Just one year after its formation the Albion Club was to host an unusual match that took place in Maitland on the club’s initial racecourse ground. This was a two day fixture in March 1867 between an Aboriginal team and a combined team from the Albion Club and Newcastle. The Aboriginal team was playing a series of “warm-up” matches before undertaking a tour of England in 1868 – the first tour of England by a cricket team from Australia and one that was to be commemorated later during the 1988 Bi-Centennial with another trip by an Aboriginal team to England.
The combined local team won the match scoring 82 and 101 to the Aboriginals’ 53 and 33. For the locals G and J Moore were reported as bowling “throughout the second innings with their accustomed precision and effect”. The scoresheet for the Aboriginal team’s innings showed some rather unusual names; Dick, Rose, Cuzens, Mullagh, Paddy, Wills, Jellico, Peter, Tarpot, Dick-a-Dick and Sundown (appropriately the No. 11 batsman). About 2000 watched the match on the second day. At the end of the match the Aborigines entertained the crowd with a display of their athletic skills and agility by taking part in a series of contests that included running backwards, a standing high jump and warding off with their shields cricket balls thrown at close range.
The 1868 Aboriginal team that in Maitland.
Back Row: Tarpot, TW Wills, Mullagh,
Front Row: King Cole (leg on chair), Dick-a-Dick, Jellico, Peter, Red Cap, Harry Rose, Bullocky, Cuzens