Woodville Enters First Grade

///Woodville Enters First Grade
Woodville Enters First Grade2018-07-23T23:18:31+00:00

Woodville, the second-grade division 1 premiers for the previous two seasons, entered first grade in the 1961-62 season. Their team included three Rumbel brothers - Kel, Geoff and Berwick - and experienced players Merv Osborne and Roley Wellard. Though enthusiastic, the team found the step up in grade a difficult one and finished at the bottom of the points table for the next three seasons.

Weston Kurri came back into first grade after an absence of two seasons to make an eight-team competition. They were strengthened by Joe French who was appointed to a school in the area, by the return of Ken Bromage from Merewether, and by the inclusion of former Cessnock players, Eric Burgess and Kevin Badior.

However, the local competition was dominated by Northern District, which won the first-grade premiership and final, as well as the second-grade premiership and the club championship.

The first grade final between Northern District and Eastern Suburbs was scheduled for three days but ended up being restricted to one day after washouts on the first two Saturdays. On a rain-affected pitch, Northern District won the final, dismissing Eastern Suburbs for 52 and scoring 8 for 141 in reply. For Northern District Keith Smith took 6-31 and John Brown 3-20.

Allan Elliott of Northern District was the outstanding first-grade batsman for the season, scoring 558 at 50.7 to head the aggregate and averages. In one match against Eastern Suburbs on a damp wicket, he hit a hurricane 106 in 72 minutes in an innings which included 14 sixes. In all club games, he hit a total of 33 sixes during the season.

John Hayward of Western Suburbs recorded one of the highest post-war innings when he scored 178 not out for Western Suburbs against Combined City at Coronation.

Dave Rutherford of Northern District was the leading wicket-taker in first grade with 54 wickets at 8.1.

In representative cricket Maitland was very successful, winning the John Bull Shield, Coal Board Cup and the Junior John Bull Shield competitions. From the JS White Carnival Col Elliott (vice-capt.) and Len Dudley were selected in the Emu Colts team to tour Tasmania.

Col Elliott went on to further representative honours by being selected as wicketkeeper for Combined Country, while John Hayward was chosen for the Northern NSW Country team.

A visiting team from the Cricket Club of India played an invitation Old Collegians Maitland team at Lorn.

Following a move to Sydney, John Hayward retired as Secretary of the Association and was succeeded by Neville Boyce.