In the pioneering days on the 1850’s and 1860’s when the population of the Nunawading Parish started to accumulate, many German families moved to Australia to escape the hard times in Europe and settled in the Doncaster and Templestowe areas. From there some moved into Nunawading. The Aumann family were very prominent in both the Doncaster and Nunawading areas and into a family of orchardists, Ted Aumann was born in Doncaster in 1897.
He grew up speaking German at home before starting school and quickly learning English where, as he said in a local paper he ‘learnt the swear words first’. Ted was called up for national service just after the First World War and joined the Light Horse Regiment. Whilst in the regiment he held the Victorian Pole Vault title and was an accomplished footballer. Ted played for Richmond before a knee injury inflicted early retirement and thereafter coached Doncaster, Tunstall, Vermont and Ringwood to premierships. He married Dorothea in 1922 and settled down to be an orchardist in Junction Road Nunawading.. Ted and Dorothea had 4 sons and 2 daughters who were all keen on their sport, so much so that Ted built a 9 hole golf course behind the house. During the Second World War Ted was the A.R.P. warden for Tunstall where one of his jobs was to go around checking that all the blinds were down to eliminate the inside light being visible from the outside.
Ted’s involvement at Tunstall prior to the war is not known other than his being awarded Life Membership. In 1936-37 Tunstall entered a team in the Ringwood Association. Ted Aumann was made Nunawading’s first Life Member in this season. Our earliest records of Ted at Nuna were of him winning the D Grade (2nds) batting averages in 1950-51 and 51-52 with a highest score of 87. Ted was Nunawading’s first President and served with distinction until illness forced him to resign after ten seasons in the helm. Ted was voted President at the 1947-48 Annual General Meeting and Club delegates included Tom Reeves, M O’Brien. Norm Vaux and A. Tanner. He continued as Club President until 1956-57
Ted passed away on August 18, 1982 and is buried in Box Hill cemetery and Dorothea passed away in 1987. All four of Ted’s sons played at Nunawading, Jim who played in the A grade side as a batsman and served on the committee and Geoff who played C grade, including in the 51-52 premiership team and was Club Secretary for a period. Doug and Harold also represented the Club.
Fred and his wife moved to Tunstall from Bacchus Marsh in 1927. Fred was 47 at the time and he had already played a full career of cricket. In his earlier years he played in a country league with Bill Woodfull. The family moved into the gatehouse adjoining the Tunstall Railway Station where Fred worked on the line and his wife operated the gates, opening and shutting them as the trains rolled through.
Fred called the inaugural meeting of Tunstall Cricket Club in 1927 and Tunstall first played in season 1927-28.
Fred played in the first ever premiership team, the C Grade team of 1931-32. It was about this time that Fred Thatcher junior made his debut at Nunawading. Fred junior, whose pastimes included playing the squeezebox, was described by Ted Aumann as the best batsman he had seen after Don Bradman and he made the first ever Tunstall/Nunawading century, which was made on the Silver Grove ground. Fred scored 101 for Tunstall in B Grade against Eastern Dairies on November 4, 1934. Gary Walker says that his father, Life Member Arthur, offered that Fred Junior was the best batsman he had ever seen.
He opened the batting for the Club as well as for the Association in representative games and won the Association A Grade batting average in 1936. He was the Club’s wicketkeeper as well.
The Club used Woodfull bats and the distributors offered players who made a century a new Woodfull bat which Fred was duly awarded. He was also an excellent wicket-keeper, standing up to fast bowlers. At the insistence of his wife, young Fred concentrated on tennis soon after and, although he did play for Nunawading after the war, he had lost his pre-war passion for the game.
Fred Junior moved to East Burwood for a time where incentives were offered by Jim Tainton (who was from one of the district’s pioneering families) offered players 5 shillings if they made 50 runs. This was a considerable sum and Fred made five 50’s in a row. Fred was a powerful batsman who would sometimes be seen square cutting the ball over the boundary for 6. He also played a game at Melbourne with Bill Ponsford and was once awarded a bat in recognition of his scoring that was signed by Don Bradman and Bill Woodfull.
Fred Senior had two more sons, Bob who captained the 53-54 D grade premiership team and George who first played for Tunstall in 1936. Bob and George played in a game against Box Hill Footballers. Footballers need to win outright to make the finals and Nunawading only had 8 players. We were dismissed for 60 and Footballers made over 200 on Day 1. Nuna had to bat out day two to avoid the outright. George batted all day for 22 n.o. denying the outright and a spot in the finals to the Footballers. Joe Kiker, who went on to play many games for Nunawading, was playing for the Footballers and, as an opening bowler, threatened to throw the ball at George in order to get him out.
Fred Senior played his last game for Tunstall in 36-37 at age 55 and only stopped playing because his legs gave him trouble. He made a 50 in this game. Fred died in 1966 at the age of 86.
George was awarded Life Membership in 1956 and Fred Senior in 1957. George was presented his medallion in his home by President Ted Aumann and Junior Vice President Tom Reeves.
The Thatcher family are the first known Nunawading Cricket Club family. It is with the significant contributions from people such as the Thatcher family that the club grew to a position of strength.
Tom arrived in Victoria in 1935, from Barrington, Tasmania, which is quite close to Nowhere Else, Tasmania (true, look it up). Initially he lived and played in Kinglake. There he played in a “rep” side against a WOMEN’S “rep” side which was the first Australian Women’s Team sent to play in England.
Tom married Betty in 1940, and they came to live in Tunstall. Tom joined that Club for season 1940/41 in it’s last year known as Tunstall. This was after spending the 1939/40 season with Mitcham. Other players from these early years include Ken Fitzgerald, Jack Wilde and Bob Street.
Imagine the “heartbreak streets” of that period, and picture Tom biking it around the district to tell those who’d left training before the teams were finalised where or if they were playing the following Saturday. Tom also recalled accosting a teenage Brian Dixon and his Mum near the railway station late on a Saturday morning and asking the lad if he’d like a game of cricket 90 minutes ‘from now’. Brian accepted and sprinted home to get his gear.
In the early 50s, the by now named “Nunawading” club found itself short of adequate funds to meet Association annual fees. Tom recalled leading a squad of blokes to approach the local feed-and-grain merchant to “cadge” the required £ 25 to keep our Club afloat. It worked, of course.
Having begun with “us” in 1940/41 (just married, no children), Tom finished his career in 1962/63 with8 children!. He’d actually begun to retire a couple of years earlier as younger fellows began to emerge, but stayed on to help staff the “twos”.
Tom Reeves had plenty of highlights in his career.
He took 14 wickets (9 + 5) in one match against Vermont, and yet another 14 wicket haul in another season against the SAME club!! One season yielded 71 WICKETS, which is a 5-year half-career for some!!
Then there was a memorable two-day Final against East Burwood at Blackburn. The first day was mostly washed out. Day two saw East Burwood 5/161 at Tea but all-out 173 with Tommy taking 5 for 9 after tea! There were only 114 minutes left in the match, but Nuna scored 3/174 after 104 minutes. Flag time !
In a 1954 Final at Blackburn against Mitcham, Captain Reeves and Artie Walker opened the batting as night-watchmen for a 40-minute watch and rattled up 57. Tom ran himself out on day two for 97, probably to give the batsmen a go at it! Needless to say, Nuna won.
Tom Reeves served Nunawading as player, committeeman and President, as well as becoming Association President for a number of years. Not satisfied with that, he came back and served as President of the Nunawading City Cricket&Soccer Club for 4 years. Like all of our other multi-servers, it wasn’t because there was nothing else to do. It just needed doing !
Tom was made a Life Member of Nunawading in 1955 and served as President from 1957-58 to 1961-62 and 1966-67 to 1967-68. He was BHRDCA Vice President from 1958-59 to 1960-61 and President from 1961-62 to 1966-67 and 1971-72 to 1975-76, a total of ten years as Association President. Tom was the first Nunawading representative to be made a Life Member of the Association when he was presented his medallion at the AGM of 1964.
Tom was the first Nunawading player to take 100 wickets for the Club. In one season, Tom took 27 wickets in two games, against Vermont and Doncaster
Toms’ record : a total of 22 seasons, playing 250+ games.
T. A Reeves Trophy
In November 1965 an anonymous donor donated a trophy to be called the Tom Reeves Perpetual Trophy. The committee accepted the offer and asked Tom what he would like the trophy to be awarded for. Tom asked that it be awarded to the Club Champion, arrived at by a points system awarded by the Captain and Vice Captain of each team, on a 4,3,2,1, basis for each of the club’s 4 teams. This motion was put to a committee meeting by Ken Rout and George Thatcher but lost. There was much discussion at committee level about how the award would be decided and they eventually agreed that a sub-committee of 5 players, George Dolan, Mick McLachlan, Doug Bosworth, Tom Reeves and Alex Culvenor would select the winner, to be from A Grade players only.
Tom stepped down as President in 1967-68, after several years in two spells.
Tom was the Nunawading Cricket Club. Indeed, the Nunawading Cricket Club is Tom Reeves’s club. The work Tom performed for this club both on our committee and on the Association Executive spans more years that many people’s life-times. For one man to play such an important role is truly unique. Tom was the patron of our Club, our second ever Life Member and was a regular honoured guest. His speeches at Presentation Nights and T.A Reeves Trophy Nights were unforgettable.
We salute Tom Reeves. Tom passed away in 2005.
Artie walker was made a Life Member of NCC in 1957, the 5th ever Life Member.
Artie was another early Nunawading stalwart, starting at Nuna relatively late, as a 30 year old. On the field Arty played in the 1964/65 B Grade Premiership and captained the 3rd XI from 1960/61 to 1965/66. He won the 1950/51 First XI bowling average. Arty was also Treasurer from 1954/55 to 1956/57.
Arty was a lovely bloke off the field, who used to love having people over to his place. His garage was the home of many a Club Social gathering over many years, including the home of the wine bottling production line.
George first played for Tunstall in 1936. George played in a game against Box Hill Footballers, where the Footballers needed to win outright to make the finals and Nunawading only had 8 players. We were dismissed for 60 and Footballers made over 200 on Day 1. Nuna had to bat out day two to avoid the outright. George batted all day for 22 n.o. denying the outright and a spot in the finals to the Footballers. Joe Kiker, who went on to play many games for Nunawading, was playing for the Footballers and, as an opening bowler, threatened to throw the ball at George in order to get him out.
George was awarded Life Membership in 1956 . George was presented his medallion in his home by President Ted Aumann and Junior Vice President Tom Reeves.
For the history of the entire Thatcher family, please refer to Fred Thatcher’s (senior) Life Membership page.
Bert Murphy was an attacking batsman who played in three First XI Premierships, 1957-58, 58-59 and 60-61, three premierships in four seasons.
He was awarded Life membership in 1965
This is all we know about him
At the Annual General Meeting of season 1953-54, Joe Carter was nominated by Tom Reeves and seconded by Jim Aumann, and unanimously awarded, Life Membership of the Club. There is no other record of this event taking place but it is recorded in the minutes of the AGM. Joe had not been recognised subsequent to this and the club, in season 2001-2002 rectified this matter. Joe was an Englishman who played county cricket with Nottinghamshire before the war and was known as one of nature’s gentlemen. He arrived in Australia in 1947 as a 47 year old and settled in Mitcham, playing cricket for Nunawading in his first summer in Australia.
Nunawading CC Barbeque Carnival, March 1955
Nunawading was struggling financially and by the end of each season were either in debt or just in the black. In February 1955, Joe Carter had an idea to pull Nunawading out of it’s financial predicament by holding a ‘Barbeque Carnival’. Joe was Senior Vice President at the time and outlined the idea of running several stalls (cake, sweets and ice-cream, drinks and plants), a spinning wheel, BBQ, lucky envelopes, skittles, pennies on squares, gymnastic and wrestling displays, blocks, darts, a march past by the Youth Club, and a monster raffle, first prize a Sunbeam Mixmaster, to be organised with the assistance of the Nunawading Youth Club. The carnival was opened by Mr Gray, the local parliamentary representative. Various senior members of the Club were assigned responsibility for organising each element and a member of the local constabulary, Constable Lucas, was a supporter. All players were ask to sell raffle tickets and the event was advertised locally. The Youth Club became involved in selling tickets as well and the Senior Girls were asked to sell the lucky envelopes. The event was taken very seriously, so much so that insurance was taken out against 10 points of rain falling between 6 and 8 pm on the evening of March 25 1955.
The carnival was an outstanding success. The Club made over £168 profit and approximately 30 cricketers were involved in running the stalls etc. These funds were eventually used to purchase mats and equipment over the next couple of seasons. In possibly the first and only time this has happened, player subscriptions were reduced by 50% to £ 1.1.0.
At the end of the 54-55 season, the Club had over £ 140 in the bank, a major turnaround.
Selection was a very topical issue in these post war years. Captains were not allowed to be selectors and positions as selectors were eagerly contested. There were even roles as Assistant Selectors. In 1953-54 Tom Reeves moved amotion that captains be appointed selectors with two other senior members and a special General Meeting was called to debate the motion. Players unable to attend the meeting were able to submit a written vote. At this meeting, on October 20, 1954, the President, Ted Aumann, stated that the rules of debate shall apply to the discussion and that, once a player had spoken for or against the motion, they could not speak again. Debate ran hot, Tom suggesting that the captains had a mandate to select teams based on the fact that they had been appointed captains and that the players would have faith in their selections. Opposition from Jack McLelland was forthcoming, he stated that “a complete lack of bias is impossible in a captain, a necessary item”. Further, he stated that “…the captain does not have to face criticism when an independent selection committee is on the job”
Voting was held by a show of hands, Frank Kitchen and Joe Carter were scrutineers and postal votes were counted. The voting resulted in 60.5% being in favour of the motion and the motion, therefore, won the day. For season 54-55 the selection committee comprised of captains Jim McLelland, Tom Reeves and Eric Best and selectors Joe Carter and Ken Rout.
Joe flew to Australia in a ‘Flying Boat’, a trip taking 7 days only to return to England the following week to collect his family as he had secured employment with a hosiery company which provided the privilege of bringing out his family as C Class passengers. Joe returned with his wife Irene and two daughters, one of whom married Nunawading player Laurie Foster and played until the mid 1950’s, well into his 50’s himself. Joe captained the C Grade Premiership team in 1948-49. Joe and family moved around after he retired, settling in Bendigo where Joe died in 1987, aged 87. At his request, Joe’s ashes were scattered over the MCG
Alex and Joan Culvenor moved to Nunawading in August 1948. Alex started at Nuna the following season remembering that he introduced himself to Ted Aumann on September 17, 1949 at the Nunawading Ground in Silver Grove. Alex was posted overseas a couple of times in his time at Nuna, with the last posting in November 1966 resulting in his eventual return to Sydney in 1970.
His transfer to the USA with his company obviously meant he had to resign as Club President. Alex was a Life Member, 4 year Club President and member of 18 years standing. A farewell evening was held for him at George Thatcher’s home in December 1966 and Alex and Joan were presented with gifts from the club in recognition of their services.
In 1980 Alex and Joan retired to Newstead, where they still live and Alex coached the local Under 16’s for several years. He tells a wonderful story albeit starting unfortunately when their home was burgled in 1995. Weeks later a lady living in Cambells Creek rang Alex and asked him if he ever played cricket for Nunawading Cricket Club. Of course Alex had and the lady advised him that her four year old son had picked up his Life Membership Badge in the local creek where the thieves had dumped the things they didn’t want over the bridge rail. The boy was very keen on cricket and the badge appealed to him. The lady noted the name on the back of the badge and tracked Alex down as she thought, rightly, that the owner would place great value on the badge. Alec suitable rewarded the youngster with suitable cricketing material.
Alex’s favourite cricket memory at Nuna is in a final when “the opposing (champion) batsman objected strongly to Keith Fitzgerald’s bowling. Keith was tall and quick and was accused of bowling bouncers to the point that we [Nuna] were threatened with the reporting on Keith to the umpire (Fred Watson). I [as captain] replied that I would not give them the satisfaction and replaced Keith; where-upon the vocal offender was bowled first ball by the reliever”.
Alex captained the First XI to its first ever premiership in 1957-58 and followed it up with another in 1958-59. He also played in the winning Shield Grade grand final in 1960-61 for a total of three First XI premierships. His highest scores were 157 retired v St Peters in 60-61 and a 180 in 62-63.
A local paper, The Eastern Times, had the following to say about Nunawading’s premiership:
” NUNAWADING PREMIERS”
This is the first A Grade premiership for the Club, in fact the first A Grade final in which they have played. On the first Saturday (March 15, 1958) Blackburn batted first and made 140, R. Street 56 n.o, Tom Reeves 5/15. Nunawading then commenced their first innings, and at stumps were 2/165, compiled in 110 minutes. The innings resumed on the second Saturday (March 22, 1958) and Nunawading only managed to add 52 runs for the remaining 8 wickets. Bob Saker (57) and Alex Culvenor (46), vice captain and captain respectively, were associated in a third wicket partnership of 98. D. Meehan took 7/51.
Nunawading were 77 runs ahead when Blackburn commenced their second innings and were 6/187 at drawing of stumps on the second day. Resuming on the third and last day (March 29, 1958), Blackburn declared at 9/279, D Meehan 90, C Frank (Captain) 64 n.o. at approximately 2.15 pm leaving Nunawading 202 to make to draw and 203 to win, in approximately even batting time. Nunawading scored 204 for the loss of eight to win by two runs. George Dolan scored 104, Doug Bosworth 36 n.o. while R Street took 3/45 and D Meehan 3/56. They had 25 minutes to spare.
The President of the Association stated, at the Club’s presentation dance held last Saturday at the pavillion that this is the best final match he had seen in 20 years. The following A Grade trophies were presented at the dance: Batting: George Dolan average 36.6, Bowling: Eric Thornton average 11.3, Fielding: Keith Fitzmaurice.” The Blackburn First XI players who competed in this Grand Final attended our Presentation Night.
This season, 1957-58 saw Tom Reeves in the President’s chair and Eric Thornton secretary for the first time. Eric issued a ‘Newsheet’ in September 1957 advising that “Teamwork is as much a part of our game as a ball and a bat, teamwork must exist in all sport, even at our place of employment and in our home, so therefore….may I request the co-operations of the members during the season”. He was also trying to offload 8 remaining 56-57 C grade premiership photos for 10 pence each and noted that the committee, at it’s next meeting will be discussing the ground rental of £25 for the season. Arthur Walker and Eric Best were awarded Life Membership in August 1957.
This team followed up the next season (1958-59) with another premiership, only two changes from the previous seasons premiers with Keith Fitzmaurice and George Hicks replacing Doug Stephens and Eddie Ham. The B grade team narrowly missed the finals when they lost the last game by 3 runs. Alex Culvenor was awarded Life Membership at the AGM on August 26, 1958. Ground reconstruction saw the A grade side playing at Mitcham’s Halliday Park and B grade on the oval behind the Blackburn Hotel (now a carpark)
Eric and his wife June moved into their new home in Nunawading in September 1955. The home was on land that was part of an old orchard and several months were spent working on the block before Eric got the urge to play cricket again.
It was a only short walk over Whitehorse Rd to Silver grove for Eric and his career at Nuna started in the second half of season 55-56. Eric and June’s experience was typical of many newlywed couples who moved to the area in the mid 50’s, just like the Sakers, Dolans and Rowes. It was this influx of new players that lead to the later success of the Club.
Eric was the Club’s Secretary in season 57-58, the season of the Club’s first A Grade premiership. More importantly, Eric won the Association and Club bowling averages that year (11.3 average). Eric was Secretary for 3 of the next 4 years and also played in the 58-59, 60-61, 66-67 and 68-69 First XI premiership teams.
With Ian Rowe and Mick McLachlan, Eric formed part of a very formidable First XI attack that helped win these premierships. Eric took 6-39 in 1961-62 vs Forest Hill and 6-49 in 1966-67 vs Mitcham, 7-29 in 1962-63 vs Mitcham, 7-60 and 7-57 in consecutive games against Blackburn and St Peters in 1967-68 as examples of his bowling prowess.
In total, Eric played 80 First XI games over 12 seasons and took 253 wickets at 14.42, a fantastic return ! In November 1966 Eric caused play to be held up in a game against Vermont when, a bail sailed over the fence into long grass, a distance of 160 feet, and was lost. This was reported in ‘The Herald’ newspaper as was Eric’s return of 6-24 that day.
Eric was Master of Ceremonies at many Nunawading and BHRDCA Presentation Nights but the highlight of his career was his nomination and awarding of Life Membership in 1961.
Eric and June moved to Preston in 1960 but Eric travelled to the eastern suburbs to play for Nuna for a further 12 seasons.
Eric makes the following personal observations of his association with Nuna.
One of the best decisions I have made during my life was to take up cricket again (at age 24), joining the Nunawading Cricket Club after Christmas of the 1955/56 season. June and I had moved into our first home in Russell Street, Nunawading in September 1955.
In my first full season (1956/57), in which I won the “A” Grade bowling, with an average of 12.8, the office bearers were :
President Ted Aumann
Vice Presidents Joe Carter & Tom Reeves
Secretary Ken Rout
Treasurer Jim Shilton
Committee Frank Kitchen, Harold Helmore, Eric Best,
Arthur Chapman and George Thatcher.
To then play in the club’s first ever “A” Grade Premiership in 1957/58 and not only winning the club bowling average at 11.3, but also the Association average, was a great thrill.
It was also a great honour to have been the club secretary in 1957/58 and to arrange for the team to be fitted with blazers. Although I can take no credit for the design of the pocket, I did arrange with a blazer manufacturer in Sydney Road, Brunswick, to visit our then unlined, corrugated ‘pavilion’ at Silver Grove one evening to measure the team. I still have my pocket.
I was also secretary in 1958/59, 59/60 & 61/62.
In the 1959/60 season Bob Saker won the Association batting average (his first of 5) at 60.8, from 548 runs, and was also top of the century makers with 134 n.o. I finished second in the Association bowling averages with an average of 12.7 from 33 wickets. The “A” team was runner up to Blackburn that season.
During my last 7 seasons with the club (1965/66 to 1971/72), I was always the bridesmaid, never the bride, finishing second in the bowling averages 5 times. Of interest is the fact that 8-ball overs was still the norm at that time, so the 1001 overs that I bowled would have been 1335 ovesr in 6-ball terms. My other figures were 222 maidens, 229 wickets, 3249 runs at an average of 14.19. (editors note : 3 seasons worth of scorebooks are at this stage still missing, which would show an even greater record for Eric’s career).
All together, I played in 5 of club’s 6 “A” Grade Premierships (1957/58, 58/59, 60/61, 66/67 and 68/69), an honour I greatly treasure. To say that I enjoyed my cricket would be an understatement, and that during my 16 ½ seasons, that at all times, win or lose, I enjoyed every game I played in, under whoever was captain, and in every team.
However, the most important memories that I will always cherish, are the lifelong friendships that June and I have made, being made a Life Member in 1961, and being named in the “Team Of The Century” in 2002.
My sincere thanks to the club for being such a unique part if my life. I wish the club every success for the future.
Bob and Margaret came to live in Nunawading in 1955. Bob was originally from Leeton, NSW, where he had played rep cricket as a teenager. He joined the Rural Bank after leaving school in about 1947/48. He worked with the bank in Dubbo, where he won association batting averages and played rep cricket.
He joined the Police Force in 1952 and played cricket for Port Melbourne until 1956, when he joined Nuna. At about the same time, he was asked to play for Footscray, in District cricket, but he turned down the offer because he was newly married, with a young child (Trevor), busy at work and it was too far to travel.
Nunawading in 1956 was a new suburb of Melbourne and growing fast. Nuna was fortunate to attract a number of good cricketers to the club, who provided the nucleus of Premiership sides throughout the 60’s (4 premierships and 3 runner ups).
Such was Bob’s batting prowess, he made 191 out of 413 in the winning A Grade Grand Final in 65-66.
Bob played in 6 First XI Premierships and was Captain of the winning 1960-61 side. He won Association batting averages 5 times.
Margaret also served the club in many capacities, hosting social gatherings and committee meetings. Margaret was also our representative on the Mahoneys Reserve Committee of Management.
The four Saker children were also integral parts of Nunawading history. Daughter Ros was tireless in her work for Nunawading. The three boys, Trevor, Bill and David, all played in premiership teams in the Firsts (Trevor 3 times), whilst Bill and Trevor both captained the Firsts. The Saker clan contributed immensely with their committee work and towards making Nunawading a better place to be.
Bob and Margaret retire to Narooma in 1987 and the Club officially sent them off on June 19 with a function in the Social Rooms. Bob was an icon on the bowls circuit in Narooma and was as large as life on the bowling rink as he was on the cricket field. He was the type of guy you could hear before you would see.
The naming of our main ground at Mahoneys Reserve to the Bob Saker Oval in 2001 is, in a small way, an attempt by the club to recognise and thank the Sakers for their contribution to our club both on and off the field, for many, many years. Bob was also named as Vice-Captain of our Team of the Century, whilst Bill was named in the same team.
Finally, it is worth noting that there have been only two Shield or A Grade premierships won in the history of Nunawading Cricket Club, that do not feature a Saker in the team. Enough said.
Eric and Graham Best
Father Eric and son Graeme are our only father and son Life Member combination. Graham began with Nuna in 1952, as a result of an invitation from a tennis-friend who lived a couple of doors from the Silver Grove ground. After a wet October training night he was chosen for his first game but missed the first two after contracting Chicken Pox. He started in Round 3, in C grade. He was 15 years of age, batting at #10, and never after forgot to wear a protector, after learning in the hardest possible way in his first match!
Father Eric (he of the transistor and racing guide) joined the Club a year later. He played in the “ones”, then was appointed Captain of the D grade team, and the pair played together that season and won the Premiership. Eric had of course been Graham’s backyard coach, and GB had been “banned ” from bowling fast there, possibly due to Eric’s hooking ability and the high cost of glass at the time. Although Eric, after an 8-year spell, was close to his mid-40s when he began with NCC, he continued for more than 10 years, chiefly as a left-arm medium-pacer allowing no “free hits”.
Graham’s first (of many) stints as captain occurred in the 60s, and immediately produced a premiership. It required a Captain’s knock when chasing 213, GB providing 64 at the crunch when coming from a long way back in the Final. The team was promoted but still managed Runners-up the following year.
Graham tells us he took 28 years to reach, or return to, the First X1, in the early 1980s. In the “unbeaten champions” season, GB batted with Graeme Torbitt from 9/120 to 9/213 (Torbitt 87x), and the 2nd day was washed out. That was that First X1s only non-win during that season.
Whilst compiling a quiet 100 one day, Graham hit two consecutive 6s, the second of which was not noticed by the scorers. In a last-home-and-home match he played a significant role, but an overlooked permit caused a loss of the points PLUS a “doubling” penalty, so, from first on the table the team finished fifth (but won the subsequent teeth-grinding-championship!!).
Graham records bags of 8/30 and 8/35 vs St Davids, and a 7/27 vs Blackburn among his “personal Bests. And he is a leggie, mind you. He also has 3 centuries – yes, with the bat.
He served the Club as Secretary, Asst Secretary, and Committeeman. He was many times a Captain, twice a BHRDCA representative player, and once kept wickets all season bar the finals.
Graham rates the transfer to Mahoneys Reserve, the growth it generated, and the Social Club’s arrival, as significant events during his time. He finished after season 1984/85, playing 33 seasons and 350+ games.
Eric was made a Life Member in 1957 and Graham in 1977. Eric passed away in 2000
During his years at Nunawading, Mick served both on and off the field, captained the seconds and thirds, was junior coach for many years, and also Chairman of Selectors.
Mick won the First XI bowling average in 1961/62 and 1964/65, including a First XI career best of 7/15 (with 5/19 in the second innings). Mick also won the D1 batting average in 1993/94, some 30 years later. He also played in First XI premierships in 1960/61 and 1965/66, taking 6/65 in the semi.
His commitment to Nuna was total, even extending to travelling back from work in Echuca to play cricket (and to catch up with the wife and kids!).
Ten years later Mick further served the club in the 1998/99 and 1999/2000 seasons as Chairman of Selectors and Trainer to the First XI. Mick played in the 6ths in the early rounds of that year to fill in due to early season player shortage. He was 66 years old.
Mick was awarded Life membership in 1972. The NCC Honour Board (which Mick originally built) is named in his honour.
Mick truly was a legend of the club.
Doug started with Nuna in 1954/55. There were only two teams, and he commenced under captain George Thatcher in “B” Grade. The next game was at Silver Grove and Doug made 116. That was the end of Doug’s ‘seconds’ appearances until 1968/69, when he captained the seconds to a Premiership win. Doug also captained the Firsts to a premiership in 1973/74.
Doug took out the the Association top grade batting average twice, in the late 50’s and in the early 60’s, and did the same in the seconds in 1968/69. He was club Secretary for 7 years, and Vice-President for 11. He also served for many years as equipment manager, on the BHRDCA Tribunal, and on the Mahoneys Reserve Management Committee.
Doug played in are club record SEVEN First XI Premierships, in 1957/58, 58/59, 60/61, 65/66, 66/67, 68/69 and 1973/74, captaining in 1973/74.
Doug was awarded Life Membership in 1968 which was to be his sixth in a row and last as Club Secretary. The Club wrote to Doug and his wife Marj, stating that “…the reason the Club is held so highly in the Association is due to….the image and example you have impressed upon people outside the club both on and off the field”.
In all of the tasks and portfolios Doug performed for Nuna during his 25 years with usm he is especially remembered for being “on top” of them all, leaving nothing to chance and taking the view that “if it is to be, it is up to me”.
Doug finished playing in 1979/80. Doug and Marge were farewelled at that year’s Presentation Night, as they headed off to live in sunny Queensland.
New Social Rooms
In September 1977 a study group comprising of members of the Nunawading City Soccer Club and Nunawading Cricket Club investigated the building of upstairs clubrooms at the Mahoneys Road pavilion. A draft constitution was prepared, planning permits obtained and funding sought by way of debentures. The plan was to seek 250 debenture holders to purchase $300 debentures paid to $30 each to fund the deposit and guarantee a loan. Doug Bosworth and Kevin Steele and Terry Harris were three of the driving forces from NCC behind this activity and the required number of members were obtained for the project to proceed. After six months investigation a Co-operative Society was formed at a special meeting on May 10, 1978. Nunawading CC members were Doug Bosworth, Kevin Steele and Tahu MaruMaru. Members were conscripted with the 178 required to support a bank loan of $40,000 obtained by the end of September. During this time building plans and specifications were prepared and approval from the Council and Health Department obtained. A building contract to compete the building to ‘lock-up’ was let to Reims Pty Ltd for $43,573. Work commenced on October 20 with practical completion on December 20, 1978. From that time internal fit-out was carried out by the voluntary labour of the co-operative shareholders under Tahu’s supervision. All this culminated in the opening of the Clubrooms by Nunawading City Council Mayor, Cr Keith Harding, on March 31, 1979 Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.
Alan started playing cricket at Nunawading in 1959-60 after being talked into filling in for the 2nds by Mick McLachlan. Alan played against Mick in Clifton Hill and Mick new Alan, and Iris, had moved to Ringwood in 1959. Alan also played against George Dolan who played at in Essendon. As soon as Mick new Alan was in the area he got Alan to sign a document saying that he wouldn’t play for anyone else except Nunawading. Alan was happy to fill in but, predictably, the Club was short of players for the first game after Christmas and Alan was picked in the First XI. Silver Grove was being re-laid so our home ground this season was Halliday Park in Mitcham. He batted no. 3 but was called to the crease at after the first ball of the match.
After ten years in the firsts, including 4 premierships (60/61, 65/66,67/68,68/69) , Alan had to start a second job to support his young family which resulted in him not being able to train. After a full day’s work in the Refrigeration Spare Parts business, Alan would go home for dinner then head off to a cleaning job. This occurred for 14 consecutive years. Alan was prepared to retire but the club insisted that, as long as his form held, he was welcome to play. He had a habit of captaining sides and captained the 2nds, 3rds, 4ths (wining the 1976-77 averages with 474 runs at 36) and the inaugural 5th XI which won the premiership in 1977-78. Alan had a brilliant year that year. Aged in his mid forties, Alan scored 971 runs, including 3 centuries and culminating in 176 n.o to win the Grand Final. Alan kept wickets as well and, even leading up to his retirement, stood up to the young fast bowlers. Many of us will say that Alan hasn’t changed a bit over the years and could still play today despite reaching the magical 70 years of age.
Season 75-76 was highlighted by a premiership to the 4th XI in C1, captained by Alan Haag
Nuna entered a 5th XI for the first time in 1977-78 as there were a large number of graduating Under 16’s making their debut for Nunawading seniors. Alan Haag, as he had done several times before, was asked to captain the side and provide guidance to the young group, with the assistance of stalwarts Merv Legg, John Fisher and Mick Viljoen. The new Nuna senior players included Peter Jenkin, Peter Donaldson, Jeff Woolley, John Macaulay and David Cowell. The side played well all season, finishing on top mainly due to the efforts of the ‘old campaigners’ and won the Premiership in a close first innings result against Blackburn. Alan Haag won the Club and Association batting average. It’s no surprise as he scored 964 runs for the season including three centuries and an amazing 177 in the Grand Final, to have an average of 74.14. The young members of the team were so grateful to Alan for his guidance and leadership that they obtained permission from the Club to donate the bat he used to make his runs to him with their signatures on it.
Alan adds the following personal notes:
Q1. Please provide a personal background including your time at Nuna, personal and career highlights and what you are doing now. Please include details of the best game you were ever involved in.
I was born in Collingwood in 1931 and moved to McKean Street, North Fitzroy when I was 3 months old. I lived there with Mum, Dad and my brother who was 10 years old. My Dad was killed in a car accident in 1953. I went to St Thomas Christian Bros College in Clifton Hill. I played football with the Clifton hill Catholic Young Men’s Society (CYMS) until the Saturday before Iris and I got married on 3 may 1958, then I hung up my boots. I trained with the 2nds at Fitzroy Football club in the early 50’s under Keith Stackpole Senior.
I first played cricket with Clifton hill YCW. I remember one game where we batted for two hours. We batted first and made 3 for 339, I opened the batting and made 110, the other opener (Leo Clarke) made 97 and another by the name of Kevin Coghlan (who played VFL with Collingwood and Hawthorn) came in a made 100 plus in about ½ hour. Would you believe that we rolled them twice for 18 and 22 with 4 different bowlers, 2 taking 5 wickets each and one six wickets and one with 4 wickets and all this done with 7 players.
These games were played Sunday afternoons and in another game I made a 100 in the first innings and a 100 in the second innings. After the game I was approached by the umpire and he asked me if I was interested in playing on Saturdays with their club in the Jika competition. The side was called Court Robin Hood, as I was not playing anywhere else at the time, I said yes. I played for 3 or 4 seasons in the early 50’s until they abandoned.
As I mentioned before Iris and I got married in 1958 and we lived in Hawthorn until we bought our home in 1959 in Ringwood, because of my work with E. Hassett & Sons who sold Howard Rotary Hoes and their business was in Maroondah Highway, Ringwood. I worked there for 37 years in the Spare parts division, we moved into our new home in mid September 1959 and we still live there.
My first game for Nunawading was in season 59/60 and I was picked in the 1sts and one that I will always remember as I was only supposed to help out and fill in for the 2nds in the first game after Christmas, after Mick McLachlan had called me at work and asked me to play because they were short of players over the holidays.
As we did not have a car and did not get our first car until 1967 Mick picked me up from work in Ringwood and on the way to Silver Grove he said I have a surprise “you are playing in the 1sts with me at Halliday Park”, which was our home ground at the time as Silver Grove was having a new pitch layed.
Alec Culvenor was captain but was not playing and George Dolan was on holidays and Bob Saker was captain for the day whom I meet for the first time. We batted first and Bob asked me to bat 1st wicket I said I have not had any practice, he said that it did not matter; Mick said you can handle a bat. I had one pad on and Mick said hurry up your in. I took block and the first ball was a bouncer straight at my head which I hooked over the square leg boundary. As I was talking in the middle of the pitch with Bob the bowler came up to me with his hand out to shake mine and he said “I thought it was you coming out to bat you little black Bastard”. His name was Bob Walliker a great guy who happened to be my Captain when I played with Court Robin Hood – we had a good chat at tea time.
I was happy with my innings as Bob and I took the score past 100. We both got to 50 before tea, after tea I was in the 60’s when Bob hit the ball to the covers – I said Wait and he said YES and kept coming – so I took off and was run out – we did win the Game in the end.
Monday morning my phone at work ran hot with calls from Alec, Bob and Mick asking me to reconsider and keep playing, so after a talk with a very understanding wife I rang Alec to say I would continue to play.
I assumed that with players returning from holidays I would be playing in the 2nds but to my surprise I was picked in the 1sts and this turned into playing for 24 years of which 9 years was continuous in the 1sts which included playing in the finals every year and winning 4 Premierships – 60/61, 65/66, 66/67 and 68/69.
I captained the 2nds in 69/70 and 70/71; we were runners up in 69/70.
I Captained the 4ths in C1 to a premiership in season 75/76 – some of the players that were in the side included Bob Jenkins (Vice Captain), Ray McBlane, Glen Smith, Kevin Cresp and Clive Mullett – all well known in the club.
I also captained the newly formed 5th side in 77/78 to a premiership.
The first highlight in my career at Nunawading was when playing in ‘B’ Grade in the 61/62 season when I was not available for the 1sts because I could not play on the second Saturday and Ken Rout who was captain said if we batted first he would play me, thankfully I did the right thing for Ken making 174 N.O. and received a trophy from the Association who in those days gave a trophy for the highest 100 scored in each grade – I still have it put away very carefully.
Another highlight was making the first one of my two hundreds scored in the 1st Eleven, 116 out of 7/292CC in 1966 when Jack Kirby was coach.
The other one was a memorable one for me as I joined George Dolan in the middle and a little talk and advice from George we both made 100’s. George was 145 and I made 110, at stumps we were 4/314.
After I retired Iris and I joined the North Ringwood Seniors Citizens Club where we got back into our Ballroom dancing on Saturday nights and some Sunday afternoons.
We live a quite life now; we try to see our family, Geoff our son and daughter in law Anna, Wendy our daughter and son in law Scott (Scott is also well known at the cricket club) as much as we can and especially our 5 wonderful grandchildren, Sarah, Chris, Chelsea, Montana and Indianna.
We also celebrated our 50th Wedding anniversary on the 3rd of May 2008.
Q2. You have been selected as a representative of the 77-78 D1 Premiership team.
a) Can you please provide some information about the club at that time (e.g. who was President, how many teams, dominant players, funny incidents, club personalities, controversies etc).
b) Can you please talk about the team itself, who did well with bat and ball and in the field, any details of how you got to the finals (e.g. memorable games or on-field events such as a big hundred or bag of wickets) and why you won the premiership
Our President at the time was Bob Jenkins. In the season 77/78 we had 4 teams and at the time many old faces like bob Saker, George Dolan, Kevin Steele, Mick McLachlan, John O’Sullivan, Trevor Hutchins and many more. And some new faces like Trevor and Bill Saker, Alan Gale, Andrew Sach. After a fiery general meeting and a lot of for’s and against it was suggested I step down as captain of the fours and we put in a fifth side and I should captain the side as we had about 9 or 10 sixteen year old boys ready to play seniors and we already had the third ground at Mahoney’s road not being used and we should not loose these boys as youth helps build a strong club. This was passed at the meeting and a 5th side was formed – a new set of matting was purchased from Pentridge.
Before the start of the first game we had a quick get together as there were a few boys I had not meet and did not know who could bat or bowl. After I lost the toss and had to bowl I was advised I should open with Ian Presnall and David Cowell.
Ian’s first over is remembered by everyone, his first ball was a wide taken by 2nd slip, his 2nd ball was also a wide, I had a quick chat to him and his 3rd ball knocked the middle stump out of the ground. His 8 ball over turned into a 16 ball over (including 8 wides) and he finished with the good figures of 3 for 8 off the over. David’s first spell was very accurate and I think he picked up a wicket. They were well supported by Peter Donaldson, John McCauley, Peter Jenkins, Merv Legg, Mike Viljoen and between them we were able to dismiss Templestowe for 93. But unfortunately our batting let us down and we only made 77. In their 2nd innings we were able to dismiss them for 30 due to great bowling spells by Peter Donaldson 5/13 and Merv Leg 5/15. This left us only having to make 46 which we got fairly easy finishing with 1/50; I managed to get some batting practice with 33 N.O.
I was happy to get outright points in the first game of the season and learn what I could about the capabilities of the boys coming up from the under 16’s.
After tasting Victory in the first game each and every player that played during the year realised that as the season progressed we became a very competitive side that could play in the finals. As the season progressed and we kept winning games with everybody contributing 20 or 30 with the bat we managed to make a reasonable score with some big scores from Mike Villon (78), John Bowman (85 NO) and John fisher (79). I had my best season with the bat in my time at Nunawading making 978 runs for the season which included 4 or 5 centuries with the most important one being in the Grand Final.
Once we found the right formula with our attack with Peter Donaldson and John Macaulay bowling very tight and accurate with the new ball and being well supported by Mike Vuljoen, David Cowell, Ian Presnell, Peter Jenkins and Merv Legg (who unfortunately broke his arm in the 2nd last game and missed the finals).
In the semi final we batted first and made 207 thanks to great innings from two of the younger brigade in Ian Presnall (46) and Geoff Woolley (43). I think we dismissed them for about 140. To reach the grand final was a great achievement for the team. We played Blackburn and having won the toss we batted, we got off to a shaky start with on one really dominating as slowly we got to 5 or 6 down for around 100 then a steady hand from Mike Viljoen and good support from John Fisher, John Macaulay and a great partnership with Peter Jenkins enabled us to make 171. At stumps on the first day they were 3 or 4 down for around 90 to 100 and their best bat was still there being R. Main who had made 116 in the semi final.
At the start of the 2nd day we managed to get a couple of wickets but R. Main still remained a thorn in our sides. I brought Mike into the attack and he found Mikes leg brakes a bit hard to play and in Mikes third or fourth over he played at one and missed and thankfully I took it cleanly and removed the bails and he was on his way back to the pavilion. From there who ever I gave the ball to bowled very tight and accurate and we dismissed them for 156, giving us a lead of 15 valuable runs.
During the break before we batted we had our usual chat and I explained that those 15 runs were probably the most important runs of the season, but we must bat for a long as we can and make as many runs as we can as we did not have to make a decision when to declare and then try to bowl them out in their 2nd innings – it was the other way around.
As we still had about 2 ½ hours to bat, I told the boys we needed to be no more than 3 or 4 down and around 120 at stumps. Thankfully at stumps we were 3 or 4 down for about 150 (I was 96 N.O.) start of play on the 3rd day saw us carry on from the end of play on the 2nd day with everybody contributing with their 20 or 30 and to stay with me at the crease for as long as they could till I was dismissed for 177. They finally dismissed us for 370 after tea, their Captain John Berry decided he did not want to bat in their 2nd innings as we had made too many and he conceded defeat.
To win the Premiership was a real team effort from everybody whether it was our batsmen’s or bowlers or when fielding. Everybody was dedicated and had faith in everybody in the team.
The team consisted of me, John Fisher (VC), Mike Viljoen, Peter Jenkins, plus 7 16 year old boys, David Cowell, Geoff Woolley, John Macaulay, Peter Donaldson, John Bowman, Ian Presnall, and Colin McWhirter.
I was very proud of everyone in the team with their commitment and the way in which they played the game.
Q3. What was the aftermath of that premiership? How did the team go after that, did most of the players stay, any major changes etc. (e.g. Eric Thornton- 5 premierships in 9 years, 4 vs Doncaster Footballers).
With the forming of the 5th side and winning the Premiership in 77/78 was an influx of juniors joining the club from under 12 to under 16. Season 78/79 saw another 9 or 10 juniors moving up to the seniors that we had to enter a 6th side who also won the premiership in their 1st year. Season 79/80 saw our 1st win the Premiership under John O’Sullivan and the 5th under the very astute Kevin Steele who made a wonderful 100 in the Grand Final.
The club just got bigger with new players coming to the club and more Juniors coming up to the seniors that Season 80/81 saw a 7th side formed and season 81/82 saw an 8th side formed. We also had 7 or 8 junior sides as well.
Thanks to a great administration, committee Members and helpers we were able to maintain this for 13 years.
From the team of 77/78 season I am thankful that the committee formed the 5th side and allowed me to captain it, just about everybody stayed for 10 years or more.
The side produced some great club members, just to name a few – Peter Jenkins (President, Committee Member, Captained 5th and 6th), David Cowell (President, Committee member, Captain of sides from 2nd to 5th), P. Donaldson (Captain of the 6th in season 90/91 Premiership side). Peter Jenkins was also a member of the side. John Macaulay (was a member of 83/84 1st Eleven Premiership side captained by John O’Sullivan).
Q4. Please provide any other information you would like to such as a funny story or significant event/milestone during this period.
The move to Mahoney’s road in 1974 was a huge step in the club expanding – as mentioned before to 8 seniors and 7 junior sides.
March 1979 as a joint venture with the Soccer club saw the opening of the upstairs club rooms.
During this period it was a great honour for me at the Annual General meeting to be nominated and made a life member of the Nunawading Cricket Club.. I was nominated by a great friend and team mate and a wonderful club member (nothing was a trouble for him) – Terry Harris.
As we all know Terry and his friend George Capallo both lost their lives when caught in a blizzard on Mount Hotham in September 1978. It was an extremely sad time for me and the club.
Q5. Finally, can you please note why you played cricket for Nunawading and the strengths of the Club at that time.
I started to play with Nunawading in season 59/60 through my mate Mick McLachlan who I grew up with in Clifton Hill after I meet him in Clifton Hill one Sunday morning. He was visiting his parents and Gladys parents and Iris and I were doing the same.
We started talking cricket and he told me had started playing with Nuna and he suggested I come and play, but I said I did not want to play that season due to other commitments, but assured him I would play with him at Nunawading the following year and no where else.
But a phone call from Mick after Christmas asking me if I would help out and fill in because they were short of players – as previously stated I said YES.
As mentioned before not having a car at the time and having to use public transport – it was difficult at times but thanks to Mick, he picked me up from work when he was able to – otherwise it was the 18 minutes past 12 train from Heatherdale to Nunawading and run like hell to Silver Grove to get a ride to where we were playing.
To think that from a fill for 1 game I was to play for 24 years and I was very fortunate to play with A Culvenor, R Saker, G Dolan, E Thornton, D. Bosworth, I Rowe, M McLachlan, I Sach and many more.
I was fortunate to go straight into the 1st XI as they were a very strong side – the club at the time when I joined was very strong with Tom Reeves as president and a very dedicated committee behind him and plenty of helpers.
We have been fortunate to have great Presidents to lead the club to name a few: T. Reeves, A. Culveror, R. Saker, I. Sach, R. Jenkins (all in my time), also K. Joyce, P. Jenkins, and at present D. Cowell.
Early memories of Silver Grove was the children’s Father Christmas (played by Jack Kelly) party, No liquor allowed on the premises, as the pubs shut at 6pm, drinks after the game were at somebody’s house like A. Culvener, R. Saker, A. Walker, G. Cross etc. In the early years when we played at Silver Grove before we had a car Iris would catch a train with Geoff and Wendy to Nunawading and bring some afternoon tea and help get afternoon tea with Margaret Saker, Marj Bosworth, June Thornton, Joan Culvenor, Gladys McLachlan.
When we got out first car Iris along with Geoff and Wendy would come to every game. Bring afternoon to any game where none was supplied especially in the lower grades.
I must mention the 77/78 season she was there every Saturday with afternoon tea. I remember Geoff Woolley saying the best time of Saturday afternoon was Iris’s sandwiches and cakes. Thanks Iris.
Committee meetings were held at somebody’s house; we held quite a few meeting at our house and also had a few card nights to raise money for the club.
I had 24 years as a player of wonderful and happy times at Nunawading and Iris and I made many friends over the years.
To be made a life member in 1978 and receive my medallion and certificate at Presentation night on 6th April 1979, signed by R. Jenkins President, D. Bosworth Vice President and R. Baird Secretary was a great honour and proud moment for me.
George was a Nunawading stalwart who was awarded a Life Membership in 1977. George never played for Nunawading but was ‘the man behind the scenes’ ensuring that drinks were provided at the nominated player’s residence on summer Saturday evenings.
George was a key contributor to the Club’s social activities for many years and was presented with a club blazer in 1970 in recognition. George’s efforts were regularly praised at Committee Meetings and he was a major reason behind the social success of the club.
George was also the Club’s honorary auditor for many years, this based on his occupation as a Company Secretary.
George and Muriel Cross bought land in Blackburn during the War and built on it after the war where George served in Artillery working ‘the big guns’. He received a back injury which prevented him from participating in strenuous sport, although he was an A Grade tennis player. However he did manage a few rounds of golf over the years.
Whilst George was serving in the Army, Muriel performed his job at T. Dewez & Co, Wool Merchants. After the war, George and Muriel, through Muriel’s brother, fellow Life Member Burt Murphy, started their association with Nunawading Cricket Club which was maintained for many years.
Both were avid cricket supporters. Muriel hosted many a committee meeting and after-match drinks in her home and was also regularly thanked by the committee for her efforts. She passed away in 1996, aged 75 and George later that year aged 85. Lovely people !
Before he was married Ian played local cricket in Brighton. After Wendy and he moved to Nunawading in January 1957, setting up a new home delayed his return to cricket until 1958/59. He was encouraged to join Nunawading by near neighbours Tom Tunne and Ken Rout. His first game was in the seconds (we only had 2 teams in those days) against Warrandyte with Arthur Walker as captain.
Following a reasonable year he was promoted to the firsts the next season and our first game was against Nunawading’s old rivals Doncaster Footballers. This almost proved to be “Roweys” last game as Les Reid promptly despatched him far and wide to the neighbouring gum trees to the extent of 0/33 off 3 eight ball overs. Ian survived demotion but it was a couple of games before he bowled again, fortunately with better results.
In one grand final against Templestowe at the Vermont ground, Bob Saker asked Ian to open the bowling in the second innings with the old ball (new ball was optional at the time). He took a hat trick in the first over and they were all out for about 35 and Nunawading had another premiership. By his own admission, Ian’s batting was a different kettle of fish. When it was his turn to bat at No. 11 our wicketkeeper would start putting on the pads as he knew it would not be long before we would be fielding.
However, Ian’s fondest memory does not relate to figures or good performances but to the enormous support that he got from all team members and in particular his ‘bowling partner in crime’ at the other end, Mick McLachlan.
Ian also noted the outstanding performances of Bob Saker who in his opinion was the most complete cricketer that he ever played with or against.
Ian believes he was very fortunate to have played in a very strong and successful side under excellent captains and after several years went back to the seconds for a few seasons to eventually retire in the late 1970’s. It was perhaps ironical that his last match was also against Doncaster Footballers and who should he bowl against but the same Les Reid but he is pleased to say it was “my turn this time”.
Ian served as Treasurer for 8 years and remembers many of the social functions we used to have up at the hall in Silver Grove. To Ian, playing for Nunawading was not just about cricket as it was a real family affair and many lasting friendships were formed. After cricket, he joined the Mitcham bowling club where sporting acquaintances were renewed with several cricket club members, George Dolan, Ken Rout, Jack Kelly, and Bruce Robertson to name a few.
There are not many around Nuna who don’t think that Ian was the finest spin bowler to ever wear the purple and gold and his statistics bear witness to this fact. Ian took 476 First XI wickets at 10.2 with 5 or more wickets on 32 occasions and a career best 9/44.
Bob’s initial contact with Nunawading Cricket Club members was made at a car trial in 1960 which ended at the Rout residence. Ken Rout and Bob grew up together and played turf cricket at East Malvern where Bob is also a life member. When he moved to Balwyn, he persuaded Bob to join Nunawading which he did in January 1962.
His first game, at Blackburn (in the seconds) is remembered for several things – batting with Danny Pomeroy, watching John Davies run himself out and being given not out by Fred Watson after a catch by the wicketkeeper.
Bob was soon involved in the administration of club affairs and, as club delegate to the BHRDCA, I was appointed Assistant Secretary (of the Association) to Ray McIntosh.
When Bob Saker was unable to continue as club president because of his police responsibilities, he became President, a position he held for ten continuous years.
The Club winning the Centenary Premiership and Shield, celebrating the Centenary of Test Cricket in 1976-77 and end of season trips are Bob’s highlights with Terry Harris’s sad loss another well remembered significant Club event. . Bob was awared Life Membership in 1975.
A personal highlight was in 1965/66 when Bob made almost 300 runs as well as winning the bowling average with 33 wickets at 10.6.
Ken started at Nunawading in 1953, his first memory at the Club was playing a game against Forest Hill who were using the old Nunawading pavilion which was transported to their ground when the new one at Silver Grove was built. Ken put his foot through the floorboards as soon as he walked in the door.
Ken is most remembered for the many years of committee service in which he was one of a group, who were to become Life Members, who served for 14 continuous years in committee positions. These long term servants of the Club were Ken, Tom Reeves, Bob Saker, Ian Rowe, Mick McLachlan and Doug Bosworth.
The highest score of Ken’s career came in 1968 when he scored 148 n.o. from of 9/399 against Blackburn North in C2. Another career highlight was playing in successive First XI premierships in 1957-58 and 58-59. In the 1956 Grand Final, Ken, who had a season’s average of over 44 was given out by LBW Fred Watson for 0 in both innings. I can just imagine Fred telling Ken he was out !
Ken retired in 1970-71 and continued his sporting love by bowling for Mitcham.
Merv and Lillian moved into a new home in Vermont in 1961. Merv saw an ad in the local paper for players, went to the AGM, and the rest is history. This is how it reads.
He first played in season 1961/62, and finished after the 1994/95 season at age 57, a total of 33 years service! Merv played over 300 games and played in all grades except the 1sts, taking 100s of wickets along the way and witnessing 100s of chances not taken (can only recall those missed off his own bowling!)
He played at 8 different Home Grounds: Halliday Park..Nuna High School..3 x Mahoneys Reserve..Highbury Park(Red Rooster)..Narmara Primary School..and “the one behind the Blackburn Pub”. Surprisingly, Merv never played a match on Silver Grove.
Merv played in three premiership teams, won one batting average and a number of bowling averages AND, took three hat-tricks in those 33 seasons! He played lots of enjoyable cricket with up-and-coming players, many of them still going around in all grades. Merv won the last Single-Wicket Competition the Club held, at a Yarra Junction picnic day, beating Ian Davies by one run. He had the great pleasure of playing in the same team as his sons Steven and Robert, and being observed and encouraged (perhaps occasionally “advised”?) in just about all of his 300-plus games by his number one Fan Club member, wife Lillian, who was also a frequent sandwich-cutter, tea-maker and Christmas party shopper for the Club.
One on field highlight was batting with “Harry” (Graham Harris) in a semi-final last-wicket partnership of 96 (Harry only contributed 60-odd). Merv gave Harry the strike and 5 balls to get his double-ton, but Harry’s lofted slog landed a bit short of the boundary, in long-on’s hands, out for 197).
Merv was honoured with Life Membership in 1992.
George joined Nunawading in 1956 and immediately played in our First XI where he played until 1971-72. Nuna made the finals in every year of his time in the Firsts for 6 premierships and 3 Runners-up. He played over 320 games in 28 seasons of cricket.
His memorable moments at the Club include:
– Making a century in his second game
– Captaining a First XI premiership side (in 1968-69). He made a 2nd innings century in a score of 203 to win with 8 wickets down.
– Making a 50 on his 50th birthday
– Making a double century (203) at the age of 44
– Captaining the Shield 3rds to a flag in his last game at the age of 53. George scored 58 with a broken finger and hit the winning runs, again with 8 wickets down (and only Greg Voutier to come..sorry Bertie )
George notes that Bob Saker was the best slips fieldsman he’d seen outside of test cricket and that the two greatest innings in his time were Bob Saker’s 191 in a A Grade Grand Final against Doncaster Footballers in 1965-66 and Trevor Hutchins 238 n.o. in the 1976-77 Grand Final. Trevor’s score is still the club record.
George won the club’s batting averages in three out of four years from 1963-64 to 1966-67.
Such are George’s gifts that he won the Mitcham Bowling Club’s Championship at the tender age of 71.
George played in SIX First XI premierships: 1957/58 (the first ever), 1958/59, 1960/61, 1956/66, 1966/67 and 1968/69. He captained the 65/66 and 68/69 sides.
George made a match winning century in the 57/58 match to help win the game.
A local paper, The Eastern Times, had the following to say about Nunawading’s premiership:
” NUNAWADING PREMIERS”
This is the first A Grade premiership for the Club, in fact the first A Grade final in which they have played. On the first Saturday (March 15, 1958) Blackburn batted first and made 140, R. Street 56 n.o, Tom Reeves 5/15. Nunawading then commenced their first innings, and at stumps were 2/165, compiled in 110 minutes. The innings resumed on the second Saturday (March 22, 1958) and Nunawading only managed to add 52 runs for the remaining 8 wickets. Bob Saker (57) and Alex Culvenor (46), vice captain and captain respectively, were associated in a third wicket partnership of 98. D. Meehan took 7/51.
Nunawading were 77 runs ahead when Blackburn commenced their second innings and were 6/187 at drawing of stumps on the second day. Resuming on the third and last day (March 29, 1958), Blackburn declared at 9/279, D Meehan 90, C Frank (Captain) 64 n.o. at approximately 2.15 pm leaving Nunawading 202 to make to draw and 203 to win, in approximately even batting time. Nunawading scored 204 for the loss of eight to win by two runs. George Dolan scored 104, Doug Bosworth 36 n.o. while R Street took 3/45 and D Meehan 3/56. They had 25 minutes to spare.
The Eastern Times covered the 1958-59 Presentation Night by saying that “…….the good spirit and harmony prevailing throughout Nunawading Cricket Club was evident last Saturday night, when presentation night was conducted at the Nunawading Pavilion in the presence of about 150 men, women and children.” It went on to say that ” a gay evening with plenty of dancing, was enjoyed by all, and the happy crowd was treated to an excellent supper, supplied by wives and friends of the members.” On a nostalgic note, the article continued by saying “….a pleasant surprise was had by Mr and Mrs Doug Bosworth, who were married early in the season, by receiving a lovely radiator as a wedding gift from members of the Club. Another pleasant surprise was given the eight wives and one sweetheart who attended the grand final match and supplied afternoon tea by being assured they would be given a night out in the city as a reward for their support.” It is interesting to note that present at this presentation night were “the captain and members of the Doncaster Footballers XI who were defeated by Nunawading for the premiership as well as other prominent cricketers and office bearers of the association.” The Local Advertiser reported on Wednesday April 8, 1959, that “….Trophies awarded included the A Grade batting average awarded by Mr. F Clarke (Association President) to Les Jones (36.6). This trophy was donated by Fred Thatcher. Tom Reeves won the Bowling averages (12.06) and a trophy donated by E.A. Feiglin and Son and Bob Saker won the fielding trophy donated by W Sadler. Mr Ray McIntosh (Association Secretary) presented the B grade trophies, the batting average was won by Bob Wakefield (31.5), and a trophy donated by Mr J Forbes. Les Jones won this bowling average as well (5.8) and a trophy donated by Clive Fairbairn. Mr C.A. Parker donated the fielding award won by Alf Hender. Two special trophies were given by anonymous donor to Doug Bosworth and Bert Murphy for their excellent batting performances in the semi-final when East Burwood were defeated by sheer aggression. George Dolan, who scored 557 runs for the season and was runner-up in the batting average, was the recipient of a special trophy by Mr. Jack Wiles. Prolonged acclamation greeted the presentation of Life Membership to the A grade captain Alex Culvenor by Mr. E Aumann. The crowd thoroughly enjoyed an amusing interlude in which Eric Thornton solemnly handed a small wager to Tom Reeves for securing the most ‘not-outs’ for the season. This was a result of a bet between these two earlier in the year.” Finally, all trophies were displayed in the window of Mr J Forbes newsagency for one week after being presented.
Season 1973-74 saw the introduction of Shield Grade and the Premiership to Nunawading in the top 2 grades (Shield and A1) in a competition with 104 teams. George Dolan scored a fine 203 in A1.
In summary, George sees the main factor about Nunawading Cricket Club is the fact that he is proud to call everyone associated with the Club during almost 30 years his friend and thinks that this Club quality makes our Club one of the greatest sporting club’s of all time ! Well said George !
Trevor Hutchins began playing at Nunawading Cricket Club in the 1969-70 season. Having played his junior cricket at Blackburn, Trevor then played five seasons at Richmond. Trevor was appointed captain/coach in 1970/71, a position he held for 7 of his 20 seasons at the club. Trevor’s father Ern was a stalwart of the Association and was President for many years, ending in 1970-71. For two other seasons Trevor captained the Shield team. During this period the club won four shield grand finals and missed playing in the finals only once. As coach, Trevor was not eligible for the T. Reeves Trophy, Club Champion, but when he was not coaching he won this trophy six times.
Trevor won the batting average seven times and the bowling five. His shield batting average was 38.39, and his bowling average was 15.59. He is the only Nunawading Shield player to take 300 wickets and make 6000 runs in the history of the club. His best batting performance was 238no in a Shield Grand Final and 7/28 was his best return with the ball. . Trev was part of the 391 run record Nunawading partnership for any wicket.
In 1987 Freddy Watson named him as one of the best 11 players he had seen in the competition. In 1986 the Player of the Year Trophy was named for Trevor and in 1990 he was awarded Life Membership of the club for his contribution both as a player and committeeman. Trevor’s father Ernie, played cricket for Blackburn and was made a life member of that club. Ernie also served on the Association Executive in a number of capacities including President and was awarded life membership in 1988. Trevor also served on the Association Executive as President, following a number of years as the Nunawading Delegate. He and was awarded life membership of the Association in 1999. Trevor’s son David, has also played at
Trevor Hutchins coached the Club from 1970-71 till 1977-78 (with a non coaching year in 73-74) and again in 86-87. He was offered three year contract in May 1974 and, in responding and accepting the offer, Trevor recommended that John O’Sullivan be appointed as P.T. instructor to lift the level of fitness and that training commence in June for the coming season.
Hutch scored 238 n.o. in the winning 1976-77 Grand Final. Trevor’s score is still the club record.
Trevor captained the First XI to premierships in 1976/77 and 1981/82, as well as paying in the 1973/74 and 1979/80, total of Four First XI Premierships.
He won the TA Reeves Trophy for the best First XI player in 1973/74, 1976/77, 1980/81, 1981/82 and 1982/83 and would undoubtedly won more had the rule that a paid player was ineligible for the award not applied.
The Player of the Year Award, for the player who scores the most points through wickets and catches taken and runs scored, was named in Trevors honour in 1983/84.
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There have been very few players at Nuna who have placed as high a price on their wicket as Colin James. Col was a fearless opener more than prepared to wear a few on the body for the team. As well as being a hard man to remove Col set up many a win with his batting prowess. His fearlessness also extended to his close in fielding.
As a captain, Col inspired those who played with him and he was admired and respected (if not always liked) by all of his opponents. Col gave no quarter on the field and asked for none in return but was always the first to invite you in for a beer after the game.
In his later years, Col was happy to play down the grades to pass on his experience and in 1990/91 playing in the sixths after years of outstanding service, finally made his first century after batting nearly all day at Timber Ridge – an emotional moment for Col and those privileged to have been there.
Col was also a great contributor off the field. He served as social secretary with great distinction for a number of years and also chaired the selection committee for a time. A fixture on trips away, Col always loved the off-field activities almost as much as the game itself.
Col played in three First XI Premierships, in 1965/66, 1966/67 and 1979/80 and played a total of 309 games for the Club, what a fantastic contribution.
Away from the club, Col was a local personality running his barber shop in Station Street, Nunawading for many years and cutting hair for generations of Nuna and other BHRDCA cricketers and always having time for a laugh. On any Friday in cricket season there would be a steady stream of people catching up on selection as the teams were on display in the window of Col’s shop.
In many ways, Col embodied the spirit of Nuna, tough as nails on the field but a great bloke off it and a friend to many. Col’s untimely death in 1996 shocked us all and his passing was mourned by many. As a sign of the esteem in which he was held, the trophy for games between Nuna and Blackburn is the “Colin James Trophy”.
Graeme “Harry” Harris started playing at Nuna in the mid 1960’s and was a quiet bloke. Time in the Army during the Vietnam War (a “nasho”) changed his outlook somewhat however. He sometimes trained in army fatigues. “H” used to open the bowling off about 15 paces in the Seconds. Kev Steele recalls in his first game, H and Stainless combined brilliantly to drop 4 catches in 2 overs off Captain Mick McLachlan, at long on in tight game at Silver Grove. Kev first noticed him pushing Glen Smith’s sports car , assisted by Mick Skinner, along McCulloch St one day, and joined them at Nuna the following season on the strength of that event!! As a captain, he habitually bowled (certain) aging medium-pace bowlers into the ground, especially in finals matches. That’s after he himself had converted to more-leisurely spin bowling!
He’d a love of the Broadway Musical, and excerpts from Cabaret, Applause Applause, A Chorus Line, and others, would often waft between 2nd slip and Kev at gully, much to 1st and 3rd slips’ (G Smith & M Burnham) annoyance.
A master of the one-liner. e.g; Beer, Harry? “Well, one can’t hurt, can it?”
Graeme did a stint of system-installation work for his Major Bank employer over many months in Adelaide, driving home each Friday night just to play cricket, then back to Adelaide to clock on on Monday morning.
H was a stylish batsman in his prime and could boast a number of centuries. In his later years, H took up spin bowling with some considerable success. Graeme was happy to play in the lower grades in his forties – his love for the game and the club was considerable.
Graeme never played in a premiership team having been a member of many semi-final teams which always managed to find a new way to lose! That lack of ultimate success never dulled Graeme’s enthusiasm for the game.
H served on the committee in a number of capacities and was one of those you could always rely on to get the job done. With his life long mate Colin James, H was a fixture around the club always keen for a laugh and a beer.
His exploits on trips away are legend – a larger than life character!
When Graeme died at a tragically young age, the club lost not only a fine player and a loyal
servant but one of the big personalities in its history.”
A big, burly, lovely man.
John’s father Joe played cricket for Nuna for two years in the early fifties, and John often watched the firsts play. One of his earliest recollections was watching Tom Reeves taking 7 wickets in a Semi final in the late fifties. He started playing juniors at Nuna when one of the kids he played cricket with in the street, Col James, encouraged him to go to practice. Sully played two years of under 16’s cricket, once taking the last 4 wickets of an innings with 4 balls.
Moving to senior cricket, he started in the fourths under Arthur Walker, and played through the grades for a couple of years. He got his chance in the First XI at the start of the 1967/68 season, under Jack Kirby. He batted at 6 or 7, and due to the bowling strength of the side, his bowling days were over.
John was on the general committee for quite a number of years, filling various roles including a stint of four years as equipment manager at a time when there were 8 senior and 7 junior teams. He was also involved with the juniors for 7 years. Sully was captain of the Firsts for 4 years in which time they won two premierships, and he also captained the seconds towards the end of his career. John retired at the end of 1996/97.
Jack started playing cricket at Nunawading later in his career, having played with Canterbury for 12 seasons before joining Nuna with Mick McLachlan in 1959.
Jack remembers not batting much in his days in the Firsts, as he was second drop after George Dolan and Bob Saker and was often not required until late in the day.
Jack only played for 5 or 6 seasons before retiring from cricket but serving Nuna in a social capacity for many years. Jack was a Father Christmas for many years and was one of the cricket club’s committee members on the newly formed Co-operative with the soccer club.
Jack spent most of his playing days at Nuna keeping in the seconds and had a top score of 89.
Ian’s association with the club came in two instalments. Ian started playing at Nunawading in 1960 and dropped out for a couple of years in the mid to late 1960s to return to university to do a PhD. He says that he would probably not have returned to cricket had he not, by chance, met Bob Jenkin on the beach at Cowes. Bob persuaded him to return and he played on for many more seasons.
Ian served on the Club Committee in both periods of his membership, being at various stages Treasurer and President and took part in the move from Silver Grove to Mahoney’s Oval. Although playing as a member of some powerful side in the early years, Ian was a member of a premiership side on only one occasion. Ian made two centuries at the Club and he preferred to assess his innings by time at the crease and the looks of frustration on the faces of furious bowlers driven witless.
On field highlights include season 1961-62, when Ian won the Association A grade batting average with 375 runs at 61.8 and a match almost 20 years later in 1980-81, when he scored 123 in a partnership of 239 against Forest Hill.
He captained our second side at one stage during his later years and remembers having the luxury of Ian Rowe in the side to bowl his slow-medium left arm spinners. This meant Ian only ever had to bother about bowling changes at one end.
Some of the players (and there are many more who could and should be mentioned) with whom he had the privilege of playing were the Sakers, George Dolan, John O’Sullivan, Ian Rowe, Alan Haag, Keith Joyce, the Davies brothers, Mick McLachlan, Bob Jenkin, Kevin Steele, Trevor Hutchins, Allan Jackson, Doug Bosworth, Graham Harris, Graham Best, Ian Donaldson, Alan Gale and Eric Thornton.
A favourite off field memory of Ian’s is the time Stewie Gould and Ian thought they were last to leave the Silver Grove premises one Saturday evening and locked the door by slamming it. They did not have keys. Stewie’s wife, somewhat distraught, then informed them that one of their children was still inside! This required a break-in from the second level at the back of the hall. The police were not called by neighbours but as Stewie was a policeman it did not matter!
Ian bought Ian Donaldson’s father’s 1969 VW beetle many years ago (probably in the 1970s) and still has it! The after match drinks in members’ garages was an enjoyable and friendly club feature in the early days before club bars and lounges.
After Ian retired from cricket he played bowls at Heatherdale for three years before moving to Essendon where he still plays for Strathmore and is now their Club Secretary.
Kevin arrived in 1970 aged 30, from a little club, Richmond Central, which had absorbed his original North Richmond Methodists. It later became known that he played one game batting at Number 3 in the twos (got 36, against Blackburn, was berated by Kenny Rout for “batting 90 minutes and not playing one shot outside the ‘V’) then got homesick and returned to his old club.
Stainless spent the following year umpiring thinking he was too old to play in this competition, then re-started at Nuna in ’72/73, as a bowler-who-batted, then as a batter-who-bowled. A 3rds captain was promoted or just departed, Kevin was appointed in his place (it’s called “finding the correct level at which to function”). The following year Ray McBlane arrived from Richmond Central (bowled the very first ball of the new season in the twos at Silver Grove and had it hit over the square-leg fence by a Read) and in the next season Allan Jackson (same source) came.
After the move to Mahoney’s Reserve (Ian Donaldson the first batsman to be dismissed there, as an U16) the pace seemed to quicken for the Club. Kids all around the area, open parklands wanting to be put to good use. Suddenly we had 6 Senior teams!!!!
Stainless spent most of the next few years playing alongside Besty, Harry, Glen Smith, Ross and Graeme Archbold, Bob and Peter Jenkin, often making the semis, rarely the final.
He was often Social Secretary (and the founder of the modern format of the N&N Raffle ….Doug Bisset’s Reverse Raffle, in which last-out wins. It was downstairs at Mahoneys, and there were some “musical items” as well.) Kevin later served the Club as our representative on Mahoneys Reserve Committee of Management.
During the early 80s the Club had grown to 8 senior and 8 junior teams. Kev wondered where in the world could there be a larger Cricket Club in terms of teams fielded? It was partly a consequence of the time and of the location, but few clubs the world over might have bothered to commit the time, fund-raising grunt, and week-by-week effort to match the demand. It is to the eternal credit of the families of those 70’s/80’s that the Club achieved it’s size, and then maintained it for so long. And all those “extras” who helped establish an environment that kept people interested and involved should also take a bow.
His highlights include:
The “unbeaten champions” first eleven premiership of 78-79 with Captain O’Sullivan, President Jenkin snr and Secretary Steele.The Fifths won it in the same year, Kev was captain, got his only ton ever in the Final itself. (176 n.o.)
There was a stream of Richmond Central players which came to play, so many, and so well performed, from such a little club, McBlanes, Jacksons, Mitchells, Torbitt, Kennedy. All of them played in (created) premiership teams for Nunawading, and were proud of having done so. Many of their sons followed.
The 1sts and 2nds double flag, at the topmost level in 83-84. The seconds finished at about 6pm on a Sunday (cliffhanger), and the Annual Dinner Dance began at 7pm. The room was “high” in more ways than one!
Finally, the ATTITUDE: Nunawading Cricket Club…it doesn’t belong to US. We belong to IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Kev was made a Life Member in 1986.
Tim Moore introduced Ian to Nunawading Cricket Club in October 1969 after many test matches in the paddock near their homes. In his first season he recalls only playing to Christmas as he believed that was the end of the season.
Like most boys in that era, Ian was under the care of Mick McLachlan and had 4 years in U14’s. In 1971-72, he played as vice captain under Graeme Lang and in 72-73 was given the task of captain of U14’s, when Nuna lost the grand final at East Burwood. Bill Saker was with Ian in that team as an 11 year old. Ian had the opportunity to play Hatch Shield for Box Hill and the club also sent him to coaching sessions at Rusden College.
Up into U16’s in 1973-74 as vice captain and Ian recalls playing against East Burwood’s Paul Melville, the gun player of the time who was about to play Shield Cricket.
In 1974-75, the club moved to Mahoney Reserve and Ian captained the U16 team of that year. We played the first game at home against Box Hill North, so as the opening batsman, Ian was the first to hit a four, but also the first to go for four.
Ian was given the opportunity to play in senior ranks during my U14 years and more regularly as a 15 – 16 year old. Some of those in the first eleven ! Progressing from juniors he played mainly in the 2nds during the years 1974 – 80. In this time he was fortunate to play, as the ‘baby’ in the team, with the following legends as their careers were in their twilight: Bob Saker, George Dolan, Mick McLachlan, Ian Rowe, Ian Sach, Doug Bosworth, John Kay. Ian recalls being the one to chase the ball more often and even running a couple of them out, and being “told”. It was these years that Ian learnt sportsmanship, skills and the finer points of the game.
The McIntosh Shield team of 1978-79 which saw Trevor Hutchins hit 238 n.o. had Ian as 12th man, a great thrill which gave him a taste of what was to come.
In 1981-82 Ian became a regular member of the firsts and finally became a contributing player in a premiership. Nuna defeated Heatherdale by 3 runs after only making 134. Ian remembers being so nervous in the last over and praying at deep mid wicket that the ball would not come to him.
Nuna played against Heatherdale in another three McIntosh Shield grand finals to 1985 –86 and, lost by 23 runs; won by 10 runs; and lost by 1 run in the greatest game he has been involved in. We made 342 off 119 overs, they made 343 off the last ball of their 120 overs.
There was another two grand finals, both losses, late ’80 to Bennettswood when the late Frank Horne scored 135 and Mitcham in 1991-92. We finished up on top in that year but let ourselves down in the final.
Over the years Ian won many batting and bowling averages and the esteemed TA Reeves trophy. The season 1991-92 was an exceptional year for Ian’s batting and bowling, and with many opportunities, he hit over 400 runs and was runner up to Mitcham’s Wayne Graham in the Association Batting Average. The then recent passing of his father inspired him to greater efforts. A score of 103 at Box Hill North was certainly a highlight of his career. Chris Harris had put Ian in as an afternoon tea watchman. It was also a nasty game, with Peter Phillips taken away in an ambulance and threats toward Ian for the same short ball treatment, but we won!
‘Dono’s’ stint in administration started after Graeme Best approached him in 1977 and asked him to take over his ‘Assistant Secretary’ job. He held this position for many years, a time when the club grew from 4 to 8 senior teams. From then Ian served as Secretary, Vice President and on the General Committee.
Apart from Nunawading members, Ian has also made many life long friends from other clubs and even umpires. He’s broken ribs, been knocked out twice, dislocated a finer, damaged a shoulder, got sun damaged skin, will get arthritic fingers, has bled, cried and laughed and loved every minute of his time at Nuna.
Ian was awarded Life Membership of the Club in 1995.
Keith started work in Box Hill and lived in Croydon, which meant he travelled down Canterbury Road to get home. One of his staff had a husband playing with Nunawading and Keith turned up to train one night. The usual questions prevailed and it was decided that he could bowl a bit, believe it or not, bat a bit and a reasonable fieldsman.
The first year or so Keith opened the batting in the twos playing under Mick McLachlan. One game in particular stands out in Keith’s mind where Mick was bowling and the field was placed appropriately and wherever Keith was placed, usually in the outfield the ball found him. He took three high balls for Mick that day.
KJ was a fringe ones player and managed to bowl second or third change in those days. The first Grand final he played in for Nunawading was against Blackburn where Hutchy made his record score and Ray Gale got one in the head, retired hurt, and came back to make a ton. Keith did not play a huge role in that win but it was great for him to be part of it.
Something, and he can’t explain what, happened to him the next year and he gained an absolute hunger for wickets. From that time on he can only remember one or two seasons where he managed less than 30 wickets.
John O’Sullivan was the best Captain Keith played under. This is not just because he gave Keith the new ball one game and let him go for it. His ability to read players and the uncanny knack of making the right decision at the right time still astonishes Keith today. Sully would say anyone could Captain a side with the players he had. KJ’s view is that it takes a good leader to bring the best out of players.
Keith deems it a privilege to have played with the likes of Wayne Stokes, Raf Desensi, all the Sakers, both Gales, Ian Donaldson, Russell Baird, Clive Mullet, Frank Ryan, Col James, Trevor Hutchins and John O’Sullivan.
The next winning grand final was against Templestowe where they had a second drop bat who had such patience that Keith’s medium pace deliveries were not getting the required breakthrough. KJ was asked to keep bowling and for the game bowled over 65 overs. What changed the game was the umpire at his end who must have been getting bored with the maiden overs and the style of the batsman. He suggested that Keith slow the delivery. This he did and he got a little more in the air but more importantly a lot mot from the pitch. That bat was out shortly after and the rest of the Templestowe side folded.
Then we moved to a time of great rivalry between the two powerhouse sides of the competition Heatherdale and Nunawading. We played off against each other over a number of consecutive years and won two closely fought grand finals. These games were always close and the game was played with true sportsmanship. Both clubs should look to those days as examples of how the game should be played.
For Keith a highlight was filling in for the 6ths one game whilst injured. The side had the likes of Brian Reid, Merv Legg and both Matthew and Daniel Joyce. All had a lot of fun and we even managed to win the game.
Keith recalls social highlights including the days of drinks back at someone’s house, kids playing in the driveway and George Cross handing out drinks, and the efforts to provide manpower when we built the upstairs social rooms.
Keith’s is perhaps the most decorated player in the history of Nunawading Cricket Club. Keith’s contribution to Nunawading is truly remarkable. He played First XI cricket for 20 years at Nunawading. His wicket taking record over such a long period is surely unprecedented in the BHRDCA.
20 Shield Grade Association bowling averages 6 times
21 Shield Grade Club bowling averages 6 times
22 T. A. Reeves Trophy winner 7 times
23 Player of the Year twice
24 First XI Premierships 4 times
Keith’s on-field heroics have been matched by his off-field contributions. In the late 80’s Keith nominated for President when there was no-one else prepared to do it. In 1999, Keith again volunteered to be President and was accepted unanimously (of course).
Keith Joyce is a true Nunawading Cricket Club icon.
KJ has the following (detailed) recollections of his career at Nuna.
Q1. Please let us know a bit about yourself and also your history at Nunawading. What are your personal and career highlights and what you are doing now. What are your memories of the great games you played in?
I am married to Bev, living in Mentone and have 5 kids with wife/partner in brackets, namely: Matthew(Kirsty), Daniel (Loree), James (Elizabeth), Kathryn (Scott) & another Matthew (Maegan). There are 3 grandchildren at present: Isabelle, Ryder, Mya and one on the way.
Born in 1951, I first played cricket in the Eltham area (Diamond Valley) – I think I was 15 having never played before. I played in the under 16 side in the first year and managed a first ball duck in both innings (stumped both times). The second year in under 16’ I was a batting allrounder and won a spot in the Association under age side as such and also played in the afternoon in the seniors. I managed to win the club U16 bowling that year. The side I was with (St Andrews) only had one senior side and the club folded the next year.
I then joined a very strong side (Montmorency) and played in their ones at 17 years of age as a 4 or 5 bat. The only times I really got a bowl was when the game was over. We won the top grade grand final that year with my contribution being mainly in the finals as a bat where I managed 45 in the first final and 60 odd in the grand final.
I finished High School playing portions of seasons and found myself unable to train because I gained employment in Melbourne.
At 20 years of age I was conscripted into the Army. Conscription brought together people from various backgrounds. From a sporting point of view I played mid-week inter–service football and cricket, playing with and against such names as Bernie Quinlan & Peter Welsch and Rodney Hogg respectively.. That was my introduction to turf which by chance moved me more into being a bowler than a batsman.
After leaving the Army I found myself living in Flemington and wondered down the street to an oval and began playing with a side that was coming into the top grade of cricket having won the premiership in the lower grade the previous year. We had a successful year culminating in a grand final win. That game was memorable in that we lost the first inning by about 35 runs, and reversed that with an outright win. I managed 5 for 65 in the first innings and 8 for 18 in the second.
I then moved to Croydon to live and worked in Box Hill. So I found myself travelling down Canterbury Road on a daily basis. Cricket season was looming and I was without a side when one of my work associates suggested Nunawading. I drove to the oval and found a hive of activity at the nets. At the time Nunawading had 8 senior sides and 6 junior sides. What I didn’t realize was the strength of the club with players such as Trevor Hutchins, Ian Rowe, Grant McDonald, Frank Ryan, Russell Baird, John O’Sullivan to name just a few.
That was way back in 1974/75. The first year I played was in the two’s as a top order bat and opening bowler with an occasional game in the one’s.
One of those days in the two’s was with Mick Mclachlan as my captain (yeah father of Ian). We were in a spot of bother trying to get the opposition out when Mick came onto bowl – (for those that don’t know he bowled spin). I was younger, fitter and could field – so I was in the outfield.
The rest is folk law – three huge outfield catches off Mick and a win to Nunawading. By the way the catches get harder each time I tell the story.
KJ Nuna Stats
607 in Shield 1 (nb does not include 2 seasons where the score books are missing) with an average per wicket of approx 14.
967 overall (noting the scorebooks missing) at approx 14.4 per wicket
Player of the year (2):
83/84 & 00/01
TA Reeves Trophies (8)
77/78, 79/80, 83/84, 84/85, 85/86, 89/90, 90/91, 93/94
Member of Team of the Century
Q2. Which was your favourite season, where you or the team excelled?
There were many but I will keep it brief:
The 80’s were great years for our club:
Games against Heatherdale were always a good contest. The games that come to mind were Grand Finals
The games that we won 81/82 & 83/84 were won by margins of 3 and 10 runs respectively.
In 83/84 we had lost Clive Mullett before the game and had a very young Mal West (16 year old) behind the stumps. The game was on a knife edge throughout the final with partnerships accumulating runs whilst wickets were falling throughout the day. What I didn’t know was the chat going on by Mal to unsettle whoever was batting. A great team effort played in the right spirit.
The other game that comes to mind is the grand final against Templestowe (79/80) which also stands out in that Templestowe planned on batting as long as they could. What resulted was a boring game for all and it would seem for the umpire aswell. He suggested, during the game, that I slow my delivery which provided a bit more swing and a great deal more turn off the wicket. The batsman holding us up was soon out and Templestowe crumbled from there. In those days the bowling side had the option of taking a new ball when 65 overs had been bowled. The umpire was not amused when I completed my individual 65th over and asked if I could have a new ball.
The last fond memory is a game when I played in the 8ths with Matthew and Daniel against an undefeated opposition. I was injured at the time, Matthew was studying at the time and therefore not meant to play. The opposition were full of how good they were and as I was standing at square leg umpiring I heard what they had done to opposition sides and what they were going to do to us. After all we hadn’t won a game and were bottom of the ladder. In short we thrashed them outright. I didn’t do a lot that day but it was a terrific memory to play in the same team as Matt & Dan. I also had to opportunity to play in another game with Daniel and James which was good fun, if not a bit tense at times.
Q3. Please provide any other information you would like to such as a funny story or significant event/milestone during your career.
I feel very privileged to have played cricket at Nunawading and develop long standing friendships with great guys who just happen to be talented cricketers. Tops of the list (in no particular order) include Trevor Hutchins, Alan Gale, the Saker Boys, Clive Mullett, Ian Donaldson, Mal West and John O’Sullivan.
I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to play beside my boys.
I remember well:
the Rosebud Xmas training sessions with a few reds being consumed.
bowling to GT in the nets
building the club rooms upstairs
having cow lotto on the main oval
naming the ground after Bob Saker
Dono coming into the ones as a bat.
having indoor sessions at Burwood Teacher College
seeing Sully make his last ton in Shield
Dolan head butting a catch over the boundary for 6
watching Tynan launch opposition out of the park
having drinks after the game in players back yards
Jerker getting lots of wickets
Greg Voutier bowling off 17 yards in the nets
Saults bending it like Beckham
Graham Harris hitting the ball for three but strolling through for one
Heather turning up to the cricket the first time
The speed of the leg side stumpings from Clive & Mal
And finally I remember that we were the club to beat.
Q4. Finally, can you please note why you played cricket for Nunawading and the strengths of the Club during your career.
Nunawading has and continues to be a point of consistency for many who play cricket there. Where mates produce great feats because of who they play for.
It’s a place that my boys have grown up with memories of great friendship and sometimes ridiculous events.
Alan, better known as Butch, first played at Nunawading in 1978-79 after playing a couple of seasons with his employer, ANZ Bank’s turf side. After his first training session at Nuna he remembers going back to the Sakers and someone asked him how he went, before he could open his mouth Bob Saker said ‘he wouldn’t be taking Joycey’s spot’. Butch was amazed at the knowledge and experience in the club, with names such as McLachlan, (his first captain and still regarded as one of his best), Saker, Dolan, Rowe, Bissett, Hutchins, O’Sullivan and Joyce. As a player aged 22, to Alan, it certainly was a tremendous advantage to be learning and playing alongside some of the best players you could have.
Butch played in three First XI Premierships and perhaps best remembered for taking the winning catch in a 10 run victory against Heatherdale in 82-83. He taped the ball to his hand during the entire evening’s celebrations. A highlight to Alan, was to have played in a Premiership with each of the Saker boys but he also played with Bob in the one game, only for him to be dropped for Bill in the next. One thing that he looks back on at Nuna with a great deal of pride was the way the club was run at Committee level right through to the Junior Co-Ordinator level. The junior coaching side of things, which is taken for granted at Nuna, is really unique.
Butch remembers getting back to the clubrooms after a day out where he took 9/42 and, now father-in-law, Bob Saker asked why Butch didn’t get the last one. Butch explained he had a chance but missed and Joycey got the last. As Bob walked off he simply said “Weak as Piss”.
Butch was a very competitive player at Nunawading and was captain of 2nd and 3rd elevens for a few seasons.. His competitive nature and will to win made him a dynamo on the field. All of us who played with him will never forget his well-worn phrase “those first eleven players will be shitting like big black alsations”, when trying to gee up his 2nd eleven batsmen for a big day. His sense of humour and perpetual grin made him a dynamo off the field as well.
Alan served the club on the committee for many years and was especially talented at organising social functions. He broke new ground at Nunawading by holding new functions, and with his wife Ros (Saker), staged many gatherings, including a player reunion in 1985.
Peter ‘Jerka’ Jenkin is a Nunawading icon. He has been a constant presence at Nuna since the early 1970s. He is the President of the Nunawading CC Team of the Century, a recognition of 7 years as Club President which followed 5 years as Treasurer and around 20 years in total on the committee.
Peter’s first involvement with the Club was as a young bloke following his father Bob to cricket games at Silver Grove. He first played regularly in season 1977-78 in the Fifth XI premiership team under Alan Haag and continued to play until the early 1990’s, captaining the 5th and 6th XI’s on several occasions. Peter is widely recognised as an administrator however and served the club with distinction in committee roles for ten consecutive years including two as treasurer and seven as President. Peter was only 28 when first elected President , only 4 seasons after Bob’s ten year’s as President. Peter also served as a chairman of selectors and managed the firsts after his retirement as a player. Peter also acted as a Junior coach, spending a few seasons coaching the Under 16’s.
His earliest memories of Nuna C. C. are as a small boy when each Saturday the family would venture to Silver Grove and other venues to watch Bob play after he joined the club in the very early sixties. His first senior game for Nuna was in his early teens as a fill-in in the fourths with his Dad (on one of which occasions he remembers subbing for Burwood Districts and catching his Dad on the deep mid-off boundary much to Bob’s and his shock and horror!).
His first full year in the seniors, after a couple of years at Balwyn Presbyterians while he finished school studies was in 1977/78, playing in the newly formed fifths (the 5ths having been added after quite a fiery AGM as some of the “old guard” were against another team as they didn’t think the club would fill it but have to buy new mats, equipment etc.)
History of course records that the team, skippered by Alan Haag, who made over 900 runs for the year, and featuring other club personalities Merv Legg (who missed the finals with a broken wrist), John Fisher, Dave Cowell, Peter Donaldson, Mick Viljoen (who with able support from Pete put on what turned out to be a match winning last wicket partnership) and John Macaulay won the flag before adjourning to Arthur Walker’s for a rather large celebration.
Most of Peter’s playing career was in the fifths and the sixths. He captained for a number of seasons and fondly remembers many a lengthy selection meeting with Colin James and Graeme Harris. In 1990/91 Peter Donaldson led the sixths to a flag, Peter’s only other flag, with a side including Col, the Edwards brothers, Ross Henkel, Robbie Legg and Paul Bradley. We only managed to finish in the four on percentage and in the most exciting game of cricket he remembers defeated Park Orchards firsts, who had not lost all season, at Mahoneys Reserve in front of a large, vocal crowd. They had set us about 260 odd to beat in about 60 overs and we passed them eight down (with “Jerka” a very nervous number eleven to come having batted only twice for the whole season) due to a great second wicket stand of 150 plus between Col and Chris Edwards. In the Grand Final we played our old mates Mitcham at Heatherdale and thanks mainly to some good batting by Col (again), Anthony Edwards and the skipper passed them seven down with Pete again nervously padded up.
In recent years, Pete has been a terrific supporter of the club, a regular Saturday afternoon supporter and the holder of the record of number of Cricket Trips away attended. No Trip Away is complete without Pete!
Tim played junior cricket with Nunawading in 1969/70 as a 14 year old under the guidance of the late Mick McLachlan down at Silver Grove and returned to play senior cricket in the early 80’s at Mahoneys Reserve.
During the past 20 years he has held a number of positions on the committee, but predominantly involved with the juniors originally in a coaching capacity and later as the Junior Section Manager, doing his apprenticeship under Bob Saker. He became the BHRDCA Junior Development Manager in 1990 and in 1991 joined the BHRDCA Executive, along with Trevor Hutchins, as Junior Section Manager but continued in my role as Jnr Development Manager. He remained in these roles until 2000.
Tim has continued to play cricket at Nunawading for the past 20 years and has been a member of 3 premiership sides U16 1969/70, A3 1987/88 and C2 1998/99.
Tim also served as Assistant Coach and Chairman of Selectors.
Tim believes cricket has been extremely kind to him as he has been the honoured recipient of the ” Joe Plant Award” ( Victorian Cricket Coaches Association – Coach of the Year 1994 ), Australian Sports Medal – Cricket – 2000, Nunawading Cricket Club – Life Member – 2000, and BHRDCA Life Member – 2001.
Tim sees Nunawading as a fantastic club – a “family club” and without doubt it’s greatest strength has been, in his time, the emphasis placed on its junior structure and personnel. This is highlighted by the numbers of talented players we have produced who have gone on to bigger and better things, David Saker and Andrew Kent to name a couple and the players we have retained in senior cricket over the years.
Apart from his Life Membership and the premiership wins, some of Tim’s individual highlights include :
* His only season in Shield One playing under Bill Saker at the tender age of 38
* That famous victory in the firsts Vs Vermont when Andy (Red) Taylor and Tim, with 9 wickets down, batted for 10 overs to score 12 runs. As we walked off the ground a kiss from Bill Saker was followed by the comment ” I was never concerned about either of you going out – just who would hit a four.” Tim left that to Red.
Finally, Tim says that he wished his cricket had been good enough to play more games with legends like John O’Sullivan, Keith Joyce, Trevor Hutchins and Bill Saker in their prime but have been privileged to play with some great characters and fierce competitors including Gary Saultry, Dean McBlane, David Cowell, David Longstaff Steve Minton and Greg Voutier, to name just a few.
David ( Cowley ) Cowell has been an enigmatic character of the Nunawading Cricket Club for over 40 years, his contribution both on and off the field has been enormous, holding a number of positions from President to Junior Coach as well as his love of Captaincy which he has also undertaken for many years from the 2nds to the 5ths.
David has a number of claims to fame both on and off the ground, but he does hold the rare title of being the oldest player to debut in the first eleven at the ripe old age of 40 a moment which we suspect is his fondest. David’s other claim is that he has been called several times for “chucking”, however this has never deterred him from bowling. There are a number of BHRDCA batsman out there who must say that they have been extremely unlucky to have been dismissed by Cowelly. David’s enthusiasm to make Nunawading the best cricket club in Victoria never seems to wain
He came to Nuna with John Macaulay as an U/16 in 1976/77 and played with Bill Saker, Andy Sach and Jeff Woolley. First senior season (77/78) was the first year of the new 5th XI (under Alan Haag who made 978 runs for the year) and we won the flag. The biggest memories of the year for David were in the first game of the season (when he actually opened the bowling). In the opening over of the game (8 ball overs) Ian Presnell took 3/8 in a 16 ball over (including 8 wides) and Jeff Woolley was given out for handling the ball. David’s contributions were modest.
One big highlight for David was being Vice Captain to Bob Saker one year (in the early 80s) in the 3rds. David really looked up to Bob.
In 81-82 he played 3rds all year only to be dropped for the Grand Final for Stu Hamilton who came in from the 2nds. Stu failed, but David, as 12th man, came on to the ground for 10 minutes when Roy Jackson had to go to the toilet. In that period he managed to secure a run out from the boundary which helped turn the game our way, as it broke a big partnership. We went on from there to win the game and David really felt like part of the team.
David made a ton as captain of the 5ths in 86-87 on the middle ground. Stu Hamilton and he put on 188 for the 3rd wicket. Next ton was in 1996-97 as captain of the 4ths where he made 100 in a partnership of 238 with Leigh Callander, who also made a ton. Final ton was in 2009-10 when, as captain of the 3rds, Dave made 110 in a team score of 6/496 cc in what was a very big win including Paul Harrison and Mal West also making tons.
David’s best season was in 97-98 where he ended up in the 5ths after an ordinary start to the season. The season turned around after Christmas when he made 250 more runs including two 90s. We won the Grand Final and David made 47, batting for most of the day, and took a wicket and a catch, finishing a great season for him.
David remembers the lowlights, which were narrowly losing semi finals and grand finals along the way, particularly against Mitcham. Perhaps the worst was in 03/04 playing in the 2nds when we made the finals and had a great win in the semi. David again batted for most of day one and made 47. We won the game vs. Eley Park in a tight finish and he says, was probably the best team win he has ever been involved in. Nuna went into the Grand Final vs. Box Hill North really pumped, but got rolled for 72 and the game was over on day one. He still remembers the terrible sinking feeling in the rooms after the game.
David has been on the committee for most of the last 25 years and had stints as Social Secretary, Treasurer, Secretary and President and was made a Life Member in 2001. He rates his committee highlight as the organising of the Team of the Century and associated dinner and the naming of the Bob Saker Oval and associated Legends Cricket match. Dave is also very proud of his efforts in re-starting the junior progam from scratch and managing it from inception to 5 teams plus Milo In2Cricket, with Friday (junior) nights at Nuna the biggest night of the cricket week by far.
Social highlights have been the 25+ trip aways he has been on, which have seen him spend time in hospital, in jail, playing nude golf, various antics on golf courses, fitting 16 blokes in Pong’s Mazda Capella at Corowa, the antics at the Cottage at Macambo in Corowa and the Globe in Albury (unprintable).
He also have fantastic memories of several trips to Merimbula in the 80s undertaken by up to 15 Nuna boys. David says that these were some of the best times of his life. Everyone loved it so much that on a 2 week trip, they would do the 7 hour drive straight after cricket, drive back for cricket the next Saturday and return to Merimbula straight after cricket again for the 2nd week.
David love the place and says that most of his life-long friends are mates from Nuna. His newer mates are all young blokes which helps keep him young and he says that every time he contemplates retirement, by the time October comes around he cant wait to get back into it.
Stuart Hamilton (or Stuey/Spud) went to school at Nunawading High, graduating in 1977. He began playing cricket in the Under 16’s at Heatherdale (1975) under the captaincy of Derek Clark. They won the flag undefeated, including “touching up Nunawading along the way”. In 1976, Stuey moved to Nuna as he could ride his bike to Mahoneys Reserve and more of his school mates were at Nuna, such as Jeff Woolley and Col Macwhirter. He went straight into the seniors and won flags in the 5ths (1978/79, under Kev Steele), 4ths (1979/80) and then 3rds (1980/1, under Bob Saker).
Stu played 2 games in the Firsts in the early 80’s, under Keith Joyce and Trevor Hutchins. Once, (in)famously at the time, he was promoted to the First XI after making a duck in the 2nds. One day, he put on 45 with Andy Sach for the opening stand, but Chris Harris scored a ton in the twos, so that was the end of it for him for awhile. A while !, Stu only played his next game in the First XI in 2008..a record span of 25 years !!.
Stu is mainly known as an opening batsman, his first century, under Bob Jenkin in the 4th XI, was in 1977 against Blackburn South High School. He opened the batting many times for Col James in the 2nds and used to infuriate Col continually playing flick shots (usually for 6) early in the innings.
In 2000/2001, Stu made 3 tons (21 years since the previous one). The first was 102 (before tea, almost entirely scored with flick shots over square leg) under Steve Minton. Amazingly, Stu got 5/27 that same game. He then scored 2 in a row under Dave Cowell in the 4ths (118 and 130).
In a semi-final in the early 80’s, Nuna 4ths were chasing 130 odd and Stu was involved in an opening partnership of 130 with Geoff ‘Crackles’ McCracken to win the game. Stu’s favourite innings however, is his last one (at the time of writing). Stu, at 47 years of age, was selected in the First XI for Round 11, 2007/08 after a great season in the 2nds. Stu opened the batting with captain coach Brad Vanderwert and put on 50 odd for the first wicket. Dave Stewart, perhaps the best bat in A1, was batting at 3 and Stu was still in when Dave came in to bat. Stu said to Dave …‘I can’t believe I would be waiting in the middle for you to come to the crease’. This was a moment of great pride for Stu who has always played where picked at Nuna and always aspired to play as high as he could.
Stu made 102 and took 5/37 in one game in 1979/80 in D2 as a 20 year old. He had to wait till 2000/2001 to score his next ton but he made up for the wait scoring 118*, 100 and 130. He played a game in the First XI in the early 1990s and then made his return to the side in 2008, approaching 50. Even in 2010/2011 when his mates were making runs in the lower grades, Stu put his hand up to play in the Ones where his club needed him. Good onya mate.
Off the field, Stu served on the committee as Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Social Secretary, General Committee, on and off for 15 years and was Association Delegate for three years (even when he wasn’t playing). He has run Trivia Nights, Poker Nights, Bunnings BBQs, Raffles, “Discos”, Karaoke Nights, golf days etc countless times and has organised many Trips Away.
Some of Stu’s ‘best ofs’ include:
– Best captain ever played with is Kevin Steele.
– Best bowler to watch was Russell Baird for his sheer speed.
– Best batsman to watch was Andrew Sach.
– Best Trip Away destination would be the last few at Albury (these days he can remember what he actually got up to).
– Best cricket memories are playing with Derek Clark, Jeff Woolley and David Cowell in the same team.
– Best social memories are the two weeks spent in Merimbula with a dozen Nunaboys each year for several years.
– Players he looked up to the most in his career are Kevin Steele, Mick McLachlan, Col James and George Dolan.
– Funniest characters ever at the club would be Jeff Woolley, Steve “Horrible” Hargraves and Bronson.
– Proud to be associated with the greatest club in the history of the Association.
Stu is also well known for his ‘devo-tion’ to cricket and somehow making his favourite band DEVO relevant to cricket. He, of course, has always has a Devo sticker on his cricket bat and is famous for ‘kicking’ on the field, particularly at milestone times or in his bowling run-up. Perhaps the best story of all these is the time when Stu entered the club social rooms after a game wearing the red Devo ‘energy dome’. He proceeded to then have a stand up argument with club stalwart and stickler for the rules Alan Jackson about not wearing hats in the social club. Stu’s view was that the energy dome was indeed not a hat, but an energy retaining structure…………which he needed to wear to replenish his energy levels to the correct balance after a long day playing cricket.
Away from cricket Stu is married to Mary and has two children, James and Emma. Most cricketers know his penchant for trivia, but perhaps would not know that he has appeared on Sale of the Century, Wheel of Fortune, Shafted (where he won $30,000) and “1 vs 100.”
Stu’s career at Nuna spans over 30 years, around 300 games and 6,000 runs. It is his contribution to the Club off the field however, that the Club recognised in awarding him Life Membership in 2007. It is his willingness to attend to any task, run countless functions, raise countless thousands of dollars, and be there when needed by his Club on countless occasions that makes Stu a legendary Nunawading cricketer.
It was on the 1997 Australian Ashes tour of England that it was first discussed that Paddy would only take on running the bar as long Dave would do the books
Almost 20 years later Dave is still running the finances of the social rooms and with wife Dianne they have cleaned the rooms for many years.
Dave has spent countless hours working for Nunawading and his contribution to the cricket club is invaluable.
Over this time over $450,000 in revenue as been generated.
On most weekends he is at Nuna on a Saturday mornings checking the if the rooms need to cleaned after Friday night Juniors & back in the afternoon helping out behind the bar. Back up on a Sunday morning to check the takings from the day before & how much cleaning needs to be done. Then up on Mondays & Fridays to clean.
Also Dave is Cricket Club representative on the Committee of Management for the Mahoneys Reserve Complex.
Dave only played one game for Nunawading in 1997/98 season.
Dave has always been a cricket follower & over his adult life always had various roles on sporting club committees. Cricket during the Summer & football in the Winter.
His cricket involvement goes back to the early 1960s when he ran & Captained his work side Centax (The Taxation Central Office was in Melbourne before it moved to Canberra) in the Saturday Morning Industrial Cricket Comp played at Faulkner Park in South Yarra. He captained their Premiership side in 1963/64. Centax also use to run biannual interstate sport carnivals throughout the 60s where represented Victoria in cricket. He got to play cricket matches on the Junction Oval & when in Tasmania on the North Hobart oval.
When Diana and David moved to Glen Waverley in 1970, Dave played at East Burwood from 1973 to 1983. He Captained the C1 1974/75 premiership side, had a highest score of 149 & best bowling figures of 9/48 from his slow/medium pacers.Also another feat was that he bowled 20 overs in a 40 over one day game. When asked why he bowled 20 overs, his reply was that he didn’t have any other bowlers he could trust.
In the 78/79 (year may not be correct) season he captained a game against Nunawading which a young Gary Saultry, Jeff Woolley & Glen Turner played in & was Club Champion in the 79/80 season.
Dave’s other passions are golf where he plays weekly in the Thursday comp at Riversdale golf club, following St.Kilda in the AFL, watching his youngest son who is still playing at Emmaus St.Leos & going to the races.
At present he has 2 grandchildren playing juniors & 4 grandchildren playing Milo cricket & with the great friendships he has made. Dave will be still involved up at Nunawading Cricket Club for while.
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Paul’s story at Nunawading is a great one. First and foremost, Paul is a legend and Life Member of the Blackburn Cricket Club. He was instrumental in the development of the junior program at Blackburn that has blossomed to be, arguably, amoungst the most successfull in Australia. Paul played at Blacburn for many years, his son, Paul jnr, is also a club legend and Paul is still a regular supporter and contrubutor to his home club.
It was in the early 90’s, when Paul moved into the local area that he became involved at Nuna. Almost from day 1, Paul would find himelf behind the bar, in the kitchen, serving drinks and afternoon tea, cleaning up and providing the type of off-field support that any club needs to be successful.
In 2005, Paul was part of a small group of volunteers who renovated the kitchen and bathroom from tired, old 70’s style to more modern and functional. He spent countless hours, hands-on in this effort.
Paul’s contribition to our club has been significant for over 20 years and it is great to be able to honour such a good bloke Life Membership and proof that one does not have to be a player to be pivotal part of a sporting club.
Paul is only the second non-player to ever be awarded Life Membership in our 90 year history and the Club is proud to be able to recognise the contribution of such a great club man as it is the contributions of great people such as Paul that often go unheralded.
Paul was awarded his Life Membership, fittingly, at Blackburn CC at the completion of the now annual Father-Son-Daughter game played for the Paul Callanan Cup on Feb 14, 2016.
Rodney has played cricket at Nunawading since 1980, and played over 300 games for the club in that period. He is bettered in this feat only by such club luminaries as John O’Sullivan, Colin James and Graham Harris. Barring injury, he has made himself available week in, week out for over 30 years.
Rod is best known as a cavalier batsman and solid wicket-keeper. He somewhat under-estimates his own ability and, with some more confidence, who knows how high up the grades he could have gone. He has a great eye and just needs to keep his head on occasions. Who can forget, however, the 1995-96 D1 Grand Final. Rod had a pretty good year both behind the stumps and with the bat. In the 120 over grand final, Nuna were in a reasonable position at 6/160 after 80 overs when Rod came to the crease. In somewhat uncharacteristic fashion, Rod batted out the remaining 40 overs to score 75 with a combination of patience and classic pulls and cuts to push the team score to 279. A target we defended easily. A grand performance in a grand final. There is also the less distinguished story about Rod having to leave the ground one day in a B2 match due to heat stroke. It was a bloody hot day and we were all struggling but poor old Rod had to go off. He summonsed the strength to return a few overs later but the boys remind him of this regularly.
Rod also played in an 8th XI Grand Final in 1985/86. In the semi, Nuna scored only 56 in both innings but Rod helped win the game by taking a sensational outfield catch to help dismiss Bulleen Temp 15 runs short for an outright win.
Rod’s career in stats is as follows:
307 games, 353 inning, 5576 runs at 18.5 including 1 century and 21 half centuries.
His bowling may surprise you: 490 overs, 85 maidens, 102 wickets at 16.5
Rod also scored 99 in a 6th match in 91/92 and won the batting average in that grade the following year. He also won the 5th XI batting averages in 1994/95 and 95/96.
Rodney has also served on the committee at Nunawading over the years, most notably as Treasurer and on the general committee. He also distinguished himself in the work he has done on updating the club’s statistics over recent years.
Rodney is a constant presence at the club, be that at training, or after the match. He is always there with his can of diet coke, and has been for over 30 years. While others are busy rushing off early, he is sitting there waiting patiently for the scores to be read out, congratulating those who achieved that day and reminding us of how unlucky he might of been on any particular day.
Rodney is old-school. He is a Nunawading Cricket Club person. He reveres the legends of Nunawading’s history. To Rod, the Col James Shield game against Blackburn is the one he wants to play in and win. This is the kind of attitude that shows us what he is made of, what flows through his veins. It is purple and gold.
Life Membership would be a fitting reward for someone who has spent so long and achieved so much at our club. Nunawading is a better club for it.
Rob Legg’s cricket career at Nunawading Cricket Club now includes games played over the last 5 decades. Debuting in 1979, Leggy has now played in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, 00’s and the10’s! Over the journey Rob has scored over 5000 runs, and from experience Rob is known for being extremely reliable and consistent. Robbie spent most of his Saturdays as an opening bat, but he found his niche in the middle order in more recent times. Rob has adapted his skills to every challenge that has presented itself. In recent times captains have taken to throwing the ball to Leggy at times to break partnerships. Another skill Leggy has adapted to along the way. It must be noted Leggy has been a wonderful fieldsman also. Often in the catching region Leggy has latched onto some of the best catches ever seen taken at Nunawading, often one-handed. Many a captain would set the field around Leggy in the gully.
Career Stats prior to start of season 2011-12:
Debut in 1979
304 games (5th all time)
12 x 50’s
1 x 100’s
High Score 110 not out
Right arm medium pace
64 wickets at 15
1 x 5 wicket haul
While Rob has been a solid performer on the field his nomination for Life Membership at Nunawading Cricket Club is more about what he represents. Anyone who has spent more than a fleeting season at the club will know Robbie Legg. Many young cricketers have played in teams with Robbie and been influenced by this great Nunawading identity. It’s hard not to be inspired when watching the grit and determination of Leggy on display, particularly with bat in hand.
Leggys one and only (unbeaten) ton was scored on the middle ground at Nuna in season 1990-91. Leggy is not and never was well known for his powerful hitting, however this ton was brought up with a towering 6. This 6 was not the biggest ever seen, but it was probably one of the most memorable. In true Nuna fashion it was brought up late in the day with a crowd standing on the balcony. They all rose as one as Leggy finished off what was to be one of the great highlights of his cricket career.
Rob won the 6th XI batting averages in 1994-95, a year in which he was also skipper. This was an achievement in itself but it must have been more special given that his father, Merv, won the bowling averages. In 1997-98, Rob won the 5th XI batting average.
There is another story about Leggy performing for Nuna in 1994, this time it was on a stage in Hawaii during a Nomads cricket tour. Perhaps Rob can explain exactly what he was doing ?
In a period in the club history where participation is at a low, stories like that of Robbie Legg are unheard of. Players like Robbie Legg should be rewarded with Life Membership not because it is owed, but because of the value of this award is not lost with Robbie Legg. Merv is a Life Member, so Rob understands the value and the pride of such an honour. The honour of Life Membership will grow with the induction of Robbie Legg. Leggy will probably say he’s not worthy, but this is the very trait that makes him worthy. Leggy believes the club owes him nothing, in fact that he owes the club a lot. Leggy is truly a Nuna legend.
In a little known fact Robbie Legg has been “the unlucky” player that was left out at selection for Grand Final sides more than once. But the great clubman Robbie is, he never made a big deal about it. He still turned up to support the team he’d contributed to all season, came to preseason and trotted out another consistent season the following year.
Robbie is often seen around the club, sipping a soft drink, telling and listening to the stories of what happened on the pitch that day. Leggy has always had equally as strong interest in what has been happening in the club both up the grades, down the grades and of course at a committee level. Robbie Legg is a “no fuss cricketer” however his contribution to Nunawading Cricket Club is something to fuss over.
Glen ‘Max’ Mackie is a legend of the Nunawading Cricket Club both on and off the field. Max is a colourful figure, again both on and off the field, who plays cricket aggressively and with a fierce intent to succeed. It is fair to say that this aggression has led to some interesting situations over the years, again both on and off the field.
On the field, Max has opened the bowling in whatever team he is selected in for over 20 years. He is well known for fiery bowling spells punctuated by the occasional full toss at the batsman’s head, always with an accompanying ‘sorry mate’, stump to stump bowling, LBW appeals, mostly successful, and stumps leaving their normal resting place after a Mackie inswinger. There have been physical altercations where, of course, Max was not at fault and many of the rest of the traits one would normally expect to see from an opening bowler have been displayed. The Mackie stare after he has beaten the bat, yet again, is a beauty.
As a batsman, Glen is also very aggressive. He possesses a great eye and an even better technique and plays one of the best cover drives one would see. He does have a tendency to try to smash the bowler out of the ground however and it is fair to say that keeping his head and taking his time to build an innings are not his strong points. Perhaps a highlight of Glen’s cricket was the One-Day XI Premiership this season where Glen, playing with many old mates, had a major role in delivering some much needed premiership success to our club.
Max has been a central figure off the field since he arrived. No social event would be the same without Maxie and he has entertained his many friends on countless occasions on events like cricket trips and golf days.
Max’s contributions to Nuna do not stop there however. He has been the ‘can do’ man pretty much since he first arrived at Nuna 23 years ago. When there is something broken, Max will fix it. Be it the air-conditioning, the fridge, the toilet, the oven, whenever something goes wrong, Max fixes it. This has often taken considerable amounts of his own time and expense. Glen was a key player in renovations carried out in the social rooms in 2005 which saw a new kitchen installed as well as improvements to the toilets. Glen is also the master of the spit-roast , the BBQ or the big catering event. On countless occasions, Glen has organised, purchased, cooked, served and cleaned up fantastic meals for his club mates. Glen has also helped behind the bar for many years and has often served up, cleaned up and closed up at social functions and external hirings. He has also audited the club’s financial accounts for many years.
Many of these times, Glen has had his fantastic wife Luisa right next to him helping our Club. Luisa’s contributions to the club must also be recognised. She has also been at Nuna for all this time, and has served both the senior and junior clubs with distinction for over 20 years. The culmination of this was a Best Clubman award two seasons ago, the first ever by a female at Nunawading, recognising not only her support for the junior club but for the senior club for so many years.
Glen and Luisa take great pride in their 3 sons, Ryan, Luke and Sam. As they started to reach cricket playing age, Glen stepped in again and ran the Milo In2Cricket Program, the breeding ground of future Nunawading Cricketers, for 5 years. Over 150 children have had the benefit of Glen’s tutelage over this time and many, including Ryan, are now wearing the purple cap in our junior competitive program. This is another great example of Glen’s selfless contribution to our Club. In fact he has helped ensure its future.
All of this represents truly great service to his club and his club mates. Life Membership of Nunawading Cricket Club is a fitting recognition of the contributions made by this great clubman.
Known as an agricultural batsman with the slog to cow corner his favourite shot, Paddy only bats one way and that is attacking. This means that it often doesn’t pay off but when it does it is very entertaining and often quick. Paddy’s batting leaves no one wondering what might have been and has an unfortunate habit of getting out in the 80’s.
Paddy gets the balance right, much to the selectors’ disdain as, in the warmer months he likes to head to the races with his Dad and off on weekends to Warrnambool or any other places where there are horses racing. He is well known amongst the older players for organising trip away t-shirts and had a hand in the allocation of nicknames to be embroidered onto those shirts. Often the owner of the nickname would have difficulty explaining the origin of it to his wife or girlfriend.
But by far and away Paddy’s biggest contribution to the Club has been in his services off the field. Paddy has served continuously on the committee since 1995/96 when he joined as Social Secretary and, with the significant help of his Dad Dave, has run the bar in the social rooms since 1997. This has included weekly tasks such as buying stock, delivering it to the club, carrying it upstairs and storing behind the bar. These tasks were often done by himself and whilst others are training or not even at the club. In addition to that, Paddy has sat behind the bar on many many nights, serving others. This often includes staying back very late. When everyone else simply goes home when they want to, Paddy is most often the last one there, cleaning up, vacuuming, taking rubbish out, sorting out the bar takings and closing the rooms. This is all at the expense of: a) his wife and children who would much rather him at home and; b) his own enjoyment as he is stuck behind the bar whilst we all have fun and come and go as we please. This has, in recent years, extended into Friday nights as Paddy always runs the bar for our Junior post match drinks and is always the last to leave.
The services of his father Dave to the Club must also be recognised at this time. Dave has single handedly run the finances of the social rooms for almost 20 years as well as running the bar with Paddy and he and his wife Dianna have cleaned the rooms for many years. Dave has spent countless hours working for Nuna and will, no doubt, soon be similarly recognised. Dave’s contribution to Nunawading is profound. In the time that Paddy and Dave have run the bar, over $400,000 revenue has been generated !
Paddy’s interests have been further extended in recent years with the addition of Jacob and Isla to the family unit run by he and Lara. Lara has been exceptionally understanding and accepting of the importance belonging to a sporting community holds for Paddy and lets their children share the experience. In particular, their son Jacob wears the purple and gold with pride and has had a couple of years of competitive cricket under his belt at the age of 9. Scribes are predicting that Jacob will, by far, exceed the sporting talents of his father, and we are sure Paddy will enjoy seeing that as he takes great pride in seeing his son play for Nuna.
The Social Rooms are the life and soul of our club culturally, socially and financially. Mateships are formed and enhanced, stories are told, successes are celebrated, failures are explained and accepted and the Nunawading inclusive community spirit across both junior and senior clubs is cultivated. Without Paddy, none of this would be possible. In his Dad’s words, Pat doesn’t look for accolades, but is extremely reliable, goes about his business with a minimum of fuss and always gets the job done. So Paddy, we say thank you, well done mate and cheers, you are now a Life Member of the Nunawading Cricket Club.
First season: 1989
189 games, 113 wickets @ 26, 4 x 5 wickets, 3323 runs, 1 ton, 15 x 50’s, HS 105 in 2001/02
7th XI Batting 1993/94, 5th XI Bowling 2002/03, 4th XI Batting 2007/08, 4th XI Batting 2009/10
4th XI Batting 2001/12
Derek first played for Nunawading in 1980 and was part of the last Shield Grade Premiership in 1983/84, alongside NCC luminaries such as John O’Sullivan and Keith Joyce (also a young David Saker). Derek also won the batting average in Shield grade in 82/83.
He played until 1993, before work took him to Thailand for 8 years, where he met his wife Pupae. Derek returned with his family in 2000 and has been one of our outstanding performers since then.
The raw numbers of Derek’s playing career as at Dec31 2016 are as follows:
He had played 288 games and has the following stats:
Batting: 308 innings, 41 not outs, 5156 @ 19.31
Bowling: 1801.2 overs, 351 overs, 300 wickets @ 17.74.
The raw figures don’t do justice to the fiercely competitive nature Derek brings to every contest. He is regularly called on by his captains to bowl at least 20 overs straight as they know every ball will be delivered on an immaculate line and length. When added to his subtle changes of pace, his ability to work out a batsman’s weaknesses and his non compromising achievement of the high standards he sets for himself, he is the first option every time when an example needs to be set.
As a batsman Derek never gives his wicket away. You can tell by the repeated smashing of his bat on the pitch as the bowler runs in that he is intensely focused on each ball. You know that if the team is in trouble that Derek will always be up for the fight. He has batted from opener down to no 8 as will always do what the team requires. Derek’s contribution in the winning C Grade premiership typifies his contribution. He opened the batting on the first day and got us off to a solid start which set the platform for our winning score. Then on the second day he opened the bowling to two left handers which threw them off their usual game. His tight bowling set the standards for our juniors who followed his example of sustained pressure and they bowled us to a famous victory. No doubt he would have been proudest of the fact that he shared the premiership with his son who also made a significant contribution to the win.
Derek has been a great example to our upcoming juniors both in how to play the game and also how to politely sledge. He has upset many a team by incorrectly calling them by a different name. So for example he will say let’s get the first Blackburn South wicket when we are playing Blackburn North. The competition’s biggest sledger said Derek had outdone him when he came up with that recently.
He is also invaluable in teaching the rules of the game. He often points out that if the batsmen misses the ball and it hits the stumps then it is out, “that is the rule”.
One memorable moment was when Derek had not finished his cup of tea at the break, so he took the cup AND saucer onto the ground and continued to drink it between balls whilst fielding at first slip !
This season, he has shown that he still has what it takes. Up until the Christmas break Derek is averaging 30 with the bat and take 14 wickets, including a 6 wicket haul in the 2nds just recently.
Besides his playing contribution, he has served on the committee for several years including 3 years as treasurer. He continues to help the club though not on committee by controlling our ordering and selling of playing stock. He also has been a part of the group that has resurrected our junior program over several years to the point where it is now thriving.
In summary, Derek typifies the desire to win, playing skill and contribution to the running of the club off the field that so many of our life members have done in the past and is worthy of having that honour bestowed on him.
Kevin Rose’Meyer is the latest true Nuna legend the club would like to bestow Life Membership upon. Kev has been at Nuna since around 1987 and he has played over 250 games.
He has a passion for excellence when playing cricket and when in a club administration capacity that is not matched by many. As a cricketer, Kev is a cocky, some may say arrogant batsman, who has no respect for bowlers. He loves playing cover drives, cuts and pulls and scores quickly. Kev is great to watch and, when the side is 2 for not many, it is always Kev who leads the recovery by, first batting till tea then batting to a big score and team success. Very recently a few of us were privileged to watch Kev score 192. He came in at a typical 2 for not many and confidently strode to 100. We all thought that would be it and that a sky ball would soon follow but, not Kev found the energy to get to 150 then again to almost 200. It was amazing to watch. All the time, cover drives, cuts and pulls. Kev scores big and scores often…and he expects to …arrogance in a batsman is a key to success and Kev has been very successful !
Kev loves helping the next generation of Nuna senior cricketers and has taken a nurturing role as skipper of the Third XI where we works with our young talent, giving them opportunities, advice and guidance as they transition to senior cricket. Many a young player has been deliberately placed in Kev’s team just for the nurturing.
Off the field, Kev is a terrific club administrator. He has a great eye for detail and this is where his passion for excellence shines. He has been Club Secretary for the last 8 years and has spent countless hours at club and association meetings, keeping MyCricket up to date (a big job) and managing clearances and permits etc. Kev has also been on the BHRDCA tribunal for several seasons just to ensure that Nuna is doing it’s bit for the association. More recently, Kev’s dulcet tones have been often heard on the Corden, the BHRDCA local radio program, again promoting Nuna.
Whenever Kev speaks, it is always about what he and we can do for the Club. His loyalty to Nuna is amazing and he has been in a senior club leadership role all through our recent rejuvenation and is one of the reasons for our returning to be one of the better and stronger clubs in the completion.
Some might compare Kev with the great Bob Saker. A fierce and determined batsman who speaks his mind, plays the game hard and also a great slip fielder. Kev takes the most amazing catches, seemingly without moving.
Life Membership is a fitting recognition for a man who has dedicated so much of his personal time to those he shares the field with at Nunawading Cricket Club.
Gary Saultry played at Nunawading from 1982 – 2004.
His career statistics are 221 games played. He bowled 3255 overs, 737 maidens, took 518 wickets at an average of 16.1 and took 16 wickets 5 times.
He batted 222 times with 53 not outs for an aggregate of 3525 at 20.9 with 13 50s and a top score of 78.
Gary was a highly competitive all rounder who bowled left arm inswing. No matter how old the ball was, Saults could get it to move all day. He was the ultimate professional who knew his limitations and bowled consistent line and length all day. Every run was earned against Gary. He had a lightning arm in the field from his many years of playing baseball. Those baseball skills served him well when he batted. He generally batted between 7 – 9 in the order and always put a price on his wicket. He would keep the good balls out but if you bowled short to him the ball would disappear with a baseball swing through mid wicket.
Gary was the ultimate competitor and club man. He spend many years assisting with coaching junior teams. A former president Matthew Joyce wrote fondly of being coached by Gary in the juniors. He put up his hand to captain sides for close to a decade and was premiership captain of the seconds when it won the flag in 99/ 00. Gary set the example in the close semi final bowling when he had pulled his hamstring the week before and pulling off a blinding catch. By the time he left the club he had reached a standard that he was winning both batting and bowling averages. He also served on the committee for many years doing the roles of junior section manager, social secretary, bar manager and doing whatever he could to better the club, Gary had the force of personality to engage with every member of Nunawading and was interested in every team’s performance. He is the sort of person that unites a club and encourages others to be part of such a positive environment. Gary had 4 boys who played juniors close to his home in the Ferntree Gully association and so we unfortunately lost a huge contributor to the playing success and social fabric of the club. It is an opportune time to recognize his contribution and nominate him for life membership.
2015 -16 was a golden season for Nunawading with 3 senior and 1 junior premiership being the culmination of years of hard work. As the club got stronger in the years leading up to this season, the committee had time to recognize the contribution of its servants who helped the club survive and then thrive. There have been 6 life members added in the last 4 seasons. However some players who have made equally important contributions were not recognized as survival was the priority. This is an opportunity to give due recognition to someone who has made a massive contribution to our club but has been overlooked as he has since retired from playing.
Tim Sproule epitomises the values of many of our life members. Tim played all his junior cricket at our club and graduated through to senior ranks. It would be fair to say that Tim was an honest junior cricketer with his highlight in junior ranks being the tailender that saw Glenn Turner through to a century in a grand final. He loved his cricket however and was always the hardest trainer in the nets working on his bowling craft and ensuring he never gave his wicket away when he batted. Tim was the fiercest of competitors and always gave his all in every game. Tim graduated to be the captain of the thirds for many seasons in the 90s and early 2000s. His passion for the game was always evident and every toss he won was followed by a comment that it was a good day to bowl. He bowled off spin which never spun and would frequently get wickets with batsmen playing for turn that never eventuated. He was also a determined bat who had to be bowled out. He wasn’t what you called pretty but he was effective. He also was a very slips fielder with safe hands. Tim made his living from working outdoors and paid a penalty with a very bad back which he carried throughout his career but never stopped him from giving 100%. Tim played senior cricket from 1982 – 2004 and then played closer to home in Emerald.
By 2011 the club was struggling badly and Tim returned to the club to assist it in a time of need. He played for two seasons in the firsts from 2011 /12 – 2012/13 including being captain for the last season. Many of the first players commented at the end of the season that it was his spirit that held the team together in hard times. By then Tim’s back was gone and he had to retire after a long playing career
His senior playing record from 1982 – 2004 and 2010 -2013 is as follows:
Played: 203 games:
Not out : 38
Runs: 3361 at 19.09 with 13 50s, 2 100s and a highest score of 101 no.
Bowling: 2147.3 overs, 401 maidens, 293 wickets, 6501 runs at an average of 22.18 and 7 five fors.
On top of his playing career, Tim put in many hours contributing to the club as a coach of junior teams, many years in the committee including being the club president (years?). He served on the committee again in his final two years before retirement. For his 6 years in the junior club, 26 years of passionate representation of the purple and gold on the playing field and extensive contribution on the committee we nominate Tim Sproule for Life membership of the Nunawading Cricket Club.
Scottie commenced at Nuna in 1992/93. His stats are as follows:
Games: 316 as at end 2019-20
Runs: Over 5000
Fifties: 30. Highest Score , 110
Overs: Over 1000, 130 wickets @ 22. Best bowling 3/3
In the 28 years since 1992, there are a total of ~ 280 home and away games played. Scottie has played in almost every one of those plus finals, the highlights being:
- 1-day Premiership in 2013/14 (490 runs @ 69, 15 wickets in 14 games)
- C Grade Premiership (Captain) 2015/16 (243 runs @ 22 in 14 games)
Scottie has captained sides many times and has been a club on-field leader for the last 10 – 15 years
On pure stats alone, this is a fantastic contribution to the cricket club.
Off the field, Scottie’s contributions to the club include:
- Regular carpentry work including kitchen upgrade in 2005, bar upgrade in 2013 and social rooms upgrade in 2017. This was all at no cost to the club and involved many hours of design and build work for a complete kitchen renovation, a bar uplift and general room improvements
- Junior Manager for one season
- Junior Coach for approximately 6 seasons
- Committee member for several seasons
Scottie has always been extremely pro-active in supporting club initiatives and continually works with other senior club representatives to ensure the club is heading in the right direction both on and off the field.
Jeff joined Nuna CC as a 12 year old in 1973 when the Club was still located at Silver Grove Nunawading, our original home. He played four seasons in the Juniors and was at Nuna when we moved to Mahoneys Reserve in 1975. Jeff remembers playing some senior games at Silver Grove.
Following 4 junior seasons and over 50 games, one of which was a premiership, Jeff moved to Senior cricket in 1977/78. He fell under the tutelage of Alan Haag as the club fielded a 5th XI for the first time and they won the premiership with some old hands and lots of kids. Jeff made 50 in the semi final as a 16 year old and was also given out handled-ball that season. He also won a premiership the next season under club-great Kevin Steele which is his favourite cricket memory. From 1979-83, Jeff was a junior coach, coaching the same group of boys for four seasons as they moved from Under 12s to Under 16s.
Jeff works in retail and it was in 1985, after 12 years at Nuna, that Jeff was transferred to regional Victoria for various roles and had 20 years not playing. He was still a club supporter and would be present whenever in town and he continued to support the club by donating prizes for our raffles in these years. He returned in 2005 and has played almost every game since.
His senior record is 250 games, 4270 runs at 18, 14 50s, 2 hundreds and 5 batting averages. Jeff is a wicket keeper and has kept in the vast majority of these games. Adding his junior games, his tally of games for Nuna is over 300.
Off the field, Jeff was on the committee in the early 80s and then again for a couple of years from 2010 and has been a very strong supporter of club fundraisers all this time. He often helped out behind the bar in his early years and we have all enjoyed Jeff as MC of several presentation nights.
Jeff has captained teams, often filling-in in difficult circumstances and with teams that have been hard to captain, and he rarely misses a game. In 2020-21 he played a game with an injury that ended up being a ruptured achilles but he was back for R1 the following season.
Jeff is a great Nunawading personality and generator of much humour and tall-story telling. Whenever he is around, people are laughing, and the place is a much better one for his presence. Accordingly, Life Membership is a fitting reward for someone who has done so much for his club over such a long time.
Scott joined Nuna CC as a 12 year old in 1973 when the Club was still located at Silver Grove Nunawading, our original home. He was school friends with several boys who were also playing at Nuna in those times, many of whom played long and distinguished careers.
Scott played 4 junior seasons and was at the Club when we moved to Mahoneys Reserve in 1975 and then moved into the seniors in 1978-79. He quickly moved up the grades as a medium pace in-swing bowler and spent most of his formative years in the Second XI, although he has played in every grade at Nuna, from the First XI to the Eighth XI. He was a great ‘death’ bowler and was often relied upon to get wickets or keep runs down at critical stages.
Scott was, and still is, a reliable batsman, initially a middle-lower order bowling all-rounder but, more recently he has changed from a bowling all-rounder to a batting all-rounder.
In addition to around 50 games in our juniors, in two stints, 1979 to 2001 and 2017 till -now, Scott has played 237 senior games, totaling close to 300 games for Nuna. He has made over 4500 runs @ 22 including 13 50s and 5 centuries with a top score of 168 and taken 350 wickets @ 17 and 7 five-wicket hauls. Prior to focusing on raising his 3 daughters, Scott did not miss a game for 17 seasons. His personal highlight is batting all day in a second XI Grand Final in 1986-87 with his mentor, Col James. Scott made 87 and we won the premiership after being 7 for not many. The following season, 87-88, Scott won the First XI bowling averages.
Scott has also served the club off the field. He was on the committee for many years in the 80s and 90s and filled the role of Assistant Secretary and Club Delegate for several years. He coached junior teams and was always around to assist whenever a hand was needed at any time.
Fast forward to 2017 when Scott returned to the Club. Despite his love for the Club, Scott has 3 autistic daughters and they required his full attention. Now older and more independent, Scott was able to return to his club and resume pretty much where he left off. He has been Assistant Coach of the Under 18s and Under 16s in recent seasons as well as resuming his spot on the committee, in the same roles he had before. Leading into season 21-22, Scott is Chairman of Selectors and Practice Captain as well as delegate and, again, always there to help. He is also well known for driving his mates home after they have had a few drinks which is very selfless.
Scott has been part of our club for almost 50 years and it is appropriate that he is recognized with Life Membership.