Glenorchy District Cricket Club History
Compiled by Brett Smith February 2012
1931 – 1950
While cricket had been played in the Glenorchy area for some time the club itself wasn’t formed until 1931 and had its first season in the Tasmanian Cricket Association in 1931/32, under the Presidency of Mr J H Geappen with Doug Darling captaining the A Grade side. The club fielded an A and B Grade team in its first year with a C Grade side entering the competition the following season. The clubs home was the Eady St recreational ground which at that stage would have been virtually surrounded by orchards and vegetable gardens. After losing the first 8 games in the competition (which remains a club record) the clubs first win would come against Kingston at Eady St, chasing 205 the visitors where bowled out for 134 with Ken Gourlay having a fine double for Glenorchy with a half century and 5/49. Later the same season Gourlay would carry his bat twice in the same game against Sandy Bay with scores of 77no and 91no, the only other Glenorchy opener in the clubs history to carry his bat was Bill Murray in 1965/66 against University. 1933/34 saw Gerald James join Glenorchy from New Town thanks largely to the fact he had moved house and was now living in the Glenorchy District and the rules of the day prevented him from playing with New Town as you had to play in the district you were living. The move would pay huge dividends for the club with James being arguable one of the best all-rounders the state has ever produced; he was also a tireless worker in the early years helping promote the club and the game in the Glenorchy and New Norfolk areas and beyond. James would take over as Captain in 1934/35 and remain in the job for the next 13 seasons. 1934/35 however would see the club record its lowest ever A grade total scoring only 19 against Sandy Bay on the Sandy Bay ground. 1938/39 would see the careers of Emerson Rodwell and Noel Diprose begin, and both men would have a prodigious impact on the club both on and off the field for decades to come. The season would also see the first time a Glenorchy player make a century and take 5 wickets in an innings with Gerald James making 142 and taking 6/48 against North West. James would do it again in 40/41 against Kingborough with 160 and 5/45. The only other occasion a player had made a century and taken 5 wickets was Brett Geeves making 111 and taking 6/30 against University in 2005/06
In 1941/42 the club would finish clear on top of the ladder at the end of the season and as such win its first premiership in the competition. Captain Gerald James would take a club record 68 wickets at 10.06 for the season. The premiership was celebrated with a dinner at the Elwick Hotel attended by a large gathering of players and supporters including the Tasmanian Chief Secretary Mr E Brooker after which the Brooker Highway is named and the chairman of the TCA Mr H C Smith after which the main grandstand at the TCA ground is named, numerous toasts where made one by Mr J Connolly congratulated the club on having 27 of its players in the ranks of the fighting forces. The Chief Secretary congratulated the club also, saying the policy of the government was a continuance of organized sport as long as it did not interfere with the war effort. He considered sport in war time was necessary to maintain morale and the spirit of the people.
The club would go undefeated in 1942/43 and secure its second premiership by defeating Sandy Bay on the 1st innings by a 114 runs on the North Hobart ground, Captain Gerald James leading the way with 102 in 104 minutes. An interesting statistic for the season was Glenorchy scoring at a rate of 82.68 runs per hour, fair going even by today’s standards. Fast scoring was also prevalent in 1943/44 where in one game against South Hobart at the TCA Ground the club notched up 6/439 in just less than 4 hours, James again doing the damage with 141 in 88 minutes. To prove he wasn’t just a fast scoring batsman in 1945/46 James would take 9/11 off 10 overs against New Town at Eady St, on what was described as a perfect wicket James reportable swung the ball at least 3 feet with a stiff sea breeze blowing across the ground as New Town where dismissed for 53 with the remaining dismissal being a run out. 9/11 still remains the best innings figures at the club. 1947/48 would see Emerson Rodwell take over as captain at the same time his father Len would take over as Club President, a position he would hold for 11 seasons which remains a club record. In 1948/49 the club would win its third premiership after only losing one game during the year, securing the flag with an outright victory over New Town. The premiership would be the first of eight that Rodwell would win as Captain, which remains a TCA record to this day.
Notable debuts for the period
33/34 – 49/50 Gerald James 6810 runs 639 wickets
36/37 – 51/52 Fred Hay 4852 runs
38/39 – 63/64 Emerson Rodwell 11542 runs 331 wickets
38/39 – 62/63 Noel Diprose 3449 runs 751 wickets
46/47 – 66/67 Lloyd Smith 7808 runs
47/48 – 63/64 Doug Walton 6585 runs
49/50 – 57/58 Terry Palmer 273 wickets
41/42, 42/43, 48/49
41/42, 46/47, 47/48, 48/49
1950 – 1970
The clubs golden era was without doubt the 1950s winning 6 premierships and 8 club championships during the decade. The club secured its fourth flag in 1950/51 when it defeated Kingborough by 153 runs at Eady St, the side also went on to win the clubs first ever state title against West Launceston in a rain affected game in Launceston. 1951/52 saw the season begin with 33 wickets falling in under 5 hours on a wet wicket at Kingston, Glenorchy winning the game outright after bowling the home side out for 22 and 62 respectively and by defeating the Colts team by 37 runs at Clare St later in the season the club would notch up its fifth flag. The club would back it up in 1952/53 winning its sixth premiership and going undefeated for the season, 52/53 would also be the first time the club would win premierships in all 3 grades, a large photo commemorating the event still hangs in the clubrooms. 1954/55 would see the best match bowling figures taken at the club with Terry Palmer taking 13/55 (8/16 and 5/39) against Kingborough. 1954/55 would also be the first season where a finals series was played, and after winning 11 straight games during the year (which remains a club record) the club would go on to beat Sandy Bay in the Semi Final and line up against North Hobart in the decider at the TCA Ground. Batting first Glenorchy could only muster 7/156 in its allocated time, leaving North Hobart 140 minutes to get the runs, in a tight finish they were bowled out for 144 with 5 minutes play remaining, David McGuire and Terry Palmer both taking 4/37 as the club secured its seventh premiership. Glenorchy would do it again in 1955/56, after making 465 against New Norfolk (which remains the highest score made by the 1st Grade side) in the Semi Final and winning by an innings and 275 runs the club would move on to play New Town for the Premiership, after winning the toss and batting New Town where bowled out for 188 and when bad light stopped play on the second Saturday Glenorchy had finished 8/437 winning its eighth flag, a fourth wicket partnership of 220 by Walton and Rodwell being the backbone of the innings, Doug Walton winning the Man of the Match with a fine 134. It would be three 1st Grade flags in a row in 1956/57 and also the clubs seventh Club Championship in a row, after defeating New Town in a closely fought Semi Final the club would go on to play North Hobart in the Grand Final. North won the toss and batted and made their way to 182, Des Kenna and Noel Diprose taking 3 wickets apiece, Glenorchy looked in trouble at 4/39 but rallied thanks to Fred Dewsnap 53 and on debut Bill Murray 58 to finish with 212 and its ninth title, Murray winning the Man of the Match award. It would also be the second time in the club history that all three grade premierships where won. In 1958/59 after trapping Trevor Calvert lbw Noel Diprose became the clubs highest ever wicket taker passing Gerald James’s 639 scalps. Such was the strength of the club from 1958/59 to 1960/61 the club would field two first grade teams in the competition, the first time it had been done in southern first grade cricket.
After being runners up the previous three seasons 1960/61 would see the club win its tenth flag against North Hobart. After batting first North never recovered from a poor start and where eventually all out for 126 with the bowling honours shared, in reply Glenorchy where never in trouble racking up 416, a fine partnership of 108 in 86 minutes by Mike Hyland and Doug Walton being the highlight of the innings, Walton making 105 with sixteen fours and one five earning him the Man on the Match.
Emerson Rodwell would captain his eighth premiership in 1962/63 again against North Hobart at the TCA ground, with Glenorchy leading by only seventeen runs on the first innings the game look set for an interesting contest but no one told Glenorchy’s Ken Ryan, the 21 year old ripped through North’s second innings taking 7/26 when rain stopped play at 4.20pm, when play resumed at 5.00pm a sporting declaration by North Hobart left Glenorchy to get 37 runs for an outright victory, Rodwell hitting consecutive boundaries to give the club its eleventh title. The club would be runners up in 63/64 and 64/65 and finish the decade off well with Club Championships in 67/68, 68/69 and 69/70. 1967/68 would see the introduction of the Club Champion Trophy and in 1968/69 Stan Gough would begin his 22 years as Club Patron
Notable debuts for the period
50/51 – 67/68 Des Kenna 302 wickets
52/53 – 73/74 Mike Hyland 7750 runs
53/54 – 68/69 Roy Bowden 326 wickets
53/54 – 60/61 David McGuire 304 wickets
56/57 – 81/82 Bill Murray 6236 runs
59/60 – 82/83 Kel Cobern 4616 runs 254 wickets
65/66 – 84/85 Ian James 4150 runs 330 wickets
50/51, 51/52, 52/53, 54/55, 55/56, 56/57, 60/61, 62/63
50/51, 51/52, 52/53, 53/54, 54/55, 55/56, 56/57, 58/59, 62/63, 63/64, 64/65, 67/68, 68/69, 69/70
1970 – 1990
1970/71 would see the club win the first ever TCA Knockout limited overs competition beating Kingborough in a close fought 35 over final played at the Queenborough ground. Kingborough batted first and made 134 off 32.5 overs Tony Davidson 3/15 and Captain Kel Cobern 4/32 doing the bulk of the damage, Glenorchy’s innings was held together by opener Bill Murray with 51 but it wasn’t until number 10 batsman Davidson squeezed a ball through gully for three runs with three balls to spare that Glenorchy took the title and the hundred dollars in prize money. The club would take out its second one day title in 1972/73 this time against Sandy Bay in another game that would go down to the wire. The Bay batted first and made a healthy 6/174 off their 32 overs, Glenorchy where in all sorts of trouble at 5/50 when Kel Cobern joined Bill Murray at the crease, the pair put on 61 for the fifth wicket but they fell in quick succession and with the score at 7/111 things where looking grim, Mick Rodwell and Don Holland took the score to 144 before Holland departed and when Rodwell was out shortly after Glenorchy still needed 23 to win. It come down to the last pair of Mike Gandy and Ian Gordon and when Gandy hit Brent Palfreyman for two sixes in succession it gave Glenorchy the break it needed, Gandy ending the game in style when he got Palfreyman away to the square leg boundary for four off the fourth last ball of the match.
The club backed up that performance by winning its third Knockout premiership in 1973/74 this time against Kingborough at the TCA ground, Kingborough took first use of the wicket and racked up 7/159 off its 35 overs with the bowling honours shared, in reply Glenorchy where in trouble at 6/83 with 15 overs remaining, Kel Cobern and Captain Brian Richardson carried the score to 6/120 before Cobern departed and when Holland was out shortly after the side still needed 27 in four overs but the experienced Richardson and number ten batsman Peter Gray saw the side home with nine balls to spare. 1973/74 would also see the club win its twelfth premiership against Sandy Bay at the TCA. Batting first Glenorchy had made 6/290 when the compulsory closure came, the two veterans of the team in Brian Richardson 77 and Mike Hyland 97no making up the bulk of the runs, the Bay started well and where 3/137 but then lost 5 for 40. Ponsonby then joined Palfreyman and they put on 84 for the ninth wicket before Ponsonby was caught at the wicket off Gandy, and when Palfreyman took a bye off the last ball of the over new batsman Hodgman had to face an over from Gray and was bowled second ball. When the number eleven joined Palfreyman 29 where needed, the pair whittled that down to eight before Palfreyman edged one behind to Don Holland and it was all over much to the excitement of the Glenorchy supporters, Captain Coach Brian Richardson was chaired off the field after Glenorchy had secured its first title in eleven years.
The clubs thirteenth flag was won in 1975/76 against New Town, after batting first on a lively wicket Glenorchy where dismissed for only 181 Bruce Neill top scoring with 51 in 66 minutes. With just over an hours play left on the Saturday Mick Rodwell all but wrapped up the flag for the Pies with a magnificent spell of pace bowling, taking 3/9 off 9 overs to leave New Town reeling at 5/19 when stumps where drawn. Ian James completed the mopping up operation on the Sunday morning as New Town where bowled out for 61, New Town fared better in their 2nd innings making 195 but the damage was done, Mick Rodwell winning the man of the match award with match figures of 7/65. 1975/76 was also the first time the TCA cricketer of the year was presented, the inaugural award being won by Glenorchy all-rounder Ian James, presented to him by TCA chairman Max Jillet, only two weeks earlier James has his nose broken, both eyes blackened and several teeth removed after a training mishap and no doubt would have been a pretty picture at the awards dinner held at the Westside Motor Inn. The club would secure its fourteenth and last premiership to date in 1976/77 after an outright win by an innings and 286 runs over Kingborough in the Semi Final the club would go on to play South Hobart for the title, however heavy rain washed the game out without a ball being bowled, Glenorchy taking the premiership after finishing on top of the ladder at the end of the roster season. 1977 was also the first year of the outstanding junior award the inaugural winner being Scott Lamont.
The club would win its fourth TCA Knockout Title in 1980/81. Glenorchy batted first and could only manage 122 at the TCA ground, Lindsay Davidson (32) and Don Holland (28) showing the only real resistance. Sandy Bay lost their first wicket with the score on 23 and at the tea break where sitting pretty at 3/70 only requiring 53 from the remaining 24 overs but then enter Glenorchy fast bowler Shane Dawson who took two wickets in the first over after the break, 5/71 soon turned to 7/85 and when the ninth wicket fell the Bay still needed 21 off 5.3 overs, the last pair whittled that down to only needing 3 off the last over to win but a disastrous run out off the first ball saw the pies win an amazing victory. Dawson named Man of the Match with 4/18 off his 10 overs, Captain Ian James with the incredible figures of 1/5 off 10 providing excellent support. Season 80/81 was the clubs 50th year in the TCA and to celebrate the occasion past players and officials were invited to the normal annual club function held at the Royal Showgrounds, among those attending where the clubs first 1st Grade Captain Doug Darling, Ken Gourlay a member of that side, Len Rodwell the then oldest surviving Life Member and a number of players from the pre-war era. In 1981/82 the club would win its record equalling seventh Club Championship in a row. After being runners up to Clarence the previous two seasons the club looked to have the flag won in 1983/84 after posting 359 and having Clarence 5/160 but then the heavens opened and no further play was possible and the title went to Clarence who finished top of the ladder. The following season 1984/85 would be the first time in fifteen seasons the club would miss the final four and only the second time in the last twenty years
The club recorded its fifth win in the TCA Knockout competition in 1988/89 with a 40 run win over South Hobart- Sandy Bay at Queenborough, batting first Glenorchy compiled 5/233 off their 50 overs Martin Kelly (52) Brendan Wilson (56) and Captain Mick Taylor (83) being the main contributors. SHSB looked in with a chance at 3/160 with 9 overs to go but lost their next 5 wickets for 17 runs and the game was lost.
Notable debuts for the period
72/73 – 87/88 Don Holland 3730 runs
75/76 – 93/94 Chris Broadby 473 wickets
81/82 – 88/89 Tony Wade 3234 runs
84/85 – 96/97 Brendan Wilson 4952 runs
89/90 – 95/96 Roger Hughes 212 wickets
73/74, 75/76, 76/77
TCA Knockout Premiers
70/71, 72/73, 73/74, 80/81, 88/89
70/71, 73/74, 75/76, 76/77, 77/78, 78/79, 79/80, 80/81, 81/82, 83/84
1990 – 2012
1990/91 would see the club win its first statewide Kookaburra Cup final. A Roger Hughes hatrick would see the pies get over North Hobart in the Semi Final and go on to play Wynyard in the decider. The hosts won the toss and sent Glenorchy in, the club posting 8/248 off its 50 overs thanks largely to a fine second wicket partnership of 114 by Andrew Wyver (87) and Scott Smith (72), with four wickets in hand and 60 needed off nine overs Wynyard where in with a show until Captain Chris Broadby cleaned up the tail to finish with figures of 4/28 as Wynyard where bowled out for 216, Wyver winning the man of the match award for his fine 87. 1990/91 would also see the clubs ACT recruit Scott Smith become the second Glenorchy player to win the TCA cricketer of the year. Roger Hughes would be the clubs third winner of the TCA Medal in 1992/93. In 1994/95 the club decided to award a best clubman award on a regular basis and in 2009/10 the best clubman award was renamed the James Family Best Clubman award in recognition of the tremendous work Gerald and Ian James and their families have given the club over a long period of time. The season of 1996/97 would see great change at the club, after calling Eady St home for 65 years the club relocated to KGV Oval, mainly due to the larger ground and clubrooms at that venue. The clubrooms where officially opened at a luncheon attended by a number of Life Members and former players along with the Chairman of the Australian Cricket Board Mr Denis Rogers. Unfortunately the move would coincide with the club having its leanest period on the field in its history, for the next 6 seasons the club would finish last or second last. Amazingly it took almost four seasons at KGV before the first century at the ground was scored, Darren McConnon making 114 against New Town in 1999/00. The new millennium would also see the club name a Team of the Century, a selection panel of 5 former players which all but covered every era of the club was chosen to select the side. A function was organized at Laetare Gardens and attended by up to a hundred former players and their partners. The team in batting order is as follows.
1. Lloyd Smith 7808 runs at 30.03
2. Brendan Wilson 4952 runs at 31.95
3. Emerson Rodwell (VC) 11542 runs at 38.47 and 331 wickets at 16.21
4. Mike Hyland 7750 runs at 32.96
5. Doug Walton 6585 runs at 35.03
6. Gerald James (C) 6810 runs at 28.02 and 639 wickets at 15.57
7. Ian James 4150 runs at 22.68 and 330 wickets at 19.09
8. Don Holland (WK) 3730 runs at 25.37 and 267 catches and 63 stumpings
9. Chris Broadby 473 wickets at 18.72 and 2240 runs at 18.21
10. David McGuire 304 wickets at 12.90 and 1511 runs at 19.13
11. Noel Diprose 751 wickets at 13.35 and 3449 runs at 17.33
12. Terry Palmer 273 wickets at 11.03 and 716 runs at 19.89
It was also announced at the dinner that from that season on the club champion trophy (best performed player throughout the grades) would now be called the Noel Diprose Medal. Mr Diprose responded and said he was very humbled by the announcement. Later in 2000/01 Diprose would present the inaugural medal to Kelby Pickering. Before 00/01 the award had numerous names, Falls Trophy and Loughrans Award to name but two.
2002/03 would see the club recruit a new coach and a good number of new players, making it through to the grand final but going down to Clarence. Travis Birts 136 on debut would beat the previous highest score on debut by Scott Smith who made 106no against Kingborough in 1991/92. It would be a sense of déjà vu in 2003/04 again going down to the same side in the decider at Bellerive. 2004/05 would finally see some silverware at KGV in the form of the clubs second Kookaburra Cup title, Glenorchy batting first on a good wicket at KGV made a competitive 257 Dane Anderson 51, Michael Knight 44 and Trent Graham 40 getting the bulk of the runs. At 3/127 SHSB looked on target with Polkinghorne and Doolan at the crease but both batsmen fell at that score and the side from Queenborough never recovered, falling 16 runs short in what was an entertaining final. 2004/05 also saw the club introduce numbered caps in 1st Grade, with statistics going back to 1931 the club was able to identify all 325 first grade players and their particular caps. Close to a hundred former players attended a function at Bellerive Oval where they were presented with their cap by a captain from there era. The tradition continues to this day where on debut any new player in the 1st grade side is presented their cap on the morning of the match. The summer would also see the most runs scored by a Glenorchy batsman in a season with Dane Anderson making 957 at 59.81. The club would make it back to back Kookaburra Cup Premierships in 2005/06 with an emphatic win over Clarence at KGV, after winning the toss and batting Clarence where all out 23 overs later for only 65, Kelby Pickering ripping through their top order to take 3/10 off 7 overs, Glenorchy knocking off the runs in 9.2 overs for the loss of 2 wickets. 2007/08 would see the clubs highest individual score beaten with Dane Anderson making 252no against SHSB at KGV beating the previous highest of 220no made by Roger Hughes in 1989/90. The club would produce its first ever Australian player in 2008/09 when Brett Geeves lined up against Bangladesh for a one day international in Darwin. It was decided in 08/09 to award the Noel Diprose Medal to the best performed player in 1st grade alone and hence the Chris Broadby Medal was struck, to be presented to the best performed player in the remaining grades, both medals where adjusted from 2000/01 to allow for the change. The 27th of February was a sad day for all at the club with the passing of the great Emerson Rodwell, a number of lovely articles appeared in the print media and on radio, however Brett Geeves summed it up best in part of his article in the Mercury “we thank you for the unbelievable contribution you have given our club, the game of cricket, our country and life itself, Rest in Peace.
The season of 2011/12 would see the first Glenorchy player to pull on the baggy green for Australia with Ed Cowan opening the batting against India in the Boxing Day Test making a well compiled 68
Notable debuts for the period
90/91 – 00/01 Andrew Wyver 3251 runs
98/99 – 11/12 Brett Geeves 2456 runs 148 wickets
99/00 – 11/12 Luke Butterworth 3023 runs 131 wickets
00/01 – 11/12 Kelby Pickering 237 wickets
02/03 – 10/11 Rob Dilger 3563 runs
04/05 – 10/11 Dane Anderson 4253 runs
Kookaburra Cup Titles
90/91, 04/05, 05/06
Many things have changed in the game of cricket and our society in general since the club was formed in 1931. The only way to access the eastern shore of Hobart back then was by ferry as no bridges where available, an automatic telephone system had only been in operation in the city for two years and the Tasmanian tiger still existed. Club cricket back then was generally played from 1 to 6 on a Saturday afternoon with no limited overs games by A B and C grade sides on grounds that where prepared mainly by the clubs with no covers no in ground irrigation and rudimentary wicket rollers and mowers. The competition has evolved into a game that is now played on Saturdays and Sundays generally from 11 to 6 with some twilight games during the week by 1st 2nd and 3rd grade sides and underage teams ranging from Under 17s to Under 13s as well as a women’s competition, played on grounds predominately prepared by councils with modern equipment, large covers and perfectly grassed outfields. The things that haven’t changed in the game are the frustrations and the disappointments, the jubilation and the achievements and the politics and controversy. However above all else, the one constant is that the game of cricket is just that “a game” that hopefully will be played in the right spirit and enjoyed both on and off the field for many summers to come.
Brett Smith February 2012