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History 1980-1985

 

Bentleigh ANA Cricket Club

 

A Lesson in History

Part 8.  1980-85

    

 

 

 

1980/81

The season of 1980/81 was one which resulted in great change around the Club. Colin Lilley left to join his brother John at Bailey Park, while Maurice James and Tony Caddy hung up their boots once again. Work commitments now meant that promising youngster Phil Daly had played his last game with the Club, while Brett Arnfield left ANA to try his luck playing with South Melbourne, in the District Cricket Competition. Arnfield went on to work his way up through the grades at South Melbourne and became a successful batsman in the First Eleven for a couple of seasons. His performances, combined with the excellent performances this season from 15-year-old Stewart Kreltszheim, exemplified the strength of the juniors from the previous year.

Two of the First Eleven players, Cedric Jansz and Neil Vorbach, enjoyed many Thursday nights together at the King George pavilion and were often the last to leave, after having consumed more than their fair share of the amber fluid. Such was the case one night when the bar was eventually closed and the two were asked to lock the door on their way out. Suddenly, feeling the urge to satisfy their hunger that had developed, Jansz and Vorbach embarked on a hunt around the clubrooms to find something to eat. Within no time at all they had managed to secure a handful of hot dogs from a supposedly locked fridge, and after unsuccessfully searching for a saucepan to cook them in, decided to settle for the urn, which was usually set aside for the tea and coffee on Saturday afternoons. After satisfying their appetites, both left and headed home thinking nothing more of their late night escapade.

 

However, such was not the case on Saturday when, after a hectic afternoon in the field, they came off the ground for a well earned cup of tea. As the tea ladies attempted to pour the mid-afternoon beverages for the players, what came out of the urn resembled something left over from a dirty washing basin, as the rather red and fat-ridden liquid oozed out into the coffee cups. Their findings became even more gruesome when they removed the lid and discovered the leftovers of somebody�s half eaten hot dog�. It was a rather more subdued pair who faced the wrath of the President and Committee after the event and, subsequently, the Thursday night escapades have never been the same.

Cedric Jansz was appointed Captain of the First Eleven, and at only 19 years of age, still remains the youngest player to have achieved this feat. The team had developed into a strong batting combination, with Neil Vorbach and Fitzroy Crozier both hitting up over 350 runs for the season, and Cedric Jansz, David Shipp, Stewart Kreltszheim and Russell Mactaggart all amassing over 250 runs each. Fitzroy Crozier remained as Coach of the Club and dominated with both the bat and ball. His innings against East Bentleigh Central (a result of a merger of the East Bentleigh and Bentleigh Central clubs) in Round 4 was pure magic, as he majestically guided the ball to all parts of the field. Commencing the last over, Crozier required seven for his century, and after hitting a single and a boundary, glanced towards the gathering crowd for an indication of just how close to three figures he actually was.

 

An over exuberant first-gamer, 15-year-old Darren Haw, accommodated the request with a scream of �one more . . . four�.

 

As the crowd anxiously awaited another perfectly struck boundary from Crozier their anxiety turned to disbelief, as the confused Crozier delicately pushed a single for what he believed to be the �one more� that he required for his century. He then had no choice but to watch Bob Wilson play out the last ball. Needless to say, young Haw never played with the Firsts again that season. Crozier�s wizardry with the ball also saw him break the 50 wicket barrier for the second consecutive year. Having played with consistency throughout the season ANA lost only one game prior to the finals, finishing on top of the ladder. They then came up against Channon Park in the Semi-final and completely outclassed their opponents from the outset. When the rain came on the second day of the match, Channon Park had no qualms about calling off the game, as ANA had belted up 4 for 248. Fitzroy Crozier was in fine touch, remaining unbeaten on 75, while Skipper Jansz assisted strongly with 62, receiving fine support from Vorbach with 39 and Mactaggart on 34 not out.

 

This win took ANA into a Grand Final confrontation with Cluden. After inviting Cluden to bat, ANA always appeared to be on top. Fitzroy Crozier spun the ball like a top to capture 5/32 off 19 overs while Mick Biddle took 3/49 with his left-arm slinging action, as Cluden crashed to be all out for 145. ANA then powered home by making 239 in reply, with David Shipp top scoring with 58, Cedric Jansz getting 53, Fitzroy Crozier 40 and wicketkeeper John Chessum making 37. ANA had successfully fought its way back into �A� Grade with a resounding Premiership victory.

 

1980/81 �B� GRADE PREMIERS - Match Statistics

Toss won by Cluden

Cluden - 1st Innings

Richardson C . . .  c Bodley b Sanders 2

Laughlan S . . . . . .b Wilson 4

Avery S . . . . . . . . .b Biddle 25

Muir R . . . . . . . . .  c Bodley b Biddle 34

Barry I . . . . . . . . . .b Crozier 3

Walstab D . . . . . .  st Chessum b Crozier 16

Stokes J . . . . . . . . c Bodley b Crozier 24

Mills C . . . . . . . . .  not out 17

Holloway S . . . . . . b Crozier 0

Farrally M . . . . . . . c Crozier b Biddle 0

Murphy A . . . . . . . c Shipp b Crozier 6

Sundries 14

TOTAL 145

Bowling - Wilson B. 1/26, Sanders J. 1/21, Biddle M. 3/49,

Crozier F. 5/32, Bodley G. 0/3, Mactaggart R. 0/0.

 

Bentleigh ANA - 1st Innings

Shipp D . . . . . . . . . . st Muir 58

Kreltszheim S . . . . . .c Holloway 6

Jansz C . . . . . . . . . ..c Holloway 53

Vorbach N . . . . . . . . b Holloway 0

Crozier F . . . . . . . . c Holloway 40

Mactaggart R . . . . . . run out 3

Chessum J . . . . . . .  c Muir 37

Sanders J . . . . . . . . . c & b Muir 4

Wilson B . . . . . . . . . b Farrally 0

Biddle M . . . . . . . . . . not out 7

Bodley G . . . . . . . . . b Farrally 10

Sundries 21

TOTAL 239

Bowling - Farrally M. 2/46, Holloway S. 4/57, Richardson C. 0/23,

Muir R. 3/50, Walstab D. 0/42.

 Bentleigh ANA won on 1st Innings by 94 runs.

 

 The Second Eleven, in �D� Grade, was led by the experienced Harry Vantwest. This team comprised of a mixture of youngsters and experienced campaigners, and after indifferent form throughout the season, managed to sneak into the finals, finishing in fourth position. ANA faced the top team, East Bentleigh Central, in the Semi-final and stuck to their task determinedly to dismiss them for 235. When the combine were in full throttle late in the day, youngster Darren Haw chipped in with 3/10 while Andrew Higgins took 3/48. As ANA prepared itself for the run chase, the heavens opened up and �Hughie� sent down an hour of his best. While the East Bentleigh Central team sat around with glee, watching the ground slowly disappear under water, �Snowy� Arnfield had already donned his boots and armed with a shovel and what seemed to be miles of hoses, led the recovery plan as the waterlogged ground suddenly took on the appearance of a major plumbing exercise. Within an hour and a half the game was ready to continue, and ANA valiantly set off after the large target. ANA was always behind the eight ball and, after three disastrous run outs in the middle order, were in all sorts of trouble until Bob Arnfield joined Mick Egan for the last wicket. Arnfield cracked up 39 and Egan an unbeaten 34, as the two almost pulled off a remarkable victory, falling short by only 26 runs, as they put on 49 runs for the last wicket.

 

The �Under 16A� Grade team, led by Darren Haw, failed to show the form of the previous season and was very lucky to scrape into the finals this year. Having done so, however, they once again came up against the might of St.Kilda City, who boasted the impressive record This confrontation with the old rivals seemed to bring out the best of ANA, and the St.Kilda City team had not counted on the improvement of tattooed bowler Peter Crawford. Crawford mesmerised the St.Kilda batsmen with his impeccable line and length, ending up with 7/48 off 27 overs, as City crashed to be all out for 147. At 1 for 40, ANA appeared to be cruising towards a memorable victory, but then crashed to be all out for a meagre 97 with Stewart Kreltszheim�s 33 being the only resistance. It was certainly an injustice that Crawford�s bowling efforts had gone unrewarded.

 

The �Under 14B� team was led by the younger of the Haw brothers, Craig, and had gone through the season losing only one game prior to the finals and finishing on top of the ladder. ANA began well in the Semi-final, dismissing Moorabbin Park for only 113, with Craig Haw and Ross Scacco taking 3 wickets each. Disaster struck, however, as ANA then crashed to be all out for a lowly 84, allowing Moorabbin Park to move into the final and eventually win the flag.

 

1981/82

Even after the success of the previous year, the Club replaced Cedric Jansz with Fitzroy Crozier as Captain of the First Eleven for the return trip into �A� Grade. The move drew mixed success as ANA had an inconsistent season, finishing in the middle of the field. Crozier was once again in sensational form with the ball, taking 43 wickets and winning the CMCA �A� Grade bowling averages, while Jansz played a lone hand with the bat, making over 400 runs for the season. However, Jansz received little support with the bat and this problem worsened when Premiership player Russell Mactaggart moved to Drouin, highlighting a problem which faced ANA in the years to come.

 

Throughout the season the �D� Grade team was led by 20-year-old John Bacon and dominated the competition, finishing on top of the ladder prior to the finals. They came up against Hampton United in the Semi-final and were in a spot of trouble at the end of the first day, being 8 for 148. Trevlyn Crozier had been the best of the batsmen with 35, but this relatively modest total appeared to be smaller than that which would be required for victory. This would never be tested, however, as the second day�s play was completely washed out, clearing the way for ANA to enter the Final. Moorabbin West were their opponents in the Grand Final and ANA struggled hard to dismiss them for 200, with Mick Biddle being the best of the bowlers, returning figures of 4/39. ANA�s batting line-up looked strong indeed, with no less than 8 of the batsman having played in the First Eleven at some stage throughout the season. However, it was only the youthful duo of John Smith, who built a score of 38, and Trevlyn Crozier with 34, that were able to give the team a slight hope of victory. ANA finished with only 149 and had to be content with a Runners-Up pennant.

 

The Third Eleven, in �F� Grade, had performed extraordinarily, considering they�d had five different Captains throughout the season. ANA finally settled with all-rounder Mick Egan, and with a last game outright victory, managed to finish in third position prior to the finals. The selection of this team attracted extreme controversy when Rod Blumfield�s two consecutive �ducks� saw him get overlooked for both the Second Eleven and Third Eleven teams, even after having made 43 in Round 8 while playing in the First Eleven in �A� Grade. ANA came up against Highett West in the Semi-final and appeared to be in all sorts of trouble at 8 for 77, with opening batsman Graham Wilson having made 36 of these. The ANA team fought back admirably however, as number ten batsman Debinder Singh with 47 and 14-year-old Craig Haw, with 24 not out, added 78 for the ninth wicket, and when Kevin Thomas chipped in for a dozen at the end, ANA had managed to claw its way to a respectable total of 171. Sadly, rain then robbed the team of any real chance and at the end of the game Highett West had crawled along to 3 for 107, thus thwarting any Premiership aspirations that ANA may have had.

 

The �Under 14A� Grade team, led by the younger of the Arnfield brothers, Dean, had a good year also and finished third prior to the finals, but the Semi-final�s rain also cost them a chance at the flag, as St.Kilda City were 4 for 91 at the end of the game.

 

1982/83

The season of 1982/83 saw all of the ANA teams show rather indifferent form, eventually resulting in the Club failing to field a finals team for the first time in ten years. Neil Vorbach was appointed as Captain of the First Eleven, in �A� Grade, and midway through the season former Premiership player, Neil Bach, returned to the Club. However, the Reverend had lost that express pace that his beautiful left arm bowling action had possessed throughout his halcyon days of the early seventies and the team had to be content with finishing in the middle of the field once again.

 

The only real highlights of the season were in the last two games. The innings� against East Caulfield of Cedric Jansz and former Dandenong Sub-District batsman Michael Rabot were a delight to watch. Also the performances of Fitzroy Crozier and Debinder Singh in the last game against Mackie, showed potential which unfortunately had not been fulfilled throughout the season. On an extremely hot day, the pair came together with the score at 6 for 44, and the experienced Crozier and first gamer Singh somehow managed to take the score past Mackie�s total of 198. Crozier ended with 78 not out and Singh 62 not out, as the pair rewrote the ANA record books and cost Mackie a place in the finals.

 

The Junior teams fared little better than the Seniors, with the only highlight being Craig Haw�s aggregate of 350 runs in the �Under 16A� Grade in an otherwise disappointing year.

 

1983/84

After a five year reign Don Haw had stood down as President and the Club welcomed First Eleven wicketkeeper, John Chessum, into the job. Neil Vorbach once again led the �A� Grade team but this side was further depleted due to the loss of promising youngsters Darren Haw, to District club South Melbourne, Michael Rabot and Debinder Singh, who both went to Sub-District club Ormond. These three losses were partly compensated for by the return of former �A� Grade Premiership player, Russell Mactaggart, but the team still struggled and only managed to win three games for the season. The only success story for the Firsts was the 400 run aggregate of opening batsman David Shipp.

 

The �D� Grade team, however, was led by former �A� Grade Captain and games record holder, John Sanders, who had dropped down to the Seconds to finish off a distinguished career. The team dominated the competition throughout the season and finished on top of the ladder prior to the finals. Facing Hampton United in the Semi-final, ANA never appeared troubled in making 260 with the ever reliable finals� performer, Trevlyn Crozier, hitting up his maiden century, making 110. ANA then dismissed Hampton for 130 and headed into the Grand Final. ANA faced the newly introduced Crystal Palace team in the Final and controversially dropped Vice Captain John Smith for this match, in favour of his close friend Graham Johnson. Russell Mactaggart led the batting line-up with a disciplined hand of 64 and this was followed up by a whirlwind knock of 62 from allrounder Graham Wilson, an innings which included 4 enormous sixes. Craig Haw held the lower order together with a fighting innings of 53, as ANA amassed an enormous total of 279. Not to be denied, however, Crystal Palace set about the task at hand aggressively, and fell short by only 32 runs in overhauling the awesome total. Craig Haw was the chief destroyer for ANA, taking 3/36 with his medium paced assortment of swing and cut, and he was supported by Graham Wilson who took 3/52, as Palace were finally dismissed for 247, giving John Sanders and his ANA team a well deserved Premiership.

 

The Flag was an appropriate end to the career of Skipper John Sanders. Beginning with the Club back in 1959, the extremely loyal Sanders had played for 25 years and amassed 289 club games, including a massive 203 at the First Eleven level. He was considered by some as a player not blessed with enormous amounts of natural ability, but who overcame this with an abundance of aggression and will to succeed. His attitude towards batting was a simple one indeed, this being that while he was out in the middle, his only objective was that the opposition was not going to get him out. John�s determination and competitive nature saw him amass almost 4000 runs and capture nearly 200 wickets while playing with the Firsts, as well as Captaining the Club to its last �A� Grade flag and playing in three other Premierships.

 

At the junior level the �Under 16C� Grade team, under the Captaincy of Dean Arnfield, performed with mixed success throughout the season but still managed to scrape into the finals. They came up against top side Hampton United in the Semi-final and speedster Arnfield bowled magnificently to capture 6/65 off 23 overs, as Hampton crashed to be all out for 161, giving ANA an excellent chance of entering the Final. However, the top order of the ANA batting line-up failed, and it was left to the tail to try to save the game. Lower order batsman Justin Handley made 37 and fighting knocks from Ian Ward, with 27, and Gareth Kay, with 26, saw ANA fight its way back into the match. Alas, their efforts were in vain, as the Green and Gold were dismissed for 144 in a nail biting affair.

 

The ANA �Under 14C� Grade team had an excellent year and played North Caulfield/Glenhuntly in the Semi-final. Skipper Scott Gilder led the charge by making a hard hit 46, which took his season�s aggregate over the 400 run mark. He was well supported by all-rounder Greg Gelfond, who chipped in for 32 not out, as ANA amassed a respectable total of 8 declared for 147. ANA appeared set for an easy passage through to the Grand Final when they had the combine reeling at 6 for 46, but, as can so often happen in finals� games, the opposition fought back and a 50 run ninth wicket partnership saw ANA�s Premiership hopes foiled. Gelfond captured 4/40 and Gilder took 4/46 as North Caulfield/Glenhuntly staggered home with a score of 9 for 154.

 

1984/85

The season of 1984/85 saw former Virginia Park batsman Everard Schoorman recruited from Clayton, in the VJCA, and appointed as Captain/Coach. He set about enforcing discipline around the Club and the on field performances improved dramatically. The previously known �A� Grade competition was renamed to the �Longmuir Shield� this season in recognition of the services of long time CMCA President, Ray Longmuir. Opening batsman Stewart Kreltszheim, along with promising youngster Craig Haw, both headed off to District Cricket Club South Melbourne, but ANA�s Longmuir Shield team still performed admirably throughout the season and if not for an administrative bungle, which resulted in the loss of points for the first round, would have in fact made the finals. They finished equal fourth on points but missed out due to a lower percentage. Hard hitting middle order batsman, John Bacon, proved to be the main reason for the improved form by knocking up almost 300 runs in a fine year. Bacon often amazed fellow team mates, who would cringe, as he continuously offered no shot to accurately aimed short pitched balls, preferring to allow them to hit him on all parts of the body.

 

The Fourth Eleven, in �G� Grade, was led by Paul Biddle throughout the season and performed admirably to finish in third position prior to the finals. They came up against the Cavaliers in their Semi-final and got off to a fine start by dismissing the Cavaliers for a modest total of 162. The 16-year-old opening  bowler, Shane Warren, proved to be the best of the ANA attack, taking 4/33 off 14 overs in a fine spell which ripped the Cavalier�s batting line-up apart. The experienced ANA batting line-up should have had no trouble in scoring the required runs but struggled from the outset, and could only manage a meagre total of 114, with the hard hitting Shane Edwards scoring a brisk 35, as ANA slumped to defeat.

 

The �Under 12C� Grade team, led by Russell English, were the best of the ANA Junior teams and they finished fourth at the end of the home and away matches. They came up against the strong South Melbourne District team in the Semi-final but were completely outclassed. In their first innings ANA could only manage a total of 37 and never troubled the District�s attack. South were then restricted to 164, due mainly to the efforts of Russell English who snared 6/41 off 24 impressive overs. Batting once more, ANA again struggled, only making 34 runs as they were soundly beaten outright in the one-sided final�s encounter.