History 1960-1965

 

Bentleigh ANA Cricket Club

 

A Lesson in History

Part 4.  1960-65

 

 

 

1960/61

Cyril Parke�s reign as Captain of the First Eleven came to an end when 23-year-old Rex Sheppard was elected captain for the 1960/61 season. Hugh Aldons left the Club to play with Bentleigh in the VJCA and fast bowler Duncan Dans returned to the Ramblers Cricket Club. Tragically, the 22-year-old Dans was killed in a car accident the following year, cutting short the promising career of a fine sportsman. Promising 16-year-olders Peter McFarlane and Ken Bishop left the Club to play with West Bentleigh, starting careers which saw them become two of the competition�s finest players. However, these losses were reasonably well offset by the introduction of several new faces around the Club. Ralph Sturt�s brother-in-law, Bob Jacobs, moved to Melbourne from Heyfield and wasted no time in forcing his way into the �A� Grade team as a fine all-rounder. Also, Moorabbin footballers Maurie Baker and Mick Ryan added strength to the batting line up. The team still contained the strength of Sheppard, Parke, Arnfield and Papley and stormed their way into the finals for the fifth consecutive season, finishing on top. Remarkably, all four of the ANA senior teams were successful in making the finals, with the Second Eleven and Fourth Eleven also finishing on top of their respective ladders. The ANA �A� Grade team came up against the newly introduced Cheltenham Church of Christ team in the Semi-final, a team which boasted one of the competition�s best ever batsman, Lloyd Champion. Bowling first in the game at Victory Park, ANA�s pace attack was much too strong for the Church of Christ team, bundling them out for a meagre 109 runs in the first innings. Rex Sheppard led superbly, taking 5/55 while Max Papley took 4/23 as ANA took control of the match. Papley then opened the innings and hit up a quick 47, receiving good support from all-rounder Dennis Jay who made a solid 33, as ANA batted their way into a commanding position making 169 and taking a 60 run lead on the first innings. Papley and Sheppard then steamrolled Cheltenham again in the second innings, as they could only manage a meagre 84 runs, leaving ANA 25 runs for victory, which they polished off without losing a wicket in a performance that almost amounted to assault. ANA then came up against the strong Hampton Central team in the Grand Final. This ANA team comprised of many Moorabbin Footballers while Hampton Central contained a large amount of Sandringham players, creating a VFA rivalry which was often carried over onto the cricket ground. Batting first, ANA started brilliantly as openers Jimmy March and Max Papley put on 140 for the first wicket. Amazingly, Papley had amassed 120 of these and went on to make a whirlwind 142 before being dismissed. Skipper Rex Sheppard once again produced a fine finals innings with the bat making a hard hit 61 and Mick Ryan added support making a steady 30 as ANA belted their way into a strong position making 308 runs in the first innings. Papley with 4/43 and Sheppard with 3/33 then dented any aspirations that Centrals may have had of winning the flag, as they bundled the hapless Hampton team out for 130 runs in the first innings. Hampton Central fared even worse in the second dig making only 105, giving the young ANA side a crushing Premiership victory. Skipper Rex Sheppard had been successful in leading the team to a Premiership in his first season as Captain. Oddly, out of the Club�s seven �A� Grade flags, this was the fifth time that this had occurred.  In the finest era in the Club�s history, the ANA �A� Grade team had won three out of the last four Premierships, dominating the competition throughout the late fifties and early sixties and producing some of the finest cricketers that both the Club and the association would ever see. It appeared that this youthful team would go on to be the strength of the CMCA for many years to come. The ANA �B� Grade team had been led by Gordon Burns throughout the year and performed excellently to finish on top of the ladder. However, they collapsed disastrously in the Semi-final and were defeated by the Ormond Presbyterians. A similar fate awaited Bill Ogden�s team in �C� Grade who finished fourth on the ladder but succumbed to last season�s �D� Grade Runners-Up, the South Oakleigh Methodists, in their Semi-final game. Mal Hotton�s Fourth Eleven in �D� Grade, once again went through the entire season undefeated to finish on top of the ladder. Players such as Stan LeLievre, Jack Philipson, Ron Harris and Stan Kennedy, all now in the twilight of their careers, had dropped down to the Fourths to play out their days in a somewhat more social manner. Also in the team was young Don Thorne, a player who had shown enormous potential in both football and cricket and who had been coached in his early days on the back yard turf wicket at Stan Kennedy�s home. His promising career had been cut short by the injuries that he had sustained in a tragic road accident, but the stylish left-hander began a determined fightback this season and continued on to eventually play 100 games with the First Eleven.

1960/61 �D� GRADE PREMIERS

Match Statistics

Bentleigh ANA - 1st Innings

Hotton M . . . . �..lbw Black 36

Thorne D . . . .  . ..c Bell 5

Wanless R . . . . �b Griffiths 18

Kennedy S . . . . . . run out 14

Dennis G  . . ��.c Griffiths 35

Harris R . . . . . . . .c Griffiths 16

LeLievre S . . . . . .b Griffiths 20

Pennent B . . . . . . b Griffiths 19

Philipson J . . . . . .c & b Griffiths 1

Springfield W . . . . run out 65

Bach P . . . . . . . . . . . not out 12

Sundries 22

TOTAL 263

Bowling - Black N. 1/93, Bell B. 1/6, Griffiths G. 6/93, Copsey A. 0/53.

 

 

 

 

McKinnon - 1st Innings

Bell B . . . . . . . . . lbw Philipson 7

Copsey A . . . . . . b LeLievre 5

Jones R . . . . . . . c Dennis b LeLievre 28

Pritchard A . . . . . c Bach b LeLievre 0

Black N . . . . . . .  c Dennis b Kennedy 63

Jones D . . . . . . . lbw Kennedy 41

Copsey A (Jnr) . . .c behind b LeLievre 3

Colton B . . . . . . . . b Kennedy 0

Griffiths G . . . . . . .b Kennedy 12

Hamley G . . . . . . .c Springfield b LeLievre 7

Hellings S . . . . . . .not out 0

Sundries 10

TOTAL 176

Bowling - Dennis G. 0/37, LeLievre S. 5/68, Philipson J. 1/33, Kennedy S. 4/29.

 

 

Bentleigh ANA - 2nd Innings

Hotton M . . . . . . .b Griffiths 17

Thorne D . . . . . . b Black 0

Wanless R . . . . ..b Copsey 46

Kennedy S. . . . .  b Copsey 0

Dennis G . . . . . . b Copsey 11

Harris R . . . . . . . c Griffiths 0

LeLievre S . . . . . b Copsey 34

Philipson J . . . . .  b Griffiths 1

Springfield W . . .  b Griffiths 1

Bach P . . . . . . . .  lbw Copsey 9

Pennent B . . . . . . not out 0

Sundries 7

TOTAL 126

Bowling - Black N. 1/52, Griffiths G. 4/22, Copsey A. 5/45.

 

McKinnon - 2nd Innings

Bell B . . . . . . . . . st Kennedy 4

Jones D . . . . . . . run out 3

Jones R . . . . . . . c Springfield b Kennedy 18

Black N . . . . . . . .c Springfield b Kennedy 24

Copsey A . . . . . . lbw Kennedy 25

Griffiths G . . . . . .c Thorne b Lelievre 0

Colton B . . . . . . . c & b Kennedy 3

Pritchard A . . . . .  st Kennedy 7

Copsey A (Jnr) . .  b LeLievre 1

Hamley G . . . . . .  c behind LeLievre 0

Hellings S . . . . . .  not out 2

Sundries 2

TOTAL 87

Bowling - LeLievre S. 3/24, Kennedy S. 6/62.

 

Bentleigh ANA won Outright by 126 runs.

 

ANA came up against Hampton Church of Christ in the Semifinal in what turned out to be a fiercely contested grudge match. Batting first, skipper Hotton showed no mercy for his opponents as he and Don Thorne put on 148 for the first wicket. Hotton was dismissed for a stubborn 45 while Thorne hit up a fine 85 before losing his wicket. After then losing several quick wickets, former Melbourne District player Stan Kennedy, took over from where Hotton and Thorne left off, as he hammered an excellent 128 and after Ron Harris chipped in for a smart 36, ANA had amassed a monstrous total of 404. The performances of Kennedy were outstanding, considering the fact that he had lost the sight in one eye some years ago and was still performing magnificently at the age of 50. The lacklustre Church of Christ team then set after the awesome ANA total but Stan LeLievre with 3/20 and Jack Philipson with 4/46 routed them for a meagre 77, ending any faint hopes that they may have had. Barry Pennant captured 4/40 in the second innings as Hampton again collapsed, this time for only 102, paving the way for ANA to enter the Grand Final for the third successive year. ANA were confronted by McKinnon in the Final and once again batted first. Mal Hotton again led from the front with a determined 36, but when Gary Dennis was dismissed after a quick 35, ANA had slumped to be 8 for 162 and in a fair amount of trouble. Number ten batsman Billy Springfield then strode to the crease and destroyed the McKinnon attack, initially adding 63 with Barry Pennant for the ninth wicket, and then a further 38 with former umpire Pat Bach for the last wicket, as he personally knocked up a whirlwind 65 before being run out. Amazingly, ANA had somehow managed to power to an excellent total of 263. The experienced ANA attack, led by Stan Kennedy and Stan LeLievre, then restricted the McKinnon batting line-up to a respectable total of 176. The tall LeLievre bowled valiantly all day to end up with 5/68 while Kennedy used all of his wizardry to capture 4/29 and wrap up the McKinnon innings. With an 87 run lead ANA entered the second innings confident of a comfortable Premiership win, but the McKinnon team had other ideas. At 1 for 64, ANA appeared to be cruising but the dismissal of �Curly� Wanless for a hard hit 46 started a collapse which saw ANA slump to 6 for 82 before Stan LeLievre chipped in for an important 34, to see ANA struggle through to a total of 126. Requiring 214 for victory McKinnon were still in with a chance, but again the duo of Stan Kennedy and Stan LeLievre proved too much. Kennedy stole the limelight, capturing 6/62 with his �flippers�, while opening bowler LeLievre took 3/24, as McKinnon were bundled out for a meagre total of 87. The ANA �D� Grade team had not only been successful in winning �back-to-back� Premierships but had gone through two consecutive seasons undefeated and they still remain the only ANA team, and possibly the only CMCA team, to have achieved this feat.

 

1961/62

After the fine Premiership win of the previous season, Rex Sheppard once again led the �A� Grade team for the 1960/61 season. Premiership player and leg spinner Dennis Jay retired from the game, but the rest of the team remained relatively stable and still appeared to be packed with youth and brilliance. However, the strong ANA team never really recovered from losing their first two games and struggled throughout the season. Needing to win the last game outright to sneak into the final four, ANA had only to make a quick 120 runs in the second innings to achieve their goal. Alas, they collapsed to be all out for a meagre 90 runs, missing out on a finals berth for the first time in six seasons. It was a disastrous result for the talent packed ANA team as Bob Arnfield had been superb throughout the season, collecting 553 runs and taking 33 wickets, while skipper Rex Sheppard had taken 52 wickets, and the 42-year-old Cyril Parke chipped in with 369 runs. Unfortunately the lack of success had filtered throughout the Club, and after having all four teams in the finals the previous year, ANA failed to have a single side represented in the finals. This was the first time that this had happened to ANA in almost twenty years. Sadly though, the writing appeared to be on the wall and the disappointing year gave warning that this could possibly mean the end of an era of domination of the CMCA by the Bentleigh ANA Cricket Club.

 

1962/63

Any serious hopes that ANA had of regaining their supremacy were quickly dashed prior to the 1962/63 season when the two champion all-rounders, Bob Arnfield and Max Papley, both left the Club. Papley accepted the position as Captain/Coach of the Moorabbin Cricket Club, in the Sub District competition, while Arnfield concentrated on his other favoured past time of golf, in which he went on to play in many major tournaments around the state. The pair had remarkably similar short careers. Papley having made 2294 runs at an average of about 35, while Arnfield had amassed 2410 runs at around 32 runs an innings. Whilst with the ball, Papley had taken 228 wickets at an average of 10.2 with his express, but slightly questionable, bowling action and Arnfield had captured 200 wickets at 13 runs apiece with his variety of pace, swing and spin. Both players had also had a large influence in ANA�s three recent �A� Grade Premierships. With the loss of these two, as well as that of four times Premiership player Ralph Sturt, who headed to South Caulfield to keep wickets in the VJCA, the ANA �A� Grade team struggled and could only manage a handful of wins, finishing in the middle of the table. Rex Sheppard worked hard to replace the loss of the former Premiership players and showed his cunning when he came across Middle Park batsman Harry Sleath, while carrying out plumbing repairs at Harry�s house. Sleath was nearing the end of a fine career in the Sub District Cricket Association and was contemplating retiring. Sheppard, never one to pass up a recruiting opportunity, insisted that Harry have a game with ANA and even offered to fit Harry�s septic cistern in his new house at less than half price if he obliged. This was an offer that Harry found too good to refuse and he played with the Club for the next few seasons. The rest of the teams struggled to win many games at all, and it was becoming clear that if ANA was going to have any future at all, they would have to rely on new youth coming up through the juniors. The introduction of a second �Under 16� team this season was the first positive step taken towards achieving this goal.

 

1963/64

Prior to the 1963/64 season, after a long and distinguished career at the Club, Cyril Parke left to go to West Bentleigh in a final bid to play in one more �A� Grade Premiership side. Who could deny Cyril this opportunity after the service that he had given the Club over the years. Beginning at the Club in 1933/34, Cyril had played a Club record of 203 games at the �A� Grade level, amassing an enormous 5820 runs in a career which saw him Captain three Premiership teams and play in a total of five �A� Grade Premierships. One only shudders to think of the enormity of his statistics had he been at the Club throughout the 1940�s when, after a brief stint at Melbourne, and possibly at the peak of his career, he initially went into the army and then concentrated on establishing the business in his newsagency. The loss of Parke, however, was offset by the return of opening batsman Barry Sheppard from Bentleigh Church of Christ. Rex Sheppard had a magnificent year, taking 50 wickets, and led a young team which already contained five players who had come up through the Club�s junior teams. The best of these being John Romeril, who showed enormous potential, scoring over 300 runs for the season. The Sheppard brothers both had fine seasons, with Barry scoring almost 450 runs, but the ANA �A� Grade team could manage only two wins for the season. Fortunately, one of those wins coming in the last game to avoid relegation. Once again the Club failed to have a side in the finals, even after having dropped back from four teams to three, in an attempt to stabilise the dwindling numbers.

 

1964/65

After an overwhelming 21 years at the head of the Club, Alan Ellis stepped down as President of the Bentleigh ANA Cricket Club at the completion of the 1963/64 season. Ellis had been President whilst the Club had won five �A� Grade Premierships, one �C� Grade Premiership, and two �D� Grade Premierships, an era which saw ANA dominate the Association. His successor was the shrewd accountant and Secretary of the past six years, Eddie Benson, who was taking over at a time when the Club was arguably at the lowest ebb in its history to date. If not for the efforts and hard work of Messrs Benson, Sheppard, Haw and Co. the Club would have indeed folded during this period. Things were so grim that some of these Senior members were providing financial assistance out of their own pockets simply to keep the Club afloat, in an era which saw the existence of ANA seriously threatened. However, ANA�s policy of playing the youngsters was slowly starting to pay dividends. This, combined with the introduction of John Opie from Bentleigh Church of Christ, saw the �A� Grade team�s form improve dramatically, unluckily finishing in fifth position, after losing the last two games of the season by less than 30 runs. Barry Sheppard finished with over 400 runs for the season and John Opie ended up with 250, whilst Rex Sheppard took 44 wickets, having more support at the other end now in 16-year-old speedster Dick Martin. The season couldn�t be reviewed without mentioning one performance that will probably never be equalled, that being the efforts of popular clubman Allan Whiting. Allan, or �Fishy� as he was more affectionately known, played the first seven games of the season in the �A� Grade without even facing a ball. Skipper Sheppard took great delight in regularly declaring prior to Allan�s onslaught, leaving a rather bemused Whiting rapidly unpadding without so much as working up a sweat. Seeing this predicament, the selectors saw fit to give Fishy a run in the �C� Grade to hit himself into form. The wisdom of this move could be questioned when, after five innings, Allan had strode to the wicket five times for a total of five first ball �Golden Ducks�. Requiring a strong performance from the �C� Grade team to reach the finals, it was considered to be in the best interests of all concerned for Fishy to finish his �run spree� in the �E� Grade. This move brought instant success, and the cheers could be heard for miles, when he played the first ball he faced defensively out into the covers. However, this flourish was short lived, as the next ball uprooted his off stump, and when he journeyed back to the �shed� after another first ball dismissal in the second innings, Fishy had the unenviable distinction of becoming the first, and only, ANA batsman to be dismissed seven times in eight balls and failing to score a run for the entire season. Fishy�s failures aside, the improvements around the Club saw the ANA �C� Grade team finish third prior to the finals, with the hard hitting veteran Eddie Lambert stealing the limelight. Renowned for being one of the biggest hitters of a cricket ball that the Club had ever seen, Lambert was in awesome form at various stages throughout the year. A fact never more evident than against the Bentleigh C.Y.M.S. team in Round 4. His performances throughout the match saw him crack 108 in the first innings and 113 not out in the second innings as ANA powered towards an awesome victory. Lambert�s season saw him accumulate a monstrous 581 runs, which was a fine comeback for a man who had broken both his elbows in an accident only three years earlier. However, Norm Hocking�s �C� Grade team struggled to reproduce this sort of scintillating form and went down to the Bentleigh Presbyterians in their Semi-final match. ANA had three junior teams this season, having introduced an �Under 14A� Grade team to join the �Under 16A� and �Under 16C� Grade teams, which it already had, and was successful in seeing all three of these junior teams making the finals. The �Under 16A� Grade team was led by Alan Sanders and finished third prior to the finals. ANA batted first in their Semi-final encounter with East Bentleigh and at the end of the first Saturday had accumulated an impressive total of 3 for 207. Needing to bowl East Bentleigh out for victory, ANA had no hesitation in declaring overnight, but had hardly made any impression into East�s innings by stumps on the second day, as they had cruised to 2 for 120, in a rain affected game which had unfortunately ended in a draw.  The �Under 16C� Grade team, led by Alan�s cousin Ronald James, just managed to sneak into the finals, finishing in fourth position. They also batted first in their Semi-final match against West Bentleigh and after being 3 for 55 at one stage, recovered to reach a total of 3 for 147 at the end of the first day. Rod Curtis had batted magnificently to remain unconquered on 70 while David Strachan had provided fine assistance with an unbeaten 36, as ANA batted its way into a confident position. Alan Hollings then set about single handedly destroying the top team�s innings as he crashed through the batting line up to finish the day with 8/25, as Wests were bundled out for 97, in an amazing effort. ANA then clashed with the Ormond Presbyterians in an unexpected final�s confrontation. ANA batted first and everything had suddenly began to fall into place. Peter Hartlett led a run onslaught with 53 and Ken Harrigan made an important 36 before 14-year-old Greg James stole the limelight. Playing above his own age group, James batted defiantly to finish up unbeaten on 77, being denied a century only by the fact that he ran out of partners, as ANA batted its way to a magnificent total of 240. Speedster Alan Hollings then continued on from where he left off in the Semi-final as he collected 3/33, and once again the pint sized Greg James performed admirably, slipping in to capture 3/47 with his off-spinners. The Ormond Presbyterians finished well short of the large target, making 159. Neil Bach then dampened any hopes that the Presbyterians may have had of snatching an outright victory with a fine 51 not out which helped steer ANA to a total of 2 for 99 in the second innings, assuring them of an amazing and unexpected win, and its first junior Premiership for 25 years. The �Under 14A� Grade team was led by Brian Grandin and went into the finals as �red hot� favourites, after finishing on top of the ladder in their first year of competition. Tragically, however, they went down to Highett off the second last ball of the day in their rain affected Semi-final match. The excellent form of the juniors gave the Club a glimmer of hope for future success and also indicated that the future of ANA appeared brighter than it did a couple of years before.

 

Last Updated (Monday, 25 September 2017 13:48)