O’DOWD DECLARES

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.

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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.

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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

Player

Club

Runs

Ave

Wkts

Ave

C. Week

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A.Hughes

Lara

741

82.3

 

 

 

S. O’Neill

East-Belmont

714

71.4

 

 

*

R. Oliver

Geelong City

723

65.7

 

 

*

A. Baars

East-Belmont

484

48.4

 

 

 

D. Vassiliou

North Geelong

498

55.3

 

 

 

G.C lark

Newtown & Chilwell

484

53.8

15

15.7

 

G. Yelland

Grovedale

207

25.8

32

11.8

 

L. Inglis (wk)

East-Belmont

254

36.3

 

 

 

A. Young

Grovedale

74

58.3

27

14.1

 

B. Williams

East-Belmont

 

 

32

18.1

*

T. Mathieson

North Geelong

 

 

30

12.9

 

P. Richards (12th)

Leopold

472

78.7

 

 

*

 

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!

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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.

O’DOWD DECLARES

ARTICLE NO 23

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!

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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!

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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 ?

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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.

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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.

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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.

O’DOWD DECLARES

ARTICLE NO 22

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.

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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…

Batsman

Score

 

Opposition

Carnival

 

 

 

 

 

A. Fergusson

102

 

Bendigo

2009

A. Cairns

103

*

Warrnambool

2010

A. Cairns

109

*

Mornington

2011

S. Young

105

 

Kyabram

2011

G. Talarico

104

 

Mornington

2012

C. Bambury

137

 

South-West

2014

C. Bambury

111

*

South-West

2015

S. Hall

110

 

Traralgon

2015

R. Oliver

148

 

Mornington

2016

R. Oliver

129

 

Traralgon

2016

R. Oliver

137

 

Ballarat

2017

S. O’Neill

107

 

Ballarat

2018

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

O’DOWD DECLARES

ARTICLE NO 21

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.

Player

Runs

HS

Ave

wkts

runs

best

Ave

S. O’Neill

161

107

53.7

 

 

 

 

R. Oliver

89

52

22.3

 

 

 

 

A. Fergusson

85

53 *

42.5

4

106

2/38

26.5

P. Richards

65

44 *

21.7

 

 

 

 

J. Smith

37

15 *

37.0

 

 

 

 

D. McMahon

36

31

18.0

4

55

4/30

13.8

B.Hauenstein

36

31

18.0

4

53

4/53

13.3

J.Rossi

36

20

12.0

 

 

 

 

M. Lineker

36

21

9.0

1

28

1/28

28.0

C. Bambury

27

21 *

13.5

2

90

1/6

45.0

G. Talarico

21

17

10.5

1

54

1/26

54.0

T. Milnes

1

2

2.0

0

20

0/20

 

N. Lynch

1

0 *

 

4

100

3/31

25.0

N. McGuane

 

 

 

8

118

4/29

14.8

C. Williams

 

 

 

5

60

4/17

12.0

M. Troy

 

 

 

0

41

0/41

 

 

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…

Batsman

GCA career runs

GCA average

C. Week runs

C. Week ave.

S. O’Neill

2,635

38.2

161

53.7

A. Fergusson

5,852

41.2

85

42.5

R. Oliver

3,646

53.6

89

22.3

P. Richards

406

67.7

65

21.7

M. Lineker

2,615

39.6

36

9.0

G. Talarico

6,308

43.8

21

10.5

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.

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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.

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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.

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ON THIS ROUND – 50 YEARS AGO – MARCH 1968

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).

ON THIS ROUND – 25 YEARS AGO – MARCH 1993

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.

 

 

DID YOU KNOW?

 

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.

O’DOWD DECLARES

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.

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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?

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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).

 

 

DID YOU KNOW?

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.

 

O’DOWD DECLARES

ARTICLE NO 19

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.

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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!

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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).

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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.

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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 !

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ON THIS ROUND – 50 YEARS AGO – FEBRUARY 1968

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.

ON THIS ROUND – 25 YEARS AGO – FEBRUARY 1993

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.

ON THIS ROUND – 10 YEARS AGO – FEBRUARY 2008

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.

DID YOU KNOW?

 

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 !!!

O’DOWD DECLARES

ARTICLE NO 18

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.

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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 – 50 YEARS AGO – FEBRUARY 1968

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.

ON THIS ROUND – 25 YEARS AGO – FEBRUARY 1993

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).

 

ON THIS ROUND – 10 YEARS AGO – FEBRUARY 2008

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.

DID YOU KNOW?

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”.

·        

O’DOWD DECLARES

ARTICLE NO 17

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.

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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.

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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.

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ON THIS ROUND – 50 YEARS AGO – FEBRUARY 1968

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.

 

ON THIS ROUND – 25 YEARS AGO – FEBRUARY 1993

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).

DID YOU KNOW?

 

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.

O’DOWD DECLARES

ARTICLE NO 16

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

DID YOU KNOW?

 

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.

O’DOWD DECLARES

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.

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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?
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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              

 

Player

Club

Runs

Ave

Wkts

Ave

Catches

Position on ladder

1.

S. O’Neill

East-Bel

486

69.4

 

 

2

2

2.

R. Oliver

Glg City

415

59.3

1

21.0

4

4

3.

N. Fitzpatrick

N. Glg.

79

15.8

14

18.6

2

1

4.

T. Marshall

Leopold

126

21.0

4

45.4

4

7

5.

B. Tsitas

Grovedale

83

16.6

9

25.4

4

3

6.

S. Franklin

N & C

118

23.6

1

68.0

2

6

7.

L. Ibbs

St.Josephs

72

10.3

 

 

2

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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50 YEARS AGO – JANUARY 1968

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.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

 

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.

 

O’DOWD DECLARES

ARTICLE NO 14

12THJANUARY, 2018

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…

SEASON

PLAYER

CLUB

WKTS.

AVE.

 

 

 

 

 

1909-10

G. Smart x

Clarendon

26

7.5

 

A. Brewer

Clarendon

23

9.8

 

F. Syer x

Clarendon

21

12.0

 

1911-12

W. Eason xx

East Geelong

44

11.0

 

A. Eason xx

East Geelong

34

8.2

 

L. Armstrong

East Geelong

23

9.2

 

 

 

 

 

1941-42

R. Brown

Geelong West

33

11.5

 

V. Connoley

Geelong West

32

11.2

 

J. Tucker

Geelong West

26

14.2

 

 

 

 

 

2012-13

G. Yelland

Grovedale

45

16.1

 

B. Tsitas

Grovedale

32

21.8

 

C. Young

Grovedale

32

14.9

 

 

 

 

 

2013-14

B. Tsitas

Grovedale

35

21.1

 

C. Young

Grovedale

33

16.9

 

G. Yelland

Grovedale

32

18.4

 

X  G. Smart & F. Syer both bowled underarms.

XX W. Eason & A. Eason were brothers who were champion footballers at Geelong Football Club.

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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.

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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).

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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.

DID YOU KNOW?

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 !

O’DOWD DECLARES

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.

PLAYER

CLUB

RUNS

AVE

WKTS

AVE

 

 

 

 

 

 

S. O’Neill

East Bel

486

69.4

 

 

R. Oliver

Glg. City

415

59.3

 

 

A.Hughes

Lara

381

54.4

10

27.4

S. Murdoch

N & C

314

44.9

8

29.4

G. Clark

N & C

285

57.0

12

14.3

A. Fergusson

Nth. Glg.

279

46.5

9

13.1

C. Parker (wk)

St.Josephs

269

67.3

 

 

G. Yelland

Grovedale

120

24.0

18

10.5

C. Williams

East Bel

4

 

21

16.8

C. Young

Grovedale

46

46.0

17

15.1

T. Mathieson

Nth. Glg.

71

17.8

15

12.6

D. Vassiliou (12thbat)

Nth. Glg.

268

44.7

 

 

N.Lynch (12thbowl)

Sth. Bar.

 

 

16

16.3

 

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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 …

PLAYER

SCORE

 

CLUB

AGAINST

SEASON

 

 

 

 

 

 

W. Anderson

217

*

Glg. Footballers

Geelong West

1933-34

L. Metherell

168

*

Glg. Footballers

North Geelong

1935-36

L. Laver

151

*

Glg. Footballers

Newtown & Chilwell

1932-33

W. Anderson

147

*

Glg. Footballers

South Geelong

1933-34

J. Mutton

140

*

South Geelong

Geelong West

1932-33

W. Anderson

136

*

Geelong City

Newtown & Chilwell

1931-32

J. Baker

125

*

Geelong “A”

Geelong “B”

1905-06

W. Eason

120

*

Geelong “B”

Geelong “A”

1908-09

H.J.DeLittle

117

*

Non-Descripts

Clarendon

1896-97

W. Anderson

115

*

Geelong City

South Geelong

1929-30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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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.

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ON THIS ROUND – 50 YEARS AGO – JANUARY 1968

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.

ON THIS ROUND – 25 YEARS AGO – JANUARY 1993

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.

ON THIS ROUND – 10 YEARS AGO – JANUARY 2008

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).

DID YOU KNOW?

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”.

 

O’DOWD DECLARES

ARTICLE NO 12

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!

PREMIERSHIP DROUGHT

This listing is as at the completion of last season for current clubs but excludes Murgheboluc which has played just 4 seasons.

Rank

Club

Last premiership

season

Number of

Seasons in GCA

1st X1

Total

premierships

A premiership

Every X

seasons

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

South Barwon

1976-77

58

5

11.6

2

Geelong City

1985-86

79

5

15.8

3

Leopold

1994-95

59

4

14.8

4

N & C

2000-01

88

20

4.4

5

North Geelong

2006-07

85

10

8.5

6

Lara

2009-10

32

1

32.0

7

East-Belmont

2012-13

51

7

7.3

8

St.Josephs

2014-15

53

4

13.3

9

Grovedale

2016-17

32

5

6.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to readers of this column, which will resume on January 5th 2018.

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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).

DID YOU KNOW?

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”.

O’DOWD DECLARES

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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ON THIS ROUND – 50 YEARS AGO – DECEMBER 1967

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).

ON THIS ROUND – 25 YEARS AGO – DECEMBER 1992

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).

ON THIS ROUND – 10 YEARS AGO – DECEMBER 2007

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.

DID YOU KNOW?

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.

 

O’DOWD DECLARES

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.

ON THIS ROUND – 50 YEARS AGO – DECEMBER 1967

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.

ON THIS ROUND – 25 YEARS AGO – DECEMBER 1992

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).

ON THIS ROUND – 10 YEARS AGO – DECEMBER 2007

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.

DID YOU KNOW?

 

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.

O’DOWD DECLARES

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.

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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.

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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.

 

ON THIS ROUND – 50 YEARS AGO – DECEMBER 1967

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).

ON THIS ROUND – 25 YEARS AGO – DECEMBER 1992

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).

ON THIS ROUND – 10 YEARS AGO – DECEMBER 2007

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.

DID YOU KNOW?

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!

O’DOWD DECLARES

ARTICLE NO. 8

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

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.

O’DOWD DECLARES

ARTICLE NO. 7

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.

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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!

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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 !

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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.

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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.

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ON THIS ROUND – 50 YEARS AGO – NOVEMBER 1967

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).

ON THIS ROUND – 25 YEARS AGO – NOVEMBER 1992

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.

ON THIS ROUND – 10 YEARS AGO – NOVEMBER 2007

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.

DID YOU KNOW?

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.

O’DOWD DECLARES

ARTICLE NO. 6

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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ON THIS ROUND – 50 YEARS AGO – NOVEMBER 1967

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).

ON THIS ROUND – 25 YEARS AGO – NOVEMBER 1992

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.

ON THIS ROUND – 10 YEARS AGO – NOVEMBER 2007

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.

DID YOU KNOW?

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.

 

O’DOWD DECLARES

ARTICLE NO. 5

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…

NAME

DISMISSALS

CLUBS

CAREER

P. Kenyon

304

North Geelong

1992-

D.Ford

268

St. Josephs, Torquay

1989-2008

G (Gordon) McKay

262

Nth.Glg,GWC&FC

1948-1974

P. Anderson

257

Newtown & Chilwell

1956-1979

G. Elliott

246

Glg.City,Leopold

1971-2001

A. Gosbell

238

Glg.City,N & C

1931-1953

M. Browne

229

Glg.City,N & C

1974-1986

D. Barmby

218

Leopold, N & C

1990-2001

M. Kelson

212

Grovedale, N & C

1996-

M. Hanley

211

East-Belmont

2003-

 

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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 !

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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.

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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!

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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).

ON THIS ROUND – 25 YEARS AGO – NOVEMBER 1992

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.

ON THIS ROUND – 10 YEARS AGO – NOVEMBER 2007

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.

DID YOU KNOW?

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.

O’DOWD DECLARES

ARTICLE NO. 4

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!

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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!

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“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.

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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

DID YOU KNOW?

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”.

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O’DOWD DECLARES

ARTICLE NO. 3

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

DID YOU KNOW?

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.

O’DOWD DECLARES

ARTICLE NO. 2

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

O’DOWD DECLARES

ARTICLE NO. 1

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.

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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.

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ON THIS ROUND – 50 YEARS AGO – OCTOBER 1967

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”.

ON THIS ROUND – 25 YEARS AGO – OCTOBER 1992

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.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

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 2007 where he was also the all-Australian umpire of the year four times and officiated in seven grand finals and 37 finals. He is the 14th. umpire inducted in the AFL Hall of Fame. However Brett is a Geelong boy and played GCA 1st  X1 cricket for North Geelong from 1988-89 until the third round of season 1991-92 with 33 against East-Belmont when footy umpiring terminated his promising cricket career. He made 47 on debut against South Barwon and his thirty six games yielded 1,129 runs at the smart average of 36.4 with a century, 112 against Newtown & Chilwell in 1989-90. A left-handed batsman he played in the 1988-89 losing grand final and compiled 46 in the following season’s semi-final. A consistent batsman he passed 30 on 16 occasions within his 34 innings.

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O’DOWD DECLARES

 

ARTICLE NO 22

 

17th MARCH 2017

Murgheboluc’ stunning victory over top-of-the-table North Geelong in last weekend’s Qualifying Final was the result of its highest score of the season being 301 and only the third time it has passed 300 in its 51 matches to date, its best being 313 against Highton in 2013-14. Its captain, Andrew Murden with a century before Tea led the way with a majestic 129, his 596 runs to date @ 45.8 well surpassing his 294 @ 26.7 in his first season last season but a man who has received no publicity at all is Dan Grozdanovski with a career best last weekend of 5/61 to lift his season wicket tally to 31 scalps at a low 14.6. In the form of his career, his 5/61 is proceeded by 4/69 and 3/42 in the previous two rounds. His figures in 2016-17 compare sharply to his last 3 seasons where he mustered just 10 games and a return of 5 wickets @ 38.0.

Murgheboluc until the qualifying final had not beaten North Geelong 1st.X1 and in fact its win last weekend was its first against North Geelong in all four grades over 18 clashes since the club was admitted to GCA ranks in 2013-14.

For North Geelong, it brought to an end its winning sequence of 8 matches, its last such winning streak in 1988-89 when it won 11 games straight.( Curiously skipper Sam Hall’s 86 followed another 86 in the previous round against St. Peters).

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The old adage “Cricket’s a Funny Game” can be tagged to the qualifying final between East-Belmont and St. Josephs. East, following its club record 2/407 in the last home-and-away match against Leopold and with that round’s double-centurions in Sean O’Neill (203no) and Andrew Baars (169) again opening the batting and at the crease in last weekend’s finals match and both in their 30’s proceeded to 1/69 and 2/108 then lost its last 8 wickets for 23 runs. Its 131 was its lowest finals score since 2008-09 when it managed 109 against, yes, St. Josephs!  The innings was “turned on its ear” by this seasons’ Darwin recruit, Francis Gill with an explosive seasons best 5/32. Captain Trent Walerys took just 1/30 but his wicket, that of fellow paceman David Lineen was significant as it was Walerys 200th wicket since joining The Saints from GCC in 2011-12. His wickets have been accumulated at a trim 15.8 apiece which includes a memorable 8/46 in the grand final of 2013-14, being St.Josephs first flag since 1988-89.

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Gareth Yelland, returning from injury which sidelined the versatile Grovedale all-rounder for the last two home-and-away rounds returned to the team in sensational form with a timely 107 last weekend against Newtown & Chilwell, his century his first for four seasons when he compiled 103no against St.Josephs in 2012-13. His contribution was exactly 50% of his team’s 212. Newtown, although disappointed at losing nevertheless won 7 games for the season including 5 from the first 5 rounds and its season was a considerable improvement on last season when it won just 3 matches.

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50 YEARS AGO – MARCH 1967

Laurie Winch, the Corio skipper, won the toss and batted. The innings began sensationally after Derek Sandell was out first ball of the match and Roger Allen was out for two, Corio reeling at 2/5. However opener Bill Frost (50) and middle order contributions from Reg Dean (46), Peter Osborne (46) and Gordon McKay (44) lifted Corio to 205, Gary Jobling the star for Leopold with 6/49. However Leopold faced just 3 balls at the end of day one and was blown away by Winch with 3/6, Leopold on the ropes at 3/11. The side was gallant in reply with 169, Bill Salter defiant with a courageous 104 and supported by Clive Rawlings with 35, Laurie Winch recording a brilliant 6/69.

In the other semi-final, GWC&FC, having defeated Geelong City during the home-and-away season, in a low scoring match, 5/152 to 5/120 batted on a soft wicket and mustered 169, Ron Tenabel (34), Barry Smith (28) and Eric Nicholls (26) forming the backbone of the innings, Brian Rhodes (3/49) and Trevor Smith (2/36) bowling during the bulk of the innings. In reply the Fergusons’ dismantled City with Gary 5/41 and Laurie 3/10. Openers John Russell and Colin Helwig were the only batsmen to pass 20 with 36 & 26 respectively.

25 YEARS AGO – MARCH 1992

Geelong West was removed for the lowest score in the semi-finals of 114 by the powerful North Geelong side which replied with 6/116. Only Greg Scott and Gary Finnemore for West passed 20 with 26 & 25 respectively, Glenn Wiese continuing his outstanding season with 5/38, Neil Alford (34) and versatile Peter Quick (21) leading the way in a low scoring encounter (David Batson 2/25).

Grovedale, having played Newtown & Chilwell twice in the home-and-away season and losing both, continued in that vein losing again 129 to 8/130 in another low scoring semi-final. Mitch Povey (25) and Shane Poyner (23) were the best for the Tiger bats, Jason Bakker unusually failing with nine, but amassing 414 runs for the season. Jeff Fisher was Newtown’s best with 4/34, the Two-Blues 8/130 constructed mainly by Stephen Wells (26) and Hayden Clarke (22), David Crosby’s 4/66 completing an outstanding season with 243 runs and 32 wickets.

10 YEARS AGO – MARCH 2007

There were no matches played as the GCA season finished in January due to the drought.

O’DOWD DECLARES

ARTICLE NO 21

10th MARCH 2017

Club President Steve Doedee and long serving administrator Rick Ingles had the champagne flowing at King Lloyd Reserve last Saturday night after the club’s 1st.X1 qualification to play finals cricket for the first time “with the big boys” in GCA 1st X1 cricket commencing tomorrow. The long established club which first played within the GCA in the Hedley, Solomon, Gowty and Austin Shields in the 1950’s and 60’s has come a long way to be playing in the GCA 1st X1 finals in just its fourth season but my research has revealed that of the 47 clubs to play GCA 1st X1 since formation Year 1896-97, no less than 21 or 45% have like Murgheboluc played in the finals within their first four seasons of existence two clubs have achieved the ultimate in winning the flag in their first year, being Non-Descripts in 1896-97 and Federal Mills in 1936-37.

Nine clubs made the finals in their first year, being Clarendon, Geelong and Magpies (1896-97), Geelong City, North Geelong and South Geelong (1928-29), GWC&FC (1948-49), St.Josephs (1964-65) and Bell Park (1999-00).

Five clubs participated in the finals in their second year (Capulets (1897-98), Kardinia (1908-09), South Barwon (1952-53), Chanel College (1965-66) and Newcomb & Districts (2004-05). Both Ford Motor Company (1939-40) and Leopold (1957-58) played finals in their third year whilst Newtown & Chilwell (1928-29), CYMS (1950-51) and East-Belmont (1969-70) fought the finals in their fourth year since joining the GCA.

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It has been well documented that prolific run-machine, Leigh Kentish failed to break the long standing record of 901 runs in a home-and-away season by legendary Jack Sing in 1948-49, Kentish’s outstanding season nevertheless amassing 828 runs @ a staggering 138.0. However it was “poetic justice” that the record stays in tack as Kentish played in 12 matches with 12 innings whilst Sing played in just 8 matches and batted in 6 innings. However the record of 980 runs in a season including finals by North Geelong’s Jake Thorne in 2013-14 could be under serious threat from Kentish requiring a further 152 runs from a potential 3 innings.

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St. Peters, a proud and successfully run club in Division Two would be disappointed with its winless season and a certainty to be relegated with next season’s new 1st X1 structure reducing from 12 to 10 clubs. However it was never disgraced with only one score below 100 with 87 against Geelong City and a highest 7/293 against powerful St. Josephs and an average score of 186. Previously St. Peter’s had two stints at GCA Division One, in 1997-98 for 5 seasons and from 2003-04 for a further 3 seasons. In its initial season in 1997-98 it won 4 matches against Lara, Newtown & Chilwell, Leopold and North Geelong and when re-admitted in 2003-04 it beat seven opponents in  East-Belmont, Newcomb & Districts, North Geelong, Newtown & Chilwell , St. Josephs ,Geelong City and Grovedale and played in the finals, losing the semi-final against Grovedale. In that year when it took the points, Grovedale were to be premiers whilst St.Josephs were runners-up. St. Peters ratio of wins over its previous 8 seasons was 46% and is only bettered by sides to play 8 seasons or more by East-Belmont (50%), Geelong “B” (63%), Geelong Footballers (53%), Geelong West (49%), Grovedale (50%), Newtown & Chilwell (52%), North Geelong (56%) St. Josephs (48%), and South Barwon (48%). Steve Illingworth is the only survivor playing this season from its last era and St. Peters would have been in dire straits without his all-round performances this year, the veteran topping his sides batting and bowling averages with 312 runs @ 26.0 and 26 wickets @ 20.2.

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Grovedale will be pleased that South Barwon finished 7th and not qualifying in the finals as it’s the only side to beat them this year in the first and last clash for the home-and-away season. Grovedale’s 10 consecutive wins has only been beaten once in the last 22 seasons when Leopold won all 11 games plus the two finals to be Premiers & Champions in 1994-95. The crack Leopold side included captain-coach David Breheny, Darren and Rod Kiddle, Guy Ridgeway, Gavin Castle and Darren Barmby. In that year the GCA Tribunal suspended Breheny for four matches, the last two home-and-away matches plus both finals matches, the cruel blow depriving Breheny of playing in the premiership team.

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50 YEARS AGO – MARCH 1967

With Geelong captain Graham Farmer not playing in Geelong’s first practice match of the season, the Club announced it would travel to Hong Kong for its 1967 end-of-season trip. The last round of home-and-away matches was a total washout, the final four being Leopold, Corio, Geelong West and Geelong City, the semi-finals to be contested next week.

25 YEARS AGO – MARCH 1992

Geelong City’s roller-coaster season resulted in an absence from this season’s finals, beaten in the last round by St.Josephs, 5/296 to 193. However Captain Grant Elliott had an outstanding season with 432 runs @ 54.0 plus 23 scalps behind the stumps which included 5 dismissals in an innings in the tied match against Newtown & Chilwell. Terry Powell’s 5/74 lifted his seasons tally to 26 wickets @ 16.8. The always reliable Geelong West trio of Peter Korth (78), Randall Whitten (42) and Greg Scott (41) brought victory over East-Belmont, Ian Barrot’s 3/39 the best of the East bowlers for the season with 17 wickets at a blowout 33.2.

Opening bowler David Crosby’s 33 was the best in Grovedale’s losing 196 against Newtown, Hayden Clarke (58) and Bruce Nunn (56) steering their side to victory. An unbeaten 60 by Glenn Ward and 6 points propelled North Geelong to victory and into the finals. The final four was North Geelong, Newtown & Chilwell, Geelong West and Grovedale.

10 TEARS AGO – MARCH 2007

There were no matches played as the GCA season finished in January due to the drought.

O’DOWD DECLARES

ARTICLE NO. 20

3RD MARCH 2017

Utterly brilliant! Sean O’Neill (203no) and Andrew Baars (169) rewrote the record books last Saturday with their brilliant opening stand of 390 which setup its monumental 2/407 against a shell shocked Leopold attack. It was Baars 7th career century and O’Neill’s third. The partnership not only broke the long standing GCA opening stand record of precisely 300 set by Bert Brown (181no) and Archie Gourlay (102no) for Federal Mills against International Harvester in 1941-42 but it was also broke the record for all wickets, the previous highest being 324 for the 2nd wicket by Frank Pike (197) and Jack Sing (101no) for Geelong West against Ford Motor Company in 1948-49. East’s score of 2/407 was the 30th highest off all time, the record likely to never be broken being 8/621 by Corio against Geelong “A” in 1903-04. The epic stand was also the best for all wickets at East-Belmont and surpassed its previous highest score of 373 against Newtown & Chilwell in 2008-09. (Curiously East’s lowest score was on this round 50 years ago of 41 against Geelong City).

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The powers at North Geelong have finally realised that wicketkeeper Adam Costello is not also an opening batsman. In his 5th season he has scored 606 runs at an unflattering 12.4 mainly as an opener but last Saturday he batted down the list and compiled 40. Curiously his career highest score of 44 was achieved on debut when a teenager. Whilst at Magpie-land, a quiet achiever this year is Damian Vassiliou. Quitting Geelong West at the Christmas break last season he has re-appeared at North Geelong this season and last Saturday peeled off his fourth career hundred with 124 against St. Peters. His home-and-away season has reaped a brilliant 469 runs @ 46.9 and in his 12 innings has scored over 25 ten times. A man in form !

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In other “bits and pieces”, Geelong City in a must win to possibly play finals cricket were inflicted with the highest score against them this season of 296 against Murgheboluc, being the “frogs” season best with seven batsmen notching scores over 20. Grovedale, without the services due to injury of its star opening bowler in Chris Young, conceded the highest score against them this season of 217 by finals aspirant South Barwon. Brad McMaster, with 99 runs @ 10.0 and a best of 23 in the last 3 seasons is enjoying a solid season for Lara with 264 runs and last Saturday assisted his side’s 8/278 with his first 50, being 67 and the highest score in his team’s innings against powerful St.Josephs, his team-mate Ben Smiljanic’s roller-coaster season with a form slump, missing two games for disciplinary reasons and a pair against Newtown, found something like his true form with a talented 45.

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It was announced in the Press this week that if Victoria plays in the Sheffield Shield final, it will take place in ALICE SPRINGS! How ridiculous! Cricket Australia awarded Geelong the T/20 match, Australia v Sri Lanka just last month so why is not Kardinia Park the venue for the final?  The location of Alice Springs deprives cricket buffs the opportunity of witnessing the final and many Geelongites would wish to attend to see our own Aaron Finch play. It’s not as if Geelong has not hosted Shield and First-Class matches before. In 1981 Australian captain Greg Chappell condemned the MCG wicket as “sub-standard” and in a short space of 12 months, Kardinia Park hosted four Shield matches and a first-class match, Victoria v India.

The four Sheffield Shield matches were Victoria against both South Australia and Queensland twice each. Greg Chappell had nothing but praise for both the ground and wicket area but also the slick administration of GCA officials in running the game. Stars like Chappell, Kepler Wessels, Alan Border, Jeff Thomson, Carl Rackerman, John Inverarity, Ashley Mallett, David Hookes, Max Walker, Ray Bright & Graeme Yallop, played plus a moustachless Mervyn Hughes made his first-class debut. The Indian side against Victoria boasted names like Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev and Yashpal Sharma who hit an unconquered 201. During this frenzied time Kardinia Park also was the venue for Geelong sides playing India, England, West Indies, Pakistan and New Zealand (twice).

So why, why, why isn’t the Shield final an hour’s drive from Melbourne at Kardinia Park ???

 

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50 YEARS AGO – MARCH 1967

With former Australian captain, Richie Benaud, 36, divorced in the Supreme Court by Mrs. Marcia Benaud on the grounds of desertion, North Shore-Norlane’s first innings 83 was almost duplicated by Leopold’s 84 with 6/97 declared followed by 6/72 to achieve outright points and a place in the finals. Excitement mounted as Leopold needed 7 runs off the last over. Len Ridgeway hit a four followed by a two and with the fielder fumbling, hit another two to win outright. Newtown & Chilwell, with one win for the season in round two, also won outright against Chanel College, Laurie DeGoldi (46) Neville Crane (27no) and Barry Shaw (4/28) the second innings heroes. Chanel captain-coach Bob Merriman celebrated an outstanding season with 588 runs @ 84.0 and 26 wickets @ 13.6. The young East-Belmont side in its maiden season was destroyed by Geelong City’s Trevor Smith with 8/24 and 12/38 for the match., East removed for 41 (its lowest score to this day) & 50 to lose outright. Bill King (43), Peter Hassett (44) and Peter Kelly (34no) set Corio the challenge of 206 which they achieved, Terry Ingles ( 3/42) and Jack Hynes (3/32) the best of the bowlers.

 

25 YEARS AGO – MARCH 1992

A double booking at the western Oval with both the GCA fixture Geelong West and East-Belmont and the Physiotherapists Gift scheduled for the arena saw the 1st.X1 match transferred to Geelong College. GCA President David Kelly decreed that although cricket had priority in the cricket season, the GCA would relent and move the cricket match. Main reasons for this were the significant preparations undertaken to stage the Gift and its “one-off” nature. On two previous occasions the GCA had conducted 1st.X1 matches at Geelong College, in 1929-30 when Geelong City played Newtown & Chilwell and in 1934-35 when North Geelong met Geelong Footballers. Both matches were scheduled to be played at Corio Oval but the Geelong Football Club “flexed its muscle” stating Corio Oval was to host football practice matches, hence the transfer to Geelong College.

In the last round of home-and-away matches Geelong West required a win to play in the finals which it achieved against East-Belmont, East reduced to 184, Craig Scott recording his team’s best figures for the season of 6/55 off 30 overs, Michael Dunn (49) completing an excellent season with 470 runs @ 42,7. St.Josephs mustered its season highest 5/296 against Geelong City, Peter Appleford (91) and Daniel Fanning (62) performing well, wicketkeeper Grant Elliott enjoying his first stint at the bowlers crease with 2/36. Yet another brilliant bowling spell by Glenn Wiese with 3/46 against Leopold lifted the speedster to 27 wickets @ 17.8 for the season, Glen Bartle’s 30 in his only match for the season standing out in Leopold’s lowly 124.

10 YEARS AGO – MARCH 2007

There were no matches played as the GCA season finished in January due to the drought.

O’DOWD DECLARES

ARTICLE NO 19

25TH FEBRUARY 2017

Star South Barwon all-rounder, Brad Hauenstein will well remember his club 300th game last round against St.Peters with the fine double of 57no & 5/36. He is the third player this season with the 50runs/5 wickets double, joining Bell Post Hills Jason Grozdanovski with 62 & 5/58 against North Geelong and Newtown’s Jordan Clark with 55 & 5/34 against Lara. Equally skilled with bat and ball it is surprising that Hauenstein only once before has this elusive double, with 75no & 5/12 against BPH in 2007-08. The top three to achieve the 50 runs 5 wickets double in the same match are Bert Brown who did so 13 times between 1932-1956, George Smart 12 times between 1896-1913 and Bill Eason, 10 times between 1902-1931.

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St.Josephs all-rounder David Morgan is not just a loyal clubman but also is a patient one. Its powerful batting array has reduced him to just 43 runs in five hits but he exploded with 61no in round 10 against Geelong City and last round took the bowling honours with 5/29, his last 5 wicket haul precisely the same at 5/29 in 2009-10.

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 At 7/141 chasing South Barwon’s 158, St.Peters President Mathew Baker and Vice-President Justin Brown both held hope that the match would be win no 1 for the season but bang bang bang, they lost 3/0. However Mitch Jepson with just 51 runs for the season was courageous with a career best 76, being the competitions highest score for the day.

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That man has surfaced again – none other than much-travelled middle-order batsman Adrian McCormack. Already holding the record of playing at 7 clubs being South Barwon, East-Belmont, BPH, Bell Park, Geelong City, Manifold Heights and St.Josephs (plus GCC) he has returned to Geelong City where he played for 3 seasons, 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07. Now with 196 games he was selected for the first time this season last round and responded with a duck so will he play on next year to join the 200 games club?

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Kardinia Park Stadium Trust chief executive, Michael Brown declared last Sunday nights Australia v Sri Lanka attendance of 13,647 as “fantastic”. Hopefully Cricket Australia will share Brown’s views in regards to future top rate matches at Kardinia Park. The attendance was billed by high ranking Australian officials as a litmus test as to whether Geelong wanted and deserved future matches. That call was harsh as the weather forecast was poor, it was played on a Sunday night so many schoolchildren could not attend with school the next day and the team was second rate with the stars in India.

However significant matches have been poorly attended by Geelong people. In 1979 a Geelong side played the all-conquering West Indies with the Windies playing a near test side in Clive Lloyd, Desmond Haynes, Lawrence Rowe, Alvin Kallicharran, Larry Gomes, Collis King, David Murray, Desmond Parry, Andy Roberts, Colin Croft and Malcolm Marshall. For the 3 day match at the Western Oval, an average of 1400 spectators per day watched the match. And again in the same year of 1979, Geelong played “the old enemy” , England in a one day match the first of its kind being a “twilight match” with the game starting at 4pm to attract the workforce knocking off for the day. Drawcards for England were Mike Brearley, Derek Randall, David Gower, Phil Edmonds, Chris Old and John Emburey. However only 4900 cricket followers turned up!

Curiously by turning the clock back to 1929 when England played the locals, 9000 people attended from a Geelong population of approximately 65,000

 

50 YEARS AGO – FEBRUARY 1967

It was announced that following a suggestion from Herald Sports Editor, Jack Cannon that a “Bushfire Test” be played at the MCG between Bob Simpson’s X1 and Les Favell’s X1 to be played to raise money for the Tasmanian Bushfire Relief Appeal, the event underwritten by tobacco company, Rothmans of Pall Mall.

The match eventuated with 60,000 spectators supporting the match, Simpson’s X1 being Simpson, Lawry, Redpath, Cowper, Walters, Ian Chappell, Stackpole, Watson, Taber, McKenzie, Potter and Hubble whilst Favell’s X1 was Favell, Cunningham, O’Neill, Burge , Sheahan, Davies, Jarman, Philpott, Freeman, Bitmead, Gleeson and Connolly.

Brenton Bahr blew Chanel College apart with a brilliant 7/18 to remove the students for a season low 49, Newtown winning its second match for the season. David Bates was the only batsman to record double figures with 16no, Roger Dean (86) and Derek Sandell (23) were mainly responsible for Corio’s 214 against St. Josephs, Shane Fitzgerald’s 6/63 lifting his season tally to 27 wickets @ 16.1, a remarkable season for the promising teenage spin sensation. East-Belmont was embarrassed with 41 against Geelong City, the experienced pace attack of Brian Rhodes (5/16) and Trevor Smith (4/14) bowling unchanged. Graeme Betteridge’s 6/16 followed his 6/17 last round with Leopold declaring at 6/97 against North Shore-Norlane.

 

25 YEARS AGO – FEBRUARY 1992

East-Belmont’s significant 270 was not enough for the all-conquering North Geelong with 6/303 and led by captain Alf Clark with a to-be career best 149no, Neil Alford, averaging 40 for the season with 66. Newtown & Chilwell compiled its best score of the season with 6/274 against Leopold, the Jefferies brothers, Tony (64) and Peter (58) together with flamboyant opener Stephen Wells (56) in control, Aaron Croft (2/16) the Leopold best of the bowlers. St. Josephs lost its 4th match in a row, this time at the hands of West, 177 to 8/250, Greg Scott (78) and Peter Korth (45) wests best, Graeme Beaumont a fine double of 67 & 3/61.

 

10 YEARS AGO – FEBRUARY 2007

There were no matches played as the GCA season finished in January due to the drought.

 

O’DOWD DECLARES

ARTICLE NO 17

10TH. FEBRUARY 2017

Due to “gremlins in the system”, O’Dowd Declares was not published on 27th. January. However two significant milestones occurred in that article which justify airing –

1.      Murgheboluc’s commanding victory over BPH, 2/253 to 128 was an emphatic win and capitulated the side into 6th position thanks to maiden centuries from Cardiff recruit Greg Holmes (113no) and Andrew Murden (104no), their partnership a mammoth and unfinished 190 runs. In Murgheboluc’s brief history in top local cricket, only two other batsmen have centuries under their belts, Glenn Talarico with 3 and Michael Grozdanovski with one.

2.      St.Peters had no answer to the skills of Geelong City’s Kent Agg with Agg’s 7 match wickets. In the process the opening bowler lifted his career wickets to precisely 250. He and his father, Robert and brother, Travis thus now share a unique record in GCA annals as the only father/son (now sons) to capture 250 wickets – Robert with a club record 394 and Travis with 282 and now Kent.

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Look out for St.Josephs! With three wins on the trot and now third on the ladder, the side with two flags in the last 3 years is again on the charge. Leigh Kentish is in blistering form, his unbeaten 89 last Saturday against Geelong City lifting him to 636 runs at the phenomenal average of 127.2, his tally closing in on the record in a home-and-away season for St. Josephs being Gary Foss’ record of 650 runs @ 50.0 in 1987-88. Heading the competition batting average and aggregate, his team-mates Justin Foss with 502 runs and Luke Ibbs’ 386 runs place the pair in 2nd and 6th positions respectively on the run makers listing. Further, St.Josephs is yet to lose all ten wickets in an innings and is averaging a massive 49.7 runs per wicket compared to the competitions 22.0 runs per wicket.

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Grovedale “got out of jail” and chalked up its 9th. consecutive win last round against winless St. Peters thanks to the heroics of no 10 & 11 batsmen Chris Young (57) and Alex Romaniw (45no) the side reeling at an embarrassing 8/117 in pursuit of the 155 target. For the two Englishmen their innings were respective career bests – Young, the traditional no 11 with 369 runs @ 12.7 over 7 seasons and a previous best of 46 and Romaniw in his first game since 2012-13 had a previous highest 33.

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Leopold is experiencing another tough season with just two wins and placed equal second last on the ladder. With its last premiership in 1994-95 it has “turned over” 21 players this season in an attempt to find the right mix but a player with potential is Lachie Cameron who came to Leopold from Wallington juniors and played just a few games last season but this year since his selection in the 1st X1 in round 6  has captured 14 wickets @ a lowly 10.6 including the prize scalp of Richie Oliver for 14 in round 8 against Geelong City in a bag of 4/15 but last Saturday he took the honours with 6/31 against Murgheboluc, albeit the opposition batting frenetically in pursuit of outright points. A handy bat with two scores of 15 and a 34 he is a name to keep an eye on at Leopold.

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It has been well documented that Geelong won the Country Week premiership last week, being its 5th flag in the last 7 years. It did so utilizing 17 players over the week in a “fly-in-fly-out” basis with eleven players not playing in last year’s Carnival. Geelong’s participation in Country Week has its critics and this columnist is one of them but that debate is for another time so this article features on the “positives” and curiosities of this year’s Carnival.

·       Richie Oliver hit the ground running with 137 in the opening round against Ballarat but then scored just 35 runs in the remaining four matches. In just his second Carnival he has amassed 3 centuries with only Len Metherell ahead of him with 4 scored between 1931-1937.

·       Country Week commenced in 1924. Geelong joined in 1930 and won the premiership that year. It has now won 28 flags, the most of all in the competition.

·       Andrew Fergusson’s 274 runs at the “Bradman-like” average of 111.0 has propelled him to 3rd  on the career aggregates of Geelong batsman with 1,286 runs @ 39.0. He is only headed by Len Metherell (1,396 @ 58.2) and Rod Kiddle (1,345 @ 31.3). His 111.0 average in this year’s Carnival was the highest of the 106 batsmen to play.

·       Only 20 Geelong players have achieved “the double” of 30 runs & 3 wickets in the same match. Brad Hauenstein did so on four occasions and George Schofield three times. Andrew Fergusson joined this short list in this year’s opening round with 51no & 3/25. The best in this classification in terms of runs is 76no & 3/40 by Stan Young against Rutherglen in 1953 and by most wickets is 7/26 & 36 by Dennis Davie against Ballarat in the 1972 Grand Final.

·       Evergreen Brad Hauenstein has now played in 15 Carnivals from 2001 consecutively to equal Glenn Ward whose 15 Carnivals were played between 1970-1990. With 4 premierships Hauenstein did not play in this year’s Grand Final.

·       That man Fergusson again…. His unbeaten 85 in this year’s Grand Final was almost  a carbon copy of his 84 not out in last year’s grand final !

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50 YEARS AGO – FEBRUARY 1967

In the 4th.Test, South Africa’s Denis Lindsay made his third century of the series and passed 585 runs, smashing the previous record by a Test ‘keeper of 526 runs by Indian Budhi Kunderanin in 1963.

 Chanel College mounted the competitions highest score with a mammoth 2/390 against East-Belmont with Bob Merriman (151no) and teenager Michael Bowtell (98) in a 206 run stand, GWC&FC passed 200 for the first time this season with a spirited 9/328 against St.Josephs, IanTreloar (61) , Peter Hester (45) and Eric Nicholls (43) underlining their sides competitive total. Eric Faulkner’s lone hand of 40 was the only North Shore-Norlane bat to score double figures in his side’s below par 78, Ray Price (5/29) and John Ross (3/44) bowling throughout the innings for South Barwon.

25 YEARS AGO – FEBRUARY 1992

The Geelong City-Newtown & Chilwell match resulted in a thrilling tie with both sides locked on a lowly 128. Spinner Bill Morrin bowled “at the death” and returned 4/37, Stephen Wells the only batsman to record 20 or more with an even 20. Leopold, winless since October, overhauled East-Belmont’s 149 with 9/210 in the upset of the round, Grant Kilfoyle taking charge with 78. Premiership favourites North Geelong took the points over Geelong West, 5/267 v 217, captain Alf Clark (82no) and Neil Alford (36) leading the charge. St. Josephs, winless since Christmas lowered its colours again against Grovedale by an even 100 runs, Gary Foss peeling off his second 50 in his last 3 innings, David Crosby & David Lanyon collecting 3 wickets apiece.

10 YEARS AGO - FEBRUARY 2007

There were no matches played as the GCA season finished in January due to the drought.