Vickery’s Ten Wickets

Vickery’s Ten Wickets2018-07-24T23:31:28+00:00

An outstanding bowling performance by Les Vickery, left-hand opening bowler for Northern District's first grade, highlighted the start of the 1978-79 season. Playing against GUOOF-City at Robins in the first match of the season, he took all ten wickets in the innings to finish with the remarkable figures of 10-14 off 9.3 overs. Six of his victims were bowled and four caught. He thereby equalled Tom Lindsley's performance in 1929-30 for Branxton.

The season was marked by club changes. Morpeth-Hinton split and once again entered as two separate clubs. EMU changed its name to Tenambit, and Greta United and Postal amalgamated to form Greta Workers.

In a controversial decision, the Board demoted Morpeth from first grade and promoted Branxton, the second-grade premiers. A fourth grade was also introduced, and the starting time of two-day matches was moved forward from 1.30 pm to 1.00 pm. Police Boys won its second first-grade minor premiership. Much of its success was due to Terry Walters who headed the batting aggregate and averages with 528 runs at 37.71, and Robert Morris, a former Cessnock and Newcastle representative player, who headed the bowling aggregate and averages with 45 wickets at 11.95.

Eastern Suburbs had another successful season, winning the club championship and the first and third-grade major premierships. In the first grade final against Tenambit, Brian Burke with an unbeaten century was mainly responsible for lifting Eastern Suburbs to its tenth first grade major premiership. Player of the Year was Peter Rawling (Northern District) who had a strong all-around performance with 376 runs and 26 wickets.

In fourth grade division 1, Ken Blundell, playing for Greta Workers took 97 wickets. For the first time finals were introduced in all three Hunter Valley competitions. Maitland won the finals in both the Colts and Under 16 competitions. For the Colts, strong performances were put in by Tony Foot, Marshall Soper, Doug Elphick, James Ryan and Robert Humphries. In one match against Cessnock Colts Humphries took 5 wickets in 5 balls.

Hunter Valley Cricket Council also introduced a new competition - the Prudential Cup Knockout for club teams. Eleven Maitland clubs entered the competition which was won by Narara.

Representative caps were awarded to J eft Crittenden and Rod Douglas. Les Vickery and Tony Ellicott were in the Hunter Valley team that took part in the Under 23 Colts Carnival at Quirindi. Tony Ellicott was also selected in the Emu Colts team that toured Queensland.

Glen Murphy, a promising young fast bowler, was Hunter Valley's representative at the Country Boys Coaching Class.

Craig Cox was chosen in the CHS No.1 team and Robert Humphries in the No.2 team. Robert went on to be selected in the NSW combined schoolboys team that played a combined Queensland schoolboys team.

For the first time, the Association appointed a coaching director - John Tobin who held an Advanced Rothmans Coaching Certificate. At the Annual Meeting, it was decided to appoint a Representative Match Secretary to deal with the increasing demands of representative cricket.

Lindsay Wood who had been Secretary of the Association since 1970-71 did not stand for re-election and was succeeded by Trevor Holden.