Sunday Match Banned!

Sunday Match Banned!2018-07-19T23:55:18+00:00

Controversy erupted during the 1944-45 season when the local Council, following a deputation from the Ministers' Fraternal, refused to grant permission for a Sunday match at Lorn Park between a local team and a visiting team organized by Jack Chegwyn, a former Randwick, and State player. The fixture was to be in aid of "Miss Sporting" to assist the appeal for the Soldiers' Memorial Hall. The match ended up being played on February 25, 1945, at Cessnock where the ground was made available.

Chegwyn's team included Test players Bill O'Reilly and Sid Barnes as well as State players Ron Saggers and Vie Jackson. The local team was a composite Maitland / Newcastle team with R Macmillan, C Johnston, N Mudd, J Leacy, Roy AlIen, P Drane, M Hinman from Maitland; and R Camps, K Hill, J De Courcy and A Gammidge from Newcastle. The match ended in a tie with both teams being dismissed for 134 runs.

These country tours of Chegwyn's were to become a regular feature during the next thirty years and were to help unearth a number of talented country cricketers, including Doug Waiters, John Gleeson, and Steve Rixon, who were to go on to higher cricket honors.

Maitland did not enjoy the same success in the Newcastle competition as in the previous season. It won the club championship, but only contested the second-grade final where it was defeated by Newcastle. The first grade finished fifth in its competition. There were still some fine individual performances with Hinman (555), Johnston (466), Macmillan (459) and Leacy (417) all topping the 400 run mark, while Hinman took 62 wickets and Macmillan 40.

Hinman and Johnston were selected to play for Newcastle against a Metropolitan XI at the SCG on Boxing Day 1944. Newcastle won the match by 228 to 119.

Signs of a revival in the local cricket scene were shown with the introduction of an 8 team junior (under21) competition consisting of Methodist OK, Largs, Lorn Juniors, Marist Bros. No. 1 and 2, Robins, YCW, and Beresfield. The competition was sponsored by the Maitland Club.