History_The 1920's - Mackie and Swan Reign Supreme

Season 1921‑22 saw a resurgence of Canterbury's fortunes. This was to be Canterbury's and Sid Mackie's year, and was the beginning of a very successful decade of cricket. Sid Mackie marked his return to the club with a series of remarkable hitting displays. Sid had huge forearms, matched by a flowing moustache, and he believed the cricket ball was there to be hit. And as his record for season 1921‑22 indicates he hit the ball often and with great power.

4 November

Canterbury 248 beat Mitcham


S. Mackie



18 November

Canterbury 239 beat Nunawading Diggers


S. Mackie

108 n.o.



Canterbury 3 for 239 beat Balwyn


S. Mackie

168 n.o. (16 sixes)

Then the finals:

Semi Final:




S. Mackie




Box Hill


S. Mackie

6 ‑ 54




Templestowe 1st Innings



4 ‑ 29


2nd Innings


T. Alway

5 ‑ 23


Canterbury 1st Innings



2nd Innings


S. Mackie

28 n.o.
(3 sixes)

However, that premiership was not a one-man show; everyone contributed, for example Campbell won the bowling average taking a colossal number of wickets (67).

On the 28 June 1922 Tom Mackie died, and with his death went the last link to the Canterbury sides of the nineteenth century. Tom had played cricket in the eastern suburbs for nearly 50 years, and was known throughout the district, not only for his cricket ability, but also because he was the local blacksmith.

The story goes that when the club was playing away, and the players would travel to opposing grounds by horse and dray, Tom would prefer to walk. "I've had enough of horses during the week", he would say. He would walk up to 5 miles to play, bowl his slow off spinners all afternoon, and then in the cool of the evening walk home again. Our records are incomplete, but Tom won at least 6 consecutive bowling averages during the 1890’s. He was captain for the greater part of his playing days at Canterbury.

Tom for his commitment to cricket and to the club, and for his great skills and enthusiasm must be regarded as the first of the Canterbury greats. It is fitting that just before he died he was able to see his beloved Canterbury win another premiership, and to enjoy the dominant role that his son Sid played in that win.

The success of 1921‑22 was followed by further premierships in 1923-24 and 24‑25. These three premierships gave the club possession of "The Standard Shield", which despite inevitable ageing still hangs impressively in the clubrooms. Harry Swan was back with the club, and his slow‑medium off spin bowling dominated the competition. Harry was a great character. His family had been involved with Canterbury from the earliest days, his father being a foundation member. There were four Swan brothers who all at different times played with Canterbury. Harry was regarded as the W. G. Grace of the competition; when batting he was never out, when bowling his appeal was fearsome and great was his wrath when a catch was missed off his bowling.

During the 1920's the first XI was very settled. The batting was strong with Sid Mackie, Len Warmbrum (Captain for a period), and the continuing successful Billy Lachlan. Swan and Campbell consistently bowled sides out, and received good support from Tommy Alway (he was also Captain for a number of years). ‘Cush' Webb kept wickets, and according to all reports he is the best wicket keeper Canterbury has ever had. He stood up to the stumps at all times, a formidable task when Sid Mackie was tossed the new ball and had the wind at his back.

These and other players were successful in winning yet another premiership in 1927‑28, Harry Swan having his greatest year taking 105 wickets at an average of 8.9.

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