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History_The 1970's - A Decade of Achievement

Relegation to 'A' grade provided the club with a common purpose; return of the first XI to senior grade. It unleashed a high level energy and commitment that was seen in both on and off field activities. In fact the 1970's saw the biggest changes in cricket Canterbury since the introduction of turf in the 1930's. By the end of the decade the club was back in senior grade, had won a string premierships, had doubled in size and had increased its financial turnover tenfold.

Success began modestly. The first XI had not won a game for a seas and a half, when the 1969-70 season opened, with a one day game Glen Iris. Joe Goodear was back as captain. No other player in the side was over 23. on a damp wicket Mick Maguire and John McCarthy (back from a two year stint as a national serviceman), opened and put on 60 for the first wicket. Wickets fell seeking quick runs. Glen Iris were left with just over 100 to make, off 30 overs. With accurate bowling and enthusiastic fielding, Canterbury won. in a tight finish.

This match set the scene for the season. What the team lacked experience it made up for, with great determination, loyalty a excellent team spirit. The batting was dominated by Mick Maguire, who once again made over 600 runs. He received support from his opening partner John McCarthy, and middle order batsman, Dave Dillon. times other youngsters made significant contributions, John Bate, Ewen McCarthy and Sam Gardiner. Allen Callaway was a hard hitter and energetic wicketkeeper. Bernie O'Brien had a full season; his accuracy and sustained pace made him a dangerous bowler. At times Steve Bates bowled with terrifying pace. Joe and Barry Maguire provided capable spin back up.

There were some memorable moments this season - Mick's clean hit out of the ground which sailed through a plate glass window in 1 Guildford Road, narrowly missing firstly a dozing occupant and then the T.V. set; the last wicket partnership of 40 which thwarted Canterbury win against Old Carey; Bernie's demolition of top ranked ex district batsman Graeme Harvey; Joe and Ewen McCarthy's fighting match-winning partnership at Willsmere against Kew Footballers. Sadly this was to be Joe's last match, for shortly after this game Jo suffered a mild heart attack. and was forced out of cricket. Appropriately Joe went out on a winning note. guiding his young charges to an exciting win over an experienced and highly competitive Kew Footballers.

Joe has been Canterbury's greatest all rounder. Joe joined Canterbury in the late 1940's when the club was at its peak. His performances in the 1950's maintained the club's prominence, and he often stood between the club and disaster during the 1960's. Joe was a quiet, generous man, who delighted in winning, but who off the ground, was a courteous and friendly companion. After his retirement Joe never missed a game. He would park his blue Hillman at the top end of the ground, under the shade of the elms. And although he would rarely come down to the rooms, there was always a steady trickle of players walking up and leaning on Joe's car to hear the latest bit of advice. Joe's advice was generally in terms of: "If the ball's there son, hit it". Joe died in 1977, and so was able to see the many young players he had nurtured as cricketers, develop into the top side in the competition.

Despite the loss of Joe as a player the 1969-70 season finished with Canterbury in the final four for the first time in 12 seasons. In the semi-final against St. Kevins, Canterbury batted first on a rain affected wicket. Mick Maguire earned his nickname "Magic" this day. Mick hooked the first two balls of the match for four. While others struggled to survive, Mick scored runs with ease. of Canterbury's 202, Mick made 120. Of all the fifteen centuries that Mick scored for Canterbury this one (and perhaps another at Surrey Hills on a similar wicket) stand apart in terms of importance to the team and the difficult nature of the wicket. With the absence of Joe, Canterbury's bowling was thin. Bernie O'Brien and Steve Bates bowled quickly and took early wickets, and when John Bate took a magnificent running catch on the boundary to dismiss renowned hitter Phil Wynd, Canterbury had St. Kevins 4-40. At stumps St. Kevins had recovered somewhat to be 4-90. on the resumption of play this quickly became 6-94. However some stout batting by St. Kevins tail-enders saw St. Kevins pass Canterbury's total with two wickets in hand.

Despite the disappointment, there was now an air of confidence around the club. The club was becoming more than just a place where people wiled away a few hours on Saturday afternoon. It was becoming a social centre and meeting place, where young people would gather to have a quiet drink, and then move onto the brighter lights of Saturday night. It was a place of shared interests and strong friendships; commitments that have stayed with the club through its successes in the 70's and into the 80's.

There was a core of players who gave the club great service during this period. Of these players, undoubtedly the greatest was Mick Maguire. Mick was a left hand batsman, originally an opener, although later he batted down the order, and a very effective medium pace bowler. Mick's performances place him far ahead of any other player of his era, at both Canterbury and in the association. Mick played for 16 seasons, he won the batting averages on 12 occasions, the bowling averages on 6, he won 3 Dunstan Medals (for the best player in senior grade as voted by the umpires) and the President's Trophy. Mick was a player who capitalized on this great ability with the utmost determination and concentration. He believed utterly in his own ability, and his self-confidence spread to his team mates.

In his early days at the club his batting was built around shots square of, and behind the wicket. He was strong off his pads, and ruthless on anything short. Later his driving became more prolific, and he became the complete batsman. Mick's approach to cricket typified by his bowling. His run up would stutter, he delivered ball front on and his left arm was too low. But he worked at it. was aggressive, he hated giving batsmen easy runs, and he bowled batsmen's weaknesses.

For much of the 1970's Mick's opening partner was John McCarthy. John came to Canterbury from Wyclif Congregationalists. He was fluent stroke-maker, with a sound technique. Together he and Mick laid sound foundation for many excellent Canterbury scores, including eleven opening stands of over one hundred.

Dave Dillon was an early product of the juniors. He had the ability to make runs when the side was in trouble. It was Dave who interrupted Mick's sequence of winning batting averages. Dave was excellent fieldsman, who took some outstanding catches in the gully.

Allen Callaway, known either as 'Tiger' (due to his ferocity in particular fight) or as the 'Axeman' (this last name referring to his unorthodox batting grip), played for many years in the firsts, before finishing his career in the seconds. He was a fierce competitor, with an outstanding record in finals matches. He brought a similar determination and energy to his wicket keeping, where his ability consistently throw the stumps down, while standing back, was unsurpassed.

John Bate was another product of the juniors. John started his junior career at Canterbury in 1963-64. Apart from a season when he was interstate, Johnny has been at the club ever since. He is a powerful driver with a sound defence. Johnny is at his best when things are tight. He was a thoughtful captain for some years.

Of the bowlers Bernie O'Brien stands supreme. Bernie started his career in the mid~60's, coming from Mont Albert. Bernie was an all-Australian amateur footballer noted for his strength and directness. Bernie used these same attributes in his bowling. Despite hi distinctive short run up, Bernie's superb shoulder action enabled him to skid the ball at an unsuspecting batsman. Bernie preferred to bowl in sand shoes. This characteristic, combined with his short run up, lulled many batsmen into complacency. Bernie consistently troubled top ranking batsmen. He made it his task to dismiss the big names who arrived fresh from district cricket. Players like Graeme Harvey. Evion Williams, John Butler and Brian Porter can testify to Bernie's effectiveness. Bernie was also captain of the First XI in the early 1970's.

Mick Hawking, a talented all rounder, played a central role in Canterbury's successive premierships in 1977-78 and 1978-79. "Hawk" was genuinely quick, who with his height and lovely action developed what he called "the alsatian ball" - the one that goes for the throat. "Hawk" was also a capable batsman. His century in the 1977-78 grand final effectively sealed that match.

Adrian Sambell was a thoughtful cricketer. He was the cousin of John and Ewen McCarthy, hence his nickname the "Cuz". Like his cousins Adrian came to Canterbury from Wyclif. He bowled left arm orthodox spin. He combined great accuracy with flight and a dangerous in dipper. When the occasion warranted (as in the grand final in 1973-74) Adrian would bowl slightly quicker, darting the ball in at the batsmen.

For much of this decade Adrian's spin partner was Barry Maguire. Barry, another product of the juniors, bowled orthodox off spin with control and cunning.

Paul Hillman arrived at Canterbury from the matting side Boroondara. Paul was the perfect all rounder. He bowled left arm medium pace, and combined judicious and powerful hitting with a watchful defence. He is probably the outstanding close to the wicket fielder at Canterbury in the last 15 years. Paul is the only slip fielder seen at Canterbury, who actually walked in with the bowler. He had wonderful anticipation and superb hands.

For well over a decade the first XI wicketkeeper was Sam Gardiner.

The ability and team loyalty of all these players bore fruit as the 1970's unfolded.

Season 1970-71 finished with the first XI two and a half games clear on top of the ladder. However an experienced Camberwell side proved too strong in the semi-final. Cricket finals were beginning to prove very hard for Canterbury to win.

In 1971-72 the first XI went one better. They defeated old rivals Kew Footballers in a low scoring game in the semi-final. Canterbury consistently had trouble with the Footballers, and although never losing a game to them, matches were always tight. Allan Fanning from the Footballers with his tough, competitive approach to the game, exemplified the way the Footballers played their cricket. The seconds, under the captaincy of Lindsay Ridgwell, also beat the Footballers in the semi-final. Thus for the first time in many years the club had two sides in the grand final. The grand finals were played on adjoining grounds, at Monash University.

For the firsts, the three playing days that followed, were a nightmare. on a perfect batting wicket the much vaunted Canterbury batting strength was humbled. Canterbury was dismissed for 71. Melbourne University then proceeded to bat for the rest of that afternoon, all the following day and into much of the third. With the third new ball Billy Dundas crashed through the lower order, but by this stage they had amassed 554.

On the ground next door things were going much better. Donvale won the toss and batted. Lindsay Ridgwell's first ball of the match (a well flighted outswinger) comprehensively bowled the opening batsman. Canterbury remained on top from this point on, and ended up with a decisive 8 wicket victory.

As the new season approached the committee took stock. The first XI, despite their grand final loss, had been promoted back into senior grade. The club still had much talent, but the fact remained that the first XI had competed in 4 finals in 3 years. and had been successful only once. The committee was aware that competition in senior grade would be tougher. There were other considerations too. So successful had the club's matting side been (commenced in 1970-71), that there were now enough players for a fourth senior side. Perhaps some guidance was needed. Someone who would provide experienced on field leadership, and at practice. channel the enthusiasm and energy into more consistent performance. The committee decided to advertise for a coach. And just before the 1972-73 season Gerry Hammond, a long time player with Melbourne, was appointed playing coach.

As it turned out. the appointment was not successful. Gerry was an affable man and a competent cricketer, but it was difficult to break into the cohesive group that had developed over the last 3 or 4 seasons. Gerry had some success but resigned in the latter half of the season. feeling that his presence was not appreciated. For the club however the experience was important. Perhaps it made the first XI more determined than ever that the available players could do it themselves, ie. win a premiership.

The first XI did well to make the final four. However they were well beaten in the semi-final by eventual premiers Croydon. Optimistic thoughts of a premiership were to wait for another year.

The firsts started the 1973-74 season slowly. The side, under the captaincy of John McCarthy was basically the same as in the previous years. Up to Christmas the side had won only one game, with three draws. Croydon remained the side to beat. Its batting had been strengthened by Evion Williams, from district club Melbourne, and its bowling was still led by speedster Nicky Gordon. When Canterbury met Croydon, in the first game after Christmas, the season was at stake. Canterbury won.

This win was probably the club's most significant for many years. Croydon were the reigning premiers, and were still regarded as the best-equipped side in the competition. It dawned on the club and the players, that all the rhetoric that had been spoken over many glasses of beer, was in fact true. The club did have the ability to win a senior grade premiership. The first XI stormed through the remaining part of the season, to finish second on the ladder. Once again it met Croydon in the semi-final. Good innings by the McCarthy brothers, and the lower order led by Adrian Sambell and Bernie O'Brien saw Canterbury bat into the second day to finish with 186. Croydon's batting crumbled against Bernie O'Brien, Steve Bates, Mick Maguire and Adrian Sambell. Canterbury won by nearly 100 runs.

The grand final was played at the picturesque Watson Park, Ashburton. Canterbury's opponents were Ashburton. Canterbury batted first on a perfect track. With the exception of Allen Callaway the batting fell apart. Canterbury made 112; of which Allen scored 46. Canterbury's opening bowlers also seemed troubled by the occasion. Ashburton helped by some loose bowling raced to 1-80. A five o'clock Mick Maguire and Adrian Sambell came on to bowl. They bowled tightly and forced Ashburton back onto the defensive. At stumps Ashburton had lost three more wickets, and finished at 4-97.

The following Saturday was wet. The wicket was water logged, and the outfield heavy. The umpires decided, much against Ashburton's wishes to commence play at 3.45 p.m. Canterbury seemed to have regained the initiative. Mick and Adrian continued to bowl a good line. The wicket was slow, but not dangerous. Ashburton batted as if it was minefield. Wickets fell regularly. Agonisingly the score mounted. The ninth wicket fell at 105. Then off an uncharacteristically loose Adrian ball the left hand batsman cut the ball towards the boundary. Steve Bates running around from deep cover, picked the ball up only inches from the gutter. His return was flat and hard, back to the wicketkeeper Sam Gardiner, who picking the ball up on the half volley broke the stumps.

Canterbury was jubilant. What a comeback! Ashburton and their supporters were outraged. Although there was only one spectator, who was close enough to see the ball being cleanly fielded, before it reached the boundary, many were convinced that it had rolled into the gutter. The players walked off the ground to a torrent of abuse. Threats were made and the situation became most unpleasant.

Canterbury still had three quarters of an hour to bat. The umpires were put under extreme pressure with Ashburton making incessant appeals. At stumps Canterbury was 3-20. The premiership was not yet secure.

The third day was one of brilliant sunshine. Canterbury struggled, losing wickets consistently. When Bernie O'Brien came to the wicket an hour or so before tea the score was 8-108. Bernie scored a breezy 44, and with a solid Sam Gardiner at the other end, put on 65 in even time.

Canterbury was all out just after tea for 175. This left Ashburton with 140 minutes to make 180 runs. This proved well beyond a now demoralized Ashburton, who finished nine down for 68.

Finally the premiership had been won. All the optimism that had filled the annual reports since the early 1960's was vindicated. All the hard work of the administrators. men like Norm Shores, Lindsay Ridgwell and Bob Trengrove had been justified. All the support of the ex-players, Joe Goodear, Geoff Matthews, Leo Maguire and others was rewarded.

The club celebrated this success at an enjoyable and lengthy evening at the Glen Iris Hall.

The 1973-74 season was to be the last for Norm Shores, both as player and as President. Norm had been with the club sin 1931 when as a youngster of 17 he was introduced to the club by Sid Mackie. Norm was respected throughout the association for hi cricket ability and his administrative talent.

Normie played cricket with great energy and enjoyment. He had raucous appeal that could shatter the quiet of a Saturday afternoon. More often than not his appeal was successful. He maintained a high standard of personal performance throughout his career, winning the last of his many bowling averages in his penultimate playing year. Norm loved to hit the ball. Once partnered by Wally Bates (himself mean hitter of the ball), they put on 108 in 30 minutes. Of the Normie scored 92. Perhaps no higher compliment can be given to Normie as a player, than that from his old friend and colleague Kei Silvers. Keith said "If the side was ever in a tight spot, Normie would be the first I'd choose".

Norm's family were also very much part of the club. Norm's wife Peg was the tolerant hostess of many club functions, and their daughters were keen supporters. Vicki, his youngest daughter, scored for the seconds for many years.

The time and effort that Normie has given to cricket is incalculable. Normie has contributed to cricket, many times over whatever he has gained from it. When Normie retired an era finished. Normie's career spans over 40 years of cricket at Canterbury. In 1974 this was nearly half of the club's playing history. It is a colossal contribution by one man to a junior club. It is a major reason that this club is able to celebrate a hundred years of cricket.

There were visions of consecutive premierships. But the following year, after suffering only one defeat in the home & away games, weather foiled Canterbury in the semi-final. Monash were lucky to escape with a draw. However as they had finished higher on the ladder, they went into the grand final.

The next two seasons were disappointing for the firsts. In 1975-76 the side failed to make the four. In the following year, despite finishing on top of the ladder, Malvern with a superb batting performance proved too good in the semi-final.

The second XI was, however, beginning to demonstrate the depth talent in the club. In 1976-77, led by Dave Dillon, the seconds defeated St. Kevins in the grand final. The strength of the seconds, this year is shown by the fact that six players all scored over 250 runs. The grand final was won in the dying moments of the third and final day. Canterbury won the toss and batted. Allen Callaway continued his finals form with an aggressive century. Canterbury finished with 275. At the end of the second day, St. Kevins were 8-178. It seemed only a matter of time. However the third day was wet, and play was delayed. When play resumed the wicket was slow. St. Kevins batted on, needing only to survive until stumps to ensure the premiership. (They had finished ahead of Canterbury at the end of the home and away games).

It was a great rearguard fight by St. Kevins, who reached 9-235 when bad light and drizzling rain forced the players off the field at 5.45 p.m. It seemed that the weather had intervened to enable St. Kevins to claim the premiership. As the drizzle continued, St. Kevins opened bottles of champagne. Then at about 5 to 6, low in the western sky, the clouds lifted and a shaft of rapidly disappearing sun lit up the ground. The umpires took the field again, to rejoin the Canterbury players who had stayed on the ground. The St. Kevins' last pair followed reluctantly. Incredibly the last wicket fell with only two balls to spare. The dogged No. 11 edged a delivery from Gavin Kett to a joyful Allen Callaway behind the stumps.

The following seasons 1977-78 and 1978-79, saw the club at its peak. Its third side was able to play on turf. All senior sides in 1977-78 made the final four. The club has probably never had as much depth as it had at this time. Both firsts and seconds were well-balanced sides with class batsmen, bowlers and allrounders. The strength of the club was its allrounders; players like Mick Maguire, Mick Hawking, Paul Hillman and Adrian Sambell would have been assets with only one talent. With another string to their bow the side took on a formidable appearance.

This all-round strength was demonstrated in the 1977-78 grand final against Ashburton. At the end of the first day Canterbury were struggling. Ashburton, having been 7-38 recovered to reach 98. Canterbury then slumped to 5-42 (losing 4-2 in the last 10 minutes). Fighting innings from John Bate, Ross Jurey and Paul Hillman saw Canterbury edge past Ashburton. John Bate's innings in particular won this game for Canterbury. However what effectively sealed the match was the partnership between Mick Hawking and Adrian Sambell. These two came together with the score at 8-113. There was still over a day and a half to play. 'Hawk' and Adrian added 174 in faultless style (this from the number 9 and number 10 batsmen) to completely shut out a dispirited Ashburton.

The seconds won their second consecutive flag, also beating Ashburton. There was some considerable talent in this side that was led by Tim Cottrell. Mick Alexeeff, in between his medical studies, won the batting averages, closely followed by the always-consistent Timmy Cottrell. James Southall, Steve Bates and Paul Dillon (all with senior experience) led the bowling. Jamie picked up 7-14 in Ashburton's second innings.

Season 1978-79 followed a similar course. A fighting win against Surrey Hills in the semi-final, saw the firsts meet St. Kevins in the grand final. They won comfortably. The seconds however, although finishing on top, were beaten by Ashwood in the grand final.

Throughout these years of success the club was expanding. In 1970-71 a matting side was started, in order to provide playing opportunity for the increasing number of club members. The club was given the of a ground at Hislop Park. The third XI, led by the effervescent Ian Ockwell, was an inexperienced side containing juniors, and youngsters just out of junior ranks. The club continued to attract members, and fourth senior side was commenced in 1972-73. The captains of the early sides, Ian Ockwell, Bob Trengrove, and Max Anstey are to be commended for the zest and enthusiasm they brought to their cricket. Their sides quickly became imbued with the same spirit. A highlight at the club during this time was the captain's weekly report on the side's performance. Ian's racey description of his latest tactic manoeuvre, Bob's mellow reminiscences conjuring up images of John Arlott, and Max's dry humour, will not be forgotten.

The third XI finished second in 1973-74. This resulted in promotion to 'A' Grade matting. Despite the fact that the side was often playing against other clubs' first XI sides, performances were creditable. For two years Allan McDonell was captain of this side. Allan was magnificent wicketkeeper, who came to the club in his later playing years. His keeping up to the stumps was deadly; his leg side stumpings were like lightning. There were many players who start with the thirds, and went on to play higher cricket - David Gillard Timmy Cottrell, Jamie Southall, Ian Calvert, Ian McKenzie, Steve Day and Graeme Bertram.

The junior side too, continued to flourish. It moved to the matting wicket at Hislop Park when the third XI commenced playing. The club has been blessed with some marvellous talent from its juniors. Paul Dillon and David Everard played in the early 70's and have gone on to become top senior cricketers. They were followed a couple of years later by Mark Gardiner (a gifted left hander who opened the batting in the first XI premiership sides of 1977-78, 1978-79), Mick Alexeeff and Jamie Southall. Later still there were the McQuiggan brothers David Matthews and Gerard Maguire.

This decade has been the most successful in the club's history. The firsts missed the four only once in 10 years, winning 3 premierships. The seconds too missed the four only once, winning 4 premierships. The strength of the club in this period lay in its administration. Strong leadership was provided by its presidents Norm Shores and then Bob Trengrove. The committee was made up of competent, committee individuals. As at any club there are a few key individuals. It is worth acknowledging their contributions.

Bob Trengrove became president of the club on Normie's retirement in 1974. Bob's association goes back to the middle 1950's, when in between weekend Citizen Military Forces duties, he played as a batsman. Bob was one of the original senior players who were actively involved with the juniors. Many senior players currently playing, will well remember as juniors, Bob's thoughtfulness and support through their junior careers. Bob was, and still is, genuinely interested in other people.

He has a concern for others that goes beyond the bounds of people's cricketing lives. Bob was very much part of the new spirit that flowed through the club in the late 1960's and early 1970's. As president he has used his considerable personal skills and charm to ensure that similar standards of loyalty and commitment to others has been maintained.

Lindsay Ridgwell started with Canterbury in the late 1950's. As a player Lindsay bowled medium pace, hence his name 'Fireball'. He bowled a good outswinger, but what was unique to his bowling was his 'submarine' ball. This was the ball that for no apparent reason, on an otherwise perfect batting track, would simply run along the ground. Lindsay seemed to be able to produce this ball at will. He had an extremely successful career in the seconds, captaining the side to its premiership wins in 1966-67 and 1971-72. He is still wheeling the ball down on the mat. His arm however is getting noticeably lower.

Lindsay's commitment to his job as secretary was outstanding. He ensured that the club maintained a good relationship with the council, the ground's trust and local residents; sometimes not an easy task. Much of his work was unobtrusive. Players assume that there will be a cold drink after the game, that equipment will be provided and that social functions will be organised. Without Lindsay (and others) the 1970's on field success would not have been possible.

The two other key administrators of this time are the McCarthy brothers. Both are excellent cricketers, who have supported the work of Lindsay and Bob. Johnny was secretary for a short time, before his national service, in the late 1960's. Since then he has served on the committee, relieving Lindsay of many of his duties. John has been a powerful figure around the club (Canterbury's equivalent to Graeme Richmond-). His influence has maintained the view that the prime yardstick of a club's performances is its first XI success. John's contribution to this success as a player, as a captain and as an administrator has been single minded and considerable. John is also a life member of the association; a well deserved reward for long standing administrative service to the association.

Ewen, John's younger brother, has been one of the financial brains behind the club. Earlier treasurers, Wally Bates, Bob Trengrove and Steve Bates set the standard, but it is Ewen that has had to deal with the rapid increase in costs and financial turnover. Ewen, an economist by training, has been able to achieve a robust balance at the end of each season. Being treasurer is not an easy job. Less popular tasks include chasing up members who are tardy with their annual subs, and proposing an increase in membership fees at the annual meeting. Ewen has performed these and other tasks with skill and humour.

This page is sponsored by:
Marillack Pty Ltd
Allan McDonell
Rosemary and Ian McKenzie
Minet Lithographics (Vic) Pty Ltd
Lindsay Ridgwell
Jim Robinson
Norm Shores
Ena and Theo Sambell

In memory of Norm Spendlove.

 

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