End of the Albion Club

End of the Albion Club 2017-05-07T16:59:32+00:00

The final rites on the demise of the Albion Club were carried out during the 1905-06 season. The club officially disbanded and in a generous gesture handed over its remaining funds (£8.12s.), plant and material to the Association. And so a famous club with a proud record in early Maitland cricket passed into history.

Despite early fears, the Association was able to obtain a further lease of the Albion ground from the HRA & H Association at a rental first of all of 5- per week and later at a revised rent of £25 a year. A lease was also arranged for a second wicket on the Parade Oval, next to the Albion ground.

There were difficulties, however, with the Pearl ground at the Park where the Association had put down a new wicket the previous season. The Borough Council took over control of the ground and imposed a charge for its use. As a result no matches, except for a couple at the start of the season, were played on the Pearl ground. An irate correspondent under the pen name of "Ink-Singer" wrote to the Mercury berating the Council for its "niggardly action" in charging cricketers and other sportsmen for use of the "People's Park" and in taking over the pavilion without any compensation.

There were ominous signs that the local competition was running into trouble again. At the Annual Meeting it was reported that a senior competition with 5 teams and a junior competition with 9 teams had been conducted, but it was "regrettable to state that players especially in the senior division showed a considerable lack of interest" and that there were some disputes between competing clubs.

The senior competition was won by Western Division which was undefeated in its six matches - a relatively small number for an entire season. Leon Moore was no doubt a large part of the club's success, scoring 533 runs at an average of 76.14.

Leon Moore also distinguished himself in a Country Week match in Sydney where a Hunter River DCA team played Waverley, the premier club of Sydney at the time. He scored 262 not out (3 fives and 31 fours) in the total of 6 for 462. Felton Norrie also played "bright cricket" to score 103 not out. Waverley were 6 for 172 when the match concluded. The Annual Report noted with disappointment and disillusionment that despite
this performance not one HRDCA player was selected to play in the trial matches which took place the following week. It questioned whether the NSWCA was "serious in its efforts to foster country cricket or country cricketers".

In the regular match against Richardson's Metropolitan team at Christmas, the locals also posted a high total by scoring 454 to the Sydney team's 265. Edgar Waddy, who at the time was playing in the Newcastle competition, scored 163 and was given strong support from Leon Moore with 60 and Harry Harden with 55.

Further close links were established with neighboring districts, with two matches against Singleton and one against Upper Hunter