Testimonial to Walters

Testimonial to Walters2018-07-25T00:02:15+00:00

The NSWCA set down 1980-81 as a Benefit Year for Doug Walters. To assist the cause of the Maitland Association organised a Testimonial Benefit Dinner and a weekend of activities in conjunction with the Ten Over Competition. Guest speakers at the dinner were Peter Philpott and Col Johnston. An ABC film on Walters' life and career was also screened during the evening. As a result of these activities, the Association raised over $5000 as its contribution to the Testimonial.

The local season had a turbulent prelude when the Board decided to reduce the first-grade competition from 10 to 8 teams, and in consequence to relegate Police Boys and not to promote Morpeth. Feelings ran high and there were even moves to form a breakaway cricket organisation. Following a Special General Meeting, the Board's decision remained unaltered.

Three new clubs to enter the Association's competitions were Torryburn, Salvation Army and Caledonian Hotel, while GUOOF City had a further name change to City United. The first-grade minor premiership was won by Western on averages. from Bolwarra. Western, captained by Warren Trappel, had a number of promising young players in Steve Atkins, Tony Ellicott and Peter Edmonds, and was strengthened by a number of former players from Branxton (which did not apply for entry to first grade) - Steve Gibson, Alan Hale, Chris Charnock and Greg Smith. Their team went on to defeat Weston Workers in the semi-final and had a convincing win over Bolwarra in the final.

For the second consecutive season, Morpeth won the second grade minor and major premierships. It added to its success by defeating Lisarow-Ourimbah in the final of the Prudential Cup competition.

Player of the Year was Graham Searles, long-serving City United bowler, who took 43 wickets for the season. Brian McEntrye (Bolwarra) was the leading batsman in first grade with 410 runs, while Steve Gibson (Western Suburbs) with 46 wickets was the leading wicket-taker.

Another notable father-son partnership was achieved in first grade with John Webber (145) and Michael Webber (63) putting on 188 for the sixth wicket for Raymond Terrace against Eastern Suburbs at East Maitland Park.

In third grade division 2 Ken McNeilly of Largs hit up 218 in the opening match of the season against Thornton and finished the competition with an aggregate of 717 runs.

Maitland had a disappointing end to the representative season when it lost the John Bull Shield and Under 16 competitions on averages, after the finals were washed out.

Tony Foot and Rod Bryant were Maitland's first representatives for the Central Coast in the Tooheys Country Challenge Cup match played against Newcastle at Gosford.

Tony Foot, Steve Atkins and Doug Elphick represented Hunter Valley in the Under 23 Colts Carnival at Armidale. Tony Foot went one step further to be selected in the combined North West team to play North coast.

Tony Ellicott was selected as vice-captain of the Emu Colts team to tour Tasmania and subsequently won the DW Rawling Memorial Trophy for the Hunter Valley Colt of the Year. Andrew Adam for the second season in a row was selected in the State Under 16 team.

After more than 50 years of competition cricket Col Johnston announced his retirement In a career reaching back to 1930, Col had scored over 15000 runs, including 24 centuries, and as captain of Northern District had won 11 premierships, A tragic note during the season was the death of Jack Murray in a car accident near Scone. Jack was a well known Maitland cricket identity and a long-term battler for the Police Boys Club, A "Jack Murray Memorial Trophy" was later donated to the Association by his family.

At the Annual Meeting, John Reynolds succeeded Doug Pryor as President and was made a Life Member of the Association. John had been a member of the Board since 1969 and had been very active in the organisation of the Ten Over competitions and the Testimonial Dinner for Walters.