1901 - 1910
Where shoppers now scurry through the busy Eastland Shopping Complex was once the site of many thrilling cricket struggles. The Ringwood Recreation Reserve. This is how the Box Hill Reporter saw it in 1909:
"The situation of the Reserve at the foot of Pine Mountain (Loughnans Hill) gives it natural beauty, and the perfumes of the gums, Wattle and heath, give to it the fragrance of the Australian bush".
Although Ringwood Cricket Club was founded in 1901, very little of their activities is known for this period and, in fact, our story really begins in 1905 when as the 'Imperials', their. first title, they began playing against other clubs, both locally and near the city of Melbourne. They attended a meeting of the "Box Hill Reporter" Competition in 1903, but did not enter a team therein. Obviously the Clubs of that time were no different to today, as the sports Editor of the Reporter noted on October 2, 1903:
"Unless match reports are sent in early, they stand Buckley' s chance of being published."
For a match in January, 1906, the team was to be selected from:
PRATT, GODFREY, KNOX, SMITH, GRANT, STRAIN, McPHEE, McCORMACK,
OLSEN, BARELLI, NORMAN, BARNETT, LINDSAY, HODGETTS, FITZPATRICK
DYER, PEARSON, THOMAS.
Some well known names already in evidence! Halfway through the season, H. Godfrey and C. Lindsay were selected in a representative, team to play against Melbourne. Match reports for the season show that Godfrey and Knox were excellent batsmen while Smith in one game had the great figures of 10/56.
For season 1906-7, the only two office bearers we know were O.J. Pratt who was to hold the position of President of the Club for 36 years, and P.W. Fitzpatrick, the Secretary. Fitzpatrick was not worried by the cares of office as one match shows his bowling figures of 5/15.
Away from the field, the destruction by fire in 1907 of the "Coach & Horses" Hotel must have caused gloom around the district. This hotel used to be known as the "Log Cabin Inn". It's original owner, Mr. Thomas, sold the property to a Mr. Stifling, who built a store adjacent to the Inn.
This store, managed by Abigail Stirling, was Ringwood's first Post Office Agency. In 1872 Thomas Wiggin bought the Inn which he renamed "Coach & Horses", as he had been a horse buyer for Cobb & Co.
In 1909, Mr. Nicholas Madden took over the rebuilt Hotel, which was transferred to the present location in 1940.
Of course the Club Hotel" - surely better known as "Daisy's" was operating as a two storey business in what was then called Main Rd., Ringwood. Most of the towns business activity took place in this area.
Indeed the Ringwood Imperials played their early games on the present Ringwood East Oval.
Season 1908/9 saw reports of games against clubs like Preston, Collingwood, and Albert Park. Lord and W. Smith proved to be the mainstays in the bowling department while Knott and Pratt batted consistently. Social life was not forgotten, as a Banquet and Concert followed the match against Albert Park. This was held in the Methodist School Room. Compare was Ringwood Captain, Mr. W. Thomas. In 1909, a bat cost from 7/6, a ball approx. 3/-.
Not a great deal of cricket was reported from season 1909-1910 but prominent players were:
K. McAlpin, B. Hocking and W. Reid. The basic team read as follows:
McALPIN, THOMAS, KNOX, HOCKING, THOMAS, WICKINS, CHIVERS, STYLES, REID, HILLHOUSE.
For the monetary-minded, the Balance Sheet for a concert (concerts were the 'in' thing in 1910) disclosed a profit of £2.13.6.
Club membership was 22. Honorary Secretary at this time was Mr. A. Wagner.
A most important forward step took place in Club history on 20/9/1910, when Ringwood was admitted to "A" Grade in the Reporter competition. Delegates were Mr. R. Wilkins & Mr. Reed. No doubt inspired by their entry, Ringwood Club representatives, Messrs. Hawn & Pratt waited on Lilydale Council in order to get the Reserve fenced. Apparently Council had promised £20 toward the cost, and local residents were to provide the balance.
It should be recalled here that the playing area was much smaller in those days, as it wasn't until 1933 that the ground was widened to meet the needs of the football club.
The previously 'miniature' pavilion - how could two teams occupy it at the same time? - was extended in 1933 to provide work for unemployed sportsmen - a very sensible move.
The Club was relocated to Jubilee Park during the fifties, and this extended pavilion became its first home having been moved by heavy transport. Interesting to think about this when we look at the "R.O. Spencer" Pavilion now gracing Jubilee Park.
1911 - 1920
In this chapter, the author has gone in for "name-dropping", and with a certain mount of pride, as, when you read some of their efforts, it is certainly deserving.
I was fortunate to make contact with Frank Pollard - 80 years young in 1980 - a wonderful character, who played mainly in the 1920's and whose opinions of star players I set out herewith to perhaps stir up some memories:
BEST BATSMEN JACK KNOX & PERCY JAMES
BEST BOLWERS BILL ALLEN & JACK GOODALL
Wickets consisted of concrete with matting cover.
The 1910-11 season was not a successful one, perhaps being over-awed by 'A' grade promotion, Ringwood finished second last. The bright spots were the batting of W. Smith 69 N.0. and 53, and P.Gilchrist bowling well with 4/17, 5/40, 5/37.
Gilchrist picked up the competition trophy with the average of 5.25.
The action moves forward to the year 1914, when overseas events pushed our game into the background. However, the 'name dropping' continues, and it is noticed that W. Allen now appears with our Club. A lot more will be written about this gentleman.
As a bonus, we now print names of two teams as selected during 1914. The second eleven seemed to be more of a social type affair, as one report matched them against Henry Berry & Co.!
1sts W. Morshead, C. Walden, W. Allen, J. Knox, G. Allen, F. Allen,
W. Howship, Dr. Langley, W. Smith, Wartison, H.Sherlock.
2nds R. Goodall, M. Howship, W. Ritchie, H. Thomas, B. Howship,
H. Kraefft, J. Goodall, W. Caffin, C. Parker, G. Bray, R. Baker,
To show that attitudes within sporting clubs don't really change we reprint an article from the Reporter of 15th May 1914.
"The new cricket pavilion to replace the dilapidated structure which has served the local club for so many years is approaching completion.
1911 – 1920
This has mainly been erected by Club members. A working bee was recently arranged, but so far only the more enthusiastic members have attended."
Another milestone in Ringwood's progress was achieved with the provision of electric light by Lilydale Shire in April 1915. One 1,999 candlepower lamp was located at Ringwood Station, while Whitehorse Road was lit at four places. By June of that year the grand total of 50 consumers were on the books.
Electricity Commission Supply commenced in 1925.
The reader will excuse this next section appearing rather like a scorebook, but it is felt that the best way to document the Club's outstanding successes is in this manner.
PREMIERS 1915/16 SEASON - REPORTER 'A' GRADE
MATCH RESULTS: Won 12 Lost 1 Drawn 1
P. GILCHRIST: 201 @ 40.24 Association Batting Trophy winner plus
5/31, 6/26, 7/14 @ 6.29 Association Bowling Trophy winner
W. ALLEN: 129 N.0. & 62 plus 4/4, 4/14, 5/16.
C. WALDEN: 148 N.O.
There is now a short space where no press reports were forthcoming for season 1916-17 and 1917-18.
This could well be due to the ‘Great War’ as it was known. Perhaps we could here dwell a little on Ringwood's services in the transport, communication and real estate fields.
The first steam train rail link to Ringwood was completed in 1882. Electrification was established as far as Ringwood in 1923, but Ringwood East had to wait until 1925 and Heathmont to 1926.
In 1921 a Mail Service was in full swing, being a twice-daily run from Melbourne.
In 1858, the first recorded land sale took place. The location was at the corner of Heatherdale Road and Ringwood Road (Maroondah Highway) £1 purchased one acre!!
By comparison, an auction of blocks in Ellison & Haig Street - central Ringwood in November, 1919 - electricity and phone available - asked for no deposit - 6% interest - cash purchasers of two blocks would be presented a free annual rail ticket.
1911 - 1920
Another important date must have been March 25 1921, when it was declared that the water supply would be made available to Ringwood Street from Whitehorse Road to Mullum Creek. This, of course, included the Recreation Reserve.
Back to the Cricket action and season 1918-19 proved very successful, but the Club just missed the Premiership, being defeated by Templestowe in the Final Match.
As we proceed through the 'twenties' we can't help but 'sense that Ringwood Cricket Club was really starting to become a force and obviously it was during this period that the foundations laid earlier were now set.
When we talk about great Ringwood players and officials of more recent times I believe a special debt of gratitude is owed to the cricketers and administrators of those distant years.
During the 1918/19 season, some of the outstanding efforts on record included that of Bill Allen 4/5, 4/23, 3/17 plus a 40 and a 78 with the bat. Not to be outdone Lou Barelli got 9/79 against Blackburn and Stan Bisset captured 6/27.
Batsmen to star also were A. Pearson, F. Chalmers and J. Knox. Because Bill Allen was required by the Melbourne Football Club, he did not feature in the Final, and this would contribute substantially to our easy defeat.
We entered season 1919/20 with the following 'A' Grade team:
J.KNOX, S. BISSETT, R. VAUX, P. GILCHRIST, W. ALLEN, G. BLACKMAN,
F. ALLEN, G. ALLEN, B. ALLEN, B. CHING, J.GOODALL.
That man Bill Allen bobbed up consistently with bowling figures of 4/26; 5/59; 3/9; 6/9; 5/19; 4/23; 5/48. No further comment is needed.
Sounds as though the batsmen were not really needed, but to prove us wrong, P. Gilchrist collected 47, 86 N.O and 99 and many wickets, while A. Pearson and J. Knox got scores over 50 each. Not surprisingly, this fine body of men ran out Premiers.
1921 - 1930
As proof of the cricket boom at this time, both Ringwood (Imperials) and Ringwood Diggers held Annual Meetings.
The Ringwood District Association clubs competed for the 'A.T. Miles' Shield, named after one of the district's most famous pioneers.
The transfer of Ringwood Imperials (soon to change to Ringwood) from the Reporter competition to Ringwood District marked the beginning of what proved to be a tremendous era of contribution to the sport, and the opportunity for so many of us who were fortunate to represent the Club.
We now enter into a period free of Press Reports until 1924 except for the good news that Imperials were Premiers in 1922/23 season.
About this time, if you wanted to relax at the Picture Theatre - Town Hall Building - later demolished to make way for Midway Arcade Shops and Offices - it cost 1/- or 6d.
The following teams were competing in R.D.C.A. at this time: Ferntree Gully: Ringwood Diggers: Protestant churches: Bayswater: Croydon: Montrose: Mooroolbark: Wonga Park: Ringwood Imperials.
This single section was to be re formed into 'A' & 'B' sections in 1924. A team from Ringwood Rovers was listed in 'B' Grade for season 1924/25 and while their performances cannot be located the team members are listed for the record:
D. Rattray, R. Morgan, M. Hall, B. Sodsworth, S. Miller, G. Noble, I. Bruce, E. Pump, T. Kay, G. Newman.
It can be seen that our Club had already got into the 'Premiership’ habit and 1924/25 was no exception.
These people made it all happen:
W. Allen, B. Godfrey, F. Pollard, R. Wilkins, H. Pratt, B. Allen, W. Smith, A. BloodW.J. Miller, S. McCombe, T. Skurrie, J. Goodall, H. Howship, C. Walden.
Before giving some individual results, we quote the then President of Box Hill Reporter Association Mr. Broadbent who said on 11th October 1924:
“The time has now arrived for turf wickets at Surrey Hills and Ringwood”.
1921 - 30
We are uncertain as to when Surrey Hills got theirs, but we had a 30 year wait for ours.
At this time the Ringwood Association had as President and Secretary, two well known names in Mr. R.A. Ingwersen and Mr. Roy Wilkins.
This must surely have been Bill Allen's greatest year, as these figures show:
Batting: 17 innings Highest Score 158 Average 47.50
Bowling: 37 wickets for 404 runs Average 10.34
In one match against Churches team, apart from Allen's 158, Frank Pollard got 75, Jack Knox 65, Clem Walden 47 and Jack Goodall 52. That innings totalled 449 runs.
It is worth noting that we completed that season without one loss. Forty-two players were registered. The club was led by Mr. O.J. Pratt as President and the Balance Sheet that year showed a credit Balance of 13/1.
The 1925/26 side, as if to show that they were only human after all, Ringwood lost their Semi Final to Croydon. However, a young chap named Leo Pratt made 63, and took 4 catches in one match. Leo is now a life member at Ringwood and was of great assistance to the author in providing memories of bygone days.
Season 1926/27 again brought the ultimate victory in the Final and we quote from a comment made at the Shield Presentation:
"The outstanding performances had been those given by Howship, Allen and Pratt"
Of course, other people contributed greatly as we can now see:
F. Pollard Average 38.0 F. Pollard Average 9.7
F. Bissett Average 34.2 B. Bowen Average 9.0
J. Knox Average 27.1 W. Smith Average 6.9
S. Bissett Average 22.0
Century makers were F. Bissett (twice) and J. Knox. Our old friend, Bill Allen took 12 wickets in the final. This victory meant permanent retention of the "A.T. Miles Shield" - a terrific achievement.
While 'A' Grade basked in the limelight, let us look at the 'B' Grade team and note the famous names:
R. WALTON, H. PRATT, P. MILLAR, J. PRATT, G. WILKINS, R. HAMS, C. SMITH, G. LINDSAY, J. COWLAND, D. LINDSAY, H. TORTICE.
In April 1927, Council decided on a standard size football and cricket oval. The footballers offered to bring the oval up to Standard. "The Mail" noted that "in due course, it may be possible to lay a turf wicket".
Although Ringwood’s "A" Grade were unable to win the shield this year - they were defeated by Boronia in the Final - they had excellent competitors in Bill Allen (not again!) with great bowling, and Clem Walker and Frank Pollard excelled with the bat.
The honors this season went to the 'B' Grade team who finished as Premiers.
Below is that Premier team:
H. Brettargh, G. Lindsay, H. Pratt, Roberts, L. Skurrie, Flowers, Wilkins, Clarke, Tortice, W. Smith, J. Pratt.
G. Lindsay won the Association Batting Average at 45.8
Things were really happening at the Reserve as in February, 1928, Council gave the Engineer authority to proceed with grading, filling, grassing and fencing of the oval.
Another milestone in Ringwood’s history was the unveiling of the War Memorial Clock Tower in August 1928. This of course was at the old location at the corner of Warrandyte Road and Whitehorse Road, not the present site.
The new season of 1928/29 commenced with Bill Allen Capt. of 'A' Grade and J. Goodall vice captain, while Walter Smith and Harry Pratt got 105, R. Pratt 141 and 86 N.O. J. Flowers 89 N.0., while Clem Walden's best bowling was 3/40 and.7/9.
'The net result of the Club's efforts was a Premiership for the 2nd successive year for B. Grade, whilst the 'A' Grade were Runners-Up after being undefeated throughout the year, How often does this happen?
Reg Spencer, one of the real characters associated with the Club would be delighted to know that a trophy for the best wicketkeeper was donated this year.
Reg was always a stout defender of the rights of the wicketkeeper. He had a right to be as he was one of a small hand of capable glovemen who helped keep Ringwood on the highest level. Reg’s cricketing credentials were recognised widely and he was also a respected and long time player with VCA club Nth Melbourne.
Away from the cricket scene Reg became a councillor in Ringwood and in recognition of these involvements time will show further on, when council named the grandstand and club facility at Jubilee Park the “R. O. Spencer” pavilion.
These cricketers did have some social life, as we read about the R.D.C.A. Annual Ball in the Town Hall on May 29 1929. Dancing and Euchre (presumably for non dancers) were to be provided. C.V. Ward, a keen patron of the Club was supervisor of the card game. His son Ken carried on this tradition, and remains a staunch supporter. If anyone wanted to purchase a suit to wear to a function it would cost £5-5.0.
The 'A' team got into the semi-final in season 1929/30 only to lose to Belgrave. The only performance noted was a score of 90 by G. Lindsay. 'B' Grade were narrowly defeated in their Grand Final but had some excellent players during the season in R.Morgan with 3 centuries - that record would take some beating - R.Pratt got 121 while Leo Pratt got 95 N.0. in the Semi-Final.
A decision was made to pay 'A' Grade Umpires in the finals - no figure was quoted.
If you got thirsty after the match one dozen of beer cost you 13/9d.
1931 - 1940
1930/31 saw once again O.J. Pratt President while Walter Smith and Kevin Pratt shared the Secretarial duty. Fred Bissett and J. Goodall were in charge of 'A' Grade while Walter Smith and E. Roberts were in charge of 'B' Grade.
Batting honours this time were shared by Fred Bissett, G. Lindsay and J. Goodall.
W. Smith, O. Miller and B. Purdon were the most successful bowlers.
Both teams put up a great effort to reach the semi finals, the 'A' Grade finished Runners-Up while the 'B' team lost their Semi Final.
This situation was reversed in season 1931/32 as the 'A's lost their semi final and 'B' Grade were runners-up.
With ten teams competing in each grade, these consistent finals appearances reflected great credit on the Club and, in particular, our bowlers were superior to most of opposition batsmen as J. Rowe picked up 5/30 and 6/25 in Round 4, while in 'B' Grade, G. Lindsay included a hat trick in his 6/27 and R. Pratt got 8/30.
Among the officials, the names of Dr. Colquhon and Mr.A.T.Miles are noted.
Things were happening around the old town in 1932. The year got away badly with a huge bushfire on January 21. This blaze started near the lake on Loughnan's Hill and threatened to cross Brown's Estate (from the present Bond Street to Mullum Creek). Approximately 600 acres were destroyed and the town was only saved by a wind change. Just like later events in 1939.
On a more pleasant note, we had the use of a Mini-Golf Course and Roller Skating Rink at H.J. Bently's land - now Safeway stores. This venture was destined not to last long. Picture goers were treated to a free Wednesday evening bus to Box Hill Talkies - Probably the Regent or Rialto Theatres - known to a lot of us.
A change of topic will do no harm and we read with a great deal of amusement of a rough football match in July 1932 between Kilsyth and Warrandyte. The laxity of the umpires was considered to be responsible and after the battle one Kilsyth player had numerous teeth marks on his body. Umpire Crowe was asked to keep firmer control in the future. No penalty for the ‘biting footballer’ was mentioned. Probably it was not covered by the rules at this time.
Ringwood could not break the Premiership drought in 1932/33 when the "A" grade finished runners-up to Kilsyth. Their captain was Leo Pratt while the unsuccessful 'B' team were led by Walter Smith.
Secretary was Kevin Pratt, a legend around these parts, whose tragic accident early in life prevented him from taking an active part in sport. This courageous man applied his administrative talents to many things.
The Ringwood football Club, and to a lesser degree, the Cricket Club will be forever grateful for his efforts.
1931 - 1940
The local footballers would have been delighted with the Council news in December 1932 that Mr. F.R. Lucas, City Engineer, had finalised plans for a regulation football arena.
At the General Meeting held on September 21st 1933, a cricket club previously known as Centrals, and about whom we found no press cover, decided to join forces with Ringwood under our name.
This allowed 3 teams, ‘A’ ‘B’ & ‘C’ to be put in the field.
Respective Captains were J. Goodall, B. Pardon and J. Wilkins.
In what must be classed as a tremendous performance, all teams took part in the semi-finals, but only 'B' grade were able to go on to take out top honours.
Of the few names mentioned in reports, S. Connell 88, M. Northrope 110 and C. Crane 82 featured with the bat. J. Cleary and R. Bonsack bowled well for 7/6 and 7/16 respectively.
On the social scene the 1st Ringwood Show for many years attracted 2,000 people. It was opened by Mr. R.G. Menzies, then acting Premier of Victoria.
By talking out the ‘C’ grade pennant in April 1935 we kept the record clean and obviously the effort of C. Burns with 7/12 in the final would have helped a bit. The bowlers took precedence in the press with B. Rimmer taking 7/29 also rating a big mention.
For season 1935/36 only 'A' & 'B' grade teams were registered. This was almost certainly due to the expansion around Ringwood and new names of competing clubs were coming up regularly. Ten teams made up each grade.
As we were unable to achieve the top honours this year, we slightly change the subject 'to reproduce the list of Club Office Bearers. This should surely re-kindle plenty of memories:
President: O.J. Pratt - 35th year of office
Vice Presidents: S.Brown, A. Lindsay, R. Dawes, Dr. J.Serby
Secretary: W. Smith
Treasurer: K. Pratt
Committee: L. Anderson, I. Johnson, C. Smith, L. Pratt, R. Bonsack.
The club recorded, no doubt with a certain mount of pride, that in the 15 years of R.D.C.A. competition to date, 7 premierships had been won and on 7 occasions the club had finished 2nd.
Not much can be said about the 1936/37 performances, as Ringwood did not make the finals. Bowlers were again prominent and two efforts of note were those of J. Rowe, 7/74 and O. Burns, 8/29.
‘Tragedy strikes club’
The Club was shocked to hear of the death of O.J. Pratt on 14th February, 1937, aged 66 years. He had been the clubs elected President for 36 years, with only a break of 2 years.
His passing had such an impact on the club and its members that the 'A' Grade side cancelled their match set down for the following Saturday.
It is appropriate that we let the Ringwood Mail sum up some of this mans finer points:
"In any public movement, O.J. Pratt was foremost. A generous nature. Ringwood today owes much to him. The residents of the district mourn the passing of an upright citizen, a good sport, a generous friend."
What more can be said? Of course the name Pratt was being carried on in the sporting field and would continue to be for some time.
To lighten the scene, the Club learnt in July 1937 that £300 would be spent by Council on the Reserve.
This consisted of levelling and top dressing the oval, providing a fence around the perimeter, and growing a hedge along the Ringwood Street frontage.
All this did not help much, as in the following season, 1937/38, we recorded our worst season to date winning one and loosing 10.
Two possible reasons are advanced for this result. Firstly some players transferred to the new formed club, Catholic Young Men's Society (C.Y.M.S.) prominent being Leo Pratt who would have been in his prime about then.
Leo would probably say that there never was a time when he wasn't.
Reason No.2 could have been the emergence of other 'local' teams and it is of interest to list our 'A' Grade opponents for this season: TUNSTALL, (part of Nunawading City now) BORONIA, VALLEY, C.Y.M.S., RINGWOOD EAST, NORTH RINGWOOD, WARRANDYTE, CROYDON, KILSYTH.
Our only win was against Warrandyte when W. Wilkins captured seven wickets for 27 runs.
The only consolation for us in season 1938/39 was the performance of ‘C’ Grade who were runners up to Croydon. Our stars were A. Wilkins 8/20, H. Tomkins 123 N.0., and R. Bonsack 93 N.0.
Season 1939-40 W.J. Wilkins, another great name in district sporting circles was Club Secretary this season. ‘C’ Grade starting to act like present-day Collingwood footballers once again could only finish runners-up. Their better players included L. Jones 6/10 & 5/25, C. Conlan (not only a good baker!) 103, S. Cope 84 and D. Strahan 9/32. ‘A’ Grade succeeded in winning only 2 games, and were still very much in the doldrums.
While we can't list the ‘A’ Graders, the following players represented us in the 'C' Grade Final:
ANDERSON, COPE, BISSETT, O'BRIEN, NOTT, STRAHAN, BROWN, JONES, WYCHERLEY, BONSACK, READ.
Only 32 teams took part this season, no doubt the war was starting to affect the manpower situation.
On the nostalgia front, we note that beer from the Croydon Hotel cost 1/- a bottle. Delivery cost one penny more - presumably per dozen. Forty-five electric trains ran to and from Melbourne each day, also a bus service operated now from Ringwood to Warrandyte and Wantirna.
1941 - 1950
Season 1940/41 was not remembered for any outstanding club achievements as neither 'A' or 'B' team figured in the finals. However, D. Strahan (once again) showed them how with one score of 79 and bowling figures of 8/21 and 4/10 with a hat trick.
The Mail said of his batting:
“To veteran Dave Strahan goes the honour of one of the best individual performances. Despite an inability to see his toes he sighted the ball well and was unconquered on 79”
Not much detail is available about the 1941/42 season as no doubt world events took priority and it seems remarkable that the competition was able to continue at all. Halfway through this season some teams withdrew which meant that teams with byes in A & B grades played each other.
Individual efforts of note were that of V. Morphett (who dared to suggest his action was suspect?) with 7/4, D. Strahan - can't keep him out of the action - with 3/0 including a hat-trick and another well known sporting name, W.(Snooky) Connell decided to make some runs and came up with scores of 112 not out and 120 not out. To show everyone he was a true all-rounder, he one day took 7 wickets for 24.
Only one grade of competition was possible during 1942/43 and we entered one team only.
Kilsyth were too strong in the Final match.
We were well represented by the following players:
V. MORPHETT, REGINEY, G. PUMP, S. LONG, K. HUBBARD, N. TIPPENS, F. MONGER, A. VARTY, C.CONLAN, D. LINDSAY, D. CONNORS.
George Pump had a great season with scores of 101, 74, and a spell of bowling which yielded 5/30 and a hat-trick.
Office bearers that year included J.T. McArthur as President, D. Lindsay as Secretary and J. Kiker, Treasurer. One could imagine Association Delegates, D. Strahan and D. Lindsay making sure that our interests were well looked after at meetings.
1943-44 saw at last! that elusive 'A' Grade Premiership come our way. The long wait from the 1926/27 season was now all worthwhile. Under the capable guidance of H. Pratt, surely one of the best wicket keepers in this district, the men who got the honors were:
K. HUBBARD, N. TIPPENS, V. MORPHETT, G. PUMP, JOHNSON, R. McARTHUR, THOMPSON, D. LINDSAY, L. JONES, R. BISSETT, J. BRADY.
1941 - 1950
On November 13th 1943, we lost another of our greats. Bill Allen of whom we have already heard plenty. His last months were full of pain and death was a happy release.
To quote the 'Mail' yet again:
"The sportsmen of the district remember with pride his achievements and pay tribute to a man who raised the standard of cricket and football to a high level in this area.
Sons Ken, a top sportsman at Ringwood East, and Don, who spent a short time with Ringwood Cricket Club carried on the "Allen" tradition superbly.
Another poor showing by the Club in season 1944/45 was almost repeated the following year except for the fact that ‘C’ Grade got that unwanted Runners Up position. Jack Lindsay picked up 7/20 one day to show people that he really could bowl. Not only was he proficient with a cricket ball, but Jack and Harry Munro later became Lawn Bowls Doubles Champions at Ringwood.
In 1945/46, R.D.C.A. managed to register 24 teams in 3 grades. In the following year this number increased to 35. This year a move was made to change the starting time of games to 2.45pm instead of 3pm. This was defeated.
Three players, McAlpin, Bissett and Binns (Ivan) were selected from Ringwood in a combined team. Ivan would have been quite young then, and this was a great achievement. There is some indecision whether he made more impression on the Club with his cricket or his Press Correspondent duties!
Another youngster of 15, Graham Holloway managed 6/7 with a double trick in 'B' Grade.
This team was defeated by Boronia in the semi-final but it should be recorded that Jack Lindsay got 8/16, Roy White 4/1 (hat trick) and Sid Long 86 Not Out. Some of the names just quoted were to form part of a nucleus of outstanding future teams.
The horror stretch for the 'A' grade boys continued into season 1947/48 and they succeeded only 4 times. On the other hand - you've guessed it 'C' Grade got the Runners Up Spot.
The writer recalls with a certain glow of pleasure his first century - 132 - against a Mooroolbark team which included Mr. Johnson and sons Charlie & Jim. The two last named later fortunately crossed to Ringwood where they gave outstanding service on and off the field.
While 1948/49 was not featured by major success, G. Holloway got 101 Not Out and the writer, now up with the 'big boys' in A Grade managed 80 not out. D. Tasker gave 'C' Grade bowling a boost in Round 8 by capturing 5/8 including a hat-trick.
No doubt one of the most sensational events in the history of the district was the referendum on the subject of Non-Commercial Sunday Sport on Council property between 1pm. and 6pm.
This was held in February 1949 and the intense lobbying and near hysteria created can be really gauged by reading the 'Mail' reports and 'Letters to the Editor'.
The “Yes” result was welcomed by the local sporting world generally. Ringwood often used the extra Sunday time to play practice matches which kept us match-hardened and would have been reflected in the successful finals appearances which will soon be recounted.
Mayor of Ringwood in 1949 was Cr. B.J.(Ben) Hubbard, not only known as the father of Keith, but for his award-winning Chrysanthemums.
Evidence of the now rapid progress of R.D.C.A. came with the formation of a Junior Saturday morning competition. Four teams participated in each of 'A' & 'B' divisions, and we made the semi-finals with each of our two sides, only to loose both. Noel Wardley wouldn't forget Round 2 as he collected 9 wickets for 39 runs. He was to perform similar feats later on in his career.
'A' Grade emerged from the gloom of previous years by getting into the Final only to lose to Kilsyth at the end of the 1949/50 season. The aggressive bowling presence of Frank Barker was now being noticed in the district and no wonder when you consider figures of 10/9 and 5/60 - yet another hat-trick included.
Jack Maidment's two centuries no doubt enabled us to stay near the top. Looking back now at
these 'A' Grade player names and performances it. is easy to understand how Ringwood became such a force in the years to come.
This was the 1949/50 season player lineup:
K. HUBBARD, J. MAIDMENT, J. LINDSAY, G. HOLLOWAY, W. NEILD, I. BINNS, F. BARKER, C. JOHNSON, S. KELTON, C. BEAUMONT, V. MORPHETT.
Not a bad line up!
In 1949/50 the 'B' Grade team covered themselves with glory by defeating a powerful Ringwood East side
(This was their senior team - for some unexplained reason they were not allocated to 'A' Grade) to take out the Premiership.
1941 - 50
A tremendous 3 day tussle was witnessed, with the issue in doubt until very late on the 3rd day. I was lucky enough to be a part of the victorious team, and although I have been a member of other winning teams in Finals, this to me was the greatest victory of all, probably because a team of "ordinary" (with due respect to all the other teammates) players managed to defeat a team packed with talent.
These were the ‘ordinary’ ones.
R.BISSETT, W. VINCENT, J. ORR, E. CLARKE, C.JOHNSTON, W. PAYNE, H. MUNR0, P. ALFORD, V.ORR, W. WILLIAMSON, J. COVELL.
In the Junior Ranks, 'A' Grade were Premiers while the 'B's missed the finals.
B. Stephen took 8/8 on one occasion. Before leaving this season we read that, in March 1950, four clubs, Kilsyth, Lilydale, East Ringwood and Soccer, all arrived at the one oval for a semi-final. East and Soccer got the verdict, while the other two flew off to find other accommodation.
On the domestic scene, a weatherboard home could be purchased for £1,800 and land in Ringwood Central, ie. Arlington St. cost £6 per foot.
A letter from Frank Parker, famous in civic circles about this time gives us an insight into the earlier ownership of the Recreation Reserve. In 1907 this land was purchased from Mr. Thomas Grant by Messrs. Parker, Loughnan and Chalmers, who paid a deposit (not revealed) on behalf of the Ringwood people. Later Lillydale Council took over the land and completed the payments under the following conditions:
(a) Land to be used only as a Park
(b) No intoxicating liquor to be consumed on the premises
(c) No Gambling
The Ringwood Mail now cost 3d. We also learnt that our landmark, ‘Loughnan's Hill’ was originally called ‘Forbes Hill’ and later ‘The Pines.’
Having documented happenings in the 'Forties', we now approach that period which confirmed the already strong position of this Club in Ringwood and district and set the pattern for promotion to higher things, culminating in entry to VCA District Ranks.
All we can say as the years roll through this era, is to use the well worn phrases "Fabulous Fifties, The Golden Years," etc. etc.
1951 - 1960
Only one pennant came our way for season 1950/51, going to 'D' Grade, one of our two Junior teams. We read that the respective Captains in A, B, and C grades were Jack Maidment, Bill Payne and Ted Clarke. Jack was honoured by being selected in the Association team this year. Many keen Judges considered Jack to be the best cricketer in the area.
We did not mention B Grade as yet, but it should be noted that W. (Snooky) Connell picked up 120 runs, Bill Williamson, one of the best (and funniest) clubmen in any team, got 101 plus 7/33, while Harry Munro trundled with great guile to collect 7/12. Almost forgot 'C' Grade, but how could you ignore Noel Wardley's figures of 8/20?
Among the Juniors, Geoff Stephen scooped the pool by winning Batting & Bowling awards in both the Club and Association.
Two senior and one Junior Premiership marked the end of yet another magnificent season. The 'B's made the semi final only to be beaten by Croydon by 40 runs. As the writer moved away from the district in 1951, not to return until 1958, he has a lasting regret that he was unable to participate in some of the many rewarding cricket moments during the period of absence. I hope the next pages can fully do justice to them.
After an easy win in the 'A' Grade Final against Kilsyth, who proved to be formidable opposition over the years, due a great deal to the Baldwin family, legends in this area, we should give some figures on star performers during the season. These include J. Piper 83, Bill Nield 103, Frank Barker 84 (what a hurricane innings that must have been) while Frank got 7/16: 7/19 a hat trick and 7/35. What was his lucky number we wonder?
In other Grades, Noel Wardley 81, Ian Lynton 7/50, Geoff Stephen 8/32, contributed in great style. The two Geoffs, Stephen and Roger set up an opening partnership of 126 runs in Junior ranks. Their team during this year suffered their first defeat in two and a half seasons, but they did not let that prevent them from taking out their third successive title.
On the administrative side, it is gratifying to see that the ranks of office bearers included a majority of current players in 1952/53. Harry Munro, Graham Holloway and Wally Vincent all occupied senior positions while the Committee comprised: Jack Lindsay, Graham Holloway, Jack Maidment, Val Morpett and Eric Tibballs.
Clive Fairbairn was one of the Vice Presidents. His deep knowledge of the game, plus his support for cricket generally in this district has far reaching results.
We must commence this seasons report (1952/53) by praising the fourth successive flag for the Junior ‘A’ team. While this was obviously a team effort, great credit goes to Geoff Stephen with personal figures of 101 and 8/19. This lad was destined for higher things with ours and other clubs.
1951 - 1960
No doubt jealous of this record, 'A' Grade, capably led by Jack Maidment managed their second premiership in a row. Jack notched up 113 runs while Frank Barker got how many wickets for 26? You're right - 7.
In other grades, no more pennants, but some great bowling by H. Munro 7/19, and Juniors Bernie Whithey 3/26 (hat trick), 7/32 and Mick Connell 7/14. Always thought Mick was a tremendous batsman, but those figures make him an all-rounder,
What do you think of these men as a finals team? They helped us to the 'A' Title: Jack Maidment, Jim Milne, Bill Neild, Jack Lindsay, Eric Tibballs, Graham Holloway, Charlie Johnson, Jim Johnson, Frank Barker, Kevin Hartshorn, Ray Nield.
Of general interest, a Council meeting in October, 1952 unveiled plans for Jubilee Park, part of the old Sanders estate. This must rank as one of the most momentous and well-planned decisions in the sporting field for Ringwood. I can't imagine a better setting and all visiting teams from more closely-settled suburbia are full of praise for the venue.
In 1953/54 two famous names got their due recognition for services rendered as Bob Bissett was granted life-membership of the RDCA and Bill Holloway received a similar honor at Ringwood.
That "jealousy" complex developed by 'A' Grade led them to take out the premiership - 3 in a row now - and we record with sadness that Junior 'A's were defeated in the Final. This fate was shared by 'C' grade.
As this was surely one of the best-ever years for individual efforts, we now set them out under various headings:
J. Maidment 161, H. Whitby 147, M. Connell 127 N.O and 113 N.O.,
P. Vergers 109 N.O., K. Stephen 106, G. Stephen 104, T. Hancy 103,
V. Morphett 102.
SIX OR MORE WICKETS
P. Vergers 8/6 and 6/23, J. Moon 7/35, 7/22, 9/25, J. Vergers 8/23,
B. Whitney 7/24, 7/45, B. Ramsden 6/8.
251 RECORD JUNIOR OPENING PARTNERSHIP (Unbroken)
M. Connell 127 N.O. and P. Vergers 109N.O.
191 SECOND BEST JUNIOR 1st WICKET PARTNERSHIP
M. Cornell and G. Stephen.
Bill Nield - Essendon lsts
Ray Nield - Melbourne 3rds.
1954/55 saw that genial gentleman, Charlie Beaumont become President. One of the most pleasant and hard working officials, he left us all too soon to live in Adelaide. Ian Price, a very efficient operator on and off the field was Secretary, while Wally Vincent took over the Treasury, a position he held for a number of years with distinction. We can recommend him to anyone with end of financial year taxation problems.
I have fond memories of Wally as he was my original opening batting partner way back in 1946/47. We were destined never to make a large partnership, but we could hold the record as the two most nervous openers in RDCA. The three senior Captains were Jack Maidment, Val. Morphett and Bill Orr. Bill, Jack and Vin Orr all represented Ringwood at Cricket with Vin becoming a very successful wicketkeeper.
It may not be well known that Vin suffered from osteo myelitis when young, and his efforts on the sports field reflected greatly on his character. His stamina may have been assisted by the huge quantity of chocolate he devoured.
1951 - 1960
The 'A's and 'B's each took out the flag this year - 4 in succession for 'A' Grade and they had not finished their run yet. These are the players who did the job:
A. GRADE: Jack Maidment, G. Holloway, J. Milne, J. Johnson, J. Tibballs, J. Lindsay, J. Chalmers, J. Moon, F. Barker, R. Nield, R. Jordan.
B . GRADE: V. Morphett, W. Connell, M. Connell, R. Wray, H. Munro, I. Price, G. Flynn, D. Millar, I. Lynton, J. Covell, P. Vergers.
This was the first 'B' Grade victory since 1949/50. R.D.C.A. now had 46 teams competing in 4 grades.
The Juniors had a mixed season with the Division 1 team losing their semi final, but the other boys lost every match. Best club batsmen were M. Connell 105 N.O. G. Matthews 93 and 103 N.0. Bowling stars were out in force as we read about Jack Moon 7/10 and 7/62, Les Lloyd 4/9 with hat-trick, A. Wray 7/33 and G.Matthews 6/17 on two occasions - not bad when he also got a century.
'A's & 'B's repeated the Premiership dose as before to highlight 1955/56 season. The 'C' grade boys managed Runners-Up, to emphasize what depth of talent we had then. Jack Maidment took the batting average for the sixth successive time. G.A.(Nigger) Lindsay reached a milestone with 3,000 runs and 800 wickets - amazing to recall that he was best all-rounder in 1927/28. Whilst this is a cricket story "Nigger's" exploits on the football field would also take quite a long time to recount. Other main highlights for this period:
BATTING W. Williamson 85, L. Wellington 85, T. Hancy 129 & 90, M. Connell 89 N.O. and 103 N.0., R. Spencer 95, J. Milne 84, J. Moon 87, G. Reynolds 101 N.0.
BOWLING H. Munro 5/1 (inc. hat trick ), W. Williamson 13 wickets in 1 match,
J. Andrews 7/27, L. Lloyd 5/0 (inc. hat trick), J. Moon 8/16, R. Foster 7/28.
246 - RECORD 8th WICKET PARTNERSHIP T. Hancy & R. Spencer.
50 - RECORD LAST WICKET PARTNERSHIP J. Johnson: V. Orr.
(This performance ensured a ‘B’ grade premiership)
1956/57. How is this for a consistent performance?
'A' grade Premiers 'B' grade runners up.
'C' grade runners up 'D' grade runners up
Jack Lindsay replaced Val Morphett as Captain in 'B' Grade but the other leaders remained as before. Main Office bearers remained the same, yet another sign of stable and successful management. There were obviously many excellent performances, but we document the highlights as below:
BATTING J. CHALMERS 90, M. CONNELL 106 & 100, J. LINDSAY 1O4 N.O, J.MOON 92 & 113, J. CHALMERS 90 & 88, W. McDONALD 106 N.O, C.JOHNSON 95, J. MILNE 117, I. Price 71.
BOWLERS J. VERGERS 8/37, R. JORDAN 6/33, 3/16, 7/4, R. RODDA 4/9, 7/10 (inc.Hat Trick), 6/25, 9/21 * (inc. Hat Trick), J. MOON 8/29
* In this match, as well as getting 9/21, Bob Rodda also scored 50.
RINGWOOD 442 (Milne 117) (Moon 113)
KILSYTH 169 & ·199 (Outright)
1957/58 After such a spell of victories, the Club was looking for fresh fields to conquer and they were obviously welcomed into the Eastern Suburbs Cricket Association - to be known as E.S.C.A. - for season 1957/58. We entered 2 turf teams while 2 matting sides remained in R.D.C.A.
With the Jubilee Park turf wicket now available, no doubt the players were eager to do well in their new competition.
I understand that Council staff had problems with the new wicket in the early days so much so that some four cricketers decided to lend a hand by using the heavy roller one evening.
Alas, Ringwood in October is not exactly the driest place on earth and, as the sun sank slowly in the west, the roller sank faster into the sacred turf.
Another story, confirmed in 1995 by an opposition player and former Ringwood High school principle Mr Ron Hodge was that Bill ‘Snookie’ Connell prepared the first match wicket on Jubilee Park and prepared the wicket on the assumption that the ‘black mud' would have been 66 ft long. Hence the wicket for play (and used) was actually approximately 72 ft long.
‘Snookie’ actually admitted to this, as he explains, “an oversight”.
A far cry from today's superb playing conditions on what must be one of the most picturesque ovals in Australia.
Now for the bad news - Ringwood did not win any flags this year - the first miss in ten years. All was not lost however as Jack Moon collected the association bowling average and Bob Rodda won the R.D.C.A. bowling trophy. John Vergers and Mick Connell were worthy selections in the Under 23 V.T.C.U. team to play in Adelaide.
For some reason, about this time, newspaper coverage of cricket was limited, and for season 1958/59 about all to be reported was the fact that our 'A' grade turf team finished Runners-Up. This was a creditable start for their second year in a new competition which embraced the populous areas of Box Hill, Canterbury, Surrey Hills, Ashburton and their teams sometimes included ex - V.C.A. seasoned performers who had an extremely tough cricket outlook and probably took great exception to this 'new' team from the outer Eastern Suburbs even daring to challenge them let alone secure a place in the final four.
Not only did we challenge the opposition in 1959/60 but recorded our first pennant in E.S.C.A. This team would be the most professional one I have ever been associated with and perhaps we should list them here and give a bit more background.
Captain was Harry Matthysz from Sri Lanka initially, and he had all the speedy reflex movements, together with the keen cricket brain that we associate with people from that country.
Add to this his brilliant wicket keeping and we lacked nothing in leadership. Vice-Captain John Vergers, one of the quietly efficient bowling experts, in my opinion, managed to pick up 77 wickets this season which exceeded Jack Moon's previous tremendous record of 75- How lucky were we to have men of this calibre!
Having mentioned our leaders, I list the balance of the team and obviously we all did something right at some time during the season:
JACK MAIDMENT, IVAN BINNS, PETER ALFORD, MICK CONNELL, JACK LINDSAY, GRAHAM HOLLOWAY, BILL (SNOOKIE) CONNELL, BOB REID, JIM JOHNSON, STEWART DOBSON.
As this wonderful era draws to a close in these pages, we make no apology for reporting with pride the achievement of the 'A' Grade team during this time.
R.D.C.A. PREMIERS 1950/51, 1951/52, 1952/53, 1953/54, 1954/55, 1955/56, 1956/57.
E.S.C.A. PREMIERS 1959/60.
RUNNERS UP 1957/58, 58/59.
When you add the further honors won by the lower grades and the four Junior Premierships, it makes inspiring reading.
1961 - 1970
To show that their performance last year was no fluke, the 'A' Grade took out the E.S.C.A. pennant in season 1960/61.
In a high-scoring final the scores were Ringwood 314 and 2/64, Deepdene 312 and 3/62 declared. The Ringwood Mail, as usual, summed it up in expert fashion! "In the opinion of players, spectators and umpires, this final ranks as the most thrilling in their experience",
Our star final performers were Mick Connell 94, brother Bill 53 and Bob Reid 68 while Ivan Binns 6/122 and Colin Martin 4/30 took the bowling honours.
In 1961/62, all ties with the Ringwood District were severed in the senior ranks, as all these teams were registered with E.S.C.A. While no final wins were recorded, some great individual efforts were accomplished during the season as you will see from the following.
Bernie Whitney 172, Alan McLeish 131N.O., 102N.O., 53N.0., Tom Ward 95, Bill Longmire 93, Harry Matthysz 56, David Millar 104, Mick Connell 53, 58, Ian McLeod 170, 77, Graham Holloway 82, John Covell 53.
Let's not forget the best bowlers. They included Ashley Barker 5/17, 7/18 inc hat-trick, Bob Sinclair 6/18, Geoff Stephen 6/64, 5/8, 5/27, 5/61, Harry Munro 5/17, Ray Patten 6/18, Tom Ward 6/73, John Verges 6/29, 3/27.
Season 1962 - 63 saw a more professional attitude evident at the Club with the introduction of Don Mathieson (ex Prahran) as Captain-Coach. Don, a talented District Cricketer brought the skill necessary for a team to remain up near the top, and there is nothing more certain than that as his example was carried through the ranks.
Although I did not have the pleasure of seeing him very often on the arena, I can say without hesitation that he was just as enthusiastic off the field being a very competent administrator.
Whilst they did not succeed in getting a flag, the senior team was studded with some fine efforts, the captain getting 80, 65, 47, 44, and David Penny 58.
Other team highlights were as follows:
Val Morphett 80, Harry Hunro 62 and 5/5, Ashley Barker 6/43, 7/23 and 4/25, Tom Ward 8/18 & 58, Laurie Sumpter 144, Russ Arbuckle 86 & 72, David Richards 6/38, Geoff Stephen 50, Ralph Cousins 52, 63 & 92, Jack Lindsay 70, Ian Pendlebury 80, J. Horner 152 N.0. & 84.
1961 – 70
A young chap named Ron Tomlinson was under notice at North Ringwood for some great bowling, namely 8/35 & 2/7. He later won an award from the Ringwood Club as ‘junior player of the year’ in R.D.C.A. and crossed to Ringwood thereby commencing a wonderful term of outstanding performance and service.
Although not a Ringwood player at the time (1963/64) Ron Tomlinson was eventually recruited to Ringwood where he went on to become one of the clubs legendary players and with an U16 record in this year for Nth Ringwood its not hard to imagine why Ron was one of our greatest.
The following is an extract from Ringwood clubs statistical review compiled by Peter Binns.
During the course of compiling records such as these, there are many stories, scorebooks and anecdotes which come to light. We were fortunate in being able to borrow one particular scorebook from Russell Stanfield of North Ringwood C.C. which contains many outstanding performances, during the 1963/64 season, by an Under 16 youngster by the name of Ron Tomlinson. He scored 1220 runs for the season at a healthy 152.50 average, and also took 46 wickets at 17.20. Some of his performances during the season included:
v. Bedford 109*
v. Croydon United 107, 8/14 & 2/15
v. Croydon 109, 5/107
v. Croydon North 131*
v. Norwood 52 5/53
v. East Ringwood 5/19
v. Ringwood Methodists 76* 5/43
v. Lilydale 68 3/30
North Ringwood played Croydon in the Semi-Final and, thanks mainly to an undefeated 166 from Tommo, scored 7/287. Ron then took 6/47 to dismiss Croydon for 116 and proceed to the Final against Mooroolbark who, incidentally, had crushed North Ringwood during the season, dismissing them for 46(Tommo 4). Incredibly, after amassing 410 in North's first innings (Tommo 268n.o. including 46 fours), Mooroolbark replied with 431. Trailing by 21 on the first innings, North made 252 in their second innings. Tommo "failed" with a meagre 80, leaving Mooroolbark 232 to win outright. Seemingly cruising at 2/157, they collapsed to the bowling of O'Sullivan (7/24) and North Ringwood won the match, played over five days, by 24 runs.
Scores: North Ringwood 410 (R. Tomlinson 268*, L. Moore 71, R. Zunneberg 4/31) & 252 (R. Tomlinson 80, L. Moore 49, M. Moore 32*, Bell 4/68, Crouch 3/7) defeated Mooroolbark 431 (R. Zunneberg 131, M. Heighton 84*, O. Crouch 54, Willman 5/97, extras 52, R. Tomlinson 0/113) & 207(R. Zunneberg 87, O'Sullivan 7/24, R. Tomlinson 1/77)
1961 - 70
The Annual Meeting of September, 1963 decided that Leo Pratt was to be made a life member. This was the first club report to be issued in book form. Back to Leo, perhaps he hoped we would not say any more about his sterling service to this Club or about the countless times he kept the clubrooms in spotless condition aided and abetted by Phil Burgess of whom more shall be heard.
To digress slightly, we don't think that story is true about Phil and Leo wandering around Warrandyte one day, and being asked by one of the locals did they want to know the whereabouts of the Elderly Citizens' Club!
Leo also would not want me to mention how in the very early years, he personally ploughed a furrow to form the boundary around the ground. Many things he did for us which possibly are not known, and it is only fitting that they are recognised here.
He also had great sporting ability representing this district on numerous occasions.
While major honors did not come our way during 1963/4, we can record some excellent personal efforts, with that man Mathieson featuring with 68 and 146, plus great assistance from Ivan Binns 8/27 and a century to Wal Carrington. Jack Lindsay 58, Allan McLeish 51 and 41 also featured together with David Richards 4/26 and 4/50.
We had previously made application for admission to Sub District Ranks and as this was granted to take effect from the start of 1964/65 season, one could sense the eagerness which preceded the start of this season.
Before we got under way, however, another Life Member was appointed, one Harry Munro.
This man was a real all rounder who never accepted defeats and was often called upon to bear heavy loads, both batting and bowling and never once shirked an issue.
He also worked long hours in club administration and went on to become an expert lawn bowler and, with his former teammate Jack Lindsay, has won the Pairs' Championship at Ringwood. Pity the poor unfortunates who faced those two in the final.
To make sure that our surroundings were in keeping with our elevation to Sub-District status, the brand new "R.O. Spencer" Pavilion was opened in August, 1964.
It is marvellous how people active in civic affairs have supported the Club over the years and Reg Spencer was no exception. He came to us from North Melbourne as a classy wicketkeeper. Never short for a word, he would leap instantly to the defence of the glovemen in cricket and really regarded them as the backbone of our game.
Season 1964/65 saw the arrival of one of the clubs greatest characters and players - Jim Myerscough.
Jim came from VCA club Northcote and was a team mate of the legendary Bill Lawry, and as you follow his record through the years it can be easily understood why it was a lucky day for us when he decided to join. Never short of advice for any youngster willing to learn the game and long on words to most opposition batsmen, one wonders how Jim would have stood up to today’s “Code of conduct” rules.
A fierce competitor on the field Jim was a lovable ‘gentleman’ of the field, left everything inside the fence and was most popular with opposition players at any after match functions.
In his later years he concentrated on giving guidance to the younger brigade, and when I once congratulated him on the Fourth Eleven (his) winning the Premiership he almost angrily told me that he had not done anything but all credit went to "the boys". You can be sure there was no way they could have got there without him.
Further on in this history Jim’s on field deeds are well documented as he took on ‘legend’ status with our club.
No major honors came our way this season, although 'C' grade matting finished 2nd and Barry Carrington won the competition bowling trophy for this division.
Col Martin 101 N.0., 110
Wal Carrington 87, 103
Don Mathieson 46, 74 N.O., 73 N.O., 98
Graeme Sinclair 78
Harry Munro 73, 44
Allan McLeish 71, 48
Jack Lindsay 71, 54
Ian McLeod 61
Val Morphett 45
Chas Johnson 45, 44
Peter Wiltshire 8/29, (hat trick) 6/38
Jim Myerscough 4/16, 5/28, 8/32, 4/48, 5/34, 5/44
Barry Carrington 6/19, 5/11
Tom Ward 6/28, 4/25
John Vergers 6/38, 3/40
Barry Farrell 6/47, 5/28
Howard Brown 5/19, 4/34
Tony Box 5/30, 4/10
Bob Rodda 5/30, 5/81
David Richards 4/18, 4/39, 4/8
Harry Munro 4/24, 5/24:
Before the start of season 1965/66, a decision was taken to leave E.S.C.A. and re-enter 3 senior and one junior team in the R..D.C.A. The Club felt that this move would help to strengthen cricket in this area. There is no doubt now that this step was a very wise move.
In August, 1966, we received the good news that Ringwood had been admitted to full Sub-District membership.
The ‘Mail’ reporting on the annual general meeting said "The Clubs leaders are determined to leave no stone unturned to lift the Club up into the top bracket of Victorian Cricket from which Victorian and Australian players are selected".
Strong and inspiring words which were later to be carried out to the fullest extent. Also interesting to note to strong community endorsement of the club with four Councilors listed as Patrons. Two councilors were also the clubs vice presidents.
The Club's leaders mentioned were Laurie McLeod, who replaced Harry Munro as President, Frank Bibby as Secretary, while Don Mathieson must have been an obvious choice for re-election as Coach. My main memories of Laurie are as an umpire of the highest quality, firm but fair, and anyone who decided to ‘carry on’ on the field, soon got the message from L. H. McLeod esquire.
The McLeods rank highly in the Ringwood Cricket story as Laurie and his wife, Effie, together with son Ian, later to become Club Secretary, and daughter Janet, who went on to become an extremely proficient scorer for the clubs 1st X1 and later as the official scorer for the Victorian state side must have put in many hours of hard work for their Club.
Heart problems did not stop Laurie from supporting us and he was back at his vocal best after a short absence. Laurie, Ian & Janet were all awarded the clubs highest honor, life membership, in recognition of the outstanding service given the club over the years.
Our first ‘full member’ year was outstanding as the club set the pace all year only to falter in the semi final against eventual premiers Sunshine after we finished well on top of the ladder. A number of personal highlights & outstanding performances were recorded as we charged towards the finals. Jim Myercough had and outstanding season collecting a record 63 wickets at an average of 10.3. Captain Don Mathieson completed a memorable all round season with 528 runs & 43 wickets with Gary Walton chipping in with 216 runs and 34 wickets. The clubs consistancey was mirrored by the fact that 6 batsmen scored over 200 whilst 3 of them compiled over 300.
The others in our bowling fraternity to shine included Barry Carrington, Brian Fawell, (9/25 in one innings) Jim Johnson, Peter Matuska and Richard Robinson (who went onto district cricket at Prahran before returning to Ringwood) while Ron Tomlinson showed he could use a cricket ball as well as a bat, by collecting 4/11 on November 12th 1966.
1961 – 1970
Also noted in the 67th annual report was the success of the clubs baseball team which had been formed 3 years earlier. The club had only one side and all were cricketers keeping their hand in between seasons. David Penny captained the side which won three ‘A’ grade flags in the previous 4 years. The clubs total turnover for the season amounted to $2800:00. And was capablby accounted for by treasurer Charlie Johnson. Playing fees were $8 for seniors and $3:50 for students. The total hire fees for the ovals was $90:00
Season 1967/8 saw Frank Bibby step aside as secretary with Allister Mathews taking on the role.
Interesting to note that this is the clubs 68th annual report and to date it has only elected six life members (A.F. Bissett, C. Beaumont, W.H.Holloway, J. Lindsay, L. Pratt, H. Munro). Senior players were taking an interest in the running of the club with the report noting names like Mathieson, Myerscough, Box, Stephen, Wigg, Richards & Brown, all notable players being elected to the committee.
To David Penny went the honour of scoring our first century at Jubilee Park. It happened on October 13th 1967, and David a most attractive & stylish batsman in full flight got 129.
Perhaps this was one of the few highlights in a year where we only managed 6th position in Sub District 1sts & 2nds with no team taking part in the final series. Interesting to note that the points the club attained in East section would have easily put us into the four in the West division. The club won 9 and lost 4 with one draw and missed a place by 1 point.
Although not making the finals the club experienced some exciting times with Don Mathieson captaining the sub district X1 in Adelaide along with Jim Myerscough playing and Alister Mathews as the team manager. Promising youngster John Kirby made the Victorian schoolboys side whilst 1st X1 player Robin Close was mixing both cricket and football as he was proving star material with Essendon.
Again Jim Myerscough was superb and showed his worth capturing 58 wickets at 11.8 whilst captain Don Mathieson continued with his usual consistency scoring 515 runs and taking 43 wickets.
Two of our junior players (and we had many outstanding players in this section, who later proved their early promise) were Paul Kirby who took 9/2 in October, 1967. Stewart Brown also wanted to get into the picture with 8/9 in November. Other details from the clubs senior sub district X1’s were:
Don Mathieson 6/31, 5/30
Ralph Wigg 8/87, 7/49, 4/33
Richard Robinson 7/29, 5/10
Jim Myerscough 6/35 (inc. hat trick) 6/54, 5/37, 5/40, 5/41, 5/79
Dennis Flentje 6/25, 5/24
Tony Box 5/20
1961 - 1970
One thing is clear from these figures. Jim Myerscough was keen on getting 5 wickets each time he bowled and he also liked the odd hat trick, as on March 15th 1968 he managed to get one against Geelong.
Batting stars this season included Russ Arbuckle, Val Morphett, Ralph Cousins, Robin Close (better known as a top Essendon footballer) and not forgetting N. Washfold and Perry Kaighin who also contributed.
Interesting thank you was posted in the clubs annual report when the Coach expressed his ‘thanks to “Curley” Burgess, President Laurie and Leo Pratt all of which he suggested had taken part in many opponents dismissals in tight situations’ !! Guess you would have to question Don for more info on that one.
Ralph Cousins, Charlie Johnson and new social secretary ‘livewire’ (as described in annual report) David Richards again headed a very successful social committee and the golf days, beach picnic, dinner dance Christmas bar-b-que as well as the ‘football highest & lowest cards were all well organized and successful.
Club turnover ‘climbed’ to over $3000:00
The baseball club won its second successive ‘A’ grade premiership when it defeated Croydon 11 – 1. Team members Ian Mcleod, David Penny and Les Collins were selected in the R.D.B.A. team for the Victorian Provincial Baseball league championships in Geelong.
This year the club expanded by another senior team and one junior team as more cricketers moved away from football.
1968/69 saw a young player in David Richards elected to the position of Secretary and as history will show David developed his administrations skills and went on from Ringwood to eventually become crickets highest administrator when he was successful to the position of CEO of the ICC – the sports world governing body.
During this season we noted round about December 1968 a very well presented Newsletter about Club News, scores etc. edited by Ralph Wigg. An amusing report on a Golf Day held at Lang Lang showed that Charlie Johnson's score would have been terrific in a cricket scorebook but not on a golf card. Phil Burgess showed once again his club spirit by making his home available for the Christmas Barbecue.
Both senior teams covered themselves (almost) with glory as the 1st X1 finished runners up to a very strong Ormond team, while the seconds were equal Premiers with Williamstown.
The Club 1968/9 Annual Report covered 35 well presented pages, and reflected great credit on the people in official positions. In addition we note that the names O.J.Pratt, A. Lindsay & R. Wilkins have also obtained life memberships. Frank Bibby returned to the role of assistant secretary whilst players continued to show interest with Ray Patten & Ian McLeod being elected as committee people.
To show that they were supported on the field of action, quite a number of players achieved success as can be seen.
1961 - 1970
Don Mathieson 130N.0, 128, 111(S.F) 98, 92, 87.
Bill Shaw 100
John Kirby 101, 57
Alan Metcalfe 99
Gary Walton 96
Chas Johnson 88, 63N.O
Ian McGregor 87
Jim Milne 86
Ralph Cousins 72
Ron Tomlinson 69
Peter Sarre 62
Brian Fawell 9/25
Geoff Laird 8/12, 5/9
Gary Walton 8/31 (20 overs), 8/46
Peter Matuska 7/60, 7/29, 7/43
Jim Myerscough 8/32, 7/34, 7/34, 7/50, 7/61 6/62, 6/18
Ralph Wigg 8/87, 7/49
Dennis Flentze 6/27
Andy McCall 6/62
N. Washfold 6/80
Howard Brown 8/41, 7/38, 7/49 5/19
Tony Box 5/11 (8 overs)
Don Mathieson 5/43
Ron Tomlinson 4/10 (9 overs)
There was much excitement around the club as it prepared for its biggest assault to date on a sub district flag. Rain delayed the start of the semi final at Jubilee Park until 3:45pm on the first day. Winning the toss Malvern elected to bowl hoping to capitalize on the wet pitch.
What they didn’t count on was the skill and resolve of openers Jack Kirby and Ron Tomlinson who were able to add 70 without loss on the first day. This pair set a club opening partnership record of 95. The highlight of the match was then enacted as captain Don Mathieson again showed his class to compile 111 which included a record last wicket stand of 60 with Tony Box (12n.o.) as he guided his side to a position of strength with 262 on
the board. With no time left Malvern managed 1/5 before stumps and Ringwood advanced to the grand final by way of finishing top of the ladder.
1961 – 1970
The final held at the Kew Cricket ground was against the powerful Ormond side who won the toss and batted under ideal conditions. Tight bowling from pace men Jim Myerscough (3/41) and Gary Walton (2/39) saw Ormond dismissed for a moderate 136 with captain Mathieson finishing the job with 5/33. Ringwood lost Jack Kirby and David Quinn early and even with fighting stands from Ron Tomlinson and Don Mathieson Ringwood wilted to be 9/83. A fighting last wicket stand between Gary Walton and Tony Box added 30 before Ormond took the flag by 23 runs.
It was a disappointing end for the side which only lost one match for the season up until the grand final.
As usual Don Mathieson (564 runs and 29 wickets) and Jim Myerscough (61 wickets) dominated the season but received great support from a number of others including wicket keeper Jack Kirby (477 runs), Ron Tomlinson (357 runs and 11 wickets) and Gary Walton (27 wickets). On 6 occassions Jim took 5 or more wickets whilst Don contributed 2 centuries. The team maintained great team spirit and splendid out cricket to prove that these are areas that constitutes very good and successful teams.
The second eleven were capably led by Alby Hunter (ex Brunswick) who had joined the club at the start of the season and who was to prove his outstanding ability as a key player and later took on the big challenge as Senior Coach. Whether he achieves the ultimate - a V.C.A. Pennant remains to be seen – but, if he doesn't, it certainly won't be because of lack of ability, preparation and deep cricket knowledge.
This X1 under Alby’s guidance and direction made the finals and met Box Hill at Hawthorn in the Semi. Everthing appeared to be going wrong as Ringwood lost the toss and being sent in squandered opportunities to set up the game. Finally all out for 148 with Alby top scoring with 37, Peter Sarre and Jim Ford both getting 27. Box Hill were cruising at 3/94 until Howard Brown took control of the game claiming 7/49 to see Box Hill dismissed for 117.
The Group final was played at Jubilee Park and Ringwood batted first and with partnerships of 65 between Peter Sarre (32) and Alan Metcalf (56) and 61 between Alan and Bill Shaw (41) were able to compile a shaky 192. Good bowling from Howard Brown (3/42) and Ralph Wigg (3/44) along with brilliant fielding saw Balwyn dismissed for 147 and Ringwood into the Grand Final. Looking at the result one might say that Ringwood were a little lucky to be declared joint premiers with only 105 on the boards and Williamstown 3/78 when the match was washed out but Alby has assured us over many years that this side was capable of anything when the chips are down as evidenced by the semi final result.
Some outstanding individual performances were recorded by this X1 during the year which saw Howard Brown taking 52 wickets, Alby Hunter 41, Richie Robinson 33 and Dennis Flentje 32. Fourteen times a
bowler took 5 or more wickets in a match.
Five batsmen made over 250 runs with outstanding performances from Peter Sarre (344) and Bill Shaw (322 including 1 century), Alby Hunter followed his wickets with 279 runs to prove an outstanding allround performance from the captain.
The baseball continued to be successful and growing every year whilst the social activities listed car trials, gold days, theatre nights, 10 pin bowling as well as a cabaret night at the Cuckoo restaurant.
A young player named Chris King from RDCA club Croydon United won Ringwoods RDCA trophy and would go on to become a forcefull opening batsman/wicketkeeper and eventually opened the batting with Graeme O’Donnell in the clubs historical first VCA district match.
The clubs first honor board was erected this year and all thanks went to Alby Hunter & W.D. & H.O. Wills for their kind donation although there is some doubt as whether Wills are aware of the donation.
Sadly the club lost its former secretary Ian Penrose during this year.
Also in this year the Ringwood City Council were approached to install a second turf wicket on an oval nearby to assist in the clubs application for inclusion in the state’s highest competition – the VCA.
The sixties were not kind years if measured in premiership flags but the club moved forward in giant steps in all other areas. Maybe we were still recovering from the impact of the events that occurred, such as the opening of Jubilee Park pavilion and grand stand, our entry into Sub-District ranks, etc. etc.
Another Civic event to take place shortly – February 1970 to be exact, was the opening of the new $5OO,000 Civic Centre at Ringwood East. This was located on tile site of the old antimony mine which ceased operations many years ago and was the source of employment for some of our early residents.
It also was a very convenient place from which to view cricket and football on the Ringwood East oval, although many of us were warned by our parents of the dangers of old disused shafts in the mine area. Even during construction of the Civic Centre these were considered to be possible hazards and extensive tests had to be carried out to ensure the safety of the foundations.
1969/70 season saw Don Mathieson (again), Ian McLeod and Ray Patten all collect the magical century and other batsmen to perform well included Wayne Webster, John Kirby, Bill Shaw, Russ Arbuckle and Peter. Nott. The bowlers had a pretty good season and Jim Myerscough, Peter Matuska, Richard Robinson and Alby Hunter were outstanding. Along the way, Richard got a hat trick and the number of times this was achieved has never ceased to amaze me. As a "sunset" bowler – for the ignorant that is one who can only achieve a wicket when the setting sun is shining directly in the batsman's eyes - I did get my only hat trick in a social match.
One victim came from Poland where I don't think cricket rates very highly on their national sports program while another was a 13 year old boy, who probably was only making up the team number anyway.
The clubs 70th AGM also saw Charlie Johnson elected to become the clubs tenth life member after many years as a player, committeeman & treasurer. One also notes the the Hon. P. Howson, M.H.R., Hon. J.W.Manson, M.L.A. and Cr J.McCrae were the clubs patrons during this period.
David Richards stepped up to the role of Secretary whilst Laurie McLeod continued as President.
On the field again the 1st X1 just missed the finals finishing 5th with the 2nd X1 finishing in 6th place. The only premiership for the year came from the clubs junior section with the U14 side, managed by Ralph Cousins led all the way to take the flag with only one loss for the season. This X1 eventually produced 3 VCA 1st X1 players for the club in Geoff Laird, Neil Clarke & Greg Schink.
This year saw the introduction of a sub district U14 competition similar to the VCA’s ‘Dowling Shield’. The competition required all sub district clubs to select a representative U14 squad to play a carnival held over the Christmas holiday period. The competition would be known as ‘Hatch shield’. In the first year the Ringwood side led by Danny Fyfe were defeated in the semi final and also recorded some fine performances. Geoff Laird & Dennis Pitts led both the batting and bowling in outstanding allround performances. Michael Bent chipped in with a hat trick, Brian Jacobs a century and vice captain Mick Brown with an outstanding wicketkeeping performance.
Some outstanding performances were recorded throughout the season with Richard Robinson capturing a hat trick in the 1st X1 v Geelong, John Kirby captaining the RDCA combined U16 side and also captured a hat trick in the inter association game and Geoff Laird captain of the RDCA U14 side.
The 1st X1 batting was again consistent with 5 batsmen getting over 250 runs but we really missed Don Mathieson’s 500 plus seasons of past years although Don was still our second highest run scorer with 336 @ 42.
On the bowling side we proved we were still a force to be reckoned with. Again Jim Myerscough demonstrated the skills that have made him the competitions leading bowler for a number of years but this year was upstaged by a young tearaway named Richard Robinson. After taking 33 wickets in the 2nds the previous season Richard repaid coach Mathieson’s work and faith by capturing 56 wickets at an average of 10.8 to have all the district scouts taking note of this young man. Richard was genuinely quick with a very mean short ball in his armor.
Following last years premiership the 2nd X1 struggled due to the loss of 7 players promoted or unavailable. A couple of notable feats were achieved this year with both opening batsmen David Richards and Charlie Johnson batting through the innings at different times through the season.
An anecdotel story from this X1 comes to mind and always well told by captain Alby Hunter. Apparently after a stern team meeting on the Thursday night before the grand final replay against Williamstown Alby reminded all of the necessity to show who was the best side in the previous years grand final.
On the Saturday a couple of our young fast bowlers in Peter Matuska and Paul Jones along with wicket keeper Chris King (both of who had joined the club only this season) decided on a ‘parkies’ preparation for the big game. Leaving Ringwood early the threesome arrived in Williamstown, found the ground and duly headed for the nearest pub for a counter lunch only to be spotted heading towards the pub by the sides vice captain Tony Box who immediately reported the matter to captain Alby. Back at the ground, fully refreshed and invigorated by a sumptuous lunch the 3 were confronted by Alby who lay down the law if failure occurred. Fortunately the 3 all performed, Ringwood won and the matter was duly forgotten.
With only 2 losses through the series the clubs Hatch U14 side looked the goods to take the flag this year. After outstanding bowling performances in the Semi and Group finals when they dismissed Moorabbin for 46 and Waverley for 48 to easily advance to the Grand final confidence was high. Alas it may have been to high when after dismissing Williamstown for 137 Ringwood crumbled to be all out for 44. Williamstown were a very strong combination and well lead by player Paone who amassed over 600 runs in the 9 matches played and went on to even greater successes with VCA side Footscray. Our Geoff Laird proved the bowler of the ‘Hatch’ competition capturing 35 wickets at an average of 4.9 and highlighted by 7/16 against Waverley in the group final.
What would the seventies reveal in our cricket world? As well as unforeseen chances at International Level - World Series Cricket - coloured clothing, cricket under lights, transplanting wickets into sacred football turf at VFL, Park Waverley – later removing it - all these events guaranteed never a dull moment for the Player, Official and Watcher,
However, some great things took place within our own sphere, and finally we saw the entry of Ringwood into VCA District ranks although not without hickups as the club received notification in 1971 that council would not be proceeding with the installation of a second turf wicket leaving Ringwood the only sub district club of 24 without a second wicket.
While the sixties was a period of consolidation for us, season 1974/75 saw the dream come true and the just reward for the efforts of many people even way back to the earliest years. It would do no harm at all for current players, as they enjoy the facilities at Jubilee Park to 'pause a while and reflect’ on how these conditions came about, and on the people who battled, often against great odds, to ensure their future comfort and convenience.
Maybe that little reflection could inspire our senior team to achieve a V.C.A. Pennant. You’ve probably guessed by now that that is our next goal. Unlike many supporters of that well known V.F.L. Club, we don't think it is "Mission Impossible".
1971 - 1980
On the official side, the Club in February 1971 asked Ringwood Council to consider a loan of $3,000 for turf wicket facilities on the 2nd oval in Jubilee Park to enable them to qualify for V.C.A. membership. A local newspaper columnist was not really in accord with this request and stated "Nothing succeeds like success, and we think they should wait until they have a Sub-District Premiership under their belt before they front up to Council again".
Full credit to our Junior teams for season 1970/71 as both the U16 & U14 finished on top of the ladder and were both narrowly defeated in their grand finals in our most successful junior performances for some years. Some of our outstanding juniors were Terry Cahill, Neil Clarke, Paul Kirby, Kevin Hayward and Peter Fielding (good cricket name) and some of these lads went on to higher things even if it was with another sport with both Terry Cahill & Neil Clarke acquitting themselves in the VFL with Neil also a very accomplished district 1st X1 cricketer with the club.
The success of the club hinges on its seniors and in this area the club is going from strength to strength. Finishing in 3rd position all the years hard work was undone by former state player David Anderson who showed his class to make 105 of Dandenongs 256 in reply to Ringwoods 159. Ex Footscray fast bowler Tony Leigh routed Ringwood with figures of 5/53 while Paul Jones was our best with 3/45 and Russell Arbuckle 47 with the bat.
This season saw a big strong fast bowler in Peter Matuska come of age. A powerful man with an action similar to Australia’s Jeff Thomson Peter capped of a great season with a fiery haul of 7/22 to rout Moorabin for 49 in the final home and home game. In this match Ringwood arrived at the Moorabin ground only to be confronted by an outfield under water and in fact the only dry part of the ground was the wicket table. Losing the toss we had to endure the most appalling conditions and fortunately for us Peter was decidedly angry at being asked to field in these conditions. Hence he set about ensuring that our feet were wet for a very short period and set the stage having Moorabin 3 for 0 at the end of the first over. It came about that the St Kilda football club had a practice match the following day and wanted to ensure that the ground was soft for the match.
One I almost forgot was Paul Newton who even then was performing with much promise which was to take him into the first eleven. Amongst the experienced brigade Alby Hunter, Paul Jones, Ralph Wigg and Jim Myerscough were getting wickets regularly and our top batsmen included Don Mathieson (yes again) with one century, Russ Arbuckle, Peter Sarre and David Richards.
Three 2nd X1 bowlers almost got the maximum. They were Alby Hunter -who collected 8/32, Peter Matuska took 8/36 and not to be outdone Paul Jones decided to call it a day on 8/27 along with 7/56 to give him match figures of 15/79 against Kew. Although only playing 2 matches in the 2nd X1 Paul collected 22 wickets @ 6.5 off just 49 overs.
1971 – 1980
This proved that Paul not only performed well on the administrative side of the club but was also a great contributor on the playing side, while wife Jo would have to get my award for her tremendous catering efforts, despite caring for a young family around her ankles on match days.
March 1971 saw Laurie McLeod, acting on medical advice, advise the club that he was reliquinshing the position of President. Laurie had held the position for 5 years since our admission into Sub District.
At the clubs 71st AGM Ralph Cousins was proposed and elected a life member of the club.
The club was also saddened at the death of player David Martin, son of Cr Martin, 3killed in a road accident. Although only at the club for a short time David was regarded as a most promising young cricketer.
The baseball club disbanded in this year when most of the ‘B’ grade players formed a new club - Donvale.
Neil Clarke was also mentioned this year for an outstanding performance for an U14 player which saw him score over 1200 runs, take 76 wickets captain both the ‘Hatch’ team and the RDCA U14 combined side.
This year the financials of the club show a turnover of over $5500:00 returning a profit in excess of $500
The re-appointment of Don Mathieson as coach for 1971-2 marked his 10th season with us, and spoke volumes for the impact he had on our game as far as Ringwood, and probably many opponents, were concerned.
Another top player, David Richards, was appointed Assistant Secretary to the Victorian Cricket Association in January 1972. Apart from this recognition of obvious talent in this area, it proved to be a step along the way up to much higher things, as we shall see. Despite what must have been heavy commitment’s, David still managed to return to Jubilee Park in later years to support the Club. It should be remembered also that some of this Club history emanated from research done by David, lan McLeod, Paul Jones, Peter Binns and no doubt others, whose names escape me for the moment.
The Club was granted a 10 year occupancy of Jubilee Park No 2 Oval - across the road, for people not familiar with the area. This took effect from season 1971/72 and as well we were to construct an additional 4 turf wickets on the main oval to meet V.C.A. requirements, as previously mentioned. The stage was now set for an application for entry to the V.C.A. and this was made with a view to inclusion for season 1973/74.
But let's not jump too far ahead at this point.
We can't claim any pennants this season, 1971-2, but one of our RDCA matting teams finished runners-up with Ward 81 and Hayward 71 doing their utmost. Ron Tomlinson was in full flight with the bat now as scores of 112 not out and 51 would indicate. Geoff Stephen, Paul Newton, Ray Patten and Jim Ford, who couldn't have been much taller than the stumps, also were consistent scorers.
Peter Matuska, Alby Hunter and Jim Myerscough, the experienced ones, continued to bowl very well, while Paul Newton (not renouned for his bowling) collected a hat-trick on October 23rd, with his final analysis being 6/10.
For season 1972/73 we were unable to locate much press coverage at all, except to report that the senior Sub-District team finished the season runners-up. However some scores are available and these show centuries to Chris King, recruited from RDCA club Croydon United 101, Kevin Hayward 100, and Gary Walton 100, while Ian Rutley collected 108.
Terry Cahill and lan Rutley were brilliant Junior competitors getting a hat-trick each in many wickets collected during the season. Bruce Cass and Tim Harms, a name to remember, also bowled very well in Junior ranks.
1973 – 74. During this season, the big announcement was released that we were accepted on probation initially to the Victorian Cricket Association Pennant Competition. Waverley Cricket Club also were selected. This was to take effect from the start of season 1974/75. No doubt the shock waves of pleasure and a deep sense of satisfaction rippled throughout Jubilee Park and the City of Ringwood for a long time.
Three premierships came our way namely the RDCA “A” grade flag and the Ul6 and U12 in the junior section. In the Junior Ul6 final, Bruce Cass got 4/22 and Terry Cahill 5/39 to pave the way for victory. Under 12 players, Terry Clarke 71 N.O. and Tim Flahaven 34, put on a record partnership to set up their win. The 'B' Graders Alby/Hunter and Fred Payne scored 91 and 75 respectively.
Among the not-so-successful teams, Chris King and Graham O'Donnell scored a record 1st wicket partnership of 106 against Elsternwick on Nov. 3rd 1973. Graham who, incidentally was one of those tireless workers that every club needs to survive got 62 N.O. the following match, and later in the season assisted Chris King in another century opening stand. In this match Ron Tomlinson weighed in with 76, Geoff Stephen 79 and Howard Brown collected an aggregate of 9 wickets for 46 runs - some bowling!! Paul Jones, Peter Matuska and Ron Garlepp are all worthy of mention as well for their bowling performances.
And now to the big time, the Club made one of its wisest and most far-reaching decisions ever, when it appointed Bob Lloyd from Melbourne Cricket Club as its coach to commence season 1974/75. As most people are aware Bob started his cricket career in South Australia culminating in Sheffield Shield selection. My impressions of him are those of a deep-thinking quietly spoken type, who is an excellent tactician.
He really believed in a high standard of physical fitness, and his pre season training methods would have come as a great shock to many players who were probably only used to "two laps and a few drinks" type of conditioning. His methods certainly paid dividends on the field, and if a lot of early scoreboard success was not apparent, Ringwood would surely have been tuned-up to peak fitness level.
Bob, during his relatively short stay here, went all-out to promote the sport in this district and organized groups of senior Ringwood players to visit Clubs in small groups to offer coaching assistance etc. Recently, he helped me personally by speaking to a Junior Club with which I was associated. and you could sense that the boys were soaking up every word of advice that he offered. Now a Victorian selector, he can certainly add strength to this section of the game at this level.
Our first district cricket win came on Nov 3rd 1974 when we defeated Melbourne. Maybe this was done specially for Bob. The two stars were Ron Tomlinson 4 wickets for 9 runs, while Gary Walton scored 44 runs. While details of this season are quite sketchy, we know our senior teams missed the finals narrowly when the last match was washed out to deprive us of a finals berth in our first year.
A rare highlight of this season occurred when 4 bowlers in Richard Robinson, Paul Jones, Ron Tomlinson and Bryan Reid bowled every over bar 6 for the season in the clubs 1st X1. I would has as a guess that this would not have happened before in the VCA and probably will not happen again. (Bear in mind there were no bowling restrictions in these years and overs were of 8 balls.
The Juniors had a number of great competitors, especially Les Pimm, Martin Trotman, D. Smith, I. Cericic, S. James, G. Edward and D.Stephen. The only century maker listed was R. Simpson on 116.
Season 1975/76 proved to be the greatest ever as far as the Juniors were concerned. Six teams competed and five got through to the Final. The net result - 3 Premierships and 2 Runners Up. We feel they deserve plenty of recognition in these pages and will list as many names as we were able to gather from press Reports.
Craig Teasdale, Philip Dale, (who incidently went on to become one of Australia’s greatest baseballers) K. Fletcher, Rob Darvell, G. Rover, Stephen Banfield, William Maile, G. Smith, Bruce Cass, Les Pimm, Peter Banfield, Frank Horne, Shane Hager, Terry Clarke, Richard Maile, Gary O’Donnell (who went on to captain Essendon Football club), Kevin Ames, Craig Rutley, Graeme Ewart, Gary Lovell, Steve Lovell, Neil Pendry, Paul Newton.
Some magnificent personal efforts were recorded, 5 boys taking 6 wickets or more, while 7 boys collected 50 or more runs each,
To get some idea of the power in these teams, we reprint the team totals for one round in late February. No doubt this was excellent timing prior to the finals, and would have thrown up a real mental hazard to their prospective opponents:
Under 16 (1) 4/374 (2) 4/325
Under 14 (1) 6/165 (2) 6/293
Under 12 152
Craig Teasdale 200 not out, Paul Newton 145 and Stephen Banfield 116 were the main scorers but they had plenty of assistance as the scores would prove. Unfortunately not a great number of these juniors remained with us but we can only assume they are continuing their successes wherever they are.
All this raving about the youngsters tended to indicate that the older brigade did not do much. That is certainly not the case. To prove to Reg Spencer and others that wicket keepers are not forgotten, we noted with a lot of pleasure that Michael York, our dapper little custodian of the stumps, was responsible for 6 catches and stumping on Nov. 15th. Michael who has plenty of cricket ahead of him, is a very mild
mannered, friendly chap and can also offer dour resistance with the bat when the occasion demands. In addition, his family must be amongst the keenest supporters this club has ever had.
Batsmen, Keith Rankin (century) Danny Hanlon, Chris King, Dennis Drew, Greg Hubbard, Greg Schinck Peter Gardiner and Bob Lloyd all performed well and the following list of top bowlers features an all-star cast.
Paul Jones 7/29, Richard Robinson 6/54, Rod McCurdy 4/31 & 5/24 (Rod also wet on to become the clubs first International player) Bryan Reid 5/16, Andy McCall 4/14, Peter Matuska 4/16, Ron Tomlinson 4/21, and Geoff Stephen 4/28.
To return briefly to the Junior Grand Finals, the under 12 boys collected 390 of which Steve Lovell 171 and William Maile 77 featured in a record 9th wicket partnership of 152.
A very well-known highly experienced fast bowler came to us for season 1976/77 in the person of Alan Thomson. Did I hear you say “Who is Alan Thomson"? Easier to call him "Froggy" and now everybody knows. He had been a Test and Shield bowler and perhaps not so well known as a very competent football umpire. A man of temperate habits, Froggy was almost in perfect physical trim. He won't mind me saying that he is also a good talker, often in the outfield and usually to himself. Perhaps self motivation or something! At around the 30 year old mark when he came to Ringwood, we expected him to spearhead the pace attack for a while yet.
He actually left us after only two seasons, most likely to take part in a slightly less fierce competition in Eastern Suburbs Association, and it was felt that Ringwood did not really see the best of him.
Other pace bowlers were performing consistently as we noted Paul Jones, Richard Robinson and Geoff Chancellor in form the last named in two successive games collected 7/32 and 6/38, Some of the batsmen who supported their bowlers included Ron Tomlinson, Neil Mitchell, Stuart Graham, Peter Gardiner, Paul Eullen, Bob Lloyd, Greg Schinck, and lan McLeod. Our two century makers were Greg Schinck and Peter Gardiner.
The overall premiership results were two victories while we finished Runners Up twice. Once again we have to pay great tribute to the Clubs Juniors and when you read some of these figures you can easily understand the reason:
1971 – 1980
BATTING… Neil Pendry 118, Paul Newton 46 N.O., Gary O'DONNELL 47, Philip Dale 92 N.0., William Maile 71 N.O., Glen Fawcett 54 Michael Beyer 51 N.O. and Andrew Sweetman 63.
BOWLING: Rob Darvell 8/10 & 5/29, Stephen 5/4, McKee 7/41, Gary O’Donnell 5/6,
Tim Livinstone 5/17, Ashley Hamilton 4/7, Craig Hunter 2/0 & 4/0
Before the end of the season, the Club announced that Bob Lloyd was to continue as Coach for the next two seasons. "We don't know of anyone who would have been unhappy with that decision.
1977/78 The bowling attack for the senior team was reinforced by the inclusion of Stephen Christie, an aggressive left arm pace bowler from Collingwood. Stephen also liked to hit the ball out of sight when he picked up the bat, and certainly succeeded on October 22 with 42 to his credit. Dennis Drew and Peter Gardiner were proving to be solid opening batsmen and Dennis got 76 in the first match. Main batting support came from Bob Lloyd, Tim Harms Ron Tomlinson, Neil Mitchell and Greg Schinck. Two centuries well worth recording belonged to Paul Newton 102 and David Sutton 116.
In the Junior ranks, McDowell, Clarke, Badrock, Lovell, Maile and Dunne were top players. The Ul4 boys got to the grand final but had to be content with being runners up.
Some meritorious personal honors were bestowed on some of our players during season 1977/78, perhaps the best one being the inclusion of 18 year old Rod McCurdy in the Australian Under 19 side for Sri Lanka, as well as being selected in the State Squad with teammate Tim Harms. Paul Newton gained a place in the Victorian schoolboy team to tour New Zealand while Brett Leach was choosen to captain the Victorian Under 16 team at the Perth Carnival.
Back to the business end of the season and after just 3 seasons behind us in District ranks, we got our chance to compete for the top honours. Before the end of the last round we occupied second place but 8 teams behind us had a chance of getting into the final four. A comfortable win over Essendon secured our position, our opponents in the semi final being the hot favourites Carlton who had held top position throughout the season.
Never had we bathed in the heady light of such publicity as "Bob Lloyd and the Eastern Suburbs boys" as one paper said, were receiving at this stage and no doubt, every inch of print was well deserved. Some of the headlines read as under:
"RINGWOOD REWARDED" - ‘Sunday Press
"RINGWOOD’S IN" - ‘Ringwood Mail
Club President Lindsay Ewart summed it up in the local paper by saying that the success was remarkable and the Club had achieved what many V.C.A. teams had been striding to do for years. The team that was to tackle Carlton read as follows:
Bob Lloyd, Ron Tomlinson, Steve Christie, Alan Thomson, Tim Harms, Chris Harms, Michael York, Peter Binns, Peter Gardiner, Dennis Drew, Neil Clarke.
In actual play, the losing of the toss really sealed our fate as Keith Stackpole and his strong batting team decided on a slow occupancy of the crease, and aided by weather interruption, and an antiquated V.C.A. law, left us something like 2 hours to make over 300 runs. Of course as we didn't and as Carlton finished in first place, they won the semi final.
Quite an anti-ctimax really, and the initial reaction was that all the really hard work throughout the season was virtually wasted. But the fact that they got into the final series at all would rank as an outstanding achievement.
This setback was by no means the end of Ringwood for the season. That amazing cricketer Jirn Myerscough, leading a bunch of young student type cricketers - the 4th Eleven - who were still learning the finer points, kept in touch with the leaders during the season and were drawn against Prahran in the Final. It is now history that they succeeded and to prove that there is truth in the saying "old dog for a hard road" Jim picked up a hat-trick during the proceedings.
While the 4th Eleven Pennant was intended to close up this brief history, we cannot possibly finish without the tremendous news that in 1979/80, the fourths again got into the Final again led by Jim Myerscough and again won. They were set 295 runs to win and finished with 9/296. Plenty of heart attack and blood pressure material there! The star performer was Stephen Crump who made 138. While he would be the last to agree there is little doubt that the "Myerscough" guidance and skill played a major part in the victory and history will show that many of these lads gained enormously from Jim’s guidance and would go on to outstanding individual successes with the club.