NSWCA Team Visit – F Coffeys Oustanding Double

///NSWCA Team Visit – F Coffeys Oustanding Double
NSWCA Team Visit – F Coffeys Oustanding Double2017-05-21T15:42:07+00:00

In the 1937-38 season opened with a pre-season I fixture played on the Maitland Showground on September 4 1937 against a strong NSWCA team that included internationals Stan McCabe, Bert Oldfield, Bill O'Reilly and Arthur Chipperfield - as well as a number of players that were at the start of promising careers Sid Barnes, Colin McCool and VIC Jackson.

The Hunter River players in the local side were J Wingrove, J Drane, F Coffey, E Kent, Roy Allen, W McLaughlan, A Hatcher, R Macmillan and M Hinman. Two invited players were E Stanton from Singleton and R Holmes from Newcastle.

The match was a triumph for Hunter River's slow bowlers Ross Macmillan, who took 6 for 38 off 14.1 overs, and Mick Hinman with 4 for 74. The NSWCA team was dismissed for 168, but the local batting was disappointing making only 88 and 2-44 in their two innings.

In the local A grade competition Frank Coffey (Marist Bros.) showed outstanding form with bat and ball. He emulated Gordon Bell's 1930-31 performance by recording the remarkable double of scoring 500 runs and taking 50 wickets in a season. His figures were 512 runs at an average of 39.35 and 54 wickets at 10.94.

There were a number of other outstanding performances in A grade. Harold Hatcher (Branxton) headed the batting aggregate and averages with 621 runs at 56.45, including two centuries and the highest individual score of the season - 174 against Paterson. Ross Macmillan (Robins) almost achieved the double, scoring 507 runs and taking 47 wickets. Mick Hinman(Robins) was the leading wicket-taker with 65, and J Patfield (East Maitland) took 52 wickets.

The A grade competition was won by Robins, which suffered only one defeat during the season. For the third year in succession Weston finished runners-up in the competition. Towards the end of the season Weston was strengthened by the return to Maitland cricket of Clem Hill, the former State left arm bowler. Paterson, which had done well in reserve grade, was a new entry in the A grade competition, and East Maitland returned after an absence of two seasons.

After a lapse the previous season, the C grade competition was resumed, but three of the seven entires later withdrew. The Under 20 competition was abandoned when no entries were received.

With a number of trophies being won outright, there was a re-allocation of trophies for the various competitions. WC Caines donated a trophy to replace the O'Hearn Cup for A grade runners-up, which was won outright by Weston; Tooth & Co. donated the Tooth Sheaf Stout Cup to replace the McLennan Cup for A Reserve grade runners-up, which was won outright by Branxton; A Howarth MLA donated a new trophy to replace the Howarth Cup for A Reserve grade premiers, which was won outright by Paterson; and Johnston's Boot Store donated a new trophy to replace the Johnston No. 2 Shield for C grade, which was won out-light by Mulbring.

A trophy of two guineas donated by Mrs V Grey of East Maitland for the A grade team securing the most catches was won by Marist Brothers. A Terry of Carrington also donated five cups for the most entertaining innings in each grade and these were won by H Hatcher (Branxton), C Johnston (Northern Division), J Wilkinson), L Manners(Northern Division) and V Fitzpatrick (East Maitland).

The Association was not represented at Country Week. Because of financial difficulties, the Association was unable to make funds available towards expenses of players, and only 8 out of 26 provisionally selected players were prepared to pay their own expenses.

As part of Maitland's celebrations for Australia's 150th Anniversary, a mid-week match was played in February 1938 against the Singleton Association. At Easter a match was played against the Newcastle C & S Association.

Towards the end of the season W McLennan, the Association President resigned following his transfer to Lithgow. During his ten year period of involvement with the Association, he had held a variety of official positions, including those of Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President and President.

At the Annual Meeting Bob Robertson, the newly elected President again referred to the adverse effect of SP betting. He deplored the spectacle of "players running off the field and asking 'What won this or that race? What was its price?' " and recommended that clubs should drop these players "until they could take cricket to heart".