Western Suburbs First Grade Premiers

///Western Suburbs First Grade Premiers
Western Suburbs First Grade Premiers2018-07-24T02:26:48+00:00

After a number of lean seasons, Western Suburb in the 1969-70 season broke the grip of Northern Districts and Eastern Suburbs on the first grade premiership by winning the title for the first time since 1957-58.

The Western Suburbs team was captained by Allan Elliott who led the way with a batting aggregate of 604 runs. The team included a number of youngsters - Geoff Donald, Gary Harley, Wayne Kerry and Glen Preston - and was strengthened by the return of Joe French, who had been appointed to Kearsley Public School. Their leading bowlers were Charlie O'Connor with 40 wickets, Darryl Sullivan with 37 and Tom Hedges with 36.

In the major final Western Suburbs played Eastern Suburbs, which was captained by Allan's twin brother Colin. Eastern Suburbs won the match scoring 265 to Western Suburbs' 146 and 5 for 135. Highlights of the match were Ray Allen's 123 for Eastern Suburbs and Jim Berthold's 6-41, including a hat-trick with Joe French, Tom Hedges and John Gibson as his three victims. Best for Western Suburbs were Allan Elliott's 50 and Charlie O'Connor's 5-91.

For the first time since the re-introduction of finals in 1957-58, Northern District did not finish in the top two positions. They came third and played Raymond Terrace in the minor final. Two centuries were scored in the match, won by Northern District -one by Glenn Brooker for Northern District and the other by Michael McShane for Raymond Terrace.

Colin Elliott (Eastern Suburbs) was the second post-war batsman to score 500 runs in first grade before Christmas. Charlie Bridge of Western Suburbs had achieved the feat in the 1957-58 season. Col finished the season at the top of the batting aggregate and averages with 714 runs at 79.3. He also posted the highest individual score of the season with 167 against Police Boys at East Maitland Park. The innings included 11 sixes and 15 fours, and in one over off Don Aitken, he hit 33 runs (4 sixes, 2 fours and a single).

The only two bowlers in first grade to take more than 50 wickets were Warren Pepper (Raymond Terrace) and Des Lawson (Weston Kurri). The Hunter Valley Cricket Council revived the Colts competition, which had lapsed for a number of the season' with a new trophy donated by Reuben Dransfield. Maitland finished third in the competition which was won by Gosford.

Representative caps were awarded to Colin and Allan Elliott, Glenn Brooker, Warren Trappel, Joe French, Arnold Roberts, Doug Rawling, Rodney Lawrence and David Rawling.

In a new format for the selection of Combined Country, Hunter Valley was grouped with Newcastle. IIIawarra and the ACT rather than with the northwestern region. Following a combined trial match between Newcastle/Hunter Valley and IIIawarra/ ACF at Lorn Park, Colin Elliott was selected in the Combined Country team. Peter Rawling was chosen in the Emu Colts team that toured Queensland and played against the touring NZ Colts team. He was also Hunter Valley' representative in tile Country Boys Coaching Class.

At the age of 14, David Johnston was selected in the NSW Open CHS team that played a match against an NSWCA team. He also captained the CHS Under Hi team that played in the Green Shield competition and scored a century for Combined Green Shield again Title Combined Country Boys Coaching Class.

Four members of the Maitland District Umpires Association - Wal Walsh, Ernie Jurd, Bernie Burgess and Doug Rawling - were successful in gaining their State Umpires tickets. A new ground at Tenambit with a turf wicket came into use during the season.

At the Annual Meeting, Bill Campbell who had served as Association Treasurer since 1957-58, was made a Life Member. Noel Loss announced his retirement as Secretary after seven years in that position.