Flood Halts Competitions

Flood Halts Competitions2018-07-20T21:56:40+00:00

A major flood at the end of February 1955 brought a premature end to the 1954-55 competitions. Extensive damage was caused to a number of grounds and pavilions, and some clubs in the low-lying areas suffered considerable losses of equipment.

The Board decided to abandon competitions and award the premierships to the teams leading on the points tables prior to the flood. As a result, Northern District won its third consecutive first-grade premier hip. Western Suburbs had its most successful era on, taking out its first club championship, finishing runners-up in first grade and winning both second and third-grade premierships.

Col Johnston again headed the district batting aggregate and averages with 346 runs at 43.2. During the season he also toured Tasmania in a Northern NSW Country team organized by Roger Wotton.

A newcomer to the first-grade competition was Earl Cochrane who came from the North Coast and had been a leading batsman and bowler on the JS White Colts' tour of NZ. He played for Eastern Suburbs and was the leading wicket-taker in first grade with 48 wickets. In one match against Western Suburbs, he showed his all-around ability by scoring a century and taking 7 wickets.

In the club section, there were 19 teams with Mulbring re-entering and a new entry from Postal Institute. The A, Band C grades were won by Largs, Edmunds Moir, and Black Hill No.2 respectively. Although a number of Hunter River players participated in trials, none was selected in the Combined Country team that played Peter May's MCC team in Newcastle, or in the Combined Country team that played Metropolitan.

Doug March, a young left hand opening batsman in his first season in first grade with Northern District, was selected for the Country Boys Coaching Class in Sydney.

Before the rains came, a senior Hunter River team captained by John Hayward played a match against Balmain in January 1955. The Junior Association entered two teams in the Newcastle Christmas vacation junior competition. The A grade schoolboys side won the premiership and final. while the Under 14 side finished third. In one of the A grade matches, Richard Gilmour took 15 wickets for 11 runs.

At the Annual Meeting Reuben Dransfield, who had been involved with the Association for more than 40 years and President from 1945, announced his retirement. He was succeeded as President by Col Johnston who had been Vice-President since 1945.