, St. Josephs lost 8/60 Sam Purdy, a product from Lara’s juniors was the best credentialed with 3/36, his 10 wickets @ 29.0 his best over his 3 seasons / 20 games. Spinner Rob Pehar (2/75) and spearhead Luke Wilson (2/59) helped Lara curtail a potential 300 runs chase next week.
In my role as GCA statistician and historian I have recorded every Geelong Country Week match ever played since the GCA entered Country Week in 1930. With Country Week played this month I have updated such records accordingly. However, my personal belief is Geelong should not be playing Country Week Cricket. When Country Week was created in 1920 its charter was for the best country cricketers to come to Melbourne for the week and Melbourne District talent scouts would watch all matches played and offer the cream players a contract to play Melbourne District cricket with the career path being opened for such players to play Sheffield Shield cricket and beyond. As Geelong now plays District cricket, the best local GCA players should leave their local club and try their hand at District level. Up until season 1972-73 Geelong selected the best local players to play Country Week, but now players “fly-in-and-fly-out” after playing a single Country week game. A few years ago Geelong played 19 players during the week! Geelong chose 15 players for his year’s premiership win but neither Ballarat nor Bendigo, two of Geelong’s arch rivals since 1930 played against Geelong. Also the cost to GCA clubs is around $10,000 annually. Most players take the competition seriously, others see it as a social escape for the week, so what’s the point of playing – a trophy at week’s end! I reiterate, the above is not official, rather my views only although one or two GCA Management members do not disagree with me.
ON THIS ROUND – 21 YEARS AGO – SEASON 1988-89
On this round a young Michael Brown made his 1st X1 debut at North Geelong but after 2 seasons, moved to Lara where he was destined to forge an outstanding career, in his first match at Lara he grabbed 5/16 & 2/7 against St. Josephs followed by 4/74 & 4/72 in his next two matches. He returned to North for just the one season of 2001-02 where he amassed 417 runs @ 41.7 plus 14 wickets @ 14.5 but then finished his career at Lara in 2007-08. His brilliant all-round skills resulted in 4,054 runs @ 23.7 plus 290 wickets @ 20.7 from his 178 matches. He is consequently one of only 35 players ever to snare the double of 2,000 runs & 200 wickets or more.
ON THIS ROUND – 56 YEARS AGO – SEASON 1961-62
Tasmania has been a relative newcomer to first-class cricket having been admitted permanently to the Sheffield Shield in 1969. However, the State played in the first first-class match in 1851 but over the years played sparingly, but it did play first-class cricket in season 1961-62. Kardinia Park hosted its first first-class match that season against Tasmania in February, 1962 and was captained by Hawthorn footballer Ian Law. Geelong’s Ian Redpath played and opened the innings with scores of 14 & 13, 2 years before he played Test cricket. Ken Eastwood, who was to play just one Test compiled 33 & 17 with other notable Victorians in the side being Keith Stackpole & Eddie Illingworth. The match was won outright by Victoria, 214 & 8/286 to 119 & 191, Victoria’s Ken Walker the hero with 7/21 in his only match ever played.
ARTICLE NO 19
8th MARCH, 2019
With the last round starting tomorrow, the intriguing fixture is East-Belmont v North Geelong, Grovedale v Bell Post Hill, Newtown & Chilwell v South Barwon, St. Josephs v Lara & Leopold v Geelong City. The current ladder top four of East-Belmont (70 points), St. Josephs (45), Grovedale (42) and Newtown & Chilwell (42) is not set in concrete as South Barwon is the “dark horse” as a win depending on percentage could replace Newtown if Newtown losses whilst a Newtown Win and a South Barwon outright could witness St. Josephs nosedive from 2nd to 5th and observers in March.
On a personal front the scenarios are equally intriguing between four outstanding cricketers – Richie Oliver heads the batting aggregate with 837 runs whilst Sean O’Neill could not be closer with 836 runs whilst with the ball spinners Barry Tsitas and Chris Williams are locked on 38 dismissals each.
Last round was highlighted by that man again in Richie Oliver with an uncanny 155, being his second 155 this season, the previous 155 in round two against Lara. He now has smashed 15 centuries in 84 games representing a ton every 5.6 games. Only the great Len Metherell has a better return with a hundred every 3.7 games in the 1930’s.
Geelong’s stunning VCCL Country Week premiership was dominated by its batsmen. The side clouted the highest score in the competition (5/360 against Warrnambool), was the only side to score over 300 twice (7/345 against West Gippsland), scored the most runs (1,177) and commanded the best average runs per wicket (40.6) the next best being Bairnsdale with 1,005 runs @ 25.1. Richie Oliver’s 151 against West Gippsland was the competitions highest score and with Andy Hughes 100 against Ferntree Gully was the only side with multi centurions.
Oliver’s 151 was his career 4th.Country Week hundred and no other Geelong batsman has more. Five batsmen averaged 40 or more – unprecedented by Geelong batsmen – Pat Richards (207 @ 69.0), Andy Hughes (218 @ 54.5), Richie Oliver (268 @ 53,6), Andrew Hodgson (209 @ 52.3) and Sean O’Neill (174 @ 43.5).
On the flipside, eleven bowlers shared the opposition wickets with the most of 9 @ 19.6 taken by Nick Lynch.
ON THIS ROUND – 48 YEARS AGO –SEASON 1970-71
One of the most colourful characters to play GCA cricket retired on this round when wicket-keeper-batsman Neil Chapman retired. Making his debut in 1948 with CYMS, he went on to captain-coach Geelong City, Leopold and North Shore-Norlane when North was admitted to 1st.X1 cricket in 1966-67 and finished his days at GWC&FC. His 173 matches amassed 4,628 runs @ 29.1 with 10 centuries and a best of 140no for Geelong City against South Barwon in 1958-59. Geelong City boasts just 5 premierships in its 79-year history and “Chappie” played in a record three of those flags, his only flags in City’s golden era in 1951-52, 1953-54 & 1954-55. At Country Week he played in 7 Carnivals generating 623 runs @ 28.3 and won the Country Week batting average in consecutive Carnivals in 1955, 1956 & 1957 with averages of 32.4, 48.3 & 41.0. At International level he was selected in the Geelong team against England and opened the innings before Trevor Bailey uprooted his middle stump for 2. He is remembered by many however as the creator of the popular Sunday Competition played primarily by 1st.X1 cricketers on a social basis.
ON THIS ROUND – 3 YEARS AGO – SEASON 2015-16
One of Geelong’s most talented sportsmen at footy & cricket in Sam Loftus decided to retire at the completion of the 2015-16 season from cricket after successful stints at Geelong West and St. Josephs. Making his GCA debut in 1993-94 for Geelong West against Leopold, his first season was a modest one with 79 runs @ 8.8 and wicketless from his 5 overs. However, his 163-match career netted 4,986 runs at both Geelong West and St. Josephs @ 36.4 complimented by 126 wickets @ 18.5 and included Geelong West’s last two premierships in 2008-09 and 2010-11. Only 46 batsmen have achieved 3,000 plus runs and averaged over 30 and Loftus lies on 18th Position on this star-studded listing. In his first season at St. Josephs in 2003-04 he had a brilliant match with 158 & 7/44 and with 450 runs @ 50.0 and 24 wickets @ 9.3, lifted the Saints into the grand final where he compiled 32 but were runners-up to Grovedale. A “big game player” he smacked a career best 176 amongst his 11 centuries in the Qualifying Final for St. Josephs against Newcomb & District in 2005-06 which was then a club 1st.X1 record at the College (to be later overtaken by Justin Foss in 2016-17 with 201no). Nine seasons at West, 5 at St. Josephs and a further 9 seasons at Geelong in Premier Cricket, his father, Pat a former long-term administrator at West, has justified reason to be proud of his son’s achievements.
No issue this week of O'Dowd declares as Kevin is confine to the Epworth Hospital in Geelong. We hope that his article returns next week
ARTICLE NO 22
22nd FEBRUARY, 2019
The season has truly been a remarkable one. Andy Hughes and Joel Davies recorded double centuries with 221 & 207 respectively, being only the third occasion ever that 2 batsmen had notched double centuries in the same season, the first in 1947-48 by Doug Brown (217) and Bill Anderson (210) and the last just two seasons ago by Sean O’Neill (203no) and Justin Foss (201no) Leopold’s phenomenal win, defying all the odds in a “one-in-1000-games” victory chasing down South Barwon’s massive 3/401 with 8/402 and on the other hand two sides were humiliated with well below par scores of 61 & 64 by Bell Post Hill and North Geelong respectively. With round 11 to be completed this Saturday, as at round 10, eight of the ten sides can mathematically reach the finals with Leopold (8th ) just one win away from Grovedale, South Barwon and Geelong City all fourth on the ladder. Only BPH and North are out of contention.
The chart below lists the best batsman and bowler per club as at round 10. (NOTE: *represents position on the ladder as at round 10)
East-Belmont at 2/132 is marching on towards another outright victory, over Bell Post Hill which could manage just 120 with east perched on top of the ladder two games and a whopping percentage clear. However, camouflaged in their magnificent season is a player, selected each round, but struggling by his own standards in Mathew Lineker. Holder of the club’s most centuries by a current player (8) and most runs in a home-and-away season of 640 @ 71.1 in 2015-16 and averaging 451 runs a season over his six seasons pre this season at an average of 45.8, he has scored just 188 runs this season @ 26.9 with only two scores above 30 and a best of 48. However he is a big occasion player and with the finals next month is sure to have a significant impact.
Newtown & Chilwell is looking down the barrel of its third consecutive defeat after being rolled for a season low 102 against St. Josephs. Opener William Simson’s 41 was gritty and lost his wicket when the score was 8/85. Four Saints shared the wickets almost evenly with Matt Talbert leading the way with 3/23, Tony Caccaviello, Justin Foss and Jack O’Donoghue taking 2 wickets apiece.
Geelong City’s 9/212 was again dominated by Richie Oliver with 86 but rear-guard action from Adam Marsland in his 200th game of 20 no batting at no 9 helped the score mount from 171 to 212. Evergreen Danny Hughes was again prominent for Lara with 3/49.
North Geelong faces yet another challenge of chasing the target of 280 to be victorious against South Barwon with North only reaching that score once this season albeit a losing 320 against St.Josephs. South’s tally included Joel Davies second ton for the season (105) but was aided by Luke Brown’s 78, being his highest score in his career at Murgheboluc & South and has now posted 5 scores between 58-78. Tom Mathieson continued his fine season with 4/78.
Leopold, clinging hopefully for a finals berth must overhaul Grovedale’s solid 311, Leopold only reaching that score once this season in its sensational win of 8/402 to South Barwon’s 3/401. Jordan Moran’s second score this season of 82 together with Nick Hyden (67), Luke Ford (51) and Michael McNeel (44) were the backbone of Grovedale’s probable winning score, Declan Gibson a season and career best 3/38.
NOTE: NEXT WEEK THIS COLUMN WILL ANNOUNCE LEOPOLD’S 70 YEARS BEST TEAM IN THIS THE CLUB’S 70TH ANNIVERSARY.
ON THIS ROUND – TWO YEARS AGO – SEASON 2016-17
In season 2003-04 a young wicketkeeper knocked on East-Belmont’s door looking for a game. Thirteen years later with 4,369 runs @ a commanding average of 35.0 and premierships in 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2012-13, Mark Hanley announced his retirement as at season 2016-17 end. Still at the peak of his career with 1,584 runs @ 41.7 in his last 4 seasons with 5 centuries and a best of 123 no against Leopold, he also snared 236 victims behind the stumps, being just 7th. on the all-time listings by a keeper in a career.
ON THIS ROUND – 44 YEARS AGO – SEASON 1974-75
On this round in 1974 Glenn Scott was unlucky dismissed for 99 in his debut season by Bernie Morgan for Geelong City, the promising youngster nevertheless compiling 369 runs in that debut season @ 36.9. The round also included other personal milestones – East-Belmont’s John Darragh on debut sent Leopold’s Michael Meagher’s middle stump cartwheeling first ball of the match, North Geelong fieldsman John Nichols created a then record 5 catches by a fieldsman in an innings at first slip, four off spinner Rod Walsh against St.Joseph’s whilst John Farrell created a club record at Thomson with 9/31 against Geelong City but lost the match outright, 16 year old Tom Beggs hitting the winning run in the last over for a gallant 17no. another highlight was brilliant Newtown & Chilwell all-rounder Greg Wells envious double of 85 & 7/95 in a match.
ARTICLE NO 21
15TH FEBRUARY, 2019
ARTICLE NO. 20
8th, FEBRUARY, 2019
Over the years because of the oppressive heat in India, spin bowlers were encouraged to the detriment of pace. Often a batsman will open the bowling at both ends but after 4 or so overs, on came the spinners. The recent trio of Bedi, Prassana and Chandrasakar were some of India’s best who all played just 30 years ago.
However, the GCA has its own trio of spinning stars in Barry Tsitas, Chris Williams and Jack O’Donoghue with 30, 27 & 23 wickets respectively to lead the competition as at the completion of round ten. Speedsters then take up the next 9 places on this listing.
South Barwon commenced the season in a flurry winning the first three games to be on top of the ladder but with just 2 victories in the next seven matches now finds the side to be 5th with Grovedale and Geelong City. Joel Davies desperately needs extended time at the crease because since his club record 207 against Leopold in round six, his next four scores to date have been 12, O, O & 10 in their loss of all out for 238 against Geelong City’s mammoth 8/350. However, South did have a success last Saturday. Jack Spence, who started 1st X1 cricket in 2011-12 and having played pre-this season 52 games for 796 runs at a middle-of-the-road average of 16.6, in his last three innings has recorded scores of 40, 58 and last week his maiden century of 122 to now have passed 1,000 career runs (1,094). He now is settled, having returned to Colac in 2014-15 then back to South Barwon for two seasons followed by his absence for all of last season in England where he played cricket and holidayed.
East-Belmont seems unbeatable at present successfully defending its attainable 189, Grovedale surrendering with 153. Chris Williams was East’s best with 3/45 whilst controversial Alex Willerton was used sparingly with 3/17 from 15 overs. Grovedale is nevertheless fourth on the ladder having won three of its last 5 matches. On so many occasions brilliant all-rounder Gareth Yelland has starred and personally won the game for Grovedale but in his 200th. game he contributed just 17 with the bat and 19 wicketless overs. However, Luke Ford’s double was a “play” with “5’s” – He held Grovedale’s innings together with 55 after collecting a career best 5/55 on day one, the last double of 50 & five wickets in the same match being that of B. Hall with 62 & 5/77 also against East-Belmont way back in season 1994-95.
St. Josephs, with one win from the first five games of the season has now taken all before it with last rounds win over Bell Post Hill has now won its last 5 matches to be second on the ladder to East-Belmont. However the “angels” are looking after the Saints as the College boys have won its last two games by the slender margins of 10 runs over Lara and one run this round against a gallant Bell Post Hill, 2/242 to 9/241. BPH needed 8 off the last over of the day but fell agonising short. The Hill was cruising at 4/165 due to Rhys Burke (61), Adrian Barrow (53) and Harry Gee (44) but then lost 6/76 with Jack O’Donoghue (3/61) taking the honours.
Without injured skipper George Chisholm, Lara (7th on ladder) gave Newtown & Chilwell (3rd) a thumping, 171 to 2/176 on the back of continually in form Andy Hughes, his unbeaten 70 simultaneously passing 500 runs for the season with 503 @ 71.9. Daniel Weigl passed 400 runs, his unconquered 69 lifting him to 405 runs @ 57.9.
ON THIS ROUND – 8 YEARS AGO- SESON 2010-11
With neither Leopold nor Newtown & Chilwell playing in the finals, two-star all-rounders decided to hang up the boots in Darren Kiddle and Gavin Castle. Kiddle commenced his GCA 1st X1 career way back in 1984-85 for Leopold against Geelong City and moved on to Grovedale, back to Leopold, then Newcomb & District plus BPH secured his signature with the prodigal son returning to Leopold in 2008-9 for his final 3 years. His 269 games not only achieved back-to-back premierships at Bell Post Hill but also back-to-back flags with Leopold. Along the journey he amassed 6,066 runs @ 26.7 and secured 507 wickets @ 19.2 to be the only player in history with the double of 6,000 runs/500 wickets. Ten centuries with a best of 151 against North Geelong included a century (102) in the 1993-94 Grand Final against again North Geelong, being the only Leopold player to do so. His best with the ball was 8/63 for Grovedale against St.Josephs.
Gavin Castle also announced his retirement on this round. He also enjoyed a distinguished career starting in 1986-87 at Leopold, then Newtown & Chilwell, Thomson then returning to Newtown for his final two seasons. However selected for just a single game in his last year, not batting and taking 0/10, he realised his time had come, however with two flags at both Newtown & Chilwell and Leopold with 190 runs @ 17.4 and 446 wickets @ 17.6, his career was the envy of many. He excelled in Leopold’s two premierships years with 322 runs @ 32.2 and 28 wickets @ 19.7 in 1993-94 and 256 runs @ 21.3 and 35 wickets @ 16.4. With 201 games and a best of an agonising 99 in the twilight of his career in 2009-10 for 3,060 runs @ 17.4 and 449 wickets @ also 17.4, with a best of 6/20 in 1996-97 in his finest season with 38 wickets @ 12.4, The man who took 4/46 on debut against South Barwon is 15th. On the listing of most wickets in a career is only one of players with the double of 2000 runs/300 wickets…
ON THIS ROUND – 14 YEARS AG0 – SEASON 2004-05
For season 2004-05 the GCA radically changed the structure of its 1st X1 competition by lifting the number of clubs from 12 to 20, 10 being in the “South-East Pool” and another in the “North-West Pool”. East-Belmont, Geelong City, Grovedale, Highton, Leopold, Marshall, Newcomb & District, South Barwon, Thomson & Torquay played in the South Pool whilst Alexander-Thomson, Bell Park, Bell Post Hill, Geelong West, Lara, Manifold Heights, Newtown & Chilwell, North Geelong, St. Josephs and St. Peters comprised the North Pool. Two of those clubs had never played in the top section before in Alexander-Thomson & Marshall and both played their last Division One match on this round in 2004-05 and have not been recalled since. Marshall won two games and Alexander-Thomson won one. Jason Cranny held his head high with 363 runs @ 27.9 and scored the club’s only century with an unbeaten 102 for Alexander-Thomson against St. Josephs. Darren Cameron enjoyed a fine season for Marshall with 5/20 on debut against Leopold and finished the season with 24 wickets at a remarkable 11.0.
ARTICLE NO 18
1st February, 2019
North Geelong’s horror season continued last Saturday with a paltry 72 after being 5/32 against Leopold following its 64 two rounds earlier. It could not cover the loss of key bats, Andrew Fergusson who was in Adelaide with his son who is undergoing a major operation and Damian Vassilliou who has suddenly announced his retirement. Making his debut 9 seasons ago for Geelong West against Grovedale in a tied match, his maiden season of 2010-11 was spectacular with 412 runs @ 51.5 which included 102no in the semi-final and Geelong West going on to win the flag which was West’s last premiership. Vassilliou played 6 seasons at West and retired at Christmas of season 2015-16 only to be coaxed back to the game at North Geelong from season 2016-17. In total he compiled 3,392 runs at the smart average of 41.9 including 5 centuries and a best of 125no for Geelong West against Geelong City in 2012-13.
Adam Costello, despite his success last round opening the batting with 52 dropped down the order to no 5 but scored only 3 with veteran skipper Sam Hall re-opening the batting but failing with 5 to have posted just 89 runs this season @ 12.7. With Leopold 4/89 and Pat Richards a threatening 34no, Leopold’s faint finals are alive with a potential outright victory against this old and proud club.
Second-placed Newtown & Chilwell are looking down the gun of a loss against Lara with 171 despite 4 batsmen getting starts of between 23-30. Robbie Pehar was rewarded with 4/41 from 26 spirited overs in just his third game.
East-Belmont despite being perched on top of the ladder two games clear is in grave danger of defeat following its below score by its high standards 189 against neighbouring rival, Grovedale. It’s only the second occasion East has been all out this season, the last being its only loss with 165 against Lara in round six. Spinners Barry Tsitas, who removed both East’s opening prolific bats in O’Neill (33) & Baars (26) finished with 4/43 whilst fellow spinner Luke Ford (5/55) a career best.
St. Josephs, despite a woeful start to the season looks likely to win its fourth win on the trot with 8/242 against Bell Post Hill. However, coming in at 2/6 Leigh Kentish took control of the game with a masterly and unbeaten 139 and simultaneously pass 3,000 runs with 3,083 at a brilliant 53.2 which included 9 centuries which is the most ever at St. Josephs. Panther livewire Dylan Stojanovski created the breakthroughs with 3/40.
The highest score for the day was amassed by Geelong City with 8/350 on the back yet again of star Richie Oliver with 148 to lift his tally this season to 597 runs at a stunning 66.3. In just 86 games Oliver has pounded 15 centuries, a ton every 5.7 games to be second to legendary Harry Heard with 29 hundreds from 280 games but a century every 9.7 games. City recalled Adrian Saltalamacchia in the seconds from round 5 but the player who started his 1st.X1 career earliest of all current players did not seize the opportunity with an innings of only 12 against South Barwon which confronts a huge target this Saturday.
Locals may remember the name of Ewan Chatfield. He played Test cricket for New Zealand and played at Kardinia Park in January 1981 for New Zealand against Geelong & Districts. He wasn’t required to bat in New Zealand’s 7/319 declared & 1/73 but his 23 overs included the prize scalp of Chris Lynch for 31. This week he announced his retirement from all cricket at the age of 68. He made the decision after being “slogged” all over the park playing for his local club, Naenae Old Boys. He was famous for being struck on the head by a Peter Lever bouncer on debut against England in 1975 with the ball fracturing his skull and his heart stopped beating.
Last Saturday a vintage century from veteran Sam Loftus powered Geelong West into a commanding position in its clash against Guild-Saints in GCA Division three 1st.X1. The brilliant batsman is far too good at that level of cricket but his love of the club is paramount in his thoughts. Averaging 50.4 this year and 60.4 last season it was his third century in the past two seasons and the first since his record-breaking 222 against Waurn Ponds Deakin last summer. Loftus has been playing cricket at senior level for now 25 years since his GCA 1st X1 debut for West in 1993-94. Leaving West in 2003-04 for just 5 seasons before returning to Geelong West, he amassed 4,986 runs @ 36.4 which included 11 centuries and a best of 176 for St. Josephs against Newcomb & District in the 2005-06 Qualifying Final which at the time was a St. Joseph’s record score since overtaken by Justin Foss with 201no against St. Peters in 2016-17. His two premierships were both at West in 2008-09 & 2010-11. An all-rounder with 126 wickets @ 18.5 his best all-round performance was in 2003-04 when he made 158 and took 7/44 against Lara for St.Josephs, being the fourth best of all time and headed by Tom McCoy with 181 & 8/90 for Clarendon against Non-Descripts in 1899-00.
ON THIS ROUND – 64 YEARS AGO – SEASON 1954-55
An innovation commenced with all scores announced each Saturday night at 6.30 pm on radio 3GL in the “Harry F. Whineray Sporting Session”. Harry Heard moved quickly into form with his second century for the season, “his innings a mixture of flashing brilliance and extreme caution, using his sweeping shovel stroke to full advantage”. South Barwon selected former International Harvester all-rounder Col King for his first game and fulfilling the wicketkeeping role, stumped four and caught two. Gary Jobling farewelled his North Geelong team-mates with 6/36, the youngster going into camp with a National Service Training Battalion, Corio pair, Bill Frost, aged 18 and Alan McKenzie, 14, holding out for four overs to secure a draw.
The Geelong Advertiser cricket writer, “Spinner” attacked Kardinia Park Wests condition –“this ground is a desert – a desert that always draws a fair crowd, waiting for a fieldsman to trip on the barren and uneven outfield, impale himself on the shanty pickets or be killed outright by an unpredictable bouncing ball”. Also, on this round, Geelong City’s Ced Hovey was chosen to captain the Victorian side in the Interstate Railways Cricket Carnival in Melbourne.
ON THIS ROUND – 10 YEARS AGO – SEASON 2008-09
With just another four weeks to play, games record holder Ross Aylmer retired after 319 matches between 1972-2009 with North Shore-Norlane, Bell Post Hill, Lara, Geelong City and North Geelong. No other player has ever played 300 plus games, his closest “rival” being team-mate at his last club in Alf Clark with 287 matches. A brilliant all-rounder Aylmer made 9,564 runs @ 33.7 and took 365 wickets @ 21.0. He chalked up 20 centuries to be fourth on this listing behind immortals Jack Sing (30), Harry Heard (29) and Len Metherell (24). His top score was 165 for North Shore-Norlane against Newtown & Chilwell in 1979-80.
ARTICLE NO 17
26th JANUARY, 2019
Leopold will shortly be celebrating its 70th. birthday and at the event will be named the “Greatest team of all Time”. This column has selected such a team with minimum requirements of 50 games, 1000 runs or 100 wickets achieved at Leopold only. I stress, this is my team only. Its unofficial to the team to be selected by a panel conducted by past player, Wes Cusworth. In batting order “my” team is …
R.Kiddle (c )
The side is captained by Rod Kiddle who left Leopold then returned in his career 3 times. Len Ridgeway played 99 games and his career best was 99no. The side is a pace attack with legendary spinner Roy Brown 12th.man. Former State player Colin Corstorphin had a remarkable bowling average of 11.7 whilst Darren Barmby with 218 dismissals sits 8th. on the all-time most dismissals listing. Pat Richards could not be considered as he has not played 50 games.
This Saturday is a special day for Gareth Yelland and his proud dad, David with the all-rounder playing his 200th game since his debut in season 2000-01 against St.Peters, he will be playing against neighbouring enemy, East-Belmont. Making his debut in 2000-01 against St.Peters he has won many a game for Grovedale either with the bat or ball. He currently has 4811 runs @ 31.0 and has taken 384 wickets @ 15.9. He is on the verge of 400 wickets which will place him in star company of just 9 all-rounders with the 4,000 runs/400 wickets classification of Darren Kiddle, Bert Brown, Brad Hauenstein, Danny Hughes, Bob Merriman, Noel Mullen, Greg Wells & Laurie Winch. When he collects another 16 wickets, if he maintains both his current batting and bowling averages, only Bert Brown is ahead of him, averaging 39.5 with the bat and 13.9 with the ball. Four Premierships, six centuries with a best of 142no in 2008-09 against Geelong City and 8/61 his bowling best against Bell Post Hill in 2012-13 and a blue-ribbon day in 2012-13 when he made 86 and took 4/54 which included a hat-trick, Gareth Yelland has done it all !
East-Belmont continued on its merry way with its 8th. win to be sitting on top of the ladder , two games ahead of Newtown & Chilwell and a whopping percentage of 1.93, St.Josephs in 3rd position its closest rival with a percentage of 1.49. Englishman Mathew Lineker had another day out with his six passing 3000 runs at a brilliant 45.5 then he took a career best 5/12 against North Geelong, now destined to be out of finals reach, being still bottom of the ladder. North’s only bright light was its patience with Adam Costello who has averaged 13.2 for the last 7 seasons but opened the batting with a 52 run return and with his 58 in round 6 against St.Josephs, he previously had not made a 50 in previous seasons so maybe his place is an opening batsman ?
Since its lowly 63 in round 7 South Barwon has bounced back with consecutive wins and is now equal fourth on the ladder with Grovedale. Phil Lang was the anchor man with 102 whilst fellow opener Joel Davies recorded his second consecutive duck. The Spence brothers Jack and Cullen with 58 & 44 respectively generated their best scores to date. For Newtown, John Simpson top scored with a career best 58 whilst regular opening bat, George Chisholm came in at number 8 for a duck but was injured with a hamstring strain and will miss a game or two.
Leopold, without its star skipper Pat Richards who was unavailable looked comfortable at 3/108 due to a career best 64 from Joe Vallelonga then lost 7/45 to be all out for 153 which Geelong City passed on the back yet again of Richie Oliver with 76 after he was dropped twice in the opening over.
Bell Post Hill, riding the back of a sound win the previous round against North Geelong dismissing them for a paltry 64, found itself in trouble, reeling at 9/34 and looking down the barrel of its lowest score ever of 37 against Grovedale in 1989-90, was saved by Mathew Reid (24no) and Lachlan Horan (7) in a most productive partnership of 27 for the last wicket but Grovedale compiled 2/62 to win the game, Yelland (3/6) and Young (3/19) the destroyers.
Lara is on the slide with 3 consecutive losses whilst the victor, St.Josephs has won its last 3 to be third on the ladder. Lara’s only joy was for Danny Weigl who has passed 2000 runs with 2060 at a healthy 27.8.
ON THIS ROUND -92 YEARS AGO – SEASON 1937-38
The 7th. England side to visit Geelong played a two-day game on this day in 1937 at Corio Oval, the Geelong team comprising W.Anderson ( C), K.Brown, V.Hassett, L.Metherell, D.McCabe-Doyle, G.Schofield, D.Ross, R.Weddell, J.Collins, W.Mair, W.Hurley and J.Cowperthwaite (12th). The centre wicket has not been used all season, saving it for this match. Entrance will be a shilling with an extra sixpence for a reserved seat in the Brownlow-Young Memorial stand. Captain Bill Anderson said on radio 3GL,”The visitors are welcome not only for their cricket prowess but also because they represent the Motherland which has a peculiar interest for so many people in this district whose forebears ,direct from the old country, landed here in the days when aboriginals roamed the site where todays match is being played”.
Robins, the England captain won the toss with a 261 years old coin, minted in England in 1676 during the reign of Charles 11. The match was drawn, the England Manager (Captain Howard) congratulating Geelong on its competitiveness and for an excellent wicket, weather and admirable crowd of 9,500 spectators, the England side leaving that night by the Sydney Express train to Canberra.
Match Scores – England 282 (J.Hardstaff 94, L.Ames 51, H.Verity 47, J.Collins 5/48) and 251 (M.Leyland 53, J.Sims 33, L.Ames 30, D.McCabe-Doyle 3/59). Geelong 161 (W.Anderson 28, V.Hassett 20, R.Robins 5/36).
ON THIS ROUND – 33 YEARS AGO – SEASON 1985-86
One of the finest all-rounders in Bernie Morgan finally got off the mark, the newly appointed captain-coach of Newtown & Chilwell having registered 5 consecutive ducks including a “pair” in his first 5 innings at Stinton Oval. Morgan played 173 games between 1969-1986 for Geelong City, St.Josephs and Newtown & Chilwell compiling 2506 runs @ 16.2 with a best of 94 and took 253 wickets @ 18.7 with a best of 6/24. He is one of only 27 cricketers with the 2000 runs/200 wickets double.
ARTICLE NO 15
18th January, 2019
With this column in hospital for a short period last week, O’Dowd Declares for January 11th. was not published but in a once-off was released on Wednesday 16th. January and returns to its normal format today. It can be found this week for the 11th. under the GCA website, under “News” by scrolling down 5 stories.
The article of 11th. January includes this column’s opinion of the “Team of the Season” as at the half-way mark being Christmas, a tribute to South Barwon pair Doug Kerger and Ted Anderson who both passed away within days of each other plus this column’s Top 10 performances as at Christmas.
This column has “pumped up” North Geelong’s tyres in recent times as I believed the side should not be languishing near the bottom of the ladder. However even though it has scored the third most runs in the competition (1,650 @ 24.3) behind only Lara (1,869 @ 32.2) and St.Josephs (1,816 @ 32.4) it is now “stone motherless last” following its round 8 defeat at the hands of Bell Post Hill with a woeful score of 64. Consequently it’s the lowest score by North for 68 years or 852 games since it was blitzed by GWC&FC in round 5 of season 1950-51 for 46. The destroyers were Vic “Beau” Taylor (5/20) and legendary Roy Brown (5/22). In addition to its last on the ladder, it has two batsmen in the top 15, being Andrew Fergussson (7th – 343 runs @ 57.2 and Brendan Szponar (12th. – 285 runs @ 40.7) whilst Tom Mathieson is 5th with 17 wickets @ 19.1 and Fergusson again, 12th. with 12 wickets.
On a round where two of the finest all-rounders ever in Danny Hughes and Gareth Yelland both notched ducks, St.Josephs is marching up the ladder in now 3rd. position with 3 consecutive wins which is due mainly to the outstanding form of Andrew Hodgson. With 52 last week against Grovedale he now has posted 4 consecutive scores of 50 or more, being 110, 51, 81 & 52. Only Peter Hassett is ahead of him at the College with 5 consecutive fifties or more in 1969-70.
East-Belmont is firm favourites for the flag, perched on top of the ladder and Sean O’Neill’s second century for the season against Geelong City last Saturday sees the talented opener having not failed for the season with scores of 39, 56, 54, 128no, 93, 38 & 134 for a season’s 542 runs at the Bradman average of 90.3. The crack side has only lost all wickets once, against Lara in a shock loss. However Richie Oliver continued his rampage against all opposition with 69 Against East and passed 4,000 runs with now 4018 @ 52.9.
In a nail-biting finish, South Barwon snapped a 4 game losing streak over Lara with South winning 8/183 to 182 in the last over of the day with only two balls to spare with Nick Lynch (6) & Lewis Sharp (9no) taking them over the line to victory. Dan Weigl passed 2000 runs with 2036 @ 27.9.
Newtown & Chilwell continued its lush England recruiting ground with Yorkshire man Ryan Gibson fully exposing his all-round talents with hios maiden century (145no) together with 4/44 to demolish Leopold, 5/212 to 8/209. Gibson’s innings represented 68% of the entire team score. The only bonus for Leopold was Pat Richards 33 as an opener following 68 as an opener in the previous match.
Tomorrow Grovedale Englishman Chris Young plays his 100th. 1st.X1 game against Bell Post Hill at home. He has been a brilliant recruit, playing in Grovedale’s last 3 premierships in 2011-12, 2015-16 &n 2016-17. He has captured 231 wickets @ a lean 16.0 with a best of 7/41. He holds the record at Grovedale of most wickets in a debut season (31 @ 16.1 in 2008-09) and most wickets in a finals series (13 @ 9.4 in 2016-17).
No, Leopold wicketkeeper with 218 dismissals and who retired in 2001 Darren Barmby has not made a comeback last round, rather the D.Barmby on debut is actually Darren’s son, Dylan.
ON THIS ROUND – 90 YEARS AGO – SEAS0N 1928-29
Len Vautier is a much respected name at North Geelong but on this round in 1928-29 he suffered the indignity of his 7th. duck for the season – a record to this day. It was achieved during the rebirth season of the GCA after the GCA’s demise in 1913-14 due to the “indifference of local cricket” into the “keen competition of Sub-District cricket”. At the rebirth “which will give great impetus to cricket in this City”, the Victorian Cricket Association donated 15 pounds for set-up costs. The GCA resolved its colours would be red, gold and black and such colours must be incorporated in clubs caps, blazers and buttons. An entrance charge would be policed at all 3 grounds of sixpence a person and double that if a horse-drawn wagon was admitted.
Len Vautier’s 7 ducks in that season was totally out of character as he amassed 4,846 runs @ 28.7 including 10 centuries from his 168 games at North Geelong & Ford Motor Company with just another 5 ducks. All his 10 centuries were achieved at North and are only bettered at the club by Sam Hall (11) and Alf Clark (18).
ON THIS ROUND – 38 YEARS AGO – SEASON 1980-81
Kardinia Park hosted the touring Indian team in a first-class match against Victoria, India last playing at Kardinia Park in February 1948 in a match against a Victorian Country X1 but comprising mainly Geelong players. The 1980-81 first-class match against Victoria was won by India due to a faultless and unconquered 201 by Yashpal Sharma with support of 68 from Chetan Chauhan. The Victorians to feature were Jeff Moss (125 & 44), Graeme Yallop (64) and Trevor Laughlin (36). With the ball, Kapil Dev was struck down with a knee injury and bowled just 5 overs, Roger Binny (2/46 & 3/50) and K.Azad (3/53 & 2/62) the major Indian wicket-takers. For Victoria, the wickets were shared by Ray Bright, Shaun Graf and Jim Higgs.
Match Scores – India 9/398 dec (Yashpal Sharma 201no, C.Chauhan 68, S.Gavaskar 31 S.Graf 3/82, J. Higgs 2/94 I.Callan 2/95) & 0/102 (T.Srinivasan 69no, S.Gavaskar 28no) defeated Victoria 7/267dec J.Moss 125, T.Laughlin 36, J.Weiner 29, K.Azad 3/53, R.Binny 2/46 D.Doshi 2/81) & 231 (G.Yallop 64, J.Moss 44, R.Binny 3/50, C.Chauhan 3/51, K.Azad 2/62).
ARTICLE NO. 13
21st DECEMBER 2018
With last week’s washout six games have been completed and in one of the most competitive seasons in recent years, all 10 sides could reach the finals. Lara is in 3rd place with 18 points whilst last on percentage is Bell Post Hill with 12 points with all other sides between 18-12 points. Last season as at round 6 the final four appeared settled with the exception of Geelong City. The biggest “shakers & movers” over the 12 months are North Geelong, undefeated last season on 36 points whereas this season are on 15 points and 7th but are on the improve. Newtown & Chilwell, second this year with 5 wins had mustered only 2 wins last season as at round 6 whilst St.Josephs, winless last year has 15 points to date.
ON THIS – 132 YEARS AGO – DECEMBER 1886
In 1987 this column published a 322 page book titled “Geelong’s Blazing Century”. It included all International matches played in Geelong from the pioneering 1862 game against England at Geelong ovals at Corio Oval, Kardinia Park and the Western Oval. The research document was past editions of the Geelong Advertiser. However I must now confess that a match England v 18 of Geelong on this day in 1886 was missed in error. That Tour was the ninth to Australia by England and the fourth by England in Geelong. After a rugged voyage several England players were tormented by sea-sickness. Charles Bannerman umpired the Geelong match with his brother Alick at one stage taking an hour to add to his score. The 3rd Test at Melbourne was ruined as a race meeting had been scheduled at the MCG. Instead a match between Smokers and Non-Smokers was substituted for the Test. Only a few hundred people watched some of the brightest batting ever seen at Melbourne with the Non-Smokers scoring 803 at 100 an hour. The match ended in confusion with Scotton, who was batting for the Smokers, picked up the ball as a souvenir and was given out “handling the ball”.
Good Friday and Christmas Day were once devoid of any sport. Now the AFL has not one but two matches on Good Friday. It is only a matter of time that the cricket hierarchy encroach onto Christmas Day. But it has happened before. It was in 1951 when the third Test between Australia and the West Indies played in Adelaide (the so called “City of Churches”) and sixteen years later it happened in Adelaide again Australia v India. Two years later the same two sides again played on Christmas Day in Madras Two further Tests were played on Christmas Day, in 1972 England played India and in 1979 India played Pakistan.
ARTICLE NO 12
14th DECEMBER 2018
Last Saturday produced another smorgasbord of statistical facts that continued to be relished by this statistician/historian and no more so than Leopold’s phenomenal victory over a shell-shocked South Barwon, defying all odds to win the game, 8/402 to 3/401. It was Leopold’s highest score since its glory days with its record 3/445 against St.Josephs in 1995-96. It was the first time in history that a side had successfully chased down a 400 run plus score. With Corey Ogle (130) and long serving all-rounder Tim Marshall (101) it was the first time that two Leopold batsmen had scored centuries in the same innings since Beau Carroll (101) and Tony Brown (121) did so against Highton in 2000-01. For Tim Marshall it was a game to remember – in his 134th game since 2006-07 and passing 50 on nine occasions he finally made his career maiden century and in doing so after feeble scores of 9/1/1/ & 0 this season, his innings came off just 92 balls in 91 minutes.
Grovedale’s healthy 7/324 was too great a target for Geelong City which faulted for 161 courtesy of star spinner Barry Tsitas with 7/34. It was Tsitas’ second 7 wicket haul or better with 8/14 for Newtown & Chilwell against Bell Park in 2004-05. Further his 19 wickets for the season at a lean 13.2 took him past 500 career wickets, his 503 @ 18.8 between 1995 and now for East-Belmont, Manifold Heights, Newtown & Chilwell & Grovedale. He thus joins just 7 bowlers with 500 career wickets but only the second spinner with Bert Brown’s 539 @ 13.9 between 1932-1956. Earlier City was cruising with a 70 run opening stand by Oliver (54) & C. Broughan (40) but lost 7/61 to change the complexion of the game.
North Geelong was gallant in defeat, chasing St. Josephs 5/330 with 320 with Andrew Fergusson with consecutive scores of 41, 68, 44 and 135 last Saturday, being his 11th century and 6,149 runs at a dominate average of 41.3. It was also a significant match for Adam Costello – in his 66th match he achieved his first half century with 58.
Newtown & Chilwell won its 5th. match for the season in a tight encounter with Bell Post Hill, 129 to 113 with Newtown opening pair Nick McGuane and Jackson Davis both achieving career best figures of 5/27 & 4/45 respectively.
East-Belmont lowered its colours for the first time this season with a below par by their standards score of 165 with new man Chad Grossman showing potential with 32 after just 5 games in the 2nd X1 this year. Danny Hughes 5/35 was the fourth occasion a Lara player had achieved “the double” of 50 & 5 wickets in the same match, he with three of the, the other by Darron Batties with 58 & 5/66 against South Barwon in 1995-96, his 5 wickets including a hat-trick
ON THIS ROUND – 10 YEARS AGO – JANUARY 2009
The record books were almost re-visited on this round when champion all-rounder Glen Talarico blasted the shell-shocked Leopold attack for Geelong West with an undefeated 230 to almost overhaul the all-time record 237 by Stephen Wells in 1986-87 against East-Belmont. A premiership player twice at Geelong West in 2008-09 and 2010-11 and once at Grovedale in 2016-17, he clouted 6,409 runs @ 43.6 and captured 255 wickets @ 18.2 from his 163 games at West, Murgheboluc & Grovedale. He is 12th on the all-time runs listing and in season 2005-06 achieved “The Double” of 58 & 5/22 in a match.
Glen Talarico announced his retirement during the winter of 2018.
ON THIS ROUND – 78 YEARS AGO – SEASON 1940-41
Due to an escalation in hostilities overseas the GCA was immediately reduced to a seven team competition in Geelong West, North Geelong, Newtown & Chilwell, Federal Mills, Excelsior Mills, Ford Motor Company and International Harvester with South Geelong, Geelong Footballers and High School-East (Geelong City) withdrawing from player shortage due to the war effort. Master High School-East batsman Harry Heard transferred to Newtown & Chilwell and had an immediate impact with 112 & 101 in his first two innings. Star bowler Roy Brown had collected 38 wickets @ 6.5 but had to leave Geelong West as he was called up for military duty with the RAAF.
ARTICLE NO 11
7th DECEMBER 2018
Batsmen generally dominated day one of round six, no more so than the blazing blade of South Barwon’s Joel Davies. His mammoth knock of 207 was his career best overcoming his 140no against St. Josephs 1st X1 in 2011-12. He also made 200 even at Geelong 4th.X1 However, the records did not stop there – his score beat the previous South Barwon 1st.X1 record of 174no by Clinton Peake against Geelong West in 2011-12. Further, their score of 3/401 was the first time ever that the team had surpassed 400 plus runs, its previous highest being 379 against East-Belmont in 1972-73. The opening stand of 260 was the highest ever at South for all wickets/all grades with Phil Lang (88).
The highest individual score by all current teams follows…
Bell Post Hill
Talented youngster Cullan Spence was selected for his debut match but was not required given his team-mates run spree. At Leopold promising junior Tom Neate also made his debut.
Lara have set East-Belmont a modest by their standards a target of 228, Lara’s innings dominated by champion all-rounder Danny Hughes with an unlucky 99 no, last man in Sam Purdy hanging on gallantly for a last wicket stand of 103 runs with Hughes but dismissed for 14 leaving Hughes stranded on 99no, a ton would have been his 11th and his first for 10 years. Englishman Alex Willerton registered his first 5 wicket haul for the season with 5/53 whilst Chris Williams continued his fine wicket-taking season with 3/75.
For East-Belmont, Hayden McMahon stepped up to captain for the first time. McMahon stands in place of regular skipper and star opening batsman Sean O’Neill who is unavailable. The Lions have made four changes for the clash with James McMahon and Cam Ayres out together with Tom Elliot, Elliot finally finding form last Saturday with 51 after just 14 runs for the year. Chad Grossman also made his debut joining Dylan McMahon, Liam Fiolet and James Diery. It was a positive step for Dylan McMahon who will play his first game of sport since doctors discovered blood clots and ordered him not to play football.
In an effort to resurrect Grovedale’s season currently in freefall with opening batsmen Anthony Quarrell and Jordon Moran
Totally out of form all season with 84 runs @ 7.6 between them has made two changes with Moran unavailable and Chris Young suffering a bicep injury. Grovedale recalled Nick Hyden and Michael Blain both for the first time this season with immediate impact with the pair featuring in a 216 opening partnership, Hyden’s 161 his maiden century in his 5th season and Blain’s 57 also his highest score after his 7 seasons. Grovedale’s 7/324 was a season’s best with Apollo Bay recruit Jacob McKenzie taking his best figures of 3/53, his previous 3 wickets averaging 41.7 a piece.
Bell Post Hill is on a roll whilst Newtown & Chilwell’s season is collapsing. The Hill looks set to win its 3rd. game for the season after having dismissing Newtown for 129, Lachlan Horan (3/12) & Math Sampson-Barnes (3/36) sweeping thru the visitors at Myers Reserve. Newtown, the most prolific run scoring team last season commenced in that vein in this year’s first 3 rounds with 2/240, 6/227 & 8/231 but in the last 3 rounds its totals are falling each round with 199, 160 & 129 last week against BPH. Reeling at 4/11, without John Simson (40) and Cooper Bingham (39), the total could have been woeful.
With Bell Post Hill 3/69 at stumps it should go on and win the game.
Another team best highest score was by St. Josephs with 5/330 against a worried North Geelong the innings dominated by stylish Leigh Kentish with an unbeaten 145 and supported by Mitchell McMullen (62) and in-form Andrew Hodgson (51). With just 12 games over the last two seasons and a best of 42, the Echuca recruit grabbed his opportunity with both hands with his 62 and showed he belongs at 1st X1 level with a 116 ball contribution, to dominate the 89 run stand with Hodgson. New ball bowler Shaun Kingswell was the best performed Magpie as he laboured for 25 overs for 3/79. Layton McCann continues to try and find form with the ball, his two wickets averaging 116.0.
ON THIS ROUND – 62 YEARS AGO – DECEMBER 1966
On this round in 1966 Leopold removed its opposition for the lowest score of the season against it of 101 by St.Josephs with paceman Graeme Betteridge snaring a to-be career best 7/25. However despite Beveridge’s magnificent figures St. Josephs won in a thriller with Russell Zampatti (33) and Vin Niewiarowicz (27) being the backbone of the Saints 101, Leopold failing with 95 (Ian Peel 22). Betteridge progressed to take 242 career wickets at a lowly 15.9 apiece and play in two premiership teams in 1967-68 & 1969-70, his 5/57 in the 1969-70 final the best figures by a Leopold bowler in a final. He remains one of just 21 bowlers to take 200 wickets and average less than 16.0.
ON THIS ROUND – 29 YEARS AGO – SEASON 1989-90
St.Joseph’s greatest fast bowler ever in Damian DeGrandi announced he would retire at the end of the season. A member of the GCA’s “Team of the Century” partnering other pacemen in Vic “Beau” Taylor and Greg Wells, DeGrandi from 1974 to 1990 collected 391 wickets at the outstanding average of just 13.8, six times taking 7 wickets in an innings with a best of 8/67 against Newtown & Chilwell in 1988-89 followed by 8/68 the following round against East-Belmont. Playing just 108 games he methodically accumulated his wickets at 3.6 victims a game. He topped the bowling aggregate four times in the competition, his finest season being in 1983-84 when he took 66 wickets @ 11.6. He lies 10th. On the ladder of bowlers to take 200 wickets plus with an average below 16 whilst his 66 wickets in 1983-84 is the third best behind Bill Eason with 68 in 1908-09 for Geelong “B”. He has two hat-tricks, both taken in the one season of 1983-84 with 6/30 against Geelong West and 4/30 against Geelong City. He played in St.Joseph’s first two premierships in 1974-75 & 1988-89.
ARTICLE NO. 9 2018
How the mighty have fallen – Grovedale’s far below standard 105 last round was its lowest score for 9 seasons or 102 games since 2009-10 when only Michael Kelson (23) and paceman Graeme Harper (16no) defied North Geelong with a score of 97 and with just two wins from the first 5 matches and is in free fall in 6th position and equal with Lara, Geelong City and Bell Post Hill. Its top of the order batsmen are out of form, led by openers Anthony Quarrell & Dubbo recruit Jordan Moran. Excluding its two youngsters recently introduced in Lachlan Hornibrook & Darren Fernandes, it has made just two changes all season and the selectors have hard decisions ahead of them to rebuild their season. Although the best is behind him, club 1st X1 record holder Garry Kelson with 6,701 runs @ 34.0 including 10 centuries and a club record 199 whose last 1st X1 game was in the 2016-17 winning semi-final with a stubborn 32 is worthy of a recall because he is averaging 186 in the competition 2nd X1 !!! It would also be a sound time to coax champion Glenn Talarico out of his temporary retirement. Luke Ford (183 runs @ 36.6) is their only batsman in the competition’s top 25. Without star all-rounder Gareth Yelland (his 130 runs @ 43.3 plus 6 wickets), the side may not have won a game.
The below par batting stats of the Grovedale team for the season in their batting order is…..
Beware the wounded Magpie – North Geelong is on the move! Languishing near the bottom of the ladder after round three with 3 points it has won the last two matches against quality opposition in Newtown & Chilwell and Geelong City and is now in the top four at 4th For the second consecutive match it radically re-arranged its batting order with seasoned opener, its captain Sam Hall batting at no 8 and brilliant opener Damian Vassiliou at no 7. Hall’s return of 1no & dnb in the last two rounds was bettered by Vassiliou, batting for the first time last week in his two matches to date with 67no in a 155 run partnership for the sixth wicket with Braden Szponar. However the star of the round was Szponar with his maiden century after 59 games since 2008-09 with a match winning 102no. However he has tasted a century before with a mammoth 205no for North in GCA Synthetic Division 2 five years ago.
Further at Osborne Park, Damian Vassiliou would not have known during his unconquered 67 and 155 partnership with Braden Szponar that he was playing his 100th game. Making his debut for Geelong West in 2010-11 with 411 runs @ 51.5 and a premiership, he moved to North Geelong three seasons ago and in total has quickly amassed 3,369 runs @ 43.2 with 5 centuries. Feeling “burnt out” at Christmas 2015 he retired only to be coaxed back by the diligent North officials.
In further highlights last round, quality South Barwon all-rounder Joel Davies passed 2,000 runs with 2,089 @ 38.7, Bell Post Hill’s Andrew Barrow has strung together consecutive scores of 33, 60 & 40 whilst Newtown’s James Radcliffe in his first season took 3/8 off an incredible 13 overs.
ON THIS ROUND – 48 YEARS AGO – SEASON 1970-71
South Barwon’s Max Beacom experienced a dream start to his GCA 1st.X1 career with 8/38 against Chanel College, seven of his victims clean bowled. Beacom played 58 games and collected 92 wickets @ 18.6, his 8/38 on debut to be his career best. His explosive pace helped reap two premierships, back-to-back in 1975-76 & 1976-77. The record wickets on debut is Ken Nicholson’s 9/39 for Newtown & Chilwell against Ford Motor Company whilst Alan McGlynn’s 8/27 was captured in Belmont CC’s first ever match in 1902-03 against Corio (pre WW1), Beacom in third spot on this listing
ON THIS ROUND – 66 YEARS AGO – SEASON 1952-53
The GCA structure comprises of three divisions across 34 clubs but in the early 1950’s for the next 30 years the players played in District 1st X1’s to District 5ths, Sections 1-7, Bellarine, Corio, South Barwon & Urban Sub-Sections, Hedley, Solomon, Gowty, Austin, O’Neill & Mason Shields. In those three decades a phenomenal 86 clubs were affiliated, some of the most “obscure” clubs were Barrabool, Barwon, Birmid, Geelong British, Geelong Football Umpires, Geelong Soccer, Geelong Workers Club, Hospital, Ocean Grove, Pilkington’s, Red West Footballers, St. Augustine’s Old Boys, St, Josephs Old Collegians, United Kingdom and Winter & Taylor. In those days the most premierships were 22 by Lara with John Hughes starring in the Hedley & Solomon Shields followed by 6 by St. Albans with Fred Warren dominant.
ARTICLE NO. 8
24TH NOVEMBER 2018
Last round GCA Treasurer, Colin Dempsey was the toast of his team-mates at South Barwon when he played a club record 400 games. An “average” player by his own admission, he played one game in the 2nds and the rest in the lower grades. Captain for the last 20 years, he first played senior cricket at 16 years of age and for his first 150 games or so was an opening bowler until he hurt his shoulder so he reincarnated himself as an opening bat and around age 43 became a true all-rounder by taking up wicket-keeping. He cherished his wicket, being undefeated in 104 of his 282 innings with 2,122 runs with a top score of 75 to compliment his 178 wickets with a best of 6/89. Twice a premiership player it took him 30 years to achieve the first one, the last one being last season. He became South Barwon Treasurer in 1983 and Secretary in 1991-92 having been Secretary for 25 of the last 27 seasons and still going and a committee man since 1983. In between his lifelong devotion at Reynolds Reserve, he has been the GCA Treasurer for the last 22 years, a runaway record with Charles Brownlow second with 14 seasons between 1899-1900 to 1912-13. He is a Life Member of the GCA.
Andy Hughes went onto a rampage last Saturday at home with a brutal 221 against a mesmerised Bell Post Hill. It was the 20th.GCA 1st.X1 double- ton in history but more importantly it was the highest double-century ever at Lara, eclipsing Michael Brown’s even 200 against St.Josephs in 1999-2000. Their opening stand of a mammoth 334 with Brad McMaster (121) just failed to break the GCA opening partnership of 390 by East-Belmont pair Sean O’Neill (203no) and Andrew
Baars (169) against Leopold two years ago. It also was the backbone of his sides spectacular 2/365. Prior to the O’Neill /Baars stand the opening stand record was established 77 years ago when Bert Brown (181no) & Archie Gourlay (102no) combined for a 300 run unfinished partnership for Federal Mill against International Harvester. The Hughes /McMaster stand was just third 300 runs or more partnership ever, the other being 324 by Frank Pike (197) & Jack Sing (137no) for the 2ndwicket for Geelong West against Ford Motor Company in 1948-49.
With Andrew Hughes naturally commanding the headlines with his club record 221, Geelong City’s Luke Inglis was the toast of his Richmond Crescent teammates with a commanding 151. Having not played 1st X1 cricket for the past two seasons and 14 games prior with a best of 46 in 2015-16, his innings dominated his sides 248 which should have been greater, losing its last 6 wickets for a paltry 23, North Geelong spearhead Tom Mathieson claiming a season best 5/50.
ON THIS ROUND – 53 YEARS AGO – SEASON 1965-66
On this round Richmond Crescent played host to one of the most explosive exhibitions of fast bowling when speedsters Brian Rhodes and Garry Hovey bowled unchanged for the entire match with figures of 5/22 & 5/32 together with 5/22 & 5/29 respectively to rout Leopold for 48 & 62 in claiming outright points. Geelong City lost just one wicket, that of “Ace” O’Hara for 13, Colin Helwig leading the way with 35no & 25no. Hovey enjoyed a brilliant season with 50 wickets at a paltry 8.9 whilst Rhodes was to snare precisely 200 wickets @ 17.5.
With Geelong City relocating to Kardinia Park for the season due to a waterlogged Richmond Crescent, East-Belmont’s Peter Smith made his VCA debut with South Melbourne a memorable one with 3/16 followed by 5/26 the following week, continuing his outstanding form, collecting 53 wickets for the season @ 15.1, a South Melbourne record, Smith winning the VCA “Qantas Cricketer of the Year” award. Grovedale’s Jason Bakker also was selected for South Melbourne for the first time whilst former St. Joseph’s batsman David Harris made his first-class debut for Victoria with 30 & 90 in his maiden match against Queensland.
ARTICLE NO. 7
16TH NOVEMBER 2018
St.Josephs is languishing after 4 rounds in 8thplace with just the one win but it’s not the fault of spinner Jack O’Donoghue. With 3/32, 2/26, 3/36 and a career best 8/53 last week against Geelong City, he is having his finest season ever at this time of the season, his bests being 5/10 in 1913-14 and 29 wickets for the season in 1914-15. Curiously the top three bowlers to date are the only three with 10 wickets or more and are all spin bowlers in O’Donoghue with 16 @ 9.2, Barry Tsitas (Grovedale 11 @ 16.2 & Chris Williams (East-Belmont, 10 @ 19.1). However some bowlers of note are struggling with the ball – Lara’s Perry Hill (0/118), Leopold’s Lachlan Alford (1/111), North Geelong’s Layton McCann1/121,East-Belmont’s Alex Willerton (2/100),North Geelong’s Shaun Kingswell (2/145) & Lara’s Brad Scown (3/119) – and they are all opening bowlers.
O’Donoghue’s 8 wicket haul was the 10th by a Saint bowler, Dennis Davie’s 8/16 by far the best against Chanel College in 1969-70.
The worst mode of dismissal for a batsman is to be run out. To be run out twice in the same match is doubly infuriating. To be run out twice in the same match for a duck on both occasions is distressing! It happened last Saturday to Thomson’s Joshua Hartshorne
North Geelong returned to its truer form with a season’s best 6/286 against previously unbeaten Newtown & Chilwell last Saturday courtesy of significant hands from Moama recruit Layton McCann (91) and evergreen Andrew Fergusson (68). McCann has slotted in well, with 36, 41 and now 91, only failing once with 11. Fergusson’s innings complimented his 6/55 in the same match being the first North Geelong double of 50 & 5 wickets in the same match since Jake Thorne’s double of 55 & 5/53 against Grovedale five seasons ago. In a match to remember for Fergusson during his innings of 68 he passed 6,000 career runs to join North Geelong’s Gordon McKay, Glenn Ward, “Guv” Smith, Ross Aylmer and Alf Clark to pass 6,000 runs. However the best double ever at North is way back in 1933-34 when Jack Walker hit an even 100 plus 6/33 and for good measure “carried his bat” in the second innings with 45no.
North Geelong will be further strengthened with the return of Damian Vassiliou who played his first game of the season last round but in a major experimental re-shuffle of the batting order did not bat in North’s 6/286. When he walks out to bat tomorrow at Richmond Crescent he will celebrate his 100th game. Since his debut with Geelong West in 2010-11 against Grovedale in a tied match, he temporarily retired at Christmas 2015 but returned the next season for North with renewed enthusiasm. He has pounded 3,302 runs at a spectacular average of 42.3 which included 5 centuries with a best of an unbeaten 125 for West in 2012-13 against Geelong City. He has one premiership to his name achieved in his first season at Geelong West. In the prime of his career, last season he compiled 498 runs @ 55.3
East- Belmont batsmen Andrew Baars and Sean O’Neill have forged many outstanding opening partnerships with regular stands of 80 runs plus and are viewed as one of the best openers in the modern era. Last week their opening stand of 88 again laid the foundation for East’s winning 3/215 against Leopold. East-Belmont is now the only undefeated team and the team is yet to be totally dismissed with its four scores being 7/150, 2/107, 9/206 and 3/215. Last week Baars was dismissed for 38 but his fellow opener Sean O’Neill went on with the job with 128no. Both have envious careers batting at the top of the order – O’Neill has amassed 2,912 runs @ 39.9 with 7 centuries and Baars tally is 5,462 runs @ 32.9 with 8 centuries.
Gary Anderton is correctly considered Thomson’s finest batsman with 4,127 runs @ 42.1 and genuine all-rounder but “hot on his heels” comes Brian Salmon with 2,347 runs @ 41.3 from 58 games opening the innings. Salmon made his GCA 1st.X1 debut on this round against St.Josephs with a duck, followed the next round with another scoreless innings but recovered to compile 473 runs in that debut season, a record at Thomson. The following season he amassed 677 runs @ 48.4, again a record at Thomson for most runs in a season. He also hit 5 centuries with a Thomson best of 165 against St.Josephs in 1986-87. In that season he was a member of Thomson’s only GCA 1st X1 Division One premiership team.
He was recruited by Essendon and in Premier Cricket hit a century in each innings of the same match with 104 & 131 against North Melbourne in 1989-90, joining Test cricketers Neil Harvey and Ken Eastwood to achieve the feat at the time. In season 1982-83 he featured in an Essendon opening stand record of 271 against Ringwood where his contribution was a faultless 150.
ON THIS ROUND – 87 YEARS AGO – SEASON 1931-32
With the GCA Pennant Committee reviewing the structure, 5 points were to awarded for an outright victory, 3 for a first innings result and no points for a draw, George Schofield made his debut for South Geelong with 4/40 against North Geelong, the Geelong Advertiser noting “It is pleasing that Geelong Grammar schoolboy George Schofield has taken an interest in local cricket”. With Test cricketer Herbert Ironmonger, Schofield was guest of honour at Rippleside miniature Golf Links to raise money to defray Country Week expenses. All Country Week scores were to be posted on the front window of Thorne’s Sports Store in Moorabool Street.
Schofield went on to be a brilliant all-round cricketer, mainly with Newtown & Chilwell after South Geelong CC folded in 1939-40, amassing 3,617 runs @ 24,0 and collecting 514 wickets @ 16.0 from 1931 to 1953 to be 4th on the all-time listing. He collected two hat-tricks, his 6/40 hat-trick against North Geelong collected in the same match he hit an unbeaten 101.
ARTICLE NO. 6
9TH NOVEMBER 2018
North Geelong’s powerful batting line up has been disappointing in the first three rounds but hit their straps last Saturday with a probable winning score of 6/286 but Newtown & Chilwell is to date the only side to pass 200 in the opening three rounds so tomorrow will witness a fascinating day. The Magpies leading run maker is Moama recruit, Layton McCann with 91 last week and 179 runs @ 44.8 which also includes hands of 36 & 41. North smashed its season best minus contributions from proven run makers Sam Hall and Damian Vassiliou due to a dramatic shuffle of its batting order.
Lara posted a season’s best 268 thanks to Daniel Weigl’s brilliant 112 against Grovedale to be the competition’s leading run scorer to date with 225 runs at the commanding average of 75.0. It was Weigl’s fourth career ton and his second at 112 with that score last year against Leopold and his second against Grovedale with 109no last season. Three of his centuries have been posted within his last 7 innings. Grovedale will need its out of form batsmen to “band together” tomorrow in chasing its highest score for the season with only Gareth Yelland reaching double scores for the year (3 times). The retirement of Glen Talarico has been a monumental loss to the Grovedale side. Lara’s challenging 268 could have been far greater if Anglesea recruit Dylan Taylor (5/72) had not shown why the Grovedale recruiting committee had recruited him.
St. Josephs are doomed with a poor 123 which included a face saving last wicket stand of 38 by Jack O’Donoghue (29) and Matt Tarbett (9no), Geelong City at 2/92 at stumps. Henry Collins 3/25 followed his 3/64 last round, his 8 wickets this season the most in his three seasons, oddly last year playing just the one game with 5/93.
Last round Grovedale’s Tobias Hogg celebrated his 100th game and this week his English team-mate, Chris Young will reach that personal milestone. Making his debut in 2008-09 he returned home after that season only to return in 2011-12 where he has since remained. To Grovedale’s delight his clever pace has snared 224 wickets at a trim 15.6 with a best of 7/41 in last year’s semi-final and 3/33 in that seasons qualifying final, giving him 10 wickets in the finals series. Since his arrival he has methodically collected 45 wickets in 7 finals series which underlined its three premierships since his arrival.
This season two clubs are celebrating their 90th Anniversary in GCA Division One 1st X1 cricket since joining the GCA in 1928-29, being Geelong City and North Geelong. City has played 81 years as it has been promoted and relegated several times over the last two decades whilst North has played continuously.
A comparison of outstanding stats follows…
Highest team score
569 v Sth. Barwon 1956
6/404 v Geelong Cement 1999
Lowest team score
11 v Geelong Foot. 1936
25 v Newtown & Chilwell 1978
211 Gordon McKay
203no R. Oliver
V Highton 2013
Winning games ratio
287 Alf Clark
267 Harry Heard
10,508 Alf Clark
8,942 Harry Heard
374 Laurie Winch
376 Robert Agg
9/28 Jack Walker
9/22 Travis Agg
Wicket keeping – most dismissals
310 Peter Kenyon
176 Grant Elliot
ON THIS ROUND – 42 YEARS AGO – SEASON 1976-77
Geelong Football Club guru Recruiting Manager Stephen Wells was also an outstanding GCA 1st.X1 cricketer for Newtown & Chilwell. He made his debut on this round in 1976-77 against North Geelong and forged a brilliant 1st.X1 career. Playing just 137 games until Geelong Football Club commitments curtailed his career in 1995, he hit 4,627 runs @ 33.3 including the competitions highest score to date of 237 against East-Belmont at Winter Reserve in 1986-87. On three occasions he topped the competition’s batting aggregate for most runs in a season, in season 1983-84 with 649 runs @ 49.9, in 1989-90 with 594 runs @42. 0 and 1991-92 with 515 runs @ 39.6. He unleashed 5 centuries with his powerful stroke play opening the batting and was a member of Newtown’s golden era where he played in 6 premierships between 1979-92.
ON THIS ROUND – 107 YEARS AG0 – SEASON 1911-12
With Geelong’s Arthur Liddicut rewarded after a fine season selected in the Victorian Colts and the Hard Wicket Association hosting South Melbourne in a match at Richmond Crescent, the team staying at the Star Hotel and entertained in the evening at a social in the Sons of Temperance Hall in East Geelong, all eyes were on Corio Oval where England played Geelong being England’s first visit since 1877. Played over two days on 5th & 6th January 1912, admission was a shilling with an extra shilling for horse-drawn carriages. The match generated 189 pounds of which England received 100 pounds with profits paid to the Geelong Cricket & Football Club. The match was a draw, England 8/285 & 4/118 to Geelong’s 277 with Liddicut outstanding in compiling 129. England’s Jack Hobbs failed with 19 but its side was strong, playing Test men Douglas, Mead, Ironmonger & Wooley.
ARTICLE NO. 5
2nd NOVEMBER 2018
Last Saturday explosive opener Meyrick Buchanan blasted an unbeaten 154 in Premier Cricket, being the highest score for the day and deposited his side Melbourne with also the best team score of 2/304. With limitless potential and overlooked at both the 2013 & 2014 National AFL Draft, the former Geelong West and Geelong CC quality sportsman who trained with Geelong Falcons and Footscray turned down lucrative contracts with both Melbourne Renegades and Cricket Victoria but then had a change of heart and now has given away a possible football career at the highest level to concentrate on cricket.
From a talented sporting family, eldest brother Liam, being the current non-playing coach of Geelong CC, played with Bell Post Hill & Geelong West and at GCC carved out 4,246 Premier Cricket runs @ 28.9 between 2001-2017 in 147 games with a highest of 245 against Casey-South Melbourne in 2009-10. Another brother, Amon played 134 AFL games for Brisbane and Sydney and played in Sydney’s 2005 premiership team.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXAfter three rounds the 1st X1 is dominated by unbeaten sides Newtown, South Barwon and East-Belmont with 18 points apiece. All other sides have one win each whilst North Geelong & Leopold are equal last following their opening round tied match. Lara’s 4/194 to 9/193 was particularly satisfying as it did so minus gun bat Andy Hughes who was attending a wedding. The thriller was at Winter Reserve where Justin Foss peeled off another century (102) to deposit St.Josephs at a healthy 4/205 and East-Belmont at 8/159 looked dead and buried but a gritty 70 ball unbeaten 38 from James McMahon and tail-end support set the scene for a nail-biting one wicket win with just two balls to spare, East finishing with 9/206. Resuming at 3/47 in pursuit of Grovedale’s well below par 111, the Swans batted patiently rather than helter-skelter batting to chase an outright win, Jack Spence (50) was the anchor-man, his half century his first fifty for 3 years. Bell Post Hill’s crushing 132 run victory over a disappointing Leopold, 98 to 8/230 eventuated after Ryan Mills 80no precisely equalled his career best 80 against Murgheboluc two seasons ago. Aiden Barrow lent support with 33 for BPH playing against his old side. Batting at no 7, Adrian Saltalamacchia whose 1st X1 career commenced in 1990-91, could manage just 8 runs but he captured the prize wicket of opener Will Simson for 49. Newtown, the most prolific team scorer last season, has continued in that rich vein with 8/231 last Saturday and is the only team to surpass 200 in the three opening rounds. After three rounds the leading two bowlers are both spinners – Barry Tsitas with 9 wickets for Grovedale @ 15.0 and St. Joseph’s Jack O’Donoghue with 8 scalps @ 11.
Geelong captain Eamonn Vines was selected for Victoria last week replacing Will Pucovski who fell ill with mental issues just over a week since blasting a double century against Western Australia. The runaway leader at GCC with 9 Premier Cricket centuries, Victoria batted just the once with 9/445 to dismiss NSW outright but Eamonn’s batting at no 3 made a blob!
Tomorrow Grovedale’s Tobias Hogg will be celebrating his 100th 1st.X1 match since his 2008-09 debut against Newcomb & District. The three times premiership player has amassed 2,360 runs at the strong average of 24.8. Hogg has accumulated three centuries with a best of 127 against the side where he made his debut in South Barwon.
ON THIS ROUND – 108 YEARS AGO – SEASON 1910-11
The 15th GCA season witnessed radical change. Kardinia Park Cricket Club withdrew leaving the competition with three sides in Clarendon and the two sides from Geelong Football Club. (Kardinia was to play just 3 seasons from 1907-08 to 1909-10 and was reasonably successful with 14 wins from its 26 games (54%) and was runners-up in the 1909-10 grand final, Bill Orchard the stand-out player with 1,029 runs @ 36.4 which included 3 centuries and 517 runs @ 51.7 in 1908-09 Teams batted two, three and four short. Scores were woeful, sides commonly dismissed for less than 30. On this round Clarendon was bowled out for 22 &19, a record low to this day. Players left and opted to play in the Friendly Societies Cricket Association, the Matting Association or the Churches Cricket Association whilst promising Arthur Liddicutt (who went on to play for Victoria) joined the Geelong Sunday Schools Cricket Association. In crisis the GCA Executive met at the Prince of Wales hotel and installed a major change, a “District Scheme” where the Geelong region was evenly geographically distributed into four areas of Geelong West, Newtown & Chilwell, East-Geelong and South Geelong because “under the existing set-up the competition is lifeless and it is hoped in the best interests of the game that the new scheme will be taken with enthusiasm”.
(However no such enthusiasm eventuated and the GCA folded two seasons later before being re-created in 1928-29).
ON THIS ROUND – 37 YEARS AGO – SEASON 1981-82
Following his brilliant 175no for St.Josephs against North Geelong 3rd X1, the promising 15 year old David Harris made his 1st X1 debut and justified the selectors faith in him with 76 on debut on this round against Geelong West. (That innings is the second best ever at St.Josephs on debut behind Robert Allen’s 77 when he retired hurt against East-Belmont in 1994-95). Harris was to play just 18 matches as he progressed to North Melbourne-Geelong for two seasons but made his mark at Richmond where he captained the club to a 1st X1 premiership and scored 7,483 runs @ 35.0 including 10 centuries. With 974 runs at North Melbourne-Geelong and two seasons at Carlton, his overall stats were 8,856 runs @ 34.6 with 11 hundreds. With such handsome credentials he was selected 6 times for Victoria. He returned home to St.Josephs for the 2008-09 & 2009-10 seasons, his overall St.Joseph’s 1st X1 figures not reflecting his true ability with 856 runs from 34 games @ 25.2 including a century of 115 against South Barwon in season 1982-83.
ARTICLE NO. 4
27TH OCTOBER 2018
Sheer perseverance and the weight of runs has paid off for Geelong City’s Adrian Saltalamacchia. He made his 1st X1 debut way back 27 years ago for City, his maiden match a tie with Newtown & Chilwell. After just 3 games he left to play at Bell Park where he played his only finals match with a gallant 55 against Bell Post Hill and Thomson only to return home at City in 2016-17 where he played just the one game with 38 and played every 1st X1 game last season. Selected in the opening round this season at 2nd X1 level he made 65 followed by 31 in round two and is promoted this round against Newtown & Chilwell. He is the earliest player of current players to make his 1st X1 debut the earliest in a career.
At 44 years old, we wish Adrian success at KFC Oval against Newtown & Chilwell tomorrow.
Current Players to make 1st.X1 debut earliest in career
Australia’s crushing defeat by Pakistan off 373 runs in the 2nd. Test was its fourth-highest losing Test margin by runs. Curiously it brought to an end Australia’s most consecutive Tests draws of 23 between 1999 to now, Zimbabwe surprisingly with the most consecutive draws of 26 between 2005-17. Australia averaged 20.8 runs per wicket lost. Pakistan lost one every 29.1wickets, a 40% increase. The “Marsh mellow” brothers Shaun and Mitchell totalled just 44 runs between them! Successful Test cricketers boast an average above 45. Only seasoned campaigner Usman Khawaja and debutant Aaron Finch achieved above averages of 45. Australia’s woeful batting averages in Pakistan compared to their career averages follow…
With widespread rain across the region, the South Barwon-Grovedale game was the only match to get a start on day one of the first two day game for the season. Grovedale coach Barry Tsitas lavished praise on second-gamer Lachlan Hornibrook after the 16 year old made the most of his maiden 1st X1 innings to grind out a crucial 90 minute team-high 30 batting at no 10. Hornibrook strode to the crease with the Tigers perilously placed at 8/60 and finished all out for 111, South Barwon at 3/47 just needing a further 65 runs next week for victory. A devastating early spell by Joel Davies (5/47) and Twickenham recruit Lewis Sharp (4/50) had Grovedale reeling at one stage at 6/22 before Hornibrook (30), Tsitas (27) and all-rounder Gareth Yelland (21) resurrected the feeble score to its 111. Tearaway quick Sharp has made an immediate impact with 8 wickets to date @ 15.4 to the delight of South Barwon whilst quality all-rounder Joel Davies 5/47 were career best figures.
South Barwon & GCA Legend Brad Hauenstein was a proud dad with his son, Harry making his GCA 1st X1 debut at just 14 years of age in this match, being one of the youngest ever to make his 1st X1 debut. A talented left-handed ball striker and a gifted right arm swing bowler, with the state of the match he may not be required to either bat or bowl. For good measure young Hauenstein is also developing a reputation as a wicket keeper.
Bellarine Cricket Club’s dream of playing on their own turf wicket at Drysdale Park was realised on this day and before the match against South Barwon, both teams assembled around the new wicket and were addressed by GCA officials and dignitaries. Association President Frank Just said “great enthusiasm abounds about the prospects of the Drysdale turf ground in the picturesque park. I congratulate all members of both teams on the unique honour which has befallen you on being the first GCA teams to play on a GCA ground outside of Geelong”. In that historic first match, South Barwon won easily, 7/171 (Ed Tuohill 50no, Roy Brown 3/43) to Bellarine’s 85 and 8/92 (Jack Grigg 32, Ian Priddle 23, John Ross 5/24).
Bellarine was to play just 4 seasons to 1954-55, winning just 6 games from its 40 matches played, Leopold taking its place from 1955-56. The spinning craft of Roy Brown which led to him playing in the Victorian 2nd X1 netted 84 wickets @ 16.5 whilst Ian Priddle scored the most runs of 901 @ 28.2 including Bellarine’s best of 107 against Newtown & Chilwell in 1952-53. In that season, Priddle scored 351 runs @ 35.1 Alwyn Elstone was the most successful debutant both with bat and ball with 44no & 3/7 whilst the Reverend Colin Withington took the most wickets in a debut season of 25 @ 17.2 including 7/52 against Geelong City in 1951-52.
ON THIS ROUND – 18 YEARS AGO – SEASON 2000-01
Until this round the record of most catches in an innings by a fieldsman was 5, shared by Eric Webber (Federal Mill, 1936-37), John Nichols (North Geelong, 1973-74) and Brian Schaeche (South Barwon, 1979-80). However on his round St.Peter’s Gavin Nelson equalled the record in grand style – all 5 catches were “caught & bowled” and for good measure in that same match he hit 79no and took 7/19 in an innings! He became the first and only St.Peters player to compile 50 and take 7 wickets in an innings in the same match. (John Nichols 5 catches included 4 at 1st slip off spinner Rod Walsh).
ARTICLE NO. 3
20TH OCTOBER 2018
Richard Oliver continues to treat GCA bowlers “with contempt” following yet another century with an unbeaten 155 against Lara. Now in his seventh season from Shropshire in England, he has re-written the Geelong City record books with a club best 203no in season 2013-14 against Highton plus three additional tons that season and a record 771 runs @ 59.3 that year. Now with 14 centuries in his short 76 games career, he stands only second at a century every 5.4 matches to Geelong Footballer Len Metherell with 24 centuries from 85 games, a strike rate of a ton every 3.5 matches. Only 9 batsmen have compiled 14 or more centuries and their strike rates are as follows…
“Aaron Finch is a better batsman than former Australian captain, Lindsay Hassett” – Why? – because Hassett on Test debut compiled 1 & 2 batting at no. 6 whilst Finch opened the batting with twin successes of 62 & 49! Seriously, Finch will be delighted to emulate Hassett’s Test career of 43 Tests for 3,073 runs @ 46.6 Geelong now can boast 4 batsmen to have played Test cricket. Redpath, Sheahan and now Finch grabbed their selection with both hands. Highton’s Wayne Phillips played just the one Test with scores of 8 & 14. It was not commonly known at the time that on the eve of the Test he suffered a serious family bereavement then had to open the batting the next day at Perth against India in February, 1992. Captain Allan Border was furious with Phillips selection as his vice-captain Geoff Marsh was struggling for form and the Test was at Marsh’s home ground in Perth.
Ian Redpath hit 97 on Test debut plus 25 in the second innings against South Africa at Melbourne in January, 1964.
Paul Sheahan compiled an elegant 81 & 35 against India at Adelaide in 1967.
Hassett’s 1 & 2 were registered against England at Nottingham in June, 1938.
The most thrilling match of round two was the Grovedale-Leopold clash with Grovedale taking the points in the final over at 5/211 to 8/209, Leopold collapsing and losing 6/40.
Newtown & Chilwell skipper George Chisholm finally “getting the monkey off his back” with his maiden century of 106,the Queens Park lads who were the most prolific scoring team last year, undefeated this season to join East-Belmont & South Barwon, also undefeated. Corey Ogle, recruited from Geelong CC followed his opening knock of 62 with 70.
Although Oliver dominated the Geelong City innings, Logan Taylor, with a previous best of 21 over the last four seasons, followed his round one unbeaten 65 with 62no against Lara. The Cats bowlers were pasted, Luke Wilson conceding 1/71 from 10 overs and Daniel Weigl 0/66 from his 10 overs. Brenden Miller in his seventh season at Lara with 70 games however overcame his previous career best 60 with 76no.
Curiously Joel Davies emulated his opening round 58 with another 58 last Saturday and over his South Barwon career now has five scores between 58 and 62.
ON THIS ROUND – 117 YEARS AGO – SEASON 1901-02
A GCA representative side clashed last Saturday against a Sydney Teachers Association side at Ocean Grove, “the Geelong cricketers conveyed in a drag in a match of pleasurable character”. On this day the season opened but Corio Oval was unavailable due to an Athletics Carnival so the Geelong Grammar oval was used. Eric Syer continued to torment all batsmen with his “underarm trundlers”, Syer’s “destructive bowling with underhand deliveries not relished by all batsmen, annexing 7/13”. Syer’s career continued to puzzle all sides, his underarms netting 201 wickets @ 12.8 for Yarra Street Wesleyans, Clarendon and Newtown & Chilwell between 1896 - 1913. In season 1902-03 the GCA banned underarm bowling, some 75 years before Cricket Australia did so.
ON THIS ROUND – 54 YEARS AGO – SEASON 1964-65
Corio (North Geelong) chose a debutant fast bowler against St.Josephs but he was dropped after two games for a reasonable return of 3/30. That same bowler went on to take 275 wickets at a trim 15.7 to be one of only 28 bowlers to take 200 wickets and average 16.0 or less. That bowler was Alex “The Bolt” Andjelkovic.
His 134 games were spread over two clubs, 96 at Corio (North Geelong) and 38 at GWC&FC. His finest season was in 1976-77 in his first of three seasons at GWC&FC when he took 56 wickets @ 10.4 which included 9/57 in the semi-final against Newtown & Chilwell and 5/54 in a losing grand final against South Barwon. A premiership came his way for Corio in 1971-72 in a season where he hit a career best 38no in a 73 run stand for the last wicket with Rod Walsh.
ARTICLE NO. 2
12TH OCTOBER 2018
Glorious weather greeted cricketers last Saturday, the “traditional” rains on the opening day made no appearance. Apart from Grovedale’s Barry Tsitas with the only 5 wicket haul, the Lara-Newtown & Chilwell and Leopold-North Geelong clashes headlined round one. Brad McMaster in his sixth season and with a previous best of 94 and averaging 19.9, was the hero of Lara’s innings with his maiden century (109) and with fellow opener Andrew Hughes (43) looked set to take the points with 7/238 but the Queens Park boys charged to victory with 2/240. Openers George Chisholm (86) and William Simson (48), joined forces for a 112 run opening partnership whilst Cooper Bingham, a recruit from Torquay last year compiled a career best 90. For Chisholm, a maiden century has eluded him again, with previous best scores of 73, 88 & 94.
The surprise of the round was underdog Leopold in a sensational tied match against favourites North Geelong. The powerful magpies batting line-up was removed for a below par 171 and in reply Leopold, which had recruited heavily, deposited 8/171, led by two debutants with half centuries in Corey Ogle (62) and Hamish Coulson (53. Ironically North Geelong & Leopold featured in a tied match in 2002-03 and the scores were – 170!
What has Aaron Finch, KFC & Newtown & Chilwell CC have in common? Finch last week congratulated KFC, a major sponsor of Australian Cricket for agreeing to be the naming rights sponsor for Stinton Oval, Newtown’s turf oval. “I hold cherished memories of playing on Stinton Oval in the early years of my junior cricket career. I know how important funding is for community clubs to maintain equipment and facilities and also what a great supporter of Australian Cricket KFC continues to be, so I again congratulate Newtown & Chilwell on securing sponsorship”. The agreement reached last week is for 3 years and the renamed oval will be “KFC Oval”. (Finch did not play cricket at Newtown but played in representative matches on the ground).
During the winter months the Geelong Football Club elevated its 25th Life Member to Legend status, he being Edward “Teddy” Rankin. The Rankin’s were a pioneering family in the Geelong district and produced an array of champion footballers, his brothers Sam & Thomas including three captains of the Geelong Football Club, two Carji Greeves medallists and played 582 games between them. The family moved from Essex in 1841, Ted was to become the most prominent and was a member of Geelong’s inaugural VFL team of 1897. After Ted retired from football in 1910 he was employed as curator at Geelong College for 40 years. However Teddy Rankin was also a talented GCA cricketer, playing 59 games between 1897-1911 for Geelong “A”, Geelong “B” and Newtown & Chilwell, amassing 2,017 runs @ 25.2 including two centuries and a best of 148 for Geelong B against Geelong A in 1901-02 and collected 138 wickets @ 16.4 and a best of 8/43 for Geelong B against Corio in 1903-04. He also was a premiership player in 1901-02, 1904-05 & 1906-07 for Geelong “B”.
Teddy Rankin was the GCA’s first Life Member, inducted in season1930-31. His grandson, Graeme O’Donnell was 41 seasons later to become the GCA’s 20th Life Member in 1971-72. Keeping the football dynasty alive, Graeme played 7 games for Geelong and a further 16 for North Melbourne. The GCA Treasurer between 1969-72, he played 53 games of GCA 1st X1 cricket between 1965-1972 for South Barwon, his 1,302 runs at a healthy 27.7 which included one premiership and two centuries and a best of 108 in the winning grand final against Newtown & Chilwell in 1968-69. His stand of 151 runs with Brian Schaeche (105) for the 7th wicket is a record to this day.
ON THIS ROUND – 62 SEASONS AGO – SEASON 1956-57
South Barwon selected debutant 17 year old tearaway fast bowler Alan Connolly, the youngster “showing great potential, his pace worrying all batsmen” according to the Geelong Advertiser scribe of the day, the Test Cricketer-to-be blitzing the powerful GWC&FC, taking 7/33 including a hat-trick, being the only bowler ever to record a hat-trick on debut, his 7 wickets only bettered by Somerset’s West Indian born paceman Darren Foster with 9/65 for Geelong West in their losing semi-final against St.Josephs. Only 7 other bowlers have taken 7 or 8 wickets including the hat-trick, being Stewart Young (8/60 for Geelong West against Valley Mill in 1948-49), Jack Hirst (7/29 for Excelsior Mill against Federal Mill in 1939-40), Ted Anderson (7/30 for South Barwon against St.Josephs in 1967-68), Len Ridgeway (7/31 for Leopold against Thomson in 1971-72) and Darren Allan (7/41 for Leopold against Grovedale in 2002-03),Garry Hamer (7/45 for GWC&FC against Newtown & Chilwell in 1961-62, Doug Toulmin (7/77 for North Shore-Norlane against Corio in 1970-71).
Despite Connolly’s brilliant debut, GWC&FC was defeated by a slender 6 runs, the winning runs hit by 14 year old newcomer Ron Brunger “showing distinct promise in making 9no, his fine defence suggesting he will make many more runs in the future”. (Brunger went on to play 24 seasons of 1st X1 cricket for GWC&FC, East-Belmont, North Geelong and St.Josephs, playing in 4 premierships and amassing 4,727 runs @ 32.2 from 184 games with 10 centuries and a best of 135no for East-Belmont against South Barwon in 1969-70.
ON THIS ROUND – 23 SEASONS AGO – SEASON 1995-96
Under the continued policy of promotion/relegation, Highton CC joined the GCA senior competition for the first time at the expense of Geelong West, consequently for the first time since season 1910-11, the City of Geelong West was not represented via either “Geelong West” or “GWC&FC” in the most senior cricket competition in Geelong. Lara’s Danny Hughes and Darron Batties feasted on the newcomers and smashed 260 unfinished for the 4th wicket (Hughes 144no, Batties 110no), a record to this day, the stand equalling precisely 244 unfinished by Chanel College pair Bob Merriman (131no) & Michael Bowtell (114no) against St.Josephs in 1965-66.
ARTICLE NO. 1
5TH OCTOBER 2018
This season marks the 2nd. year where the GCA Division One competition comprises of 10 clubs since season 2008-09. Clubs to be culled during that period are Manifold Heights, Torquay, Newcomb & District, Highton, Thomson, Geelong West and now Murgheboluc.
Bell Post Hill’s Division One record has been a “rollercoaster ride”. Now in its 25th. Division One season it has been promoted now 5 times since its 1985-86 affiliation yet has experienced the thrill of back-to-back premierships in 2001-02 & 2002-03.
Murgheboluc could be considered a little unlucky to be relegated since 2013-14 admission. It is one of 20 clubs to have played 5 seasons or less yet its winning ratio of 37% or 23 games from its 62 matches is only bettered by 3 clubs only of the 20 clubs to be culled in Capulets, East-Geelong (PWW1) and South Geelong (PWW1). It also played in a finals series, in 2016-17 Apart from enticing one of the greatest all-rounders in Glen Talarico as its captain-coach for a season, it introduced a number of GCA debutants in brothers Daniel Grozdanovski (50 wickets @ 19.6), Jason (1110 runs @19.1 and 79 wickets including 6/47 and 4/42 on debut) and Michael (1228 runs @ 19.5 including 122 against Highton). However its finest product was Andrew Murden whose blossoming career was cut short with a crippling knee injury, the brilliant batsman having rapidly accumulated 1,007 runs @ 29.6 including two centuries in 2016-17 and a best of 129 in the winning Qualifying Final against North Geelong. It played in a finals series, in 2016-17 when it compiled its highest score ever in its 51 matches of 301 in a stunning victory over overwhelming favourites North Geelong (244) the innings aided by Cardiff import Greg Holmes with 65, Daniel Grozdanovski destroying North with 5/61). Cardiff recruit Greg Holmes from Wales starred in his one season with 507 runs @ 36.2.
Murgheboluc had never before defeated North Geelong and in fact its win was the first victory against North Geelong in all four grades over 18 clashes since Murgheboluc was admitted. For North it brought to an end its winning sequence of 8 matches, its last such winning streak in 1989-90 when it won 11 straight.
When champion all-rounder Danny Hughes marches onto the field tomorrow at home against Newtown & Chilwell it will be 24 years since his GCA 1st.X1 debut in 1994-95, the battle-scared champion having played 250 Division One 1st.X1 games in last seasons losing semi-final. Missing just the one season in 1996-97 when he tried his hand at Geelong Cricket Club, it took him no time to show his wares when in just his second season he hit a career best to date of 144no and in tandem with Darron Batties (110no) put together a joint record to this day 4th.wicket partnership of 260 unfinished, joining Bob Merriman (131no) & Michael Bowtell (114no) with 260 unfinished also against St.Josephs in 1965-66.
Twice a Jack Sing Medalist, his envious career has amassed 6,214 runs @ 29.6 to be 16th highest behind leader Alf Clark with 10,508 runs @ 43.1 and 471 wickets @ 17.8, being 11th. on the list, Greg Wells the best with 574 wickets @ 14.8. He has recorded 10 centuries with that best of 144no and 9/27 against Geelong West in 2007-08. Only 26 bowlers have snared 9 wickets in an innings, his 9/37 ranked 11th. behind the leader in Jack Brady with 10/30 for Ford Motor Company against International Harvester in 1941-42.
His finest all-round match was in 2003-04 with the double of 97no & 6/61. He has passed 30 in an innings on 78 occasions and snared 3 wickets in an innings or more 71 times.
His versatility places him in the top 4 all-rounders of all-time with 6,214 runs @ 471 wickets joining Darren Kiddle (6066 runs @ 25.7 & 507 wickets @ 19.3 for Leopold, Grovedale, BPH & Newcomb & Distric), Bert Brown (4972 runs @ 39.5 & 539 wickets @ 13.9 for Geelong West & Federal Mill), Brad Hauenstein (7055 runs @ 37.1 & 426 wickets @17.0 for South Barwon).
ON THIS ROUND – 30 YEARS AG0 – SEASON 1988-1989
Thomson stalwart Grant Dew has called it a day and announced his retirement after a decorated GCA Division One career. Making his 1st.X1 career on this round in 1988-89 for Thomson against Leopold he quickly showed his all-round talents with 5/76 and was to accumulate 3,495 runs @ 25.7 and collect 106 wickets @ 26.5 for clubs, Thomson, Geelong City, Cement, Manifold Heights and East-Belmont.
ON THIS ROUND – 77 YEARS AGO – SEASON 1941-1942
With Excelsior Mill departing after two seasons of GCA cricket as the club was unable to field a team, the competition was reduced to six teams of Federal Mill, Ford Motor Company, Geelong West, International Harvester, Newtown & Chilwell and North Geelong. Round One was highlighted by the debut of Geelong West wicketkeeper/batsman Gordon Russell, his “excellent display” with five stumpings of the Combine whilst youngster Jack Sing made his debut also for Geelong West.
Sing was to go on and enter the GCA record books. His 251 games produced 10,251 runs @ 50.5 for Geelong West, Geelong Footballers and GWC&FC (only surpassed by Alf Clark in 2010-11 with 10,508 runs @ 43.1 for North Geelong). He scored 901 home-and-away runs at the spectacular average of 150.0 despite missing two games in 1948-49 and hit a record 30 centuries, one more than Harry Heard with 29.Surprisingly a double-century wasn’t to be with a best of 198 against CYMS in the 1950-51 grand final. In his golden season of 1948-49 he pounded a record 8 consecutive scores of 50 or more. Also in 1948-49 he and Frank Pike combined to amass the GCA 2nd.wicket record to this day of 324 against Ford Motor Company with scores of 137no & 197 respectively.
His “Bradman-like” figures earnt him a record 8 competition annual batting awards.
This column, now in its 30th. year has changed slightly with the elimination of the standard “50 , 25 & 10” years ago format and replaced it each week with two rounds at random of interesting rounds from yesteryear.
ARTICLE NO 25
23RD MARCH, 2018
This weekend two of the powerhouse teams over the last 15 years go head-to-head in what promises to be a grand final of the highest quality. Over that period East has won three flags whilst North Geelong has the flag flying in 2006-07. East has been runners-up twice whilst the Magpies were runners-up in 2014-15. The two sides have met in a grand final on only two occasions, in 1971-72 and 1996-97 with North winning on both occasions. This season North won its home-and-away match against East-Belmont with scores of 205 to 170 after East was cruising at 3/123, the pace attack of Mathieson (4/42) and Fitzpatrick (4/45) destroying East. North Geelong also won its clash with the Lions last season, 8/243 to 178, pace again East’s problem with Mathieson (6/61) and Kingswell (2/21) in control.
Wicketkeepers were at the forefront in last weekend’s 1st.X1 semi-finals in East-Belmont’s Lachie Inglis and North Geelong’s Peter Kenyon. Inglis, in his first season after being recruited from Kingston-Hawthorn and also playing at Warrion, snared 8 victims behind the stumps, seven catches and a stumping to break the record of 7 dismissals held by Con Grapsas (South Barwon in 1976-77), Clinton McHenry (Leopold in 1991-92), Jamie McDonald (Newtown & Chilwell in 1994-95), Damian Ford (St.Josephs in the 1998-99 semi-final) and Tim Sells (Bell Post Hill in 2000-01). Grapsas also scored 54 in that match whilst McHenry was a “fill-in” as regular Leopold keeper Darren Barmby was unavailable for that match.
Peter Kenyon, in his comeback season since winning the 2006-07 premiership, grabbed 5 catches against Lara and if his side wins the flag this weekend against East-Belmont, it will be his fifth GCA 1st.X1 premiership, the most at North behind Gordon McKay, Peter Osborne and Alf Clark with 4 apiece.
This column has chosen its “GCA All-Stars” team for the season. Based on home-and-away 250 runs/20 wickets it is captained by this season’s equal Jack Sing Medal winner in Gareth Yelland as he played two less games than fellow Jack Sing Medallist Andy Hughes who is vice-captain of the quality team. Players who also played Country Week this year contain an asterisk
L. Inglis (wk)
P. Richards (12th)
This column now goes into recess until next season but a week from today marks a significant milestone in the world of cricket – 150 years ago an Aboriginal cricket team sailed to England, ten years before the first Test was played. Under captain-coach Tom Wills, the Victorian captain, the side played 47 matches, winning 14,losing 14 with 19 drawn over 5 arduous months Before the trailblazing Tour of England, in 1867 the Aboriginal side played at Geelong’s Corio Oval twice, the side being Rose, Cuzens, Dick-a-Dick, Sundown, Red Cap, Bullocky, King Cole, Peter, Neddy, Tiger, Billy Officer, Jellico and Paddy. The Aboriginal side won the first match, 8/170 to Geelong’s Corio CC’s 25 & 36 but the locals won the following match 64 to 69. The Aboriginal Sports took place at the afternoon tea interval, Dick-a-Dick the most popular because he stood in the middle circled by Geelongites and if you hit him with the cricket ball you had your shilling refunded!
ON THIS GRAND FINAL ROUND – 50 YEARS AGO – MARCH 1968
GWC&FC timed it right by compiling its highest score for the season in the grand final against Leopold with an imposing 286 with Bob Lovell following his 73 in the semi with an otherwise chanceless 94 and well supported by paceman Ron Tenabel (53), Laurie Ferguson (41) and Bob Smith (34). Clive Rawlings (3/47) and Len Ridgway (3/73) bowled brilliantly, Ridgeway taking 45 wickets for the season.
Leopold lost wickets regularly and at 9/191 it appeared Leopold would not win its maiden premiership but with last men in, Graeme Betteridge (3no) and Ed Partridge (0 no), the heavens opened and washed out further play, the flag controversially handed to Leopold due to its higher position on the home-and-away ladder of 2nd against GWC&FC’s 3rd. The premiership team was W. Salter (c), R. Bourke, I. Peel, C. Rawlings, G. Jobling, I. Foote, A. Gliddon, L. Ridgeway, D. Odd, G. Betteridge and E. Partridge.
ON THIS GRAND FINAL ROUND – 25 YEARS AGO – MARCH 1993
St.Josephs and East-Belmont played each other for the first time ever in a grand final. St.Josephs was aiming at its third premiership, the last being in 1988-89 whilst East-Belmont was also chasing flag no 3, its last premiership in 1984-85. St.Josephs lost the toss and batted and was humiliated with just its lowest score for the season but also the lowest score by all clubs for 1992-93 with 81 with Brad Grapsas a defiant 25. Ian Barrott was the destroyer with 4/28 off 18 overs, Peter Smith again prominent with 3/17. Chris Duff decided to get the runs as soon as possible and exploded with a season’s best 56no in just 18 overs. The premiership side was M. Dunn (c), I. Barrott, A. McCormack, A. McMahon, L. Finch, C. Duff, S. Day, P. Caulfield, P. Smith, L. Hooley and M. Hayes.
ON THIS GRAND FINAL ROUND – 10 YEARS AGO – MARCH 2008
The grand final became the “local derby” with both teams south of the Barwon River in Grovedale and South Barwon. Grovedale was chasing its second flag in 4 years whilst South Barwon last drank from the premiership cup way back in 1976-77. Sent into bat in nightmare conditions for batsmen, Grovedale consistently lost wickets until a crucial 33 run last wicket partnership between Garry Kelson and tail-ender Graeme Harper (5no) helped the Tigers to stagger to all-out 126, Kelson magnificent with 87, the next top Grovedale scorer being Mark Baker with 8. South Barwon President Darren Hauenstein led the bowlers with 4/25, Brother Brad (4/54 including his 200th career wicket) and opening paceman Brett Anderton (2/38) the only South players to bowl.
At 2/25 overnight after losing Simon Breuer (0) and Andrew Morrison (8) Brad Hauenstein was dismissed early on day two and South also lost wickets to crumble to 7/56, the target was a massive load on the shoulders of Darren Hauenstein being the last of the recognised batsmen after star Anthony Ford (41) lost his wicket and 24 runs from victory with just two wickets in hand, a venomous short ball from Graeme Harper trapped Brett Anderton lbw, leaving South Barwon an agonising 9 runs to win at 9 down. Darren Hauenstein with nerves of steel almost saw his side win with 28no to all-out for 122, number 11 first seasoner Phil Hunt holding out very ball as if his life depended upon it, but succumbing. Harper bowled with a season best 6/37 off 28 lethal overs. The premiership team was B. Tsitas ( c), G. Kelson, M. Kelson, S. Pearce, M. Baker, G. Yelland, M. Brady, G. Harper, M. Luttrell, A. Muncey and C. Cruickshank (in career game no 4).
DID YOU KNOW ON THIS GRAND FINAL?
In the season of 1933-34, Geelong West and Geelong Footballers were adjudicated joint premiers as after 6 days play over 6 Saturdays, an outright result could not be reached with both sides scoring heavily in their first innings, Geelong West with 491 and Geelong Footballers 414, the Western Oval was then required for the opening of the football season. Geelong Footballers Bill Anderson “carried his bat” with 217no to follow 147no and “carrying his bat “in the semi-final. He also “carried his bat” in the last home-and-away match with 95no. His 217no is to this day the highest score of batsmen to “carry the bat”. For good measure he also “carried his bat” in the grand final of 1929-30 with 112no against North Geelong. In his career he “carried his bat” on 6 occasions, unsurpassed in GCA history.
16TH MARCH, 2018
With the finals commencing this weekend, it’s the first time that the final four of North Geelong, Grovedale, East-Belmont and Lara have played in the same finals series. With the home-and-away season now completed it will also reveal which Club is Club Champions for the year. Although not the only factor in deciding promotion-relegation it is still a very important tool in the club’s standing. Awarded 4 points for a 1st.X1 win, 3 points for a 2nd X1 win, 2 points for a third X1 win and a point for a 4th X1 win, Grovedale is the unofficial winner this season. Since the Club Championship was introduced in 1967-68, East-Belmont has won it on 13 occasions followed by North Geelong (10), Newtown & Chilwell (8), St.Josephs (7), South Barwon (6), Leopold (4) and now Grovedale with 4. Of the current GCA 1st X1 clubs, only Geelong City & Lara have never won the Club Championship. Neither has Murgheboluc but it has only played 5 seasons.
The prestigious Club Championship will be awarded at the GCA Presentation Night this coming Monday and is presented by the GCA President. But our President is an apology for the night! However President Barry has a very good excuse – he is in South Africa watching the 2nd & 3rd Test!
South Barwon’s season high 306 last round was also East-Belmonts’ season low 107, the massive disparity in the scores of 199 runs. Dusting the cobwebs off my GCA stats the only ever lop-sided match between South & East was in 1971-72 when East-Belmont was dismissed for 76 to South Barwon’s 170, a difference of 94 runs. In that match, Graeme O’Donnell (53) and Russell Peake (31) laid their sides foundation then Terry Bourke (7/29) destroyed East-Belmont. Curiously, East’s lowest score prior to last week was identical with its lowest previous score of precisely 107 in 2014-15 and against South Barwon!
The frustrations of not playing in the finals after being in or around the top four all season was typified In Geelong City’s loss to Newtown & Chilwell when prolific opener Richie Oliver was dismissed for a second ball duck, his first duck since his debut season 6 years ago. One can only speculate if Kent Agg with 155 wickets @ 13.4 over the past 5 seasons had not retired at the end of last season just where would Geelong City had finished this year ?
Although North Geelong are minor premiers after finishing on top of the ladder, Grovedale may be the team to beat. With abundant batting talent, last Saturday Glen Talarico produced a polished 80 being his highest score for 4 years. A “quiet achiever” in Michael Kelson has returned to the side in round 9 after not playing since round 2 and his handy contributions in pressure games have returned scores of 27, 56, 28 & 23.
St.Josephs celebrated its second win for the season, both against Murgheboluc in a season both teams would rather forget. Murgheboluc won just one game for the season, its batsmen clearly not making enough runs. This season it compiled 1,854runs @ 14.9 per wicket compared to last season when it won its preliminary final with 8 wins and scoring 3,062 @ 24.5, its wins including strong teams in Geelong City, Lara, South Barwon and North Geelong. Over its 5 seasons it has won 37% of its matches which is a healthy return for such a young club. However it is in fear of relegation unless rivals Bell Post Hill or Bell Park, the standout clubs from Division Two decline an invitation for promotion.
ON THIS SEMI-FINAL ROUND – 50 YEARS AGO – MARCH 1968
South Barwon, leaders in the competition, scrapped home in the final home-and-away match, defeating East-Belmont with only one success for the year by four runs, the final four being South Barwon, Leopold, GWC&FC and Corio. South Barwon only beaten once by Corio, mustered 209, Russell Peake holding the innings together with 86no, captain Jim Roberts an admirable but match-winning 38, Craig Woolcock and Geoff Mathews taking five wickets apiece. Neil Southern in his debut season smashed 371 runs. Chanel College finished on a winning note against North Shore-Norlane with skipper Rod Groves a season best 5/60, John Nichols (76) and Harry Fimmell (62) combining for a 103 opening run partnership whilst Geelong City denied Newtown & Chilwell an outright win, consistent Colin Helwig peeling off his second century for the season with 129, his 509 runs the most at City since legendary Harry Heard compiled 551 runs in 1947-48.
Corio also denied GWC&FC an outright win with Peter Osborne defiant with 103no, whilst Leopold’s Graeme Betteridge took 5/50 which included a record four caught & bowled.
The following two weeks semi-final matches were played by Corio v Leopold and Geelong West v South Barwon. Top-of-the-Table South Barwon with only one loss for the season was sensationally beaten with just Graeme O’Donnell (67) in his second match for the season passing 30, Geoff Ferguson in control with 4/56. South’s 163 was easily accounted for, Bob Lovell (73), Robert Scott (58) and youngster Yanek Szymczak a season’s best 38, John Ross with bounce and sharp spin taking 3/70.
As predicted, Leopold finished Corio’s season with 206 against 166. Clive Rawlings contributed a season’s best 69, Len Ridgeway belting 29 in the late order, Laurie Winch & Geoff Day taking 4/48 & 3/53 respectively for Corio. Derek Sandell (39) and star all-rounder Winch (25) were resistant, opening bowlers Graeme Betteridge (4/18) and Ridgeway (3/55) in sparkling form.
ON THIS SEMI-FINAL ROUND – 25 YEARS AGO – MARCH 1993
The semi-finals were contested by East-Belmont v Geelong West and North Geelong v St.Josephs. Geelong West collapsed for its lowest score for the season with 116 courtesy of explosive Peter Smith who tore through the opposition with 4/30 off 24 menacing overs. A pair of 23’s by Randall Whitten and Peter Korth was the best West could muster, Leigh Hooley’s 47 the backbone of East’s 177, Craig Scott’s 5/44 completing a brilliant season with 31 wickets.
In the other semi-final North Geelong like Geelong West mustered its season lowest with 119, Alf Clark registering the bulk of the innings with 53. However there was a sensation when magpie Joe Farrell was given out “handling the ball” for 9, being just the sixth batsman ever to be dismissed in this fashion (now superseded) which included another North Geelong batsman in Gavin McKay in 1975-76. Mark Slater was the best performed saint in this semi with 4/50, St.Josephs marching into the grand final in a nail-biter with 9/120, Peter Cox’s 60 not out the only batsman to reach double figures, Peter Quick taking 4/53.
ON THIS SEMI-FINAL ROUND – 10 YEARS AG0 – 2008
With semi-finals played on this round, ten years ago Elimination Finals were played preceding semis where Leopold and Newcomb & District were both beaten. It was particularly disappointing for Newcomb & District as it was the third consecutive season it could not progress past the elimination finals.
South Barwon progressed to the grand final with a win over hot favourites East-Belmont by 4 wickets with just twelve balls remaining on East’s patch at Winter Reserve. East compiled a competitive 9/237 due mainly to the blades of Mark Hanley (43), Becker Nguyen (37) and Grant Dew (36) with Brad Hauenstein again leading from the front with 4/64. South replied and batted magnificently, requiring 5 an over off the last 10 overs, Hauenstein (67), his brother Darren with 34no and Damian Hester (50). When on 65, Brad Hauenstein broke Russell Peake’s 40 year record of most runs in a home-and-away season of 513 runs in 1967-68.
Lara, in pursuit of a grand final berth and a premiership after 23 seasons in 1st.X1 cricket (being the most number of seasons by any club not to win a 1st X1 flag-at that point of time)) rued two missed opportunities in its seven wicket semi loss against Grovedale at Reynolds Reserve. Cruising at 0/102, the Cats were firmly in control with in-form duo Andy Hughes (57) and Sean Arnott (50) thwarting the Tigers attack but Barry Tsitas brought Grovedale back into the match with a brilliant 5/40 to terminate Lara at 9/178 but the Northerners again bounced back early on day two to have Grovedale reeling at 3/33 and regain the box seat in the match. However Mark Baker’s superb finals form continued as he struck an unbeaten 96 to follow up his elimination final 116. With Newtown recruit Simon Pearce (51no) the two figured in a match winning 146 run partnership to clinch victory.
DID YOU KNOW ON THIS SEMI-FINAL ?
In a season where the first GCA match was played under lights between Geelong West and Southern Districts in the one-day Pyramid Cup at the Western Oval, Geelong West Somerset import, West Indian born speedster Darren Foster wrote his name in the GCA record books with a club record (to this day) 9/65 including a hat-trick in the 1988-89 semi-final against St.Josephs to become just the third bowler to snare a hat-trick in a finals match. Despite his heroics St.Josephs won the match and went on to win the flag.
9TH MARCH, 2018
Eammon Vines two recent Sheffield Shield matches against South Australia and Queensland produced three innings he can be proud of. Batting at his customary no3 he wrote his name in Victoria’s scorebook with innings of 27, 23 & 34. At his young age he will no doubt be selected again for Victoria and who knows, he may become Geelong’s 5th Test cricketer one day behind Redpath, Connolly, Sheahan and Wayne Phillips, Phillips playing just the one Test in February 1992 in Perth against the powerful West Indies, contributing a gallant 22. Eammon Vines is a product of South Barwon as was Test man Alan Connolly who played a full season of GCA 1st X1 cricket unlike Redpath who played one GCA 3rd X1 match, Phillips whose early cricket was played at Highton and Sheahan who played one GCA 1st X1 match for Geelong West in 1962-63 with scores of 40no & 22. Connolly’s one season of GCA 1st X1 cricket in 1956-57 was an explosive one with 42 wickets @ 12.0 in the home-and-away season and in his debut match decimated GWC&FC with 7/33 which included a hat-trick.
Returning to Country Week, although Geelong failed to qualify in the grand final, the last decade has witnessed 5 premierships. The only other decade to chalk up 5 flags is between 1930-39. Similarly the last decade contains twelve personal centuries, two less than again the most ever in the 1930-39 decade. However in the 1930’s batsmen were more attacking than today as the top 3 scores of all time were registered then, 202no by Ken Brown (Geelong 2/420) v Seymour 1938, 182no by Len Metherell (Geelong 2/226) v Beechworth-Ovens-King 1935 and 157 by Geoff Warren (Geelong 3/244) v Seymour 1934.
The 12 centuries over the last decade are…
It appears that the Lara captaincy is jinxed. Current captain Andrew Hughes retired hurt when on 22 last week due to a quadricep strain and he is the key to Lara’s premiership aspirations with 745 runs plus 14 wickets this season. During his career best 162 against South Barwon last round he also became Lara’s highest run-scorer in a season, eclipsing Chris Banbury’s 679 runs in season 2008-09. His injury follows captain-coach Daniel Weigl who missed the entire previous season with an injury.
On the subject of injuries, Murgheboluc’s season has gone from bad to worse with the immediate retirement of its star batsman, Andrew Murden, who announced his intentions to his team-mates on the eve of the current round, forced to watch from the sidelines due to chronic knee problems. With just 116 runs @ 14.6 since round five this features dramatically to his accumulated two prior seasons where he pounded 891 runs @ 35.6 including 129 in the winning Qualifying Final against North Geelong.
Newtown & Chilwell’s topsy-turvy season continued last week with an imposing score of 294 against Geelong City. Although out of the finals race it has passed 200 seven times this season, a feat no other side has achieved. Englishman Graham Clark (484 runs @ 53.8) and prodigal son John Simson (345 runs @57.8) have played significant roles in Newtown’s runs spree.
It would appear that South Barwon is “teasing” its supporters. With just three wins to date, it is another fruitless season without a premiership. However it smashed equal premiership favourite East-Belmont last week all over Winter Reserve for a season highest 306 led by Joel Davies even 100, the retiring Phil Lang (62) and evergreen Brad Hauenstein (59). Alex Willerton in his comeback from round five injury was sparingly used bowling just 9 overs for a one wicket return.
ON THIS ROUND – 50 YEARS AGO – MARCH 1968
Chanel College posted its second 300 runs plus score with 301 due to a memorable 159 by promising schoolboy, Michael Bowtell. It was his fourth 50 plus in a row after consecutive scores of 52, 109no, 76 & 159 to lift his season tally to exactly 750 runs. (His 159 and 750 runs were to be bests in Chanel College’s 7 year history). Des Lloyd promoted to opener was the next best in the 301 innings with 31. North Shore-Norlane tried 8 bowlers, the best being Captain Neil Chapman with 3/93. Geelong City collapsed for 76 with Newtown’s Ed McCarthur excelling with 7/36, Newtown hitting a swashbuckling 1/165, Brian Edwards (75) and Graeme Rhodes (50) securing first innings points and chasing a possible outright next Saturday. On the eve of the finals, Corio could manage only 102, being its season lowest against GWC&FC, Doug Osbourne (28) and Gordon McKay (24) the only resistance, Geoff Ferguson taking 5/32 for an outstanding home-and-away season 37 wickets @ 12.8. Jim Connoley (59), Cliff Alldis (51) and Tony Welsh (43) gave East-Belmont a challenging 205 against South Barwon, Jim Roberts taking a superb 8/43).
ON THIS ROUND – 25 YEARS AGO – MARCH 1993
For the home-and-away season, the top 5 run makers were – J. Bakker, Grovedale (534 runs @ 53.4), Aaron Croft, Leopold (373 runs @ 37.3, Guy Ridgeway, Leopold (352 runs @ 44.0), Rod Kiddle, Grovedale (344 runs @ 43.0) and Brett Goggin, Newtown & Chilwell, (318 runs @ 35.3).
The 5 leading bowlers were – Peter Smith, East-Belmont (40 wkts @ 9.3, Craig Scott, Geelong West (31 wkts @ 15.0), Peter Quick, North Geelong (29 wkts @ 13.6), Jamie Maddern, Geelong West (26 wkts @ 20.8) and Darren Kiddle, Grovedale (24 wkts @ 19.7).
ON THIS ROUND – 10 YEARS AGO – MARCH 2008
Darren Kiddle took the field against reigning Premier, North Geelong requiring just one wicket and 20 runs to become the only cricketer ever to capture 500 wickets and amass 6,000 runs (since then over-run) With BPH smashing 5/238 courtesy of a career best 71 from Nicholas Arundell, Kiddle was not required to bat and North Geelong lost by a slender 12 runs but Shaun Kingwell in his debut match became Kiddle’s 500th victim, albeit lbw. Geelong City completed a disappointing season by notching its 3rd win against Newtown, Colin Millard passing 50 for the first time with 107. Kent Agg recorded a stat he would rather forget with his 5th season duck but his brother Travis realised a significant season – as he played his 100th game, passed 250 wickets and scored a career best 81 to amass 381 runs for the season, also a career best.
Geelong west lowered its colours 88 & 9/128 to Newcomb & District’s 289, West debutant Jackson Bright registering a pair on debut being the fourth batsman ever on debut to notch a pair, the last being in 1908-09 when Stan Bartold did so for Geelong against Clarendon. Clinton Ford rewrote Newcomb’s record books with a club best 8/52.
A career best 5/51 by Manifold’s Robert Condy reduced East-Belmont to 155 but the premiership favourite won the game and entered the finals with a 12:1 winning ratio. Grovedale marched into the finals with a 44 run win over fellow finalists, Leopold, Aaron Muncey who made his debut with Grovedale in 1991-92 and in the interim transferred to clubs North Geelong and Newtown, returned to Grovedale this season and secured his best return for the season with 4/47 to take the points.
Torquay was totally overrun with an outright defeat at the hands of powerful South Barwon. Brett Anderton showed his continued potential with a career best 7/26 for South Barwon. However Torquay did introduce a star in Joe Ellis with 5/56 to finish with 22 season wickets and 317 runs to become just the 14th player in a debut season to register the double of 20 wickets and 250 runs.
Torquay was relegated to Division Two after this season, its 4 seasons since 2004-05 yielding 18 wins (35%) its best player by far being Glenn Strobolak with 82 wickets @ 16.8 including 9/77 in an innings against Geelong City.
DID YOU KNOW?
The 10 best of On-Air Bloopers –
· Inzamam-ul-Haq has taken the attack by the throat of the neck (Bill Lawry)
· On the first day, Logie decided to chance his arm and it came off (Trevor Bailey)
· He was caught lbw to Reifell (Henry Blofield)
· There’s Neil Harvey standing at leg slip with his legs wide apart waiting for a tickle (Brian Johnston)
· That match is in the balance although Queensland must be highly favoured to win (Alan McGilvray
· There’s Rodney Hogg, holding his hands in his head (Dave Renneberg
· The batsman really have to do most of the batting in limited overs matches (Greg Chappell)
· Over now to Old John Arlott at Trafford (Rex Alston)
· Phil Tufnell has taken two wickets, although both were stumped (Keith Stackpole)
· And Brian Toss has won the close (Henry Blofield)
2ND MARCH, 2018
Whether “home or abroad”, the Brad Hauenstein show continues. Being the only GCA 1st X1 Division One player to score 7,000 runs (last week) and take 400 wickets, his feats at Country Week are outstanding and continue to see him opening the record books. With 4 premierships and the winner of the bowling average at 9 Carnivals (a record) he has now played in a record 16 Carnivals being one more than Glenn Ward, played in a record most matches of 62 to again eclipse Ward’s 61 and his 4 wickets at last week’s Carnival lifted him to 116 wickets, another record overcoming George Schofields 111 wickets taken between 1933-1939. Shaun O’Neill’s 107 against Ballarat was his maiden Country Week ton and the first since Andrew Fergusson’s 102 against Bendigo in the 2009 Carnival.
Further on Country Week, the Geelong side on paper was powerful in the batting brigade but the top batsmen suffered slumps when compared to their GCA career averages as the following chart depicts with Oliver, Lineker, Richards and Talarico. O’Neill & Fergusson featured more like true form…
GCA career runs
C. Week runs
C. Week ave.
A few comments have come re my “10 years ago” segment last week when I stated Sam Loftus had the St. Josephs record of 171. That was true as at 10 years ago! Since then Fanning, Hodgson and Foss have posted scores of 150 plus with Foss’ 201no now the record at St.Josephs. Readers must remember that my 50, 25 & 10 years ago segments are fixed in time as at THAT time.
And then there were four –the finals will be played between North Geelong, East-Belmont, Grovedale and Lara. Geelong City, in the top four for the entire season “blew it” with its lowest score of the season’s 143, beaten outright by 7th placed Leopold. It only lost 3 games prior to the Leopold disaster, beaten by finalists East-Belmont, North Geelong and Lara. It now sits 12 points behind the four so even an outright win this round would only accumulate 10 points. With Ritchie Oliver declaring to hopefully receive some points, it was Leopold’s first outright win since its Premiers & Champions season of 1994-95. Leopold hit the outright winning score of 5/102 off only 17 overs, James Burton’s quick fire unbeaten 35 in his first hit since round 5.
It appears that Leopold has a “stranglehold” on dismissals “handling the ball”. Pat Richards innocently grabbed the ball as it was sliding back onto his stumps which terminated his match winning innings of 59 last Saturday. Since GCA formation in 1896-97 only eight batsmen have been given out in this mode and three were Leopold players, Geoff Fitzgerald for 12 against South Barwon in 1956-57, Michael Venes for 25 also against South Barwon in 1957-58 and now Richards.
Blistering heat kept fieldsmen on their toes but veteran Laurie Winch achieved the superb match double of 61 &6/34 for Corio to take the points over City. North Shore-Norlane made it back-to-back wins and only its third success for the season by dismissing East-Belmont 67 short of the target, Bill Burrowes also enjoying an excellent double of 33 &3/88. The Fergusson / Tenabel duo of pacemen took 8 wickets between them for GWC&FC whilst Graeme Desmond rocked Newtown for 172 with 5/47 whilst renowned South spinners, John Ross (5/101) and Jim Roberts (4/28) too much a handful for the students, St. Josephs falling well short of the target of 6/296 with 193 (Russell Zampatti (52), David Breheny 27).
Rain washed out all play for the day. Meanwhile at Cape Town, the fourth lowest score in a full day’s play was mustered of just 111 runs for the day. South Africa 2/48 to 6/130 declared saw India follow with 1/29 on the fifth day. The lowest score ever in a full day’s play was 95 by Australia (80) v Pakistan 2/15 at Karachi in 1956-57.
ON HIS ROUND – 10 YEARS AGO – MARCH 2008
In what could be described as “Danny Hughes Match”, the star all-rounder followed up his club record 9/37 with three further Geelong West wickets for just 10 runs, his 12/47 also a Lara record. Just Shane Arthur (38) and Alan Brdar (49) displayed any resistance in the match. Despite Sam Loftus’ brilliant 171 to deposit St.Josephs at a healthy 7/283, East-Belmont responded with 9/284 and led by sixteen year-old Becker Nguyen who turned down a promising football career with the Geelong Falcons with an unblemished 80no, Peter Quick having returned to the club from Orbost with 48.
South Barwon President Darren Hauenstein will forever remember this match against grovedale at Burdoo Reserve. He top scored with 69 to lift his team to 253, then mowed down the quality opposition for 124 by taking 6/38 - a personal career best. It was only the second double of 60 & 6 wickets in an innings since Ian Alford’s 61 & 7/36 in 1953-54. Michael Kelson (43) & Graeme Harper (3/66) were the only Grovedale players to display a performance of merit.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Sells stunned Geelong City by top scoring for The Hill with 38 in his 100th match then took off the ‘keepers pads and took 4/22 off 18 overs to single handedly beat City, 145 to 144 in a nail-biting finish. The match also saw Travis Agg play his 100th match whilst Adam Marsland yet to play a full season showed his skills with a career best 6/47.
It will be remembered as “McCormack’s Match” as Manifold Heights skipper Adrian McCormack posted career bests 96 (lbw in pursuit of his maiden ton), then snared a career best 6/25 but his team nevertheless lowered its colours 200 to 273, Leopold’s match winners being Anthony Kilfoyle (59), Tony Brown (44), Mathew Dawson (41) plus Dean Armstrong’s career best 6/41.
Although this 2007-08 Season Overview is, as always, devoted to GCA Division One 1st X1 cricket, an exception to this rule must be made which occurred on this round in GCA Division One 3rd X1 cricket. Carey Oval at St.Josephs should be re-named “The Peoples Ground” after Jason People’s explosive 304no for East-Belmont against St.Josephs. Pounding 236 in boundaries with 18 sixes and 32 fours, his epic innings was the first ever triple century at all levels of GCA cricket. The only other known 300 plus score anywhere in Geelong was by Norm Brown (brother of Bertie Brown) with 368no for Geelong West against Railways in the 1937-38 Geelong Senior Matting B-Grade competition at Queens Park.
Meanwhile on this day a man who was compared to Sir Donald Bradman upon his early entry into Test Cricket but never reached such heights died - his name being the one and only Norman O’Neill who played just 42 Tests but did command a healthy batting average of 45.6 who died at the age of 71.
With the completion of the AFL season the Melbourne Football Club and its supporters still patiently await its first premiership since 1964. That flag was won when demon back pocket player Neil Crompton followed his Collingwood opponent up the ground and managed to kick the loose ball for a goal to give Melbourne the lead, the siren then sounding. However it is not commonly known that Compton was also a skilled cricketer and played 45 matches for Victoria between 1957 and 1962 scoring two centuries.
ARTICLE NO 20
23RD FEBRUARY, 2018
Tomorrow will be an intriguing day’s play and will shape the finals before the penultimate home-and-away round the following fortnight. It appears three clubs will battle it out for 4th spot on the ladder and finals bound. Lara is currently fourth with Geelong City a game out of the top four whilst Newtown & Chilwell’s erratic season continues being two games plus percentage in current sixth position. Geelong City was cruising at 0/59 then crashed losing 10/85 to complete their innings at 143 against struggling Leopold, its season’s lowest total. In reply Leopold sits happily at 3/89 with gun import Pat Richards an ominous 39no ,the Leopold attack dismissing the opposition for its lowest runs for the season and led by James Menzies (4/29) and is season leading wicketkeeper in Sam Allen with 3/29 ( 19 wickets for season.
Lara, undefeated since round 4, has the job ahead in chasing South Barwon’s sizeable 6/290 but with 6/329, 3/239 and 279 in its last 3 visits to the crease, the match is evenly poised. It was South Barwon’s highest score for the season and only its second 200 runs plus for the year. The backbone of the innings was wicket-keeper batsman Phil Lang with his second career century 140 plus evergreen Brad Hauenstein with 71no. Newtown & Chilwell’s faint glimmer of hope needs to win both the final two games and lift its percentage considerable. It’s well on the way with 9/266 against league leaders North Geelong, John Simpson again the star with 97.
Another season comes and goes for South Barwon with its last Division One flag way back in 1976-77. A solid side on paper its 6/290 this round against Lara is its season best. South Barwon is often labelled “South Hauenstein” for obvious reasons. His unbeaten 71 on Saturday was his highest score since he posted a string of 70’s in 2014-15. However his innings was to reach a milestone as his knock lifted him to precisely 7,000 runs @ 37.1. With his 427 wickets he is the only player ever to score 7,000 plus runs and take 400 plus wickets. Brad Hauenstein is the clubs record holder for most games (212), most runs, most wickets and most centuries (8). With just 3 wins for the season, when will the club reward its loyal servant with a 1st X1 (Division One) flag?
ON THIS ROUND – 50 YEARS AGO – FEBRUARY 1968
On this round where prime-time TV boasted such shows as Coles $6000 Question, Bewitched, Combat, My Three Sons, Big Valley and Coronation Street, Ron Tenabel of GWC&FC took 3 Chanel College wickets for 33 but the students could still manage 167, Michael Bowtell passing 50 on 7 occasions this season with 76. Leopold put together its season’s best with 301 and led by Captain Bill Salter (83) with support from Gary Jobling (59) and Ian Peel (59) in his first match for the season, Ron Spark registering 5/64 for Newtown. North Shore-Norlane after its second win for the season last round, put together its season best 231 against East-Belmont, John Nichols (49) Bill Burrowes (33) and Geoff Merrick (34) enjoying success, Paul McKeag returning 3/34. Russell Peake (64), Neil Southern (56) and an even 50 from Gil Rush deposited South Barwon at 6/296 against St.Josephs, Peter Preston the best of the bowlers with 2/66.
ON THIS ROUND – 25 YEARS AGO – FEBRUARY 1993
Australian captain Allan Border compiled 88 against New Zealand in the 1st.Test at Christchurch and in doing so became the highest run-scorer in Test history with 10,161 runs to overcome Sunil Gavaskar who quit Test cricket in 1986. In that Test, young Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne, who went to New Zealand with only 14 wickets in eight Tests, was man-of-the-match with 3/21 & 4/63.
With the finals to commence next Saturday, the final four was East-Belmont, North Geelong, Geelong West and St.Josephs.
ON THIS ROUND – 10 YEARS AGO – FEBRUARY 2008
With 146 games of GCA 1st.X1 cricket, star Lara all-rounder, Danny Hughes has just about “done it all” – 4,043 runs including 8 centuries and 277 wickets. But surprisingly, a seven wicket haul in an innings has eluded him with a career best 6/28 ten years ago against St.Peters. That was until this round when he achieved the 7 wicket feat in triumphant fashion, blowing away Geelong West for 125 with an incredible 9/37 from 27.3 overs. It broke the previous best at Lara of 7/47 by Darron Batties against Highton in 1995-96 and be one of the 26 bowlers to capture 9 wickets or more in an innings. Until this round, Saint Sam Loftus had been batting below his “lofty” standards this season with 152 runs at 16.9. “Come the Moment” he dominated St.Josephs 7/283 with a commanding and unconquered 171 against East-Belmont to almost break the Saints record of 176 held by himself against Newcomb & District in 2005-06. On just 5 occasions has a St.Josephs batsman passed 150, Loftus 3 times with 176,171 & 158. The other two innings are Peter Hassett’s 169 in 1971-72 and Damian Foster’s 159 in 2001-02 (Peter Quick 4/35).
The year 1859 was significant in Geelong sport. It was the year Tom Wills, the founder of Australian Rules football recommended that the Geelong Football Club be formed, being to-be the second oldest continuous sporting club in the world, the Melbourne Football Club the oldest being formed earlier in 1859. Also in that year the Geelong Council approved funds to build a cricket ground for cricket only to be ready for the All England cricket side to play in Geelong in 1862. However it is little known that the Geelong Football club was known then as the Geelong cricket and football club. It was not until 1953 that the GC&FC was renamed the GFC. In the Geelong Cricket Association, Geelong footballers played cricket for Geelong between 1896-1910 and Geelong Footballers between 1928-1948. The versatility of the footballers was reflected with 9 GCA premierships under the Geelong banner and a further 4 for Geelong Footballers. The highest score was 216no by Peter Burns in 1902-03. Born at Stiglitz he was footballs first superstar, kids known at bedtime to say “God bless Mummy, God bless Daddy and God Bless Peter Burns”. Bill Eason had the best bowling figures of 9/ 64 against Kardinia in 1907-08. Charles Brownlow was Secretary and “Carji” Greeves, the first Brownlow medallist was a prolific runs scorer and scored 690 runs in his 1929-30 debut season at 49.3.
16TH FEBRUARY, 2018
When St.Josephs entered District 1st.X1 cricket in 1964-65 there was a fear that the short boundaries at both ends of the wicket would result in prolific and abnormal scores. This has resulted in a myth as teams rarely even tally 300. But the Saints-City match last round did result in the oddity of both sides reaching 300 plus – Geelong City with 6/342 and St.Josephs with 308. The Saints hefty total came primarily from the blade of Andrew Hodgson with his fourth and career best 157 with support from 2007-08 Junior Cricketer of the Year Jonathan Casey and Rhys Burke with career bests 45 & 46 respectively. However Hodgson’s heroics did not reach the club record of 176 by Sam Loftus in the 2005-06 Qualifying Final against Newcomb & District.
Please allow me to be a trifle bias with this following article. Former East-Belmont Hedley Shield all-rounder, Denis O’Dowd moved to Melbourne in the 70’s to pursue a teaching career and simultaneously joined Altona Cricket Club, being lured to Altona by Frank Howard Snr and Geelong identity, the then Altona captain-coach David Breheny from season 1977-78. He went on to be a tireless worker at the club including 21 years as Club delegate to the VSDCA, 11 years as secretary, played 255 games and amassed 4,445 runs and took 328 wickets. He also found time to compile the club’s stats.
As a testimony to his dedication to Altona, last Sunday at a special luncheon he was awarded Life Membership of the Sub-District CA, being the first and only ever Altona member since Altona entered Sub-District cricket in 1961-62 to be granted Life Membership. Ken Hilton, the Secretary of the VSDCA said “Denis has made a wonderful contribution to the VSDCA both as a player and administrator and is a very deserving recipient of VSDCA Life Membership” His words were echoed by Altona Secretary Christine Howard “No-one is more deserving, his contribution and record speaks for itself as he bleeds purple and gold”.
Well done “little brother” whose birthday is today!
When Newtown & Chilwell hosts North Geelong tomorrow, Newtown’s Yves Roussety will lead his side onto the field in recognition of his 100th. 1st.X1 match. It has been a long time coming with Yves making his 1st.X1 debut way back in round two of season 2005-06 against Torquay. Steady rather than spectacular he has accumulated 1,474 runs @ 16.6, his best season to date last season when he compiled 264 runs @ 29.3 (plus a blob in the Qualifying Final).
East-Belmont captain Sean O’Neill’s slashing season continues, his innings of 35 smashing the record at East of most runs in a season which included finals of 697 runs @ 69.7 by Chris Banbury in 2012-13. With a further two home-and-away matches plus a potential two finals matches, O’Neill should add handsomely to his 702 runs to date @ 78.0.
North Geelong remains perched on top of the ladder despite the frustration of being deprived of an outright win last round against Murgheboluc due to the weather interrupting. Murge has had a woeful season, its last four innings of 100, 96, 86 & 103 well behind par. It has won just the single game (against South Barwon) its 1,546 runs for the season averaging a team score of 161. This time last year it was happily sitting with 6 wins and finals bound. Sam Abley unfortunately entered the record books with the season’s first “pair”. He can take some salvation as he did not notch his pair in his 100th. game as did well decorated Barry Tsitas who did so in 2009-10 for Grovedale against North Geelong !
Chasing Chanel College’s monumental 2/390 for victory, Geoff Mathews registered his maiden century (123) for East-Belmont and was supported by Ian Morris in just his third match with a gritty 51, East all out for 235, Bernie Johnson taking 3/37. Corio lost just its third match for the season at the hands of Leopold, Doug Osborne the mainstay of the side with 46 out of 197 whilst South Barwon marched to another win against Newtown & Chilwell, opening bowler Ted Anderson taking “bragging” rights by top scoring with 45 ahead of team-mates Gil Rush (40) and Neil Southern (39),Ed McArthur returning a season’s best 3/37.St.Josephs lost its 7th match for the season despite a lone handed effort from Noel Mullen with 89, North Shore-Norlane winning just its 2nd game Dick Brady capturing 5/56.
Geelong West with just two wins and four draws since Christmas “fell into” the finals with a strong win over Leopold (8/300 to 180) David Batson’s 5/44 following his 10 wicket match haul last round (David Breheny 40) whilst Grovedale finished the season with another loss, this time to North Geelong, Darren Kiddle (56) and David Crosby (34), Peter Quick’s 4/18 complimenting his unbeaten 79. Despite its season’s best 9/246, Lara lowered its colours to East-Belmont’s 8/251, bowlers Peter Smith (43no) and Peter Caulfield (40no) leading the way, Michael Brown snaring his second 5 wicket haul for the season with 5/57. Daniel Fanning (78) and Damian Ford (44) were the key batsmen to win for St.Josephs against Newtown & Chilwell, Tony Jefferies 4/44 completing a fine double following his 47.
Danny Hughes 124 against South Barwon last week was complimented with 3/63 but it was another family member in Jason Hughes with a career best 7/57 who took the accolades on day two in its win over South Barwon. When Stephen Whittingham walked out to open the innings against Lara, little did he know he was about to achieve a feat unprecedented in his club’s 1st X1 during its 49th season and 571 matches – being 55no at stumps he became the first South Barwon batsman ever to “carry his bat”. It was just the 16th occasion in the last 50 years and the 58th overall that the rare feat has been achieved.
Geelong City’s challenge of 365 runs for victory saw the Sharks well short with 170, Nick Jarvis defiant with 65. Newtown recorded its third victory ,Cory Mathieson’s 64 following his 68no last round, Dev Royce who last played 1st.X1 in 1999-2000, “lean and mean” with 2/14 off 10 lively overs.
In season 1937-38 only Newtown & Chilwell fielded two teams in the GCA 1st.X1 competition because after winning the 1937 Premiership, motivation was non-existent to play cricket by the Geelong Footballers CC and it did not affiliate for the 1937-38 season, Newtown graciously retaining the 8 team competition by fielding two teams, Newtown & Chilwell “A” plus Newtown & Chilwell “B”, thus the two Newtown & Chilwell teams joined Federal Mill, Ford Motor Company, Geelong West, High School-East (ie Geelong City), North Geelong & South Geelong. The “B” team won just the one game, Frank Just stepping down to the B team and compiling 468 runs @ 42.5 including two centuries. With top batsmen Len Metherell, Bill Anderson, Bob Weddell and Dick Hassett all playing VCA cricket in Melbourne, the Geelong Advertiser Editorial stated, “as soon as a cricketer reveals talent, he is seized by a Melbourne Club and the Geelong public is deprived of seeing them in action. Geelong should seek admission to VCA cricket “. History shows Geelong was admitted, not in 1937-38 but in 1993-94 !!!
9TH FEBRUARY, 2018
Geelong City take a well-earned bow – Its decimation last Saturday of 3/342 against St.Josephs was its highest Division One 1st X1 score since it broke the club record 6/404 against Geelong Cement way back in 1990-00. In that match, skipper Andrew Pooley (174) and Adam Pitts (105) laid the foundation. Last Saturday Richie Oliver peeled off his third ton for the season to join Ross Aylmer and legendary Harry Heard with 3 apiece in 1994-95 & 1947-48 respectively with Oliver making 4 hundreds in 2013-14 to again join Heard with 4 in 1948-49 & 1954.55. However the surprise packet was Ross Elliot with his maiden century of a swashbuckling 122 to follow up his second highest score ever of 75. By his own admission “I think over the last few years I’ve been rather inconsistent”. He struck 17 fours and 5 sixes including one into a neighbouring house to bring up his memorable century. His return over the last two seasons was 502 runs @ a modest 17.3 and this year prior to his back-to-back 75 & 142 was 34 runs @ 8.5 so the last fortnight should give him the confidence for more solid scores.
Two personal milestones were reached last Saturday and both players’ performances were reached after playing initially elsewhere in the GCA. David Lineen achieved 200 wickets and Damian Vassiliou passed 3,000 runs. Lineen initially played the one season at Manifold Heights for a 7 wicket return @ 35.6. However he crossed to East-Belmont and with the 2012-13 premiership under his belt has played the last seven seasons spearheading the attack, his 200 wickets at the splendid average of 15.9. Vassiliou played five and a half seasons at Geelong West, “retiring” at Christmas 2015 but making a comeback at North Geelong last season. At West he compiled 2289 run @ a solid 41.7 with his 814 runs to date at North averaging a consistent 40.7.
However two batsmen “cannot buy a run” in North’s Sam Hall and Murgheboluc’s Andrew Murden. Hall has played more games than any current North Geelong player (193) and scored more runs (5406 @ 31.6) but following an opening 57 this season, he has managed just 44 runs @ 7.3 Murden had a prolific last season with 597 runs @ 42.6 but has struggled this season with 93 runs @ 13.3 in his six matches to date. `
On this round where 20 year-old Lionel Rose outpointed Japan’s Masshiko “Fighting” Harada to become world bantamweight champion and Geelong’s trio of Paul Sheahan, Ian Redpath and Alan Connolly were all chosen for the 1968 Tour of England thus prompting Mr. Neil Trezise to say it was extremely unfortunate that Geelong was still excluded from VCA cricket, Chanel College blasted East-Belmont to all points of the field with a mammoth 2/390, Michael Merriman figuring in two 100 run partnerships and finishing with 145, Michael Bowtell (109no), Rod Groves (93), David Bates (32no) and father Flannery (30). Amidst this run spree Des Lloyd’s duck was a standout. Garry Jobling (3/51) reduced Corio to 197 (Derek Sandell 54), Ian Treloar held GWC&FC together with 89no against City (Cliff Rankin 6/63) whilst Laurie DeGoldi (38no) in his first game for the season and Paul Anderson (33) deposited Newtown at a poorly 125 ,Ted Anderson’s 6/49 an excellent return from 21 overs. Harry Fimmell notched his third consecutive duck whilst North Shore-Norlane team-mate John Nicholls was despondent with a 99 against St.Josephs.
After its outright loss last round, Lara made four changes for its match against East-Belmont including seconds batsman David Petherick and he responded with a brilliant 80no on debut and together with Scott Trewin (85) lifted Lara to 9/246, being its highest score of the season (Peter Smith 4/50, Adrian McCormack 3/49). Terry Bright hit a to-be team best of the season 132 and with Anthony Brdar (65) registered a team best highest season score of 8/300 against Leopold. (Gavin Castle 5/90). In-form North Geelong batsman Leigh Mellington kept his rich run with an even 50 against Grovedale, Peter Quick’s late order assault netting him an unconquered 79, being his to-be career best, North Geelong finishing at 7/234.
Tony Jefferies 47 plus Stephen Wells (30) deposited Newtown & Chilwell at a mediocre 145 against St.Josephs (Mark Slater 3/35).
Billy Hughes may well have been our Prime Minister between 1915-1923 but Danny Hughes should be proclaimed Mayor of Lara after smashing 124 against South Barwon as with that innings he passed 4,000 career runs and with 265 wickets he became just the fourth player in history to collect “the double” of 4,000 runs / 250 wickets. (Brett Anderton 3/53). St.Josephs amassed an awesome 5/364 against a powerless Geelong City, Nathan Harris a career best 80 Damian Foster collected his second 74 for the season and Andrew Hodgson in his first season and 55 last round hit a promising 50. Nicholas Jarvis compiled a spirited career best 64.
Newtown & Chilwell’s rebuilding season continued with 204 against Leopold with Cory Mathieson in his first season leading the charge with 64 and supported by Andrew Lavers’ 36 (Bob Zanoni 4/56).
The coveted century again eluded seasoned campaigner Kelvin Ford (with a previous best 94) when he was left stranded on 97no at the completion of Newcomb & District’s innings of a powerful 9/276 against Manifold Heights (B. Toriner 4/51). Master batsman Alf Clark erased the memory last round of 98 by posting his 18th career century with an unbeaten 104 against Torquay. Aaron Ford ripped the heart out of Grovedale with 5/16 for BPH, 138 being Grovedales’ lowest score for the season, Mark Baker standing firm with 31.
Andrew Baars recorded his second 71 for the season in East’s 244, Tom Heazlewood in just his second hit for the season clouted 36 Craig Allthorpe a season’s best 4/49 for Geelong West.
Cricket and the Church
· Sister Mary Doyle died at Upper Hutt in New Zealand on this day in 1996. She was 109 and the oldest nun in the world. She attributed her longevity to her faith in God and her devotion to cricket.
· In 1929 the appropriately named Jack Parsons of Warwickshire and the MCC became the first professional cricketer to be ordained.
· David Sheppard, the only bishop to play Test cricket, had a terrible case of the fumbles when fielding to the bowling of Fred Trueman’s on England’s 1962-63 tour of Australia. When another chance was turfed, Trueman had had enough, offering some advice, “You might keep yer eyes shut when yer prayin Vicar, but I wish you’d bloody keep ‘em open when I’m bowlin”.
2ND FEBRUARY, 2018
The Lord’s Taverners Australia Day breakfast last Friday at the Lord of the Isles Hotel was an outstanding success with an attendance of 80 devoted cricket fans enjoying the meal and speech by former Test batsman and National Chair of Lord’s Taverners, Paul Sheahan. A Geelong branch of the Lord’s Taverners will now be founded under the Chair of Michael King. The Geelong Lord’s Taverners is not connected in any way to any cricket club or any association whatsoever. All funds raised in Geelong will stay in Geelong. Not a cent raised will be forwarded to other Lord’s Taverners branches. Monies raised will be spent on giving young and disabled people a “sporting chance”.
For readers interested in becoming an annual member the cost is $70 (adult), $120 (family) and $1000 for life membership. Application forms are available by contacting this column, the Lord’s Taverners mailing address being PO box 582, Geelong.
Seventeen years ago an overweight kid from Colac West CC made his debut at Geelong CC in the 4th X1 against Essendon. That kid, Aaron Finch, has since become an extremely wealthy cricketer on the one-day world arenas and he is at the moment in peak form. Three high scores against England including back-to-back centuries was perfect timing as the lucrative IPL snapped him up for $1.2 million last week. Although still stocky he is extremely fit. At the start of this summer Usain Bolt joined Gatorade in using technology to track the fastest Australian cricketer. Surprisingly, Finch was the fastest between wickets. The speeds were measured using Catapult GPS tracking technology.
The City of Greater Geelong has decided to lay a synthetic wicket at Windsor Park, marking the end of North Shore’s turf cricket club. North Shore-Norlane was admitted to 1st X1 cricket in 1966-67, the same year as East Belmont. It played until 1984-85, being a semi-finalist twice. Many great GCA 1st X1 cricketers represented the club and would be sorry the turf wicket has been replaced. Such players included Colin Luttrell, Glenn Ward, Ross Aylmer, Ken Newland, Doug and Lindsay Toulmin, Richard Brady, Gary Mawson, Merv McDonald and Ed Cumper.
Peter Preston, in just his third match won the bowling honours with 3/40 to lead St.Josephs to victory, Michael Bowtell again staring with 52 for Chanel. In a low scoring match, Colin Helwig’s innings stood out like a beacon with 46 to lift Geelong City to victory, Len Ridgeway his competitive best with 5/39. In another low scoring game, Corio’s 3/134 was too great a challenge, Peter Osborne, 56 and Derek Sandell (51) taking the six points against powerful South Barwon combination, its 9/116 resulting in its first loss for the season. Cliff Alldis followed up his 89 last round with an even 50 but East-Belmont failed with 9/167, Gary Fergusson a season’s best 6/43 for GWC&FC.
Australia was humbled in Perth with the West Indies winning the Test and the Series 2:1 with two drawn matches. Australia had no answer to the savage bowling of Curtly Ambrose taking 7/25 and at one stage, 7/1, captain Allan Border making his first (and only ever to-be) “pair” in 138 Tests.
In a sensational match St.Josephs and East-Belmont played in a tie, being the first occasion East had played in a tie and St.Josephs its second. Ian Barrot (3no) and Peter Smith (1no) hit 4 runs off the last over but had to be content with the tie on 196 runs apiece. Lara in its second dig could only manage 124 to lose outright, David Batson taking 6/62 to net 10 wickets for the match, his 10/79 the only 10 wickets/match in the competition for the season. Grovedale won its first match since November with Jason Bakker peeling off his third century for the season (133) against Leopold.
ON THIS ROUND – 10 YEARS AGO - FEBRUARY 2008
Geelong City made it back-to-back wins and its second for the season by accounting for Manifold Heights, 9/203 v 9/191, Adam Marsland taking 3/46. Manifold appeared set for a win with an opening partnership of 120 but its ten batsmen then lost 10/71, Mark Zimmer’s 59 passing his 1000 career runs. Geelong West also enjoyed successive wins with a victory over favourites North Geelong, Adam Korth taking a career best 4/22, whilst Grovedale firmed as premiership favourites with a win over St.Josephs, Grovedale now with 9 wins and one loss. Gareth Yelland, Barry Tsitas and Aaron Muncey collected two wickets apiece, Anthony Hodgson top scoring with 32, Ian Courtney in his 150th game contributing the one run.
Newtown & Chilwell were unable to reach their target of 208 in a nail-biting finish with 7/207, Peter Quick who last played in season 2005-06 taking 3/36, Colin Mathieson top scoring with an unbeaten 68, Scott Mullen’s 33no a career best. Newcomb & District fell well short of South Barwon’s 4/234 (A. Morrison 53, Damien Hester 34) ), with 155 whilst Leopold passed Torquay’s 93 with ease M. Dawson (44no) & Rod Kiddle (42) utilizing the afternoon for batting practice (Glenn Strobolak 4/19).
The only batsman to score a double century in both innings of a first-class match is Englishman, Arthur Fagg. Playing for Kent against Essex at Colchester in 1938 he scored 244 and 202no. He went on to play just 5 Tests but dominated at Kent with 435 matches. Fagg’s feat has been matched in minor cricket only twice – by W. B. Souness with 201 & 201 for Narrikup v Centrals at Mount Barker, Western Australia in 1983 and by S. Saleem with 210 & 301 for All Saints High School v Madraca at Hyderabad on this day in 1963.
26th JANUARY, 2018
Addy sports journalist Alex Oates excellent article regarding Michael Bowtell in last Saturdays Addy “Blast From The Past” featured his brilliant career at Newtown & Chilwell where he played in eight 1st X1 premierships and scored 4,680 runs at a stunning 46.3 in 117 games between 1973-1988. However the article totally excluded his initial 1st X1 career at Chanel College. Chanel was admitted to District Cricket in 1964-65, the same season as St.Josephs. Bowtell played junior cricket at Chanel and was selected in round no 3 against St.Josephs. An outstanding teenager he went on to play 50 games, compile 2,253 runs @ 46.9 and hit four centuries with a best of 159 against North Shore-Norlane in 1967-68.At Chanel College he compiled a record 2,253 runs, recorded the most runs in a season (750 @ 75.0 in 1967-68) and hit the highest score of that 159. His entire career at both Newtown & Chanel consisted of 6,933 runs @ 46.5 placing him in ninth position of most runs ever scored (Alf Clark of North Geelong the leader with 10,508 runs @ 43.1), his twelve centuries in equal ninth position (Jack Sing the runaway leader with 30). He featured in three 200 runs plus partnerships with captain-coach Bob Merriman at Chanel including a GCA record to this day 260 run unfinished partnership for the fourth wicket (Merriman 131no, Bowtell 114no) against St.Josephs in 1965-66. Playing for Richmond when leaving Chanel in 1969-70, he played four seasons then returned to Geelong and signed by Newtown & Chilwell. His eight premierships are only beaten by team-mate Greg Wells with nine, the two playing in Newtown’s golden years 1973-1990.
Oops! – this column stated last week that Newtown & Chilwell’s John Simson made 37 on debut in round 7 followed by 52 the following round. It was not his debut as he last played 18 games in seasons 2012-13 and 2013-14. In the interim he ventured to Torquay before returning to Newtown. With 5,000 plus players having played GCA 1st.X1 cricket I hope readers can forgive me for the odd blew.
Former GCA President, Grant Dew was a relieved man last Saturday night after notching his maiden 1st X1 ton at his junior club Thomson after a thirty year wait with 108 in Division 3 against Geelong West. It is quite remarkable that since leaving East-Belmont after the 2010-11 season, it has taken him 67 matches in both Division Two & Three at Thomson to finally hold his bat aloft with three figures. His Division One 1st X1 career at Manifold Heights, Geelong City, Cement and East yielded 5 centuries over 164 games with a best of 153no and back-to-back flags at East in 2004-05 & 2005-06.
50 YEARS AGO – JANUARY 1968
Australian captain, Bob Simpson, who retired after the 2nd. Test, was recalled for a farewell 4th Test in Sydney, Ian Redpath dropped to make way for Simpson who contributed low scores of 7 & 20. India lost all four Tests but its brilliant spin bowling attack of Bishen Bedi, Erapally Prasanna and Bhagwat Chandrasekhar bagged 46 of the 62 Australian wickets to fall.
Ron Simmonds was selected for his first game, the popular all-rounder capturing 3/28 in GWC&FC’s 7/179 Robert Scott a chanceless 64. Alan Ridgeway blasted 51 for Leopold whilst Brian Edwards followed his recent century with 78 for Newtown against North Shore-Norlane. Undefeated South Barwon could manage only 116 Russell Peake determined with 36 against Corio, Laurie winch’s 20 overs yielding 5/33. David Breheny in his first season and fourth match led St.Josephs with a promising 41, David Kelly taking 3/35 for Chanel.
25 YEARS AGO – JANUARY 1993
Former Thomson bowler David Batson skittled Lara for Geelong West, his 4/17 and Craig Scott’s 4/10 reducing the opposition for 56 and at stumps Terry Bright (22no) and Gary Finnemore (21no) had passed the target with outright points the aim next Saturday. Ian Barrot won the bowling honours for the day with 5/71 for East-Belmont against St.Josephs, its 196 highlighted with Damian Ford being the first St.Josephs batsman to “carry his bat” with 80no. David Lanyon bowled tightly in securing 3/38 off 28 overs for Grovedale against Leopold, captain-coach David Breheny following his 102 last round with 37. Chris Campbell reduced North Geelong with 3/22 to 206, Steve Duhau a to-be career best 56.
Tony Schwennessen, a Geelong Country Week premiership member in 1975 & 1977, showed he hadn’t lost any zip with 112 & 5/47 for North Geelong against Leopold 6ths. It was the first “double” in all GCA cricket this season. Former Sydney Swan footballer and South Melbourne 1st X1 cricketer Mark Russell collected 10 match wickets for 92 runs for City fourths.
10 YEARS AGO – JANUARY 2008
Torquay’s insipid 23 against Geelong City last round was almost revisited when the side was a perilous 7/19 against Leopold but a career best 38 from opening bowler Glenn Skrobolak coming in at no 8 saved his side from back-to-back humiliations with Torquay all out for 93 (Mark Stow 5/46, Rob Zanoni 4/43). Alf Clark tantalised this statistician with another 98 in his illustrious career against Geelong West, being remarkably his fourth 98 in his career. Also with scores of 99, 97,93,91,90 & 90, he now has 10 scores in the 90’s to accompany his 18 centuries to date.
Brad Stacey’s 67 was the only score over 18 for BPH against Lara, John Smith capturing 3/26 for Lara. Grant Dew (40), Beau Carroll (39) and Ben Spencer (35) joined forces to lift East-Belmont to 8/208 against Newtown & Chilwell, Tim Clark’s unusual job at the bowling crease reaping 3/26.
Geelong City after its first win for the season last round followed up with its highest score of the season with 9/203 thanks to a to-be career best 81 from opening bowler Travis Agg against Manifold Heights ( Charlie Owen 4/37). Shane Arthur, with just 17 runs until Christmas, continued his successes after the mid-season break, his 47 and 101no followed on this round with 76 against North Geelong, Keith Hillier taking 2/30 in west’s 5/182. Paceman Aaron Muncey’s 30no deposited Grovedale at 6/174 against St.Josephs, Sam Loftus a neat 2/14.
Meanwhile Adam Gilchrist played his last Test, his 96th in succession and controversial umpire Daryl Hair stood in his final Test, his 78th.
In the listing of “Most Hundreds in a First-Class Career”, only one of the top 7 batsmen did not play at Corio Oval against Geelong over the years and that bat was Geoff Boycott. The top 7 batsmen, all Englishmen, are J. Hobbs (197 first-class hundreds), E. Hendren (170), W. Hammond (167), C. Mead (153), Boycott (151), H. Sutcliffe (149) and F. Woolley (145). Jack Hobbs played the most matches at Corio Oval in 1912, 1921 & 1929 with scores of 19, 138 & 50. C. Mead played twice in 1912 & 1929 returning scores of 65 & 37 whilst F. Woolley played in 1912 & 1921 contributing scores of 4no, 23 & 14. E. Hendren also played twice in 1921 & 1929 with 7 & 36no. Sutcliffe and Hammond played in 1929 at Corio Oval, Sutcliffe retiring on 56 whilst Hammond failed with 7.
ARTICLE NO 15
19th JANUARY, 2018
Invitation Australia Day Breakfast – Lords Taverners – A group of Geelong cricket enthusiasts have committed to establish Geelong Lord’s Taverners branch in 2018. The Lord’s Taverners was formed in 1982 and is a charitable group which has donated over $10m to disadvantaged individuals and groups to promote cricket and all that is good for the game.
The Taverners donates substantial funds to support deaf, blind and intellectually disabled cricketers from around Australia.
If any readers are interested in this noble cause, an invitation extends to attend an Australia Day Breakfast on 26th. January at the Lord of the Isles Tavern in Fyans Street from 7.30am to 8.45am. Guest speaker is former Test cricketer and National Chair of the Lord’s Taverners, Paul Sheahan. The cost is $35, neat casual dress. To book, contact Michael King (0408 525 380), David Kelly (0417 120 347) or Alan Randall (0401 993 280). RSVP is today, 19th January.
This column receives many enquiries regarding GCA stats and I enjoy replying to them all. However during the week Lara President, Brett Gillett approached me proudly stating that the entire 1stX1 team to play last Saturday comprised all eleven who played juniors at Lara and was it a record? Quite simply I don’t know but I throw open to all clubs, has your entire 1st.X1 played together in a match being all products of your juniors? XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Interesting to rank the captains as at the Christmas break in terms of runs, wickets and catches with a point a run, 10 points for an unassisted wicket, five points for an assisted wicket and 5 points for a catch. Only the Captains who played all 7 games as at Christmas are ranked consequently Daniel Weigl (Lara), Chris Bartholomeusz (South Barwon ) and Terry Hill (Murgheboluc) are excluded, Weigl missing 5 games, Bartholomeusz, 3 games and Hill, one game
Position on ladder
With last week’s one-day round ruined with rain, highlights were few. Newtown & Chilwell continued to unearth new talent with second gamer, John Simpson top-scoring with 52 to follow his 37 on debut the previous round, East-Belmont’s Mark Freijah again wicket less as has been the case in 6 rounds with a below par 3 wickets for the season @ 62.0 whilst Murgheboluc’s scorecard contained a rare 5 run outs.
Australian captain Bob Simpson announced his retirement midway through India’s Tour of Australia on the eve of the 3rd Test at Brisbane after leading his country to two victories in the first two tests with personal scores of 55, 103 & 109. However the Brisbane crowd was quick to chastise new Australian captain, Bill Lawry for his extended use of fellow Victorians Alan Connolly and Bob Cowper at the bowling crease, one wag yelling out “Hey Lawry! Give Gleeson a bowl – his grandmother lives in Geelong”. Lawry is known as a hard, unrelenting character who is renowned for never conceding an inch to opponents. He showed his attributes immediately by an uncompromising attitude by refusing to allow India’s Borde to have a runner, but was overruled by the umpires.
With Victorian premier Henry Bolte supporting the novel idea of daylight saving for Victoria, Corio successfully defended its modest 155, blitzing North Shore-Norlane for the competition’s to-be lowest total of the season with 68, Laurie Winch and Derek Sandell claiming 4/18 & 4/32 respectively. East-Belmont won its first game for the season with a season’s best 6/310 against St.Josephs, Jim Connoley unlucky to miss a century with 97 and supported by Cliff Alldis (89) their scores to-be career bests. All other matches were washed out.
25 YEARS AGO – JANUARY 1992
All matches were abandoned due to torrential rain.
Meanwhile off-spinner Tim May was recalled to the Australian Test team for the 4th Test against the West Indies on his home turf at Adelaide and achieved his to-be best ever figures of 5/9 off just 6.5 overs. He then shared a 40 run last-wicket stand with Craig McDermott and posted his best ever Test score of 42no.
10 YEARS AGO – JANUARY 2007
Bell Post Hill failed to achieve their target of 2/166 being all out for 165 against Geelong West, West winning its first game since round 3 in October and Glen Talarico achieving the fine double of 40 plus 5/29. (Tim Sells 31). Another excellent double of 38 plus 6/6 by Danny Hughes nevertheless failed to take the points over Grovedale, Barry Tsitas taking his 5th. 3 wicket haul with 4/38. Manifold Heights was the victor over Newtown & Chilwell with Yves Rouestty who last played with the two-blues in 2005-06 hitting a team best 46.
Geelong City was happy to “call it a day” with 3/86 over Torquay’s 23 with Nick Jarvis a breezy 39no. South Barwon after four consecutive wins lowered their colours to Leopold, Rob Zanoni taking 3/26.
Tales from yesteryear – at the turn of the last century, GCA season 1900-01 had just four teams affiliated – Non-Descripts withdrew and Corio CC came in with Clarendon Geelong “A” and Geelong “B”. Play was governed by the new law that games would be equally divided for both sides to bat each on the two days, ie, the first team would bat half the first day (unless all out”, that is, 100 minutes, then the second team would bat and again the next Saturday. Round 5 was cancelled “owing to the lamented death of Her Majesty, Queen Victoria”. At a special meeting of the GCA Executive on March 1st it was decided to end the season “ owing to celebrations for St. Patrick’s Day next Saturday” and a match against the Ballarat CA the following Saturday and with Easter the next Saturday it was “unwise to prolong the season into the football season”. With no finals matches played, Corio “which had suffered only one reverse (loss)” for the season was deemed premiers.
ARTICLE NO 14
With Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyons all taking 20 plus wickets apiece they created history. Looking at the GCA, the following team-mates took 20 wickets or more in a season as reflected in the following chart. Only on five occasions have three team-mates taken 20 wickets or more in the same season and only twice since the War, both times at Grovedale…
G. Smart x
F. Syer x
W. Eason xx
A. Eason xx
X G. Smart & F. Syer both bowled underarms.
XX W. Eason & A. Eason were brothers who were champion footballers at Geelong Football Club.
The season continues tomorrow and is highlighted by two clubs, one praiseworthy, the other not. North Geelong sits on top of the ladder undefeated whilst St.Josephs, premiers in two of the last four seasons lies alone without a win. North Geelong has never before won its first seven matches of the season since its GCA affiliation in 1928-29. Premiers in 1995-96, it won its first 6 games of that season, followed by a draw, then won all remaining matches for the season. St.Josephs has never lost the first 7 matches of any season since its GCA admittance in 1964-65.
With England physically and mentally destroyed, it’s interesting to look back on The Times Chief Cricket Correspondent, Mike Atherton’s selections in September. “Ashes trips are brutal” he stated. He then named his squad which differed by five or a mammoth 36%. Maybe the England selectors may take more notice of him next time as the 5 he did not select were Curran, Vince, Overton, Ball and Crane. All five had miserable Tests – Curran (66 runs, 2 wkts @ 100.0), Vince (242 runs @ 26.9), Overton (62 runs, 6 wkts @ 37.7), Ball 14 runs, one wkt @ 115.0) and Crane (6 runs and one wkt @ 193.0).
ON THIS ROUND – 50 YEARS AGO – JANUARY 1968
With Geelong’s four indoor theatres and two Drive-Inns featuring “Barefoot in the Park, Casino Royale, Alfie, To Sir with Love, South Pacific and Those magnificent men in their flying machines”, District cricket resumed, the outstanding feature being a 100 run last-wicket stand for St.Josephs by Peter Dorling (63) and Bernie McFarlane (43no), their team registering 232 against East-Belmont, John Spence the best of the bowlers with 3/55. South Barwon continued its fine season with 6/295 and led by Neil Southern (68) and Graeme Hornsey (41) against Geelong City, Brian Rhodes again at the forefront with 5/87. An unbeaten 6th wicket partnership by Newtown’s Gary Barmby (33no) and Barry Shaw (45no) has set Chanel College 250 for victory, Peter Connolly’s speed returning 5/61. Corio’s 158 was below par, Roger Allen a crisp 28 and achievable next week by North Shore-Norlane.
ON THIS ROUND – 25 YEARS AGO – JANUARY 1993
Two wicketkeeper-batsmen headlined 1st.X1 cricket with East-Belmont’s Andrew McMahon (116) and Newtown & Chilwell’s Brett Goggin (130no) peeling off centuries against Grovedale and Geelong West respectively. With Chris Duff (59), East managed 6/245 whilst a very similar score of 5/234 was posted by Newtown with speedster Graeme Ross contributing a to-be season’s best 44. Greg Scott in just his third match for the season immediately showed his class with an unbeaten 112 for Geelong West against Newtown (B. Stacey 3/79) whilst Martin Handley was Lara’s best with 3/41 against North Geelong (Leigh Mellington 49). Paul Murray, who played all last season in the 5ths, took 5/41 against St.Josephs on debut which were to-be career best figures.
ON THIS ROUND – 10 YEARS AGO – JANUARY 2008
The North Geelong v East-Belmont match was “dedicated” to North’s star batsman in Alf Clark. The gifted all-round sportsman who won the Geelong Football Club Under 19 Best & Fairest in 1983 was recruited to North in that year from Little River and in this match played his 250th game to become the first North Geelong cricketer to play 250 games. Being interviewed before the match Alf said, “The standard of GCA cricket has dropped since the Geelong Cricket Club came in 15 years ago. All the sides back then had two really good bowlers…Now there are too many turf clubs. We have 28 turf clubs. We’d be better off with half that”.
Geelong West’s captain-coach Shane Arthur raised his bat in triumph with his maiden century for the club with 101no against Bell Post Hill, West in total command with 2/166, and Glen Talarico supportive with 40. Torquay was disgraced, being eliminated for just 23 against Geelong City. All batsmen were dismissed with less than double figures with Travis Agg the demon with 6/7. Torquay’s 23 was the eighth lowest completed total of all time, the last 23 scored by Newtown & Chilwell in 1945-46 against International Harvester.
Adrian McCormack again fell an agonising 7 runs short of his maiden century with 93no for Manifold Heights against Newtown & Chilwell, Manifold mustering a competitive 8/216, Scott Mullen & Damian Flett taking 3 wickets apiece. Mark Brady (51no) & Simon Pearce (37) engineered Grovedale’s 9/168 against Lara despite Danny Hughes damaging 10 overs stint yielding a brilliant 6/6. Another similar score line was Leopold’s 8/163 against South Barwon, Mark Aston (47) the leading bat, S. Marriot snaring 3/27.
Point Henry today is a sad sight with the closure of Alcoa but it seems unbelievable that 100 years ago cricket was played on the now derelict location. Such a match was played 100 years ago today when at the “ Bellarine Gardens” (Pt. Henry) hosted a match between the “Married Men of the Australian Natives Cricket Club and Single Men of the club. Players travelled by water on board the steamer “Bellarine” from the Moorabool Street Wharf. A band greeted the players at the wharf. This columnist was amused by an ad in the Addy stating “Take Holloways Pills for the following complaints of bad legs, burns, chilblains, chapped hands, stiff joints, gout, lumbago, piles, sore nipples, sore throats, ulcers and scurvy”! Certainly a versatile pill !
ARTICLE NO 13
5TH JANUARY, 2018
At the half-way mark of the season, the “Team of 2017-18” currently stands below based on pure statistics of minimum of 250 runs and 15 wickets. Only Leopold and Murgheboluc are without a player in the side.
C. Parker (wk)
D. Vassiliou (12thbat)
Alastair Cook’s magnificent 244no broke many records including “carrying his bat” which was also the highest Test score ever in carrying the bat. In the GCA 1st.X1 the top ten highest scores in carrying the bat are as follows …
Of the current players only South Barwon captain Chris Bartholomeusz has “carried his bat” with 67no in South Barwon’s 144 against St.Josephs in 2016-17. The highest proportion of runs of a batsman carrying his bat his H.J. DeLittle’s 103no in Corio’s team total of 137, representing 75.2% of the total. H.J. DeLitttle and W. Anderson both carried the bat on a record 6 occasions. Both batsmen also carried the bat in three consecutive innings, H.J.DeLittle in 1896-97 and W. Anderson in 1933-34.
At the Christmas break, the top 10 performances of the season to date are….
1. The Oliver show continued at Geelong City. The 28 year old Worcestershire left-hander with 20 first class matches and averaging 29.2 with a best of 179, found himself in unchartered waters smashing the high class Grovedale attach all over the park, smashing 128 opening the innings and when dismissed City was 4/137, his score representing 93.4% of the team total.
2. The “dynamic duo” of Sean O’Neill and Andrew Baars were at it again with an opening stand of 238 against St.Josephs with O’Neill (121) and Baars (91) setting up Easts mammoth 9/336, being the first time a team had passed 300 runs in a one-day game.
3. The Newtown & Chilwell clash against North Geelong could be considered Nick McGuane’s match. Newtown was all but dead and buried at 9/124 chasing North’s 197 but a fighting last wicked stand of 71 by captain Shane Franklin (68) and McGuane (12no) almost brought a meritorious win for the Queens Park boys, losing by a slender 3 runs. It was McGuane’s career best score in 28 games and to compliment this he took 5/40 which included a hat-trick.
4. Round three saw wicketkeeper Peter Kenyon come out of an 11 year retirement for North Geelong, the four times premiership player capturing 5 victims, his first being his 300th scalp and continue his reign as the competitions greatest wicketkeeper.
5. Clunes recruit Pat Richards followed his 74no on debut with a classy 119no the following round. It was the first time in Leopold’s 60th season that a batsman had scored 50 or more on debut followed the next round by a century.
6. Indian recruit Daanish Mehta had an immediate impact for Murgheboluc opening the innings and top scoring with 81 on debut to totally dominate his side’s 156 all-out. It was a record on debut, eclipsing Greg Holmes 53 in 2016-17.
7. With Lara’s finest all-rounder ever in Danny Hughes not playing against East-Belmont due to injury, Lara nevertheless recorded one of its finest wins ever due principally to an outstanding opening partnership of 164 by Andrew Hughes (94) and Brad McMaster (67), the stand a record at Lara. Tyler James joined the Lara party with 3/11 on debut.
8. The competitions highest score of the season was achieved by the unpredictable Newtown & Chilwell with 372 against Leopold, led by Colbinabbin recruit Shane Murdock with a brilliant 151 being also the highest for the season.
9. East-Belmont spinner Chris Williams captured 6/58 against North Geelong to be the only bowler to record two five plus wicket hauls this season, his total at Christmas being 21 wickets at 16.8 to head the competition at an extremely low average for a slow bowler.
10. “Everything comes to those who wait” would describe East-Belmont’s Nathan Frye’s seventeen boundary 104 against Geelong City. A product of the club’s juniors prior to season 2010-11 and playing lower grades in the seniors, called upon the 1st.X1 for the first time in round one and with a duck next round, his century the next round was celebrated by all.
With cricketers enjoying the mid-season break, the Australian Cricket authorities were closely monitoring the English decision to ban county players from the privately run one-day Cavaliers matches sponsored by Rothmans and televised by the BBC on Sundays. Both English & Australian officials are concerned about private promotors taking revenue from the game.
Geelong was the toast of Australian cricket when on this day when locals Paul Sheahan, Ian Redpath and Alan Connolly were selected in the Australian team to play at the Adelaide Oval the following week.
Geelong was selected to host a Fosters Special Bitter exhibition match at the Western Oval, sponsored by Carlton & United Breweries. The match was classed as a “Gentlemans X1” and a “Players X1” and consisted of 3 Victorian players for each side, the remainder from local players. The 16 local players were chosen by GCA Chairman of Selectors, Graeme Beaumont and Neil Petrie from the Bellarine Cricket Association. The forty-five overs per innings was the brainchild of Victorian coach, Les Stillman and designed to promote cricket in the country.
The ladder at the Christmas break was East-Belmont (42), Grovedale (42), South Barwon (39), Leopold (36), Lara (33), St.Josephs (27), Newcomb & District (24), North Geelong (21), Manifold Heights (21), Bell Post Hill (15), Newtown & Chilwell (15), Geelong West (15), Torquay (9), Geelong City (3).
Less than 20% of Australia’s test cricketers were born in the bush. For every country lad who went to the city, another 10 stayed home due to distance or their own family needs. Ararat’s Henry Gunstone is one who “stayed at home”. In 30 seasons of cricket he scored 125 centuries including 10 double centuries and one triple century, 334 for St. Andrews against Ararat Methodists in 1965-66. Scoring his first century aged 14, he played against touring teams –South Africa, England, New Zealand, Pakistan and the West Indies. He also played a match against Victoria and despite the bowling attack of Alan Connolly and Colin Guest, made 69 and “carried his bat”. Gunstone is well known in the country and is referred to as “The Bush Bradman”.
22ND DECEMBER, 2017
South Barwon tomorrow plays in one of its most important games in recent years. Sitting in 7th position on the ladder with just two victories and two games plus percentage out of the top four, chasing Geelong City’s par score of 187 is now a most challenging one as it resumes at a very shaky 5/49. Another loss would seriously see it out of the finals race for the season. It holds the record of most seasons without a 1st.X1 Division One premiership of 41 years when it beat GWC&FC way back in 1976-77 and since that flag has played in 12 finals series including 4 runners-up titles. If ever a premiership was deserved it is by loyal all-rounder, Brad Hauenstein. Despite countless offers from rival clubs he has steadfastly remained at Reynolds Reserve. A captain for 11 seasons and the winner of the batting average 11 times and bowling average 11 times plus the Club Champion 15 times, he has played most games (208), compiled most runs (6,671 @ 35.9), made the most centuries (8) and last week his 1/18 took him to 423 wickets @ 16.8 to overcome the previous record of John Ross with 422 scalps @ 17.9. In the twilight of his career he this season has been batting down the list and bowling less, his 90 runs and 9 wickets not a true reflection on his outstanding career. So come on South Barwon, win tomorrow, climb back into the finals and win the premiership for Brad Hauenstein!
This listing is as at the completion of last season for current clubs but excludes Murgheboluc which has played just 4 seasons.
Seasons in GCA
The previous round Grovedale humiliated Leopold with that club blitzed for just 91, being its lowest score since 2011-12 when it was removed for 71, also against Grovedale. This debacle forced Leopold coach Scott Lindsay to “read the riot act” to his players, declaring “I want to see a response next week from the playing group”. Thar response has not come with Newtown & Chilwell smashing all Leopold bowlers around the park to the tune of 372 runs, being the highest score this season in the competition. Colbinabbin recruit Shane Murdoch posted his maiden century with a brilliant 151, the highest score for the season, being Newtown’s third highest score above 150 in the last 14 years (R. Kiddle 158no v North Geelong 2003-04 & D. Lawrence (191 v South Barwon 2014-15). John Simpson joined the party with a promising 37 after he last played 1st.X1 cricket in 2013-14.
The clash of the season between the top two in undefeated North Geelong and second-placed East-Belmont has the scales slightly tipped East’s way as the target of 205 is achievable. Braden Szponar has proven to be an outstanding recruit from Newcomb & District with 53 which follows his 51 & 41 in his last 3 hands. Chris Williams led the way with 6/58 to become the only bowler to take 6 wickets twice this season (6/31 against Geelong City) and lead the competitions bowling aggregate with 21 wickets @ 16.8. However a concern is that of speedster Mark Freijah who has been wicket less in 5 games to date and has just 3 wickets @ 56.7. Equally at North, prolific run maker Sam Hall has collected just 92 runs which includes 57 in round 2 @ 18.4.
Andrew Hughes posted his third consecutive 50 plus with 72 against Murgheboluc to lift his runs to 381 at a very attractive 54.4, Lara setting Murgheboluc a challenging 279. However the total could have been much higher as Lara lost its last 7 wickets for just 15 runs, Jason Grozdanovski the culprit with 5/73.
There have been eleven occasions where a father and son compiled Test centuries, the most by India and New Zealand with 3 apiece. However Mitchell Marsh’s’ Ashes winning-career best 181 in the 3rd. Test placed him and his brother Shaun and father Geoff in special company – all three now have Test centuries and the only other occasion whereby a father and his two sons recorded Test centuries is by the Amarnath family. Not content with making India’s first Test century –on his debut against England at Bombay in 1933-34, the legendary Lala Amarnath then produced two sons, Surinder who also made his Test debut with a century against New Zealand in 1975-76 and Mohinder who ended up with 14 test centuries.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to readers of this column, which will resume on January 5th 2018.
ON THIS ROUND – 50 YEARS AGO – DECEMBER 1967
Leopold lost its first match for the season unable to defend its lowly 119 with a 8/115 reply, Graeme Jobling following scores of 99 & 57 with 38no against undefeated South Barwon (Ted Anderson 3/30). Gordon McKay (48) and Geoff Wilken (40) steered Corio to victory over Chanel College (David Kelly 4/38) whilst Michael Fitzgerald in his first season followed successful scores of 30no, 38, 60 & 117 with a match winning 73 for Geelong City against North Shore-Norlane (N. Chapman 4/51). In a low scoring match, GWC&FC chasing St.Josephs 130 for victory compiled 155 due to opener Eric Nicholls gallant 80no.
ON THIS ROUND – 25 YEARS AGO – DECEMBER 1992
West Indies skipper Richie Richardson played down the destructive efforts of Australia’s new leg-spin sensation, Shane Warne. With 7/21 including the final killer blow of 4/3 to win the Test at the MCG, Richardson declared “There are a lot of spinners who come and go and you never hear of them again. He’s not a worry”.
In yet another rain-marred Saturday, a handful of hard-wicket cricketers nevertheless remembered the day – GCA promotions Officer, Craig Elliott hit a career best 177no against Thomson fourths, Linton Ling captured 5/18 in 3rd. X1 for his new club from Geelong City to St.Josephs whilst St. Kilda footballer Tony Brown made his GCA 1st X1 debut albeit no play due to rain. Only one match generated a winner with all others drawn, St.Josephs winning its first game of the season with 171 (Mark Gallagher 24, Brad Grapsas 20) against Lara’s 142 (John Spiers 47, Mark Melvin 34), cagey Peter Cox taking 3/30).
ON THIS ROUND – 10 YEARS AGO – DECEMBER 2007
Weather destroyed the match, Torquay v Newcomb & District but the drawn affair however witnessed wicketkeeper-batsman Simon Anderson register his maiden ton with 110. Rains also lost all of day two, Lara v Leopold.
Geelong City scored less than 100 for the second time this season with a paltry 97 in pursuit of South Barwon’s 205, Colin Millard defiant with an unbeaten 49. Brett Anderton completed a fine double with 3/37 to compliment his 63no. Bell Post Hill was unable to defend its lowly 146, Newtown just nudging past the target with 160 (John Mickleburgh 32).
At the start of this season, the Geelong Cricket Umpires Association was making its regular plea for more retired cricketers to take up umpiring. I hope such folk did not read the following accounts of two matches - Account One - At Nowgang in India in 1866 – “A most unlikely fatality occurred in the match played by the 6th & 7th Royal Fusiliers. The batsman ran for a quick single, the fieldsman brilliantly fielded it and threw down the middle stump which flicked the stump airborne and the brass point of the stump perforated the umpires neck which caused his death immediately”.
Account Two – “A twenty year-old umpire called Mr. Pimple gave a disputed decision in a match at Nagpur in India in December, 1987. The wicketkeeper took umbrage and hit Mr. Pimple over the head with a stump and with serious head injuries, the ‘keeper carried him to the edge of the ground and threw him over the cliff onto rocks 70 meters below. The wicketkeeper vanished and to this day his whereabouts are unknown”.
ARTICLE NO. 11
15th DECEMBER 2017
Murgheboluc welcomed back prolific run-maker Andrew Murden for his first game of the season, his two seasons to date yielding 890 runs @ 35.6 but he failed last week against South Barwon, opening the batting with a 15 run return yet Murge won its first game of the season thanks to Derbyshire’s Thomas Milnes with his maiden century of precisely 100 not out after his previous 5 innings totalled just 81 runs @ 16.2. In reply, South Barwon capitulated for a well below par of 114, being its lowest score since round 2 last season of 116 against Geelong City.
East Belmont skipper Sean O’Neill achieved “bookends” with his 103 in round 5 supported by 97’s in rounds 4 & 6, the outstanding opening batsman also with a 92 three seasons ago. The win over Newtown & Chilwell largely due to star batsman Mathew Lineker with his best all-round performance in a match with 52no & 4/32.
St.Josephs super-star Leigh Kentish, forever praised for his meritorious deeds with the bat, will not sleep well the next time he plays Lara. His blob on Saturday against Lara was his first duck since round 2 last season, again against Lara. St.Josephs is the only team winless to date. The last occasion it was also last on the ladder as at round 6 was in season 1995-96 where it went on to win one game for the season. When it won its two recent flags in 2013-14 and 2014-15, it had lost two and three games respectively as at round 6 but it would take a “Lazareth” effort to even make the finals this season.
The Grovedale trio of Young (4/57), Fisher (3/19 and Yelland (3/13) completely destroyed Leopold for a poultry 91 to register Leopold’s lowest score since it was blitzed for 71 in 2011-12, also against Grovedale, a curious stat being Alan Randall taking 7/12 for Leopold in that match against Grovedale’s 130. Normally when a bowler takes phenomenal figures of 7/12, that team usually wins! However its captain Tim Marshall who heads both the most runs and wickets of current Leopold players of 2,209 runs and 190 wickets but having a lean season with 81 runs and a solitary wicket returned to form last week with 39 & 3/34.
This column was fortunate to attend the historic Test under lights last week. Whilst reading the Adelaide Advertiser I glanced upon a divorce hearing in the Adelaide courts. The assets were split but who was to take custody of the 10 year old David? Justice Brown took the unusual step of asking David who he would like to live with. “Do you wish to live with your father? “said Justice Brown. “No “was his answer, “because he beats me”. “So you would rather live with your mother David”. “No she also beats me” was again his answer. The Judge, somewhat perplexed then said, “So who do you want to live with?” David responded “with the England team”. “Why enquired Judge Brown?” Because the England team don’t beat anyone” said David!
Brian Dawson, in his first match of the season hit a to-be season highest 47 and with skipper Neil Chapman (51) posted 137 for North Shore-Norlane against powerful Geelong City (Garry Hovey 4/40). Ian Treloar was the bogyman for St.Josephs with 3/13, the students removed for 130 by GWC&FC (Russell Zampatti 27). Chanel College put together it’s to-be lowest score for the season of 92, captain Rod Groves the only bat to pass 15 with a defiant 28, Corio’s Laurie Winch returning 5/34. Leopold, undefeated all season was in danger of its first loss by posting a mediocre 115 against South Barwon, Neil Walton contributing a classy 33 (Jim Roberts 3/26).
Aaron Croft and David Currie with 61 and 51 respectively dominated Leopold’s par 177 against North Geelong with Steve Duhau taking a to-be season’s best 5/56. Graeme Beaumont continued his consistent season with 35, being his sixth 30 plus per innings in his seven innings, Michael Brown lean with 5/37 from 28 overs. Adrian McCormack (49) and Michael Dunn (42) were the backbone of East-Belmont’s 211,Gary Finnemore taking 3/73 for West. David Crosby was almost unplayable with 3/24 from 21 overs for Grovedale against Newtown, dismissed for 157 (Chris Campbell 4/33).
Rod Kiddle led his side onto the field against Lara and became the 32nd Cricketer to play 200 GCA 1st X1 games. However the master batsman will always have mixed feelings regarding his emotional match as he tore a hamstring and was forced to retire on 17. However his side, Leopold constructed a healthy 6/293, Geelong Grammar cricket coach Scott Lindsay recording an attractive 78. South Barwon duo David Boyd (93) and speedster Brett Anderton (63no) clouted career best figures in a 9th wicket partnership of 132 to break the 23 year record of 113 previously held by Leopold’s Stephen Boyle and Brian McFadyen. South Barwon finished with 205 for Geelong City to chase next Saturday, Travis Agg bowling brilliantly with 5/24 off 19 overs.
Newtown & Chilwell President Scott Mullen was chiefly responsible in removing Bell Post Hill for 146, his 5/40 a career best. Geelong West first-gamer Timothy Wight shone with 4/39 against St.Josephs, Andrew Hodgson in his second game a promising 55 alongside veteran Ian Courtney (64).
Alf Clark was again the difference between the two sides with an unbeaten 107 against Manifold Heights for North Geelong (5/280), Adrian McCormack taking 3/19.
Returning to yesteryear – Just three teams played in the GCA in season 1910-11, Clarendon, Kardinia and Geelong. With a bye existing each round “scratch matches” (matches with no points) were played, the void filled with teams from Geelong College, Geelong Grammar, Lara, Fyansford, Geelong West Methodists and Sons of Temperance and Rechabites. However absenteeism continued to haunt the GCA and teams batted two, three and four short. Scores were woeful, sides commonly dismissed for less than 30. Clarendon was removed for 22 & 19, its 41 the lowest match score to this day in 2017. Players left to play in the Friendly Societies CA, the Matting CA and Churches CA whilst Arthur Liddicutt who was to go on later and play first-class cricket for Victoria played for the Geelong Sunday Schools CA. In crisis the GCA Executive met mid-1910-11 season at the Prince of Wales Hotel and initiated a major change effective immediately that teams would be play under a “District Scheme” whereby players were compelled to play for the club where they lived, ie, Geelong West, East-Geelong, South Geelong & Newtown & Chilwell. “Under existing conditions the competition is lifeless”. The revamped format was unsuccessful with the GCA disbanding after season 1912-13 but resurrected in 1928-29.
ARTICLE NO. 10
8th DECEMBER 2017
Our own Ian Redpath played 66 Tests and accumulated 4,737 runs at the solid average of 43.5. However following are 10 stats on “Redders” which readers may or may not know –
· Made his first-class debut at Geelong for Victoria v Tasmania in 1962 with scores of 14 & 13.
· Made his Test debut at MCG against South Africa on New Year’s Day in season 1963-64 and was bowled for 97. Opening partnership with Bill Lawry of 219.
· His highest Test score was 171 and included a stand of 219 (again) with Greg Chappell for the sixth wicket against England.
· Was the last Australian Test cricketer to play as an amateur. He declined match fees in his earlier Tests in order not to jeopardise his amateur football career.
· Because of his lean, gangly body and long neck, his initial nickname was “Gandhi” but was soon to be “Redders”.
· Scored third most runs off one over in all first class cricket, 32 off N. Rosendorff, Australians v Orange Free State at Bloemfontein in 1969-70.
· One of the rare Test cricketers to “carry his bat” he did so at Auckland in 1973-74 when he made 159no out of a total of 346.
· Became only the second Australian Test cricketer to be “Mankaded” (backing up too far at the bowlers end) by West Indian Charlie Griffith in Adelaide in 1968-69. Bill Brown was the first in 1947-48 by Mankad of India.
· Retired prematurely to concentrate on his antique business, however his absence from cricket was brief, signing with Kerry Packers’ rebel World Series Cricket.
· In his first World Series match at VFL Park, Waverley he snapped his Achilles tendon WHILST BOWLING and did not play again that season. Packer paid him in full for that season and personally visited him in Geelong Hospital after his helicopter touched down on St. Mary’s Oval.
With Doug Wade clubbing 75 for Highton Presbyterian and Polly Farmer leaving Geelong to be appointed captain-coach of West Perth for a record $5000, Geoff Day took won the match for Corio with 6/34 against East-Belmont with John Spence opening the innings and run out for his side’s top score of 28. Chanel College compiled a healthy 267 but not sufficient to catch City’s 7/362, Michael Bowtell’s outstanding season continuing with 96 and supported by David Bates (34) and Des Lloyd (32). Brian Rhodes was unplayable and collected an outstanding 8/98. St.Josephs fell 100 short of Newtown’s 266 total with David Kinder a season’s best 57no, Barry Shaw the best of the bowlers with 4/62.
The exciting new initiative announced by the VCA that a knockout competition would be played between all 16 VCA clubs and a team from Sub-Districts and the Cricket Union of Victoria plus a team from Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and Traralgon started last Sunday, the four country centres fielding the premiers from last season. Consequently Newtown & Chilwell hosted Carlton, the match won by Carlton, 218 to 8/161 with Captain Darren Lehmann hitting a pugnacious 104. Carlton’s official newsletter “The Blue Boys” stated “Sunday’s victory was sweet for Carlton but it was Newtown & Chilwell who took the points. Beautiful surroundings at Queens Park, excellent playing conditions and super social amenities were breathtaking for the uninitiated”. “Local support was there in droves and the clubrooms were resplendent with plush carpet and dining settings. The Carlton ladies were so impressed with the Newtown hospitality that their votes were for Geelong to be admitted to Melbourne District Cricket. The letter concluded “Well done Dale Pearce, David Barnes, Graeme Chisholm and Don Royce on the scrumptious lunch and superb organisation professionally run”.
Yet again rains disrupted all matches with only one side – Newtown winning against Leopold – all other matches drawn. Newtown successfully defended its 8/239 but not without a fight as Leopold managed 215 (Clinton McHenry 32).
The GCA record books were reopened at Richmond Crescent when Grovedale express, Graeme Harper snared 2/23 against Geelong City. That stat saw him leapfrog Stewart Young (387 wickets), Ted Anderson (388), Robert Agg (394) and Damian DeGrandi (399) to become just the eighteenth bowler to capture 400 career wickets. However in terms of wickets per game, of the 18 bowlers to capture 400 wickets or more, Harper’s wickets were accumulated in the 5th quickest time. Grovedale surged on to win its seventh game for the season in Michael Kelson’s 100th game with 4/226, Michael Luttrell (57) and Ray Furphy (52) the ringleaders, Barry Tsitas enjoying an outstanding season at his new club with 4/42, Travis Agg swinging lustily with 43 in City’s 177.
Bell Post Hill celebrated an upset victory over Newcomb & District, Heath Bush a career best 63no but aided by Darren Kiddle with 32 in his 250th game. Richie Hassett was coaxed out of retirement after a two year absence which savoured the win.
East-Belmont took the points over Torquay, 4/165 to 162, Andrew Baars (71) and Blair Allen (5/15) the stars but Torquay’s star bowling recruit in Joe Ellis smashed 52. South Barwon remained in finals contention with an emphatic win over Manifold Heights, 8/224 to 9/150. A rare duck from Brad Hauenstein was overcome via the blades of Simon Breuer’s carer best 61 and John Kedey’s 91 after a season of just 31 runs prior.
There has been one case of a grandfather and grandsons playing Test cricket, being Vic Richardson and the Chappell brothers, Ian, Greg and Trevor. There is only one incidence of a great-grandfather and grandson to play Test cricket, being our own Paul Sheahan and his great grandfather Beauchamp Cooper who played in the first Test ever at the MCG in 1877, Cooper buried at Geelong Cemetery.
ARTICLE NO. 9
1ST DECEMBER 2017
Leopold celebrated one of its most famous wins last week when on its knees at 9/206, Lachlan Alford with 63 in his first 1st.X1 game for 3 seasons and 10th match and Ben Horne (13no) methodically grafted 70 runs for the last wicket to storm home to victory against season winless St.Josephs’ total of 9/256. Their last wicket stand of 70 went close to Leopold’s all-time record of 82 set by Rod Kiddle and Darren Barmby against North Geelong in 1990-91. Alford hammered a 60 ball 63 whilst Horne was unbeaten on 13 to be part of Leopold’s last-wicket heroics .Earlier Lachie Cameron hit his fourteen game career best 58.Leopold achieved the unlikely win without star Patrick Richards whose was unavailable and had notched scores over the previous two rounds of 74no & 119. It was Leopold’s first win over St.Josephs for 20 years since 1997-98 when its 297 was constructed by Alastair McArthur (87), Troy Kenna (47) and Darren Kiddle (47) and its highest score of all time was ironically against St.Josephs in 1995-96 with 3/435 when Clinton McHenry (189no) and captain-coach Dave Breheny (81) carved up the attack. Champion Saints batsman Leigh Kentish added to his 75 career wickets with his first 5 wicket haul of 5/58 off 25 lean overs in his first bowling stint for the season.
As with Leopold, Lara enjoyed a fine victory over favourites East-Belmont with 3/234 to East’s 6/230 with just a ball to spare in a one-day game as the previous week was washed out. Shaun O’Neill dominated the Lions innings with his second century of the season (103) but Lara’s was a team effort with all four top bats getting amongst the runs, Andrew Hughes (94) & Brad McMaster (67) combining in a brilliant 164 opening partnership, the total a Lara 1st.X1 opening record since Daniel Wright (86no) and Andrew Hughes (55) put on 161 against Highton in 2013-14. Brendan Miller (35) and Glamorgan’s Tom Cullen (30) followed up on Saturday with good scores. The win was achieved without its best all-rounder ever in Danny Hughes who was unavailable due to injury. Curiously explosive paceman Alex Willerton was wicket less for the last two rounds since his controversial action was questioned. Tyler James showed promise with 3/11 on debut for Lara.
Geelong City leapt to second on the ladder with a solid win over premiers, Grovedale with youngster Logan Taylor claiming 3/22 to totally dominate the match 252 to 122.
South Barwon was again disappointing falling dismally to North Geelong’s 236 to be all out for 126. In a season of high and lows for South Barwon, only New Zealander Matt Laffey has been consistent with scores of 35, 44, 30 & 46 plus 3/20, 3/26, 3/28 & 3/42. North Geelong captain-coach, 20 year old Nathan Fitzpatrick with just 45 runs from 5 hits and 4 wickets showed form with a fiery 5/43.
Murgheboluc remained winless with Newtown’s 8/294 too great a total, the Frogs collapsing to the pace attack of Shane Murdoch (5/57) & Nick McGuane (4/53), for all-out 224, star bat Andrew Murden returning for the first time this season with 23.
With promising singer Jonny Farnham performing at Geelong’s Revolver Discotheque (now demolished Grand Central Hotel opposite the Carlton Hotel), South Barwon rattled up 93 runs in the last hour to finish at 9/233 (Russell Peake 71, Brian Schaeche 46, Neil Southern 36) against GWC&FC, Michael Fitzgerald in his first season for Geelong City was commanding with his maiden century of 117 against Chanel College and with opener Colin Helwig (109) post their side at a mammoth 7/362 (Fitzgerald to compile 400 runs in his initial season), whilst Derek Sandell (47no) and Gordon McKay (33) underlined Corio’s 186 against East-Belmont (Bob Little 3/63). Robert Scott (67) was a lone hand in GWC&FC’s 139 against South Barwon (Jim Roberts 3/15), Brian Edwards compiled an even 100 for Newtown against St.Josephs (Peter Kearney 3/70 whilst captain Neil Chapman’s 35 was North Shore-Norlane’s only double score in its 79 against Leopold (Graeme Betteridge 6/40).
An exciting new initiative was announced by the Victorian Cricket association that a VCA Puma Club Knockout Cup competition would commence with all 16 VCA clubs plus leading clubs from Victorian Sub-Districts, Victorian Country Cricket League and the Cricket Union of Victoria to take part in a cut-throat knockout competition to be played on Sundays. Four country teams would play, being the premiers last season from Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and Traralgon. Newtown & Chilwell would play Carlton first at Queens Park and Darren Lehmann captained Carlton.
Grovedale compiled its to-be season’s best with 6/305 (Ashley Casperson 3/49) against Lara with Jason Bakker leading the charge with a chanceless 107 and supported by Darren Kiddle (49) and Noel Waring (38). Another marathon effort by East’s Peter Smith, his 25 overs of sheer pace bamboozled North Geelong with 6/41, Leigh Mellington defiant with 62 out of his teams total of 158. Cameron Ross (48) and Bruce Nunn (41) deposited Newtown at 8/239 against Leopold (Steve Howarth 3/75) whilst John Connolly (61) and Peter Cox (46) combined to lift St.Josephs to 9/214 against Geelong West (Craig Scott 4/84).
Cricket Victoria hosted a luncheon in honour of Bob Merriman who retired from all cricket positions at both Cricket Victoria and Cricket Australia. Ironically it was one of his initiatives with Cricket Victoria in 1991 – that retirement be mandatory at the age of 72 – that ended Bob’s tenure as President of Cricket Victoria and as a consequence his position with Cricket Australia also terminated.
Bob Merriman had an immense influence on cricket in Victoria. He had a major influence in the erection of light towers at the MCG and negotiated major sponsorships and television contracts with Kerry Packer and others. He also burst into the headlines in 1979 when from virtual obscurity was appointed Manager of the Australian Test team in India, being the first Manager of an Australian Touring Team.
Bob also, amongst numerous positions during his 50 years of cricket administration, also acted in a judicial capacity under Cricket Australia’s Code of Conduct. His most celebrated case involved Dennis Lillee, who was suspended under world headlines for two matches after the notorious “scuffle” with Pakistan’s Javed Miandad in Perth in 1991.
At the Luncheon, Bob Merriman, Life Member of the Geelong Cricket Association and Victorian Country Cricket League, was bestowed with Life Membership of Cricket Victoria.
This columnist is a member of the Cricket Memorabilia Society, based in England whose charter is simply to promote the swapping of cricket memorabilia between members. I recently wrote to Mr. John Major, a former Prime Minister of the UK and a member of this Society. I received a reply (much to my surprise) and the bottom line is I gave him an autographed mini-bat signed by Sir Donald Bradman and he in turn gave me Mike Atherton’s signed Test shirt. I asked him to nominate his “Best all-time Test cricketers” and his “team” included 5 Australians!
24TH NOVEMBER 2017
The Oliver show continues to build. Since arriving at Geelong City in season 2012-13, the 28 year-old Worcestershire left-hander with 20 first class matches and averaging 29.2 with a best of 179 has rewritten the City record books with most runs in a season (771 @ 59.3 in 2013-14), highest club score (203no v Highton, 2013-14) and second most centuries (12 behind legendary Harry Heard with 29), but last Saturday he found himself in unchartered waters, his blistering 128 opening the innings and when dismissed City was 4/137, his score representing 93.4% of the team total. Not only his innings was memorable, it was scored against a quality Grovedale attack with Young, Fisher, Yelland and Tsitas playing in Grovedale’s back-to-back premierships over the past two seasons. This columnist has kept cricket records for now 53 continuous years but has never recorded an opening batsman’s score when dismissed and neither has the many cricket statisticians I have contacted this week. However two innings come close to Oliver’s century/93.4% - H.J.DeLittle opened the Corio innings against Geelong “B” and “carried his bat” with 103no out of his team’s 137 representing 75.2% of the team total in 1900-01 and more recently, Stephen Wells’ GCA 1st.X1 highest score ever with 237 for Newtown & Chilwell against East-Belmont in 1986-87 and when dismissed his side was 6/365 his score representing 64.9% of the team total.
Geelong City must not let Richie Oliver be poached by any local rival clubs. Now in his sixth season at Richmond Crescent, he has plundered 3,282 runs at the spectacular average of 52.1 whilst during his time his team-mates have collectively averaged just 18.6 per wicket. He has not been rewarded with a flag, City playing in two finals series since he arrived, bundled out in the qualifying final in 2015-16 and losing the 2014-15 semi-final. Batting as a “lone ranger” without quality batting support, City has won just 34 matches and lost 35. Will this year be their year with 3 wins and a loss and probably another victory tomorrow with 252 on the board for Grovedale to chase? Maybe the success will bring star paceman, retired Kent Agg back to the fold.
Undefeated North Geelong has set South Barwon a solid but gettable 237 when the clash resumes tomorrow, the magpie’s innings held together by another brilliant innings by a revitalised Damian Vassiliou with 75. When on 49 he passed 3,000 career runs at the powerful average of 43.2. Retiring as at the Christmas break in season 2015-16 after 6 seasons at Geelong West with 3 centuries and averaging 41.7, the North powerbrokers enticed him back to big cricket last season and he has grafted 737runs at 49.1 including two centuries to date with his newly adopted club.
The last two rounds have seen two wicketkeepers in the spotlight with wicket keeping record holder, Peter Kenyon coming out of retirement for North Geelong after an eleven year absence and snaring 5 victims to pass the 300 dismissal mark and last Saturday, Cameron Parker of St.Josephs clouted a potential match winning 121no against Leopold in just his fourth game, making his GCA 1st X1 debut in this season’s opening round with 34 against Geelong City. In his third year at St.Josephs and playing mainly in the 2nds since moving from Echuca club dynamo Barry McFarlane describes him as “a very aggressive right hand bat”, Parker being only the second St.Josephs wicketkeeper/batsman to notch three figures. David Harris when aged just 16, hit 115 against South Barwon in 1982-83, being at that time the first wicketkeeper-batsman at St.Josephs to record a hundred. A modest Barry McFarlane with two tons in the 1960’s does not classify himself in the dual mould of wicketkeeper-batsman but did keep wickets at times referring himself as a “backstop, not a wicketkeeper” Winless St.Josephs has not been aided by its skipper Luke Ibbs’ bad trot, his precise 500 runs @ 38.5 last season contrasting to consecutive scores this season of 12, 2, 0, 9 & 0.
The “British Invasion” continued last Saturday when English import Graham Clark carved 115 for Newtown & Chilwell against Murgheboluc, the unpredictable Two Blues posting a probable winning 8/294 after compiling just 137 the previous round and 9/320 the round before. With Clark taking 4/25 on debut, Newtown would be delighted with his three games to date performances.
ON THIS ROUND – 50 YEARS AGO – NOVEMBER 1967
The Geelong City target of 322 was too great a challenge for East-Belmont responding with 178 but Leo Brennan showed his class with 53 on debut against Geelong City, Bernie Hemley the demon with 4/49. Corio cruised to victory chasing St.Josephs with 2/111, Peter Osborne with a breezy 70no. All remaining matches were washed out.
ON THIS ROUND – 25 YEARS AGO – NOVEMBER 1992
Dean Jones, with an average of 46.6 from 52 Tests was sensationally eased out of the Test team and announced as 12th Man for the 1st Test at Brisbane against the West Indies. (it was to be Jones last ever Test). In the drawn match there were calls for umpires to use TV replays after a controversial dismissal of Brian Lara whereby he fell over and attempted to scramble back to his crease, keeper Healy fumbling and did not have the ball in his glove when he broke the stumps. Umpire Prue gave Lara out. TV clearly showing he should have been not out.
For the third Saturday this season rain marred all matches which all concluded in draws. Craig Scott however took 5/63 for Geelong West against North Geelong following his 5/63 the previous round.
ON THIS ROUND – 10 YEARS AGO – NOVEMBER 2007
Brad Stacey blasted 76 for BPH to win its first game for the season whilst Lara inflicted heavyweights East-Belmont’s first loss after 5 consecutive victories in a tight game, 5/210 to 5/211. John Rees in just his second game for East defied the opposition with 57. North Geelong after sensationally dropping 317 games record-holder Ross Aylmer, could only manage 125, Alf Clark in yet another epic innings was the only magpie to reach double figures with 71, Phil Hunt taking 3/15 for South Barwon.
Geelong City after six rounds were still winless in attempting to defend its 8/192, Leopold winning its fourth game for the season and without star batsman Rod Kiddle who was unavailable, Tony Brown complimenting his 3/25 with a match-winning 80. South Barwon cruised past North’s 125 with 7 wickets in hand, ex-St.Peters Damian Hester clouting 60 and supported by Brad Hauenstein with an unbeaten 51.
St.Josephs won a nail-biting match in the final over with 9/137 to Manifold Heights 9/136 young Saint John Fitzgerald showing nerves of steel with 29no on debut.
Interesting to reflect on the GCA’s first season of 1896-97. The initial 6 clubs were Capulets, Clarendon, Geelong, Magpies, Non-Descripts and Yarra Street Wesleyans sharing the three grounds “with squads of cyclists seen after the cessation of business hastening out by the country roads to Osborne, Kardinia and Corio Ovals to charge their lungs with pure air and feast their eyes with rural scenery”. Following the season opening on 17 October there was a two week break “owing to the opening of the VRC Spring Racing Carnival”. H.J.DeLittle scored the first ever century with 117no and “carried his bat in capital exhibition”. Charles Brownlow captured 4/4 a to-be career best whilst Harry Luttrell took 13 match wickets “having a royal time with his underarm trundlers”. The three day grand final at the Osborne House ground featured “a splendid afternoon tea provided by the ladies who graced the contest with their presence”, nine hundred spectators each day paying a shilling each.
17TH NOVEMBER 2017
Last round undefeated North Geelong celebrated Andrew Fergusson’s 150th GCA 1st.X1 match with the classy middle order batsman contributing 45 in his side’s solid 5/293 against Lara. With 3 seasons initially at both St.Peters and Lara he has found his home at North for the past 10 years. Raising eyebrows of a promising career with the double of 75 & 6/10 in his second game at St.Peters, he has gone on to amass 182 (the highest of his 10 centuries to date) on his North Geelong debut in 2006-07 which was followed by consecutive scores of 95, 65, 61 & 59 and be a member of North’s premiership team that year. He has pounded 5,683 @ 41.5 and is one of only 12 batsmen ever to score 3,000 plus runs and average over 40.0.
All cricket followers gathering around the office water cooler will have an opinion on who should bat at the highly contested no 6 position for Australia. Most aspirants are failing this Sheffield Shield season but could there be a wildcard – our own Aaron Finch! His stats are 82 first-class matches for Victoria and Yorkshire generating 3,728 runs at 36.5 plus 3,755 runs in T20 and one-dayers at 38.6 and 34.7 respectively. He scored the record highest T20 score of 156 against England in 2013 off only 63 balls. This season the regular opener has dropped down to no 5 for Victoria in pursuit of a middle order position in the Test team and has responded in the first 3 Shield games with a 41, 62 & 54. Unfortunately his blob in the current match against Tasmania and rain on the final day hasn’t helped his cause. His explosive batting style in the middle order could rip England apart and change the complexion of the game in two hours. His first-class average of 36.5 is probably 10 short of test standard and his age may be against him but selection in the Test team today would be greeted with two candles on his cake – Aaron Finch is 32 today!
The Geelong Cricket Association has been blessed with two fine Cricket Operations Managers over recent years in David Barnes and Wes Cusworth (who both had to relinquish their roles due to other commitments, Wes now the GCA Sponsor and Promotions Manager and David still heavily involved at Newtown & Chilwell and various roles at GCC) together with GCA Life Member and Secretary for two decades in Jan Nowicki, but this season sees “new kid on the block” in Garry Goodman accept the role of Secretary/Administrator. As he is virtually unknown in local cricket circles, Garry (NOT GARY AS THE INCORRECT SPELLING OF HIS CHRISTIAN NAME INFURIATES HIM? he has worked for cricket over a long period from 1970. He “cut his teeth” at Premier Club, Camberwell as junior team manager, assistant secretary, secretary and vice-president, president, then under Camberwell Magpies as vice president and secretary and manager. For a period he was also general manager of North Shore Football club (NSW) and assistant secretary of North Sydney cricket club. This all preceded his roles at Traralgon CA as secretary, vice president of North Gippsland Football League, secretary and treasurer of Gippsland Cricket League, secretary and administration manager, secretary and manager of Old Scotch football club and is currently secretary and administration manager at the GCA plus secretary of the Barwon Cricket Region. So please all in correspondence to Garry, his name is GARRY !, not Gary !
Leopold skipper Tim Marshall, the player with most runs and wickets of current players for his Club, would have slept a trifle easy after Patrick Richards century (119) and former GCC bat Joe Vallelonga (62) pounded the crack East-Belmont attack on day one to deposit his side at a normally winning 7/302, but “the game is not over until it’s over” rang true with East winning with 5/306. Leopold’s score was its highest against East-Belmont since 1994-95 in its premiership and champion’s year with 9/293, Gavin Castle leading the way with 91. Consequently, Leopold have lost the last 20 games against East-Belmont!
The win by East was headed by consistent Sean O’Neill (97) and Kingston-Hawthorn recruit via Warrion Lachie Inglis (79no) and ever reliable Andrew Baars (74) with Baars passing 5,000 career runs during his innings, the slick opener averaging 32.4.
Another personal milestone was reached last round when express man Chris Young captured 6/38 for Grovedale against Newtown & Chilwell. He thus passed 200 career wickets, the England recruit in 2008-09 and returning in 2011-12 commanding a mean and lean 14.8 in his 86 games. In his 7 seasons he has enjoyed 3 Grovedale premierships, taking 35 wickets in those 3 finals series @ 8.4, last season pivotal with snares of 7/46 & 3/33.
With Corio Stores advertising flagons of Kaiser Stuhl for $1 and The Seekers pop group performing at the Geelong Theatre live, John Russell (142no), Brian Rhodes (55) and Harry Heard (35) bludgeoned the East-Belmont attack to the tune of 4/322 (Craig Woolcock 3/74), Leopold’s Graeme Jobling with 99 last round proved his versatility with 5/67 against Chanel College (Michael Merriman 67) and Eric Faulkner held North Shore-Norlane’s innings of 196 with a defiant 44 (john Ross 4/67, Brian Schaeche 3/49) against South Barwon. Noel Mullen (34) was a lone figure in St.Josephs 106 (Laurie Winch 3/25) against Corio. Ron Russell (104) in to-be his last match for the season together with Eric Nicholls (45) and Ron Tenabel (38) mustered 293 against Newtown & Chilwell (Bob Merriman 5/43).
In GCA second division 3rds Danny Wilson (216no) and Englishman Kevin Grant (210) compiled a mammoth partnership of 359, being the highest partnership –all wickets –all grades of GCA cricket, at Eastern Gardens No 1 oval against a hapless Thomson.
The North Geelong – Geelong West opening day’s play was dominated by two outstanding achievements – North’s 206 was structured by Alf Clark’s 78 whilst Darren Kiddle broke Grovedale’s record with 8/63. Wicketkeeper-batsman Brett Goggin was the toast of Queens Park with 102 against Lara, Michael Brown returning 4/87. Goggin’s hundred was the first century by a wicketkeeper-batsman at Newtown since “Ike”Gosbell hit 104 against CYMS in 1948.
Bell Post Hill won its first game for the season after blitzing Torquay for a lowly 67. In successive rounds Torquay recorded both its highest and lowest team scores. Brendan Sleeman, after notching 4 consecutive ducks (only headed by Les Jones in 1939-40 and Bernie Morgan in 1985-86 with 5 consecutive ducks), was the hero with a career best 6/14 off just 7 overs.
Lara suggested it was a finals contender with a gutsy 5/211 against powerful East-Belmont, Chris Bambury leading by example with an even 50 whilst Kieran Atkin followed up his 42 on debut last round with a classy 32.
After compiling just 29 runs for the season, GCA 1st.X1 games record holder Ross Aylmer with 317 games was dropped by North Geelong and did not return to the fold for the season. However North did not capitalize and was dismissed for just 125, Alf Clark the only magpie to reach double figures with yet another stand-out innings of 71, Phil Hunt taking 3/15 for South Barwon. Versatile Alex Crellin and Ben Joass hit 46no & 37 respectively to deposit Geelong City at 8/192, Tony Brown taking 3/25 for Leopold.
Tony Williams (21) and Mark Zimmer (20) were the backbone of Manifold Heights 9/136, Brian Wemyss in just his third game (and to-be last) snaring 5/22.
In an earlier era four time premiership Hawthorn hero Luke Hodge, born in Colac would have played for the Cats. It is little known that Hodge was a member of Geelong’s Dowling Shield (for promising U16’s) cricket premiership team in season 1998-99 as was Jimmy Bartle, Bartel also a member of the Victorian U17 squad. Another Hodge however has links with Geelong – Dylan Hodge, younger brother of Luke, who wandered into Newtown & Chilwell in round… of season 2015-16 and clouted 61 on debut against St.Josephs and went on to compile … runs at the slick average of … However Hodge then packed his bags in 2016-17 and played Premier Cricket with Camberwell Magpies but the 20 year old did not manage a 1st.X1 game, playing eight matches at 2nd.X1 for a contribution of 205 runs @ 25.6 with a best of 91.
10TH NOVEMBER 2017
Tomorrow sees the conclusion of round four which included the North Geelong-Lara clash. Friend and fellow cricket stats man, Shane McGrath at North Geelong sent me a most interesting article on a North Geelong-Lara match but it was 133 years ago! Charles Brownlow was the North Geelong Secretary and player and as a watchmaker/jeweller in Malop Street, decided to donate a trophy each season to the best performance and on round one of season 1884-85 he gave the first trophy to a Mr. Jones who the previous season on 23rd February, 1884 took 7/5 & 6/13 in the same match against Lara, the side removed for 19 & 33! As the GCA commenced in 1896, this match was played in the “Second Rate Church Union Association” (as described in the Geelong Advertiser). North Geelong CC was founded in 1879 whilst Lara started in 1875 and are therefore two of the oldest cricket clubs in Geelong, the first recorded game of cricket in Geelong in 1841.
Good to see my readers are alert! Last week’s article contained two “gremlins” which infiltrated my software – Gremlin no 1 – Leopold debutant Patrick Richards 74 not out did come close to the club’s highest score on 1st X1 debut. Last week I stated Leopold’s highest score on 1st X1 debut of 77 by Robert Mott and Graeme Kilfoyle but in fact the club record at 1st X1 belongs to David Kirk with 93 on debut against Newtown & Chilwell in 2013-14. Gremlin no 2 – Spiro Malakelis did make a century but it was not in last week’s “50 Years Ago”. Try 30 years ago!
The name “Cannon” returns to GCA files after a 20 years departure when last Saturday 15 year old Charlie Cannon made his GCA debut for St. Josephs 6th X1. His father, Shaun decided to make a comeback after two decades to play with his son and the two “leggies” picked up 3 wickets apiece on the Noble Street oval. Shaun’s name is etched in GCA 1st X1 records as he is one of only two Saints bowlers to capture 5 or more wickets on 1st.X1 debut with 5/13 against North Geelong in 1994-95. The other on St.Josephs debut was by Leigh Heyward with 6/68 against East-Belmont in 1990-91. However the Cannon’s inherited a strong pedigree as father/grand-father, Peter made a century on debut for East-Belmont 4ths. in the early 1970’s.
Clunes recruit Pat Richards followed his 74no on debut last round with a classy 119 no last Saturday against the crack East-Belmont side to register Leopold’s highest score since Ben O’Brien’s 139 against Lara in 2014-15. It was also the first time in Leopold’s 60th Season in Division One 1st.X1 that a batsman has scored 50 or more on debut followed the next round with a century.
Former Geelong Advertiser Editor, Graeme Vincent, wrote an important article last Monday on the importance that we all to learn to administer CPR. Former East-Belmont and North Geelong batsman, Anthony Petkovic can certainly vouch for that as he is now recovering in hospital after suffering a heart attack whilst running, a passer-by stranger administrating CPR to save his life. Playing 3 seasons at East-Belmont and one at North Geelong, his highest score was on this round tomorrow of 43 for North against Grovedale in 1988-89. Anthony all in cricket wish you a speedy recovery.
South Barwon registered the day’s highest score with 313 against Chanel College and was led by a brilliant 103 from opener Lindsay Allan and a patient 89 from fellow opener, Gil Rush (Bernie Johnson 4/70). The spinning spinners of Ian Treloar (4/21) saw North Shore-Norlane blitzed for 96 (Steve Deppeler 26) and 75 (Peter Hester 5/38) to be defeated by GWC&FC outright. John Alldis (33) top scored for East-Belmont but its 166 was overtaken by Leopold with 225, Mike McLean a memorable 51 on debut. St. Josephs captain Peter Hassett saw his side win its first game for the season with 82 and together with Chris Morgan (41) deposit his side at a match winning 9/250 against Geelong City after teenager Shane Fitzgerald spun a web with 5/70).
Driving rains affected all matches to draws with personal highlights being Daniel Fanning (St.Josephs – 65) and Glenn Wiese (North Geelong – 7/35).
Meanwhile at Durban, Omar Henry was selected for South Africa to play in his first ever Test at the age of 40 years and 295 days to be the oldest South African to make his Test debut. He played just two more Tests but he is notable for being the first non-white player of the post-Apartheid era to play Test cricket for South Africa.
Rod Kiddle was again prominent, his 110 no last week complimented with 4/16 in removing North Geelong for 128, well short of the 8/309 target. In a high scoring match Torquay’s 5/385 proved too much for St.Josephs 9/318, the Torquay win to-be its only success for the season, nomadic 5 GCA clubs all-rounder Ben Smiljanic recording 136 & 5/65, being just the 30th occasion that a player achieved the double of a century and 5 wickets in an innings in the same match.
Grovedale recorded a stunning outright victory over Newtown & Chilwell, the most successful club in GCA history with 20 senior premierships. The last time Newtown lost outright was precisely 50 years ago in round six of season 1957-58 against Leopold. Explosive pace saw Graeme Harper take 3/25 & 4/66 which included a hat-trick.
Meanwhile on this round at Chittagong, N.D. McKenzie (226) & G.C. Smith (232) posted the highest Test opening partnership ever of 415 for South Africa against Bangladesh.
On this Sunday 42 years ago New Zealand’s “Day of Dread” occurred. Impatient at the delay in claiming the last New Zealand wicket for victory, England fast bowler Peter Lever dug in a bouncer to no 11 batsman Ewan Chatfield who had scored 13. Unable to deal with it, he was struck on the temple (no helmets worn then). He collapsed, moaning and groaning legs twitching, face blue. His heart stopped while Lever slumped to the turf vomiting and weeping thinking he had killed Chatfield. He suffered a hairline fracture but eventually made a complete recovery playing for his country for a further 10 years and played for the Kiwis against Geelong at Kardinia Park in 1981, collecting one wicket, that of opener Chris Lynch.
3RD NOVEMBER 2017
Austin Humphrey played just his third game for St. Josephs last Saturday and scored his first two runs but his name will be etched in the GCA annals for all time. Why? Because he was caught by North Geelong’s Peter Kenyon giving keeper Kenyon his 300th dismissal behind the stumps. In a remarkable return to GCA 1st.X1 cricket, Kenyon caught five Saints, his last match being in North’s 2006-07 premiership side. The top 10 wicketkeepers are…
St. Josephs, Torquay
G (Gordon) McKay
Glg.City,N & C
Leopold, N & C
Grovedale, N & C
Newtown & Chilwell won its first game of the season last round over Lara with two Queens Park boys starring in the field. English import Graham Clark captured 4/25 on debut, three of his wickets caught by keeper Tim Hosking, Hosking snaring 5 catches overall. For Lara the captaincy seems to be “jinxed” as captain Daniel Weigl did not play due to a reoccurring injury, Danny Hughes taking the reins only to break his thumb and unable to bat !
Leopold also broke through for its maiden win over Murgheboluc 207 to 156 in a match-winning last wicket stand of 71 runs by debutant Patrick Richards (74no) and Ben Horne (20). Although a gallant last wicket stand, if Horne could have “hung on” for a little longer, Leopold’s highest score on debut could have been broken which is jointly held by two debutants with 77no by Robert Mott against East-Belmont in 1980-81 and Graeme Kilfoyle against Lara in 1985-86.
Eammon Vines continues to be “knocking down the door” for first class selection with yet another century last Saturday for Geelong against Greenvale. With an unbeaten 121 to add to his previous hands this season of 31,79 and 102, a member of the Victorian Futures League, has 334 runs @ 111.3 this season to propel him to the competition’s leading run maker ahead of Liam Tonkin’s 265 runs @ 66.3 for Frankston. Finishing second last season in the Premier Cricket competition averages with a commanding 870 runs @ 51.2, Vines 9 career hundreds places him second behind Aaron Finch’s 14 career centuries, Clinton Peake on top with 21 tons. Maybe soon the Victorian openers will be Finch/Vines, a unique record in Geelong cricket!
ON THIS ROUND – 50 YEARS AGO – NOVENBER 1967
On this opening day’s play the only century was scored in all sections by elusive Geelong winger, Spiro Malakellis with 115 against Lara 4th.X1 and he thus won a new cricket ball donated by Murray’s Menswear who are this season donating a new ball to every centurion and 7 wicket-taker in all GCA cricket. With Geelong’s unemployment level at 0.9%, Bob Merriman followed up his 6/73 with a crushing 8/45 for Newtown against Geelong City, Colin Helwig opening the innings with a courageous 65. Leopold mustered a healthy 299 and was led by Gary Jobling with an unlucky 99, being the club’s first ever 99 (Peter Diamond 3/61. East-Belmont recruited bank manager Geoff Mathews and he immediately responded with an aggressive 86 on debut against South Barwon (Ted Anderson 3/34, John Ross (3/68).
Leopold posted the opening day’s play with the competition’s highest score of 8/251 due to John Trueman’s first innings of the season with 68 with support from Guy Ridgeway’s 61 to follow his successive scores of 61, 60no &48. Craig Scott’s marathon 31 overs returned an excellent 5/65. Leg-spinner Brad Stacey (48no) and Jason Muller (37) aided Newtown’s 9/200 but a brutal 64 by Stephen Wells was an innings to remember against St.Josephs (Terry Powell 4/61). Peter Smith’s sheer pace netted him the outstanding figures of 5/25 of 15 overs to dismantle Lara for 108.
After celebrating his 100th game last round, Brad Hauenstein entered the record books with 99 against Geelong West, being the first player of the 32 batsmen in history to be dismissed run out courtesy of a direct hit by Glen Talarico. Leopold’s 8/309 was due primarily to Rod Kiddle’s unconquered 110 against North Geelong, being Kiddle’s 10th career century to equal his brother, Darren also with 10 career hundreds.
Following his career best 91 last round, the coveted century again eluded St. Joseph’s Daniel Lowery with 92 against Torquay.
William Evans Midwinter is the only man to have played Test cricket for England against Australia and for Australia against England. Born in the forest of Dean, Gloucestershire in 1851 he migrated to the Australian goldfields with his family and scored the first double century in Australia, 256 for Bendigo v Sandhurst in 1869. He later was selected in the first Test ever in Australia and had match figures for England of 6/101 in Australia’s historic win over England in 1877 at the MCG. He returned to England and played four Tests for England. Midwinter again returned to Australia but the sudden deaths of his wife, son and daughter within a year destroyed him. He died tragically in Melbourne’s Kew Asylum for the insane at the age of 39.
27th OCTOBER 2017
Another round played and another match lost, Geelong Cricket Club’s 1st X1 nought-three standing despite constant press reminders the side has all the positives. Skipper Eamonn Vines has however wasted no time with the bat with scores of 31, 71 and a brilliant 102 last Saturday and is third on the competition’s top run scorers with 204 runs @ 68.0 behind Essendon’s Aaron Ayre (237 runs) and Frankston’s Liam Tonkin (231) to follow up his outstanding season last year where he pounded 870 Premier Cricket runs at a healthy 51.2 which included two centuries and a best of 132no against St. Kilda. He is the leader of the club on the field but now his dad is in charge off the field, being elected club President last week following the retirement of Peter McCoombe due to serious health reasons. Solicitor dad Michael Vines played 63 GCA 1st X1 games for South Barwon between 1976-1990 and is a member of South Barwon’s last GCA Division One 1st X1 premiership team in his debut season of 1976-77. As if the father-son combination isn’t enough as club leaders, wife and mum Amanda is the club Secretary!
Indian recruit Daanish Mehta had an immediate impact for Murgheboluc, opening the innings and top scoring with 81 on debut to totally dominate his side’s 156 all-out, James Menzies explosive thunderbolts returning a career best 5/28, being his third 5 wicket haul in just 26 games for Leopold. Playing in the 3rds. and 2nds.in the opening two rounds Mehta’s brilliant 81 has only been bettered by 17 batsmen on 1st X1 debut, Lara’s John Hughes topping the listing with an unbeaten 176 against St.Josephs in 1985-86. However the innings was a Murgheboluc record on debut, eclipsing Greg Holmes 53 against Geelong City in 2016-17. Another “Hughes” achieved a personal best last Saturday when batsman Andrew Hughes collected 5/83 against Newtown & Chilwell, his return lifting his wickets to just 15 in 157 games. Newtown & Chilwell’s massive 9/320 included the first 7 batsmen mustering 25 runs or more apiece, something this column has never seen before!
“Everything comes to those who wait” would describe East-Belmont’s Nathan Frye’s seventeen boundary 104 against Geelong City last Saturday. A product of the club’s juniors prior to season 2010-11, since that time he has played seconds and below cricket with a best of 106no at 2ndX1 in 2012-13. Called upon the 1st.X1 for the first time in round number one this season and with a duck in round two, his century compliments the Lions already strong batting brigade.
50 YEARS AGO – OCTOBER, 1967
Newtown & Chilwell, chasing a seemingly easy 130, was bundled out for a paltry 113 at the hands of Geelong City, Brian Edwards top scoring with 24, Brian Rhodes and John Russell taking 3 wickets apiece. Newtown batted a second time with 3/121, Robert Foster recording a pair. St.Josephs was forced to follow on with 124 and 4/63 (Vin Grace 26, Russell Zampatti (19), Len Ridgweay (3/29) against Leopold whilst East-Belmont was gallant in defeat with 227 chasing South Barwon’s 267 with bank manager Geoff Mathews aggressive 86 on debut for East,(Mathews to compile 339 runs in his debut season). Jim Connoley (39) and Geoff Dalton (32) were supportive.
25 YEARS AGO – OCTOBER, 1992
St.Josephs was bundled out for just 128 in pursuit of East-Belmont’s 8/160 with ex-VCA veteran Peter Cox stubborn with 34, Denis Moyle taking 3/39. Lara won its first match over Geelong West, its 7/142 again centred on John Hughes unbeaten 53, Jamie Maddern taking his third 3 wicket haul with 3/67. Grovedale opened its account for the season with 4/179 to overhaul Leopold’s 6/153, the trio of Rod Kiddle (50no), Jason Bakker (31) and Mark Baker (35) all in top form. The “dynamic duo” of Alf Clark (31) and Neil Alford (31) led North to victory over Newtown & Chilwell (Graeme Ross 4/13)
10 YEARS AGO – OCTOBER, 2007
East-Belmont celebrated its 500th game since entering District Cricket in 1966-67 with its fourth win against Leopold. Geelong City champion bowler Travis Agg collected 3/46 against North Geelong and simultaneously passed 250 career wickets at the lean average of 11.2. Clinton Ford passed 200 career wickets with 5/41 for Newcomb & District and in tandem with Jason Murray’s 5/30 reduced Grovedale to 170, Michael Kelson the backbone of Grovedale’s innings with 93 but Newcomb collapsed for 120, Barry Tsitas in sparkling form with 4/16.
Lara’s Danny Hughes excelled with both bat and ball with 66, 4/27 & 3/11 but last men in, Tom Dunn (6no) and Tom Aldridge (4no) hung on grimly to deny Lara outright points, Torquay curiously dismissed for 92 followed by 9/92. Bell Post Hill lost its third match with scores a curious 122, 123 & 124
One of cricket’s oddest scorecards came 40 years ago in Swansea when Worcestershire’s batsmen collapsed against Glamorgan with one exception. New Zealand opener Glenn Turner batted throughout the innings of 169, finishing with 141no. The next highest score was 7 by no 10 batsman Norman Gifford. The other batsmen managed just 14 scoring shots between them. Turner’s score represented 83.4% of the innings total being the highest % by one batsman in first-class history. The highest % in GCA is 75.2% in 1900-01 when Corio’s H.J.DeLittle compiled 103no in his team’s 137 against Geelong “B”.
20th OCTOBER 2017
Round 12 of last season witnessed the blistering attack by East-Belmont pair, Sean O’Neill (203no) and Andrew Baars (169), the pair smashing the record opening partnership of 390 to overcome the long standing previous record opening stand of 300 by Bert Brown (181no) and Archie Gourlay (102no) for Federal Mills against International Harvester in 1941-42. That 390 stand was also the highest GCA partnership for all wickets. The “dynamic duo” were “at it again” last Saturday with an opening stand of 238 against St.Josephs with O’Neill (121) and Baars (91) setting up East’s mammoth 9/336. That team’s total was the first time a side passed 300 runs in a one day game in October since the GCA introduced a series of one day matches in October from season 2003-04. (One day matches commenced in October as rains ruined many two day games historically in October) In fact the previous highest score in October one day matches was again by East-Belmont with 5/293 against Newtown & Chilwell in season 2014-15 when Mark Hanley (108) and Becker Nguyen(76no) set up the bloated total.
St.Josephs called upon 8 bowlers in an attempt to slacken the run frenzy on Saturday, Bell Post Hill recruit Rhys Burke returning a career best 4/37, an admirable feat given the 9/336 total.
Partnerships of note were the flavour of the day because at Osborne Park Newtown & Chilwell were all but “dead and buried” at 9/124 chasing North Geelong’s 197 but a fighting last wicket partnership of 71 by captain Shane Franklin (68) and last man in Nick McGuane (12no) almost brought about a marvellous win for the Two Blues. It was McGuane’s career highest score from his 28 games to date in a match he will remember as he also took a career best 5/40 which included a hat-trick. It was Newtown’s fourth ever hat-trick, the last by Brian Edwards in 1977-78 preceded by George Schofield twice in 1949-50 & 1933-34. The gallant stand of 71 however was not a Newtown record as their last wicket record is also a GCA 1st.X1 last wicket record held by Murray Allen (80) and Laurie DeGoldi (32no) against St.Josephs in 1978-79.
Cricket Victoria is midway through a Key Findings Report on the state of cricket in all regions in Victoria, our area being the Barwon Region. Having completed Stage 2 of 5 Stages, its findings in our Barwon Region include –
· Recorded the highest number of participants (5,899) of any Country Cricket Region across the state.
· Experienced a 3% decrease in overall participant numbers (-180) compared with a 0.6% increase across the state (+202).
· Recorded an 8.7% decrease in introductory aged 2-11 years participants (-52) compared to an 11.4% increase across the state (+368).
· Decline in junior numbers (12-17 years) by 3.5% compared to a 0.6% increase across the state.
· Senior participant base decreased by 1.8%.
· Has a 1.3% female participant base compared to state average of 3.1%.
· Has an average player age of 25 years.
The above stats suggest that despite the Region’s strong overall participant base, there is a need to address recent declining player numbers across all age groups.
Richie Oliver “ hit the ground running” in the opening round with a superb 120 against St.Josephs to add two further milestones to his brilliant career at Geelong City since he was recruited from Shropshire in the UK just six seasons ago. His century was his eleventh, one more than Adam Pitts but the leader at City “will never be beaten” that of legendary Harry Heard with 29 scored between 1936-1971. His innings against St.Josephs also saw him pass 3,000 career runs, his 3,043 runs to date scored at the commanding average of 51.6. His other feats include a City record 771 runs at 59.3 in season 2013-14 and the highest score ever at City of 203no against Highton also in season 2013-14.
50 YEARS AGO – OCTOBER 1967
On this day Ian Brayshaw, a solid medium pacer, enjoyed his finest hour in his 101 first-class matches for Western Australia by taking all 10 wickets in an innings against Victoria at Perth, his 10/44 snared from 17.6 overs. His scalps included the prize wickets of Bill Lawry, Bob Cowper and Keith Stackpole.
On this round where Geelong’s unemployment level was 0.9%, Newtown & Chilwell all-rounder Bob Merriman followed up his 6/73 last round with a magnificent 8/45 to rout Geelong City for 130, Colin Helwig standing firm opening the innings with 65. Leopold’s healthy 299 was led by Gary Jobling with an unlucky 99, being the club’s first 99, Len Ridgeway carving 75 late in the innings against St.Josephs (Peter Diamond 3/61). Russell Peake was the day’s only centurion with an elegant and unbeaten 122 for South Barwon against East-Belmont (Craig Woolcock 4/45) whilst Michael Bowtell (50) and Rod Groves (40) held Chanel together in compiling 165.
25 YEARS AGO – OCTOBER 1992
Peter Quick was unplayable, his 14 overs mesmerising Newtown & Chilwell with 5/19, its 132 only highlighted with Bruce Nunn’s 58 against North Geelong. Scott Day’s 51no was the only solid contribution in East’s 8/160, Terry Powell returning the fine figures of 5/58 for St.Josephs. Likewise in Geelong West’s innings of 126 only Gary Finnemore’s 45 deserved merit, Lara’s Barry Goodwin taking 4/22. Darren Kiddle bowled unchanged, his 29 overs returning 5/74 for Grovedale, Leopold all out for 152 (Guy Ridgeway 60no).
10 YEARS AGO – OCTOBER 2007
A week in cricket can make all the difference. East-Belmont captain-coach Grant Dew trundled off the field a very “disillusioned cricketer after becoming the third victim (lbw) in Sam Farnsworth’s double hat-trick last round but bounced back with a career best 6/27 against Geelong City. Glenn Talarico’s splendid double of 55no & 3/21 led Geelong West to victory but first seasoner Joe Ellis was again prominent with 4/35 for Torquay.
Englishman Chris Bambury returned from Ballarat and hit a chanceless 101no for Lara, Damien Foster celebrated his 100th game with his fifth century, 113 for St.Josephs against Leopold but his party was ruined with Leopold the victors due to Matt Aston’s 118 and a career best 3/57 from ex-St. Kilda footballer, Tony Brown. A gallant individual performance by Brad Hauenstein saw South Barwon take the points over BPH with 75no plus 5/12.
The new housing estate built on the former Geelong Technical College has a street named “Eason Close” which is accessible via Kilgour Street and was named after Geelong great footballer, Bill Eason who played 220 VFL games between 1902-15 and was the first Geelong player to play 200 games, the versatile centre player captaining the club from 1910-13. However Eason was also a champion cricketer starring at the bowling crease, the paceman collecting 547 wickets at the unbelievably low average of 10.7. Playing for GCA clubs Belmont, Geelong, East-Geelong (pre WW1) and North Geelong between 1928-1931 he took 7 or more wickets in an innings a staggering 20 times, his closest rivals in this category being George Smart (14 times bowling “underarms”) and Bert Brown (11 times). All current players have not achieved this category more than once in a career.
13TH OCTOBER 2017
The surprising retirement of Kent Agg at the peak of his career best form brings to an end the dynasty of the name Agg at Geelong City. Father Robert commenced at Richmond Crescent in in 1968 and retired in 1992, son Travis spanned 1991 to 2008 whilst Kent commenced his 1st.X1 career in 1999. Robert’s career netted 376 wickets @ 17.3, being the club’s record 1st.X1 aggregate whilst son Travis snared 282 wickets at a lowly 11.8 apiece. Kent Agg’s precisely 250 wickets averaged 18.6 but his last 155 wickets have been taken over the last 5 seasons at 31 per season and averaging a trim 14.6. Premierships have eluded the gifted trio with Robert playing in Geelong City’s last 1st.X1 premiership in 1985-86.
The Agg father / sons combination is arguably the second best in GCA history, the Well’s heading this listing at Newtown & Chilwell, father Geoff playing in 5 premierships, son Greg playing in 9 premierships plus the GCA record 574 wickets and son Stephen’s six premierships including 4,627 runs @ 33.3 plus the GCA record highest score of 237 against East-Belmont in 1986-87.
Attention cricket tragics – A supporter group of the Geelong Cricket Club has been formed, its aim is to be an informal group of the Club who will get together on match days, travel to the MCG to watch Shield games and enjoy occasional dinners. It has been named “Mid ON” and membership is only $30 per annum. The first gathering is tomorrow at 1.30pm during play in the 1st.X1 match against Frankston. If interested contact Alan Randall on 0401 993 280.
ON THIS ROUND – 50 YEARS AGO – OCTOBER 1967
Geelong City was obliterated for 86 by Corio (North Geelong) with a debutant batting at no 9 and registering a duck stumped Gordon McKay, bowled Terry Ingles.
That player was unceremoniously dropped from the team to be recalled next season and progressed to be one of Geelong’s finest all-rounders in Glenn Ward over the next two and a half decades. Ward was to amass 6220 runs @ 32.2 and take 286 wickets @ 17.1 over 253 games for Geelong City, North Shore-Norlane, East-Belmont and North Geelong and at Country Week, become the record holder with most Carnivals (15) and most games (61) as at 2017.
He represented Geelong against India, West Indies, New Zealand (twice) and to show his true all-round ability, won the man-of-the-match award against England as a wicketkeeper !
In other matches, John Caulfield mustered 55 on debut for East-Belmont against North Shore-Norlane (Dick Brady 5/57, Doug Toulmin (5/86), the youthful Chanel side registered the competition’s highest score of the round with 8/249 (Michael Bowtell 86, G.Fergusson 5/64) against GWC&FC whilst the other matches were washed out.
ON THIS ROUND – 25 YEARS AGO – OCTOBER 1992
Grovedale again found runs hard to acquire following its opening round 116 with 119 against Geelong West, Craig Scott (4/60) and youngster Jamie Maddern (3/49) the destroyers, Peter Korth (56) and Randall Whitten (37) cruising to victory with 5/121. Newtown’s opening bowler, Jeff Fisher commanded “braging rights” by top scoring for his side with 30 but East-Belmont passed the 155 total due to good hands of Andrew McMahon (55) and Michael Dunn (32), Tony Jefferies standing high with 5/51. Little known duo Alan Casperson (62no) and Michael Melvin (40) were the backbone of Lara’s 154 but Leopold continued on its winning way with 5/235, Aaron Croft again top scoring with 61 and supported by Guy Ridgeway (48). St.Josephs collapsed to be all out 104, Peter Quick and Steve Duhau collecting 3 wickets apiece.
ON THIS ROUND – 10 YEARS AGO – 2007
Bell Post Hill was skittled for 122, Leopold’s Tim Marshall the culprit with a career best 6/22, Leopold passing the total with 2 wickets in hand. Most cricketers never achieve a hat-trick let alone a double hat-trick (four wickets in four balls) but Newcomb & District’s Sam Farnsworth did that against East-Belmont, his 4/34 including THREE lbw’s. Grovedale had a comfortable win over North Geelong, 9/218 to 134 with Simon Pearce leaving the Two-Blue’s and having an immediate impact with 51 for Grovedale whilst champion batsman Alf Clark achieved a landmark never before experiencing – a 99.
Manifold Heights took the field against Torquay after round one was washed out with new captain-coach Andrew McCormack now playing for his sixth club. Only two others have played for 6 clubs, Robert Gurr and Bill Orchard. Stats aside, Manifold opened the season well defeated, a “blob” for the Heights leader but John Tarr collected 4/18 on debut.
DID YOU KNOW ?
On this day 75 years ago, legendary Stephen Harold “Yabba” Gascoigne was buried. A trader of rabbits Yabba held court in the centre of “The Hill” at the SCG for 40 years and had a gifted voice that carried clearly to the far corners of the ground and yelled out his comments for the underdog with an ex-soldiers vocabulary which won him a world-wide reputation. He always arrived at the SCG carrying a hamper and bottles of beer plus his rabbits for sale from his cart. Admirers loved him and shoved endless supplies of beer to him. Always wearing a hawkers white coat, he made the now gone Hill famous.
6TH OCTOBER 2017
With this column celebrating its 30th Anniversary this season, the GCA Division One 1st X1 competition reverts to a 10 team format for the first time since season 1997-98. Both Bell Post Hill and St.Peters have come and gone since 1997-98 together in the interim with Alexander-Thomson, Bell Park, Geelong West, Highton, Manifold Heights, Marshall, Newcomb & Districts & Torquay. Since 1997-98, South Barwon has been re-admitted whilst Murgheboluc is the “new kid on the block”.
The structure of the 1st X1 competition has varied between 3 and 20 teams. Originally a 6 club competition in 1896-97 with sides Capulets, Clarendon, Geelong, Magpies, Non-Descripts and Yarra Street Wesleyans, it shrunk to 3 teams at the commencement of season 1910-11 with Geelong (Geelong Cricket & Football Club) fielding two teams plus Clarendon. However radical change occurred that season “with scores woeful and teams batting 3 and four short” the GCA was in crisis and mid-season at a meeting of GCA Executives at the Prince of Wales Hotel, “a District Scheme effective immediately was implemented as within the Geelong area four teams would be geographically distributed, being Geelong West, East-Geelong, South Geelong and Newtown & Chilwell. “Under existing conditions, the competition is lifeless so it is hoped in the best interests of the game, that the scheme will be taken up with enthusiasm”.
So from the constraints of a three team competition in 1910-11 it exploded into 20 teams in season 2004-05 only with 10 clubs in the South-East pool and a further 10 teams in the North-West pool with the top team in each section playing for the flag.
So with this season comprising 10 clubs, the “Mean” number of teams over the playing seasons is also 10 whilst the “average” number of teams is 8.
All batsmen will be relieved that champion paceman Trent Walerys announced his retirement during the winter. Snapped up by St.Josephs after he left Geelong Cricket Club with a record 369 1st.X1 scalps, he led the Saints to back-to-back premierships in 2013-14 & 2014-15, taking 8/64 in the earlier grand final to become just the fifth bowler to capture 8 wickets or more in a grand final. In just 6 seasons and 81 games at St.Josephs he collected 200 wickets precisely at a lowly 15.99. With a best of 8/33 in game no 2, he is just the seventh bowler to take 200 wickets and average 16 or less and play less than 100 games.
The 1967-68 season opened with football still the talking point of the town following Geelong’s gallant 9 point loss in the grand final against Richmond in front of 109,276 patrons. First X1 captains were R. Groves (Chanel College), J. Russell (Geelong City), L. Winch (Corio), J.Connoley (East-Belmont), G. Fergusson (GWC&FC), W. Salter (Leopold), P. Anderson (N&C), N.Chapman (North Shore-Norlane), J. Roberts (South Barwon) and P. Hassett (St.Josephs).
East-Belmont, having played all its turf matches at Kardinia Park West since its inaugural season last year, officially opened its new wicket at Winter Reserve. Also the Geelong City Council, in conjunction with the Richmond Cricket Hall Committee constructed “ a grand new turf wicket with fine facilities at Richmond Crescent and it was now up to the residents in the Eastern area to make good use of it”.
The “annual shuffle” between Lara and Geelong City took place under the promotion / relegation system with Lara returning to Division One at City’s expense. The eight team competition consisted of East-Belmont, Geelong West, Grovedale, Lara, Leopold, Newtown & Chilwell, North Geelong & St.Josephs. Leopold recruited experienced campaigner David Breheny as captain / coach whilst Peter Smith returned to GCA cricket after three seasons with VCA club, South Melbourne, his triumphant return destined to net 40 wickets at a lowly 9.3 and a premiership for East-Belmont.
On this round, the State Minister of Sport, Mr Neil Trezise retired, the 185 gamer at Geelong having played in Geelong’s 1951 & 1952 premiership teams and forming one of Geelong’s greatest ever roving combinations with Peter Pianto. However “Nipper” was a classy GCA 1st X1 cricketer with GWC&FC highlighted by 117 against Newtown & Chilwell in 1962-63 and a premiership winning 92 in the grand final of that season.
New Leopold captain/coach David Breheny pulled off a master-stroke by throwing Steve Howarth the new ball and he responded with a match-winning opening round best 6/30 to take the points over St.Josephs 175 (Graeme Beaumont 42, Harry Chrimes 26), Aaron Croft (52) and Breheny (36) depositing Leopold at 6/191. In a low scoring match, East-Belmont compiled 9/119 (Leigh Finch 46) but Grovedale could manage just 116 with Peter Smith in early ominous form with 3/36 (Rod Kiddle 42).John Hughes 35 stood out like a beacon in Lara’s below par 84,Glenn Wiese 3/30 and Brad Cox in to-be his last season with 3/51. Peter Kenyon did not bat in his debut match but his three dismissals behind the stumps commenced a record-breaking to-be 299 victims over 13 seasons – a GCA record to this day.
ON THIS ROUND – 10 YEARS AGO – OCTOBER 2007
Manifold Heights returned to Division One cricket after a 3 season absence at the expense of Thomson to form a 14 team competition, being Bell Post Hill, East-Belmont, Geelong City, Geelong West, Grovedale, Lara, Leopold, Manifold Heights, Newcomb & District, Newtown & Chilwell, North Geelong, South Barwon, St Josephs & Torquay.
With only three matches played due to inclement weather, East-Belmont accounted for South Barwon, 8/165 to 146, East’s Andrew Baars (53) and South Barwon recruit Phil Hunt (2/23) sharing the honours. Barry Tsitas’ move from Newtown paid immediate dividends for Grovedale with a match winning 6/27 against Torquay, Joe Ellis on debut for the coastal town impressive with 3/26. In Newtown & Chilwell’s 80th season, wicketkeeper-batsman Brett Goggin made a welcome return to the fold after last playing in 1998-99 but Lara won 155 to 120, Sean Arnott’s 2/10 to-be his only wicket-taking match for the season.
Retired AFL umpire Brett Allen was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in June after 346 games over 16 seasons from 1992 to 2