A highlight of the 1963-64 season was the visit of the NSW Shield team to Maitland as part of the city's Centenary Celebrations of Local Government.
The Shield team was captained by Richie Benaud and included R Simpson, B Booth, D Ford, T Lee, J Martin, F Misson, N O'Neill, P Philpott, G Rorke, G Thomas and D Walters.
The Hunter Valley team was Ray Allen (capt.), C Elliott, J Cox, D Rutherford (Maitland); J Morris, B Muddle, S Shelton (Dungog); G Whatham, J Varnum (Singleton); S Murrell (Cessnock), G Lammi, G Moir (Gosford).
In the two day match at Maitland Sportsground on October 22 and 23 1963, Hunter Valley was dismissed for 139, with Colin Elliott scoring a hard hitting 85 that included 17 fours and 2 sixes. Benaud was the main destroyer taking 7 for 13 off 5.5 overs. In reply, NSW made 469 with Philpott and Simpson scoring centuries. Dave Rutherford had a marathon spell of bowling
taking 5-122 off 27 overs.
In the local competition, a record 54 teams entered the competitions with the registration of players reaching 1328.
Combined City broke the stranglehold that Northern District and Eastern Suburbs had held on the first-grade premiership for the previous five seasons. After an early slump, Combined City finished strongly to win the premiership on averages from Northern District.
The season was the leading first grade wicket taker with 68 wickets. Mike Robbins, a left-hander with Weston Kurri, was another bowler to reach SO wickets for the season. Mick Hinman (Combined City) showed some of his old forms by taking SO wickets.
In second grade Neville Harman of Lochinvar created a record by scoring three consecutive centuries. He scored another later in the season to take his aggregate to 74S runs.
Rayoneers, a new club entry from the Cortaulds factory near Raymond Terrace, had a "first-up" success by winning the third-grade division 1 premiership and final.
Maitland returned to form in representative matches to regain the John Bull Shield and the Coal Board Cup, and to win the Junior John Bull Shield. In JBS matches Dave Rutherford took a remarkable 41 wickets, to bring his combined total in competition and representative matches for the season to 149. Doug Rawling, a determined opening batsman with the Northern District Club, topped the John Bull Shield aggregate with 29.5 runs and scored his first century in representative cricket.
In a departure from precedent, a combined Newcastle/Hunter Valley team played the touring South Africans at Newcastle. Col Elliott and Dave Rutherford were Maitland representatives in the team. Rutherford had another impressive bowling performance with S for 128 from 33 overs.
Combined City was considerably strengthened by the transfer of the Elliott twins from Northern District. Together with players such as Max Callaghan, Peter and Mick Hinman, Frank Kent, Trevor Deamer, Geoff Mitchell and Noel McKinnon, Combined City had a strong line-up.
However, Northern District was successful in the final, defeating Combined City by 80 runs on the first innings. To some extent, the loss of the Elliotts had been offset by Northern District's gain of Warren Trappel and John Cox from Newcastle clubs and by the improvement in the form shown by a promising youngster, Glenn Brooker.
Terry Finch, who had transferred from Eastern Suburbs to Black Hill headed the first-grade batting aggregate with 648 runs. The averages were headed by Allan Elliott who scored 597 runs at 49.7.
In one match against Western Suburbs at Coronation, Allan Elliott figured in a record-breaking partnership with Peter Hinman when they scored 268 for Combined City for the fourth wicket in just over 180 minutes. This broke by one run the previous record of 267 set by C Cornell and 1 Newton for Morpeth in the 1932-33 season. Elliott scored 169 and Hinman was out for 99.
In another match against his former club Northern District, Allan Elliott posted 162 in a hard-hitting inning.
Col Elliott was a surprise omission from the State Colt team but was later selected for Combined Country, while Rutherford was chosen for Northern SW Country.
Allan Elliott toured Tasmania with the Emu Colts team. Col Elliott was also selected but withdrew because of the clash with the South African fixture. Geoff Mitchell, a promising batsman with Combined City, was chosen for the Country Boys Coaching Cia.
Life Member hip was conferred by the Association on Col Johnston and Bob Brown. Col had been involved with the Asociation on the Board of Management since 1936 and had been President since 1955, while Bob had been an Ice-President since 1945.
Hill and was based on an earlier competition held in Sutherland in Sydney. Played on the five Maitland Park wickets, the competition attracted 104 entries from Maitland, Newcastle and Sydney. The prize money of £50 was won by Ray Allen on a count back from Colin Elliott after both were dismissed LBW for 7 runs.
Another innovation was the introduction by the Association of a primary schools competition. The competition was begun with the help of the Maitland PSAM and matches were played at Cricketers Park on Saturday mornings. Six teams entered the initial competition which was won by Telarah. Over the succeeding years, the competition was to provide another stepping stone for the development of young cricketers and was to supplement the work of the Junior Association. In 1976 the competition was run by the Maitland Primary Schools Association which was later to merge with the Junior Association in 1982- 83.
Some of the teachers who were closely associated with the organisation of the primary school competition were Kevin Ford, Ian Wilson, Allan Wickham, Lloyd Crockett, Noel Colley, Trevor Black, Allan Lee and Michael Halbert.
At the end of January 1965, the senior Association conducted its own coaching class for Under 21 players, with Peter Philpott as chief coach. The players who attended the class included some of Maitland's emerging players - Jeff Crittenden, Trevor Holden, Robert Robilliard, Paul Moore, Bogden Duma, Trevor Mann, Kevin Hill, Henry Szatan, Tom Bailey, John Lane, Steve Griffiths and Neil Hanley. These coaching classes were to be held annually for a number of seasons with Jack Walsh later taking over as coach.
In the local competition, Police Boys amalgamated with Woodville and entered first grade. One player with Police Boys was a former Camden cricketer, Jack