Marist Brothers Success

Marist Brothers Success2017-05-21T15:34:16+00:00

In the 1934-35 season Marist Brothers Club won their second A grade premiership since entering the competition in 1920-21. The club had a strong lineup with players such as the Coffey brothers (Frank, Bert and Ted), VIC Wright, Jack Drane, Jack Erskine, Jack Hartigan and Johnny Cornell. Their main strike bowler was Frank Coffey who took 52 wickets for the season.

Morpeth and Northern Division No. 2 dropped out of A grade, while East Maitland, which had been reconstituted as the East Maitland District Cricket Club returned after an absence of two seasons. East Maitland was to prove a force during the season with J and H Patfield transferring from Northern, Aub Sessions from Robins, and Laurie Ward, who had previously played with Waverley and the Southern Districts, joining the club. Laurie Ward, who was also captain coach of the Morpeth/East Maitland Rugby League Club, showed his versatility by heading the district batting aggregate with 734 runs, including three centuries. J Patfield, a slow bowler, headed the district bowling aggregate with 73 wickets at an average of 13.27 and created a record by taking 50 wickets before Christmas, including 9-50 against Louth Park and 9-59 against Branxton.

Other outstanding performances in A grade were those of Les McPherson of Robins No. 1 who returned to form with an aggregate of 636 runs, including three centuries, and created a record by scoring 500 runs before Christmas; and R Turnbull, his club mate, who scored 553 runs.

Mick Hinman was only available for four matches because of injury and work commitments but he still took 31 wickets at an average of 9.61.

Col Johnston was another youngster who continued to show promise. After he scored a fine 97 against Louth Park A grade, the Mercury reported: "Nothing better has been seen from this boy's bat; his runs coming from shots all round the wicket". Earlier at a Schools' Week Carnival in Sydney, organised by the NSWCA, Col scored an impressive 101 and 70 and won the award for "Best of the Week" - a week's coaching at
the SCG under George Garnsey.

Louth Park A grade saw another of those family combinations with four brothers - Eddie, Bert, Don and Jack Denny - all playing in the same team.

There were a number of excellent performances in the lower grades. In A Reserve grade M Gill (Brunkerville) scored 938 runs; in B grade RJ Clifford (Beresfield) had a fine double with 829 runs and 59 wickets; in C grade J Osborne (Paterson) made 777 runs and C Lake (East Greta) took 93 wickets.

Two new clubs to affiliate were Excelsior and Pender Bros..

Under a new rule whereby any team forfeiting twice was automatically put out of the competition, six teams were disqualified and two others withdrew before the end of the season.

The Northern Country Week Carnival was played at Newcastle over four days from December 26-29 1934. North West replaced Upper North Coast. Newcastle was successful, finishing on top of the points table and winning back the John Bull Shield. Best performances in the Hunter River team were by Perc Maher and Frank Coffey who took 12 and 11 wickets respectively. However, concern was again expressed by local officials about the unavailability of leading players for the Carnival.

At the end of the season the Municipal Council began work on the relocation of turf wickets at the Park, leading to much discussion at the Annual Meeting about the quality of soil being used. Work was also under way in converting the old river channel into a Sportsground, with much of the labour being provided under a Depression work relief scheme.

In an unusual variation to the end-of-season social, Branxton Club organised a "moonlight dance" under lights on its turf wicket on the local park. The Mercury reported that "the wicket was rolled out as hard as any dance floor". However one would be inclined to believe that the curator must have been a very understanding soul or else had left town!

Cricket followers were saddened by the death of two local cricket veterans - Leon Moore and Bob Lindsay whose outstanding careers extended back to the days of the old Pearl and Albion clubs. The friends of Leon Moore (who was still playing A grade cricket with Robins right up to the season before his death) offered to donate a shield to the Association to perpetuate his memory. The shield became known as the "Leon Moore Memorial Shield" and at first was awarded for the B grade runners-up to replace the Simmons Cup which was won outight by Mulbring.