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On This Day in ACT Cricket History – 14 February

  • 1954 – Alan Thom makes his ACT Debut
  • 1974 – Birth of Drew Crozier (ACT Umpire)
  • 1976 – Birth of Michael O’Rourke (ACT 1999/00-2002/03)
  • 1986 – Birth of Jack Vare (ACT 2010/11)
  • 1987 – Birth of Adam Ritchard (ACT 2004/05-2010/11)
  • 1991 – Birth of Matt Sunderland (ACT 2009/10)
  • 1991 – Birth of Vanessa Picker (ACT Debut 2008/09)
  • 1999 – Mark Higgs makes his List A Debut for New South Wales

First Ever International at Manuka Oval

The first ever international match played at Manuka Oval was not by a male cricket team, it was in fact played by the Canberra Women’s side against the touring English Women’s side in January 1935.

In September of 1934, there was talk about Canberra securing a visit of the English Women’s side. There was enough confidence in local cricket circles that Manuka Oval was given a block of time set aside for the women’s tour match. At the start of October, local authorities were informed that the English Women’s side would come to Canberra and play a match against a representative Canberra Women’s side. It was a result of an invitation by the New South Wales Women’s Cricket Association. The Canberra side had been one of the strongest areas across country New South Wales following the formation of the Blue Triangle Cricket Association which was responsible for the organisation of cricket in the Canberra area. The local association at the time had six teams across the capital.

Just before Christmas in 1934, a trial match was held between two sides of the Blue Triangle Cricket Association, an Orange side up against a Blue side. The Blue side dominated the match, dismissing the Orange side for 27, Marjorie Moore taking 6 for 19 and Edna Tong 4 for 4. In reply the Blue side made 59 with Mrs Oldfield scoring 30, Nina Southwell taking 4 for 16 and Helen Moore (Marjorie’s sister) taking 4 for 20.

A second trial match was held on December 27 with teams led by Miss Blundell and Miss Southwell according to the Canberra Times. Miss Blundell’s side batted first and made 103 of which Marjorie Moore made 34 and Mrs Oldfield made 27. Nina Southwell took 5 for 17 and Ivy Twemlow from Cooma took 3 for 18. In reply Miss Southwell’s side was dismissed for 113 winning the match by just 10 runs. Ivy Twemlow followed her success with the ball by top scoring with 34 and securing herself a side in the Canberra side for the match against the English. Marjorie Moore again impressed with the ball.

Following this match, the Canberra side for the match was named for the match against the tourists.

Marjorie Moore was named as captain. The rest of the side was Lily Blundell (vice-captain, Westridge), Nina Southwell (Hall), Helen Moore (Hall), Jean Oldfield (Westridge), Katherine Corey (Westridge), Rita Connelly (Westridge), Molly McKissock (Westlake), Francis Robinson (Westlake), Beryl Dixon (YWCA), Ivy Twemlow (Cooma) and Ivy McDonald (Westlake) who was the 12th player. Moore was the second youngest player in the side, aged just 16 while her sister Helen was the youngest aged just 14. The oldest was Francis Robinson aged 37. Eight of the side were still teenagers.

Marjorie Moore captained the first women’s side in 1934/35 at the age of just 16 when they played the visiting English Women’s side. She also led the ACT side to victory at several Country Week competitions and was selected as the vice-captain of the New South Wales side in the 1935/36 Australian Women’s Cricket Championships. She took over 20 wickets in the 1935/36 Country Championships including 16 wickets in two matches on one day. In the first match on that day she took match figures of 13 for 32 against Lisarow. She was a contender for the 1937 Australian Tour of England but was ineligble due to the minimum age limit for players for the tour being 21. Moore was also the President of the Federal Capital Territory’s Women’s Cricket Association in the 1930s. She was inducted into the Cricket ACT Hall of Fame in 2021.

The schedule as described by the Canberra Times was as follows:

Wednesday January 9

  • 730am: Women cricketers to be met at Railway Station by hosts and hostesses.
  • 11am: Photographs at Manuka Oval.
  • 1130am: Match v. Blue Triangle Cricket Association.
  • 1-2pm: Picnic lunch on the Manuka Oval.
  • 4 p.m.: Afternoon tea break.
  • 6 pm.: Stumps drawn.
  • Evening: Swimming Baths visitors’ events.

Thursday January 10

  • Morning free for rest or swimming.
  • 2 pm: Meet at the Parliament House.
  • Drive Round the City
  • 630pm: High tea as guests of the Y.W.C.A. at Civic Centre.
  • 30: Leave by train.

The side was billeted out by interested families and members of the YWCA and the Governor-General, his wife and the Minister for the Interior were invited to the match. A special scorecard was also to be produced for the match. The admission charge was 1/- for adults and 6d for children. There was no charge for cars to enter the ground. Both teams were presented to the Governor-General (Sir Isaac Isaacs) during an interval of the match.

The English side that was named was B.Archdale (captain), B.Snowball, M.Child, B.Green, M.Maclagan, G.Morgan, J.Partridge, N.Richards, J.Spear, M.Taylor and C.Valentine.

A large crowd attended the match on January 9 despite a plea from the organisers for a half day public service holiday being rejected. Marjorie Moore won the toss and elected to bat first.

Ivy Twemlow and J.Oldfield opened the batting for the home side and made a slow and steady start. Out of the first 13 overs, 9 were maidens. Oldfield was the first batter dismissed when she was caught at point off the bowling of Richards for 5. After 85 minutes the score was 1 for 17 with 17 maidens. Blundell was next to be dismissed after being caught short from Maclagan to the keeper Morgan and was dismissed for 0 in 25 minutes. Corey came in to bat next but was dismissed for two, caught behind by Morgan. The captain, Marjorie Moore came to the crease next to loud cheers to join Twemlow. Unfortunately Twemlow was next to be dismissed stumped off the bowling of Maclagan. Her innings lasted 100 minutes and she weathered the majority of the opening attack, scoring 14 runs.

Helen Moore came to the crease next to join her sister and they started to push the scoring rate with aggressive batting. Unfortunately just before the luncheon interval she was clean bowled, playing over the delivery from Taylor. Nina Southwell entered the ground next and proceeded to hit the first boundary of the match pulling Richards to the fence. She out shortly after, caught at square leg by Child for 8. At lunch the local side was 6 for 47.

Connelly and Moore continued after lunch and when the score reached 6 for 53, it was the highest score made by a country side against the touring side. The pair then put on 20 runs in 20 minutes after lunch, playing forceful shots all around the wicket. The captain was next to fall, skying a ball which was caught by Spear off the bowling off Maclagan. The partnership had put on 29 and the score was 7 for 71. Connelly was clean bowled in the next over, followed by Robinson clean bowled as well by the next ball. Maclagan narrowly missed the hat trick but two balls later had McKissock stumped and the local side was dismissed for 72 at 320pm, losing their last 4 wickets for 1 run in 6 deliveries.

Rain started to fall before the English Women could commence their innings. Umpires continued to inspect the wicket until 430pm when it was decided to continue the match. Marjorie Moore and Nina Southwell opened the bowling against the batting of Maclagan and Snowball. The pair brought the total to ten where they had another 75 minutes of play to score the remaining 63 runs required to lead on the first innings.

Maclagan was missed in the slips by Connelly off the bowling of Southwell but a few balls later she was dismissed by Moore caught in the slips by Oldfield for 8. Morgan was the next batter and Snowball continued the free scoring by hitting two threes, one drive to the fence and the second a pull shot to leg. Connelly replaced Southwell and Twemlow from Cooma replaced Moore as the bowlers. Connelly improved her length and off the second ball of her third over dismissed Snowball caught and bowled. Snowball had been at the crease for 44 minutes scoring 26 runs. Green was next in but the rain returned, this time in torrents and the players dashed from the field and unfortunately not to return. The English side had made 2 for 47 off 16.5 overs. So 87 years ago, the first international match played at Manuka Oval was completed. Although small in context of that tour, it was the start of International cricket in the nation’s capital and starting a rich tradition culminating in the first Women’s Test Match to be held at the ground.



Defining Cricket Competitions Across Australia

I have been working for a while on grouping Australian Cricket Competitions by type in order to compare records across different competitions.

I have modelled this loosely on the Minor League Baseball with different levels, such as AAA, AA and A.

I have created an Australian Version to cover the main competitions from Premier Cricket down to small cricket associations. The top tier is Premier Cricket and it works it’s way down to Tier 5.

I may have left competitions out and for that I apologise. I have also only included one suburban turf competition per state except for the ACT which does not have a suburban turf competition. If you believe I have missed something out or got the gradings wrong, please don’t hesitate to contact me. This is only a draft working document,

Below is what I have graded.

Tier 1 – Premier Cricket Competitions

  • ACT Premier Cricket
  • NSW Premier Cricket
  • Queensland Premier Cricket
  • South Australia Premier Cricket
  • Tasmania Premier Cricket
  • Victoria Premier Cricket
  • Western Australia Premier Cricket

Tier 2 – Competitions which have a record of a number of players moving from their competition to a Premier Cricket Competition or have a Premier Cricket Competition located in their area.

  • NSW: Central Coast, Cricket Albury Wodonga, Illawarra, Newcastle, Sydney Shires, Wagga Wagga
  • Northern Territory: Darwin
  • Queensland: Gold Coast, Ipswich & West Moreton, Queensland Sub-District, Sunshine Coast
  • South Australia: Adelaide Turf
  • Tasmania: Cricket North, Cricket North-West, Southern Cricket Association
  • Victoria: Geelong, Victoria Sub-District
  • Western Australia: Peel, WA Suburban Turf

Tier 3 – Competitions which cover two or more Cricket Associations or their main LGA has a population greater than 75,000 as at the last Australian Census.

  • NSW: Bathurst-Orange, Blue Mountains, Coalfields Cup, Coastal League, Maitland, Shoalhaven, South Coast, South West Slopes,
  • Queensland: Fraser Coast, Mackay, Toowoomba, Towmsville
  • Victoria: Ballarat, Bendigo, Mornington Peninsula,
  • Western Australia: Bunbury

Tier 4 – Competitions that have 5 or more standalone teams in their 1st Grade Competition or their main LGA has a population greater than 25,000 at the last Australian Census.

  • NSW: Armidale, Bourke, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Far South Coast, Goulburn, Griffith, Highlands, Tamworth
  • Queensland: Gympie, Warwick
  • South Australia: Alexandra & Eastern Hills, Barossa & Light, Great Southern, Hills, Mount Gambier, Riverland
  • Victoria: Bairnsdale, Bellarine Peninsula, Ferntree Gully, Gisborne, Goulburn Murray, Leongatha, Sale-Maffra, Seymour, Shepparton, Sunraysia, Traralgon, Wangaratta, Warragul, Warrnambool, West Gippsland, Wimmera/Mallee
  • Western Australia: Albany, Busselton Margaret River, Kalgoorlie Boulder

Tier 5 – Competitions that have 4 or less standalone teams in their 1st Grade Competition or their main LGA has a population less than 25,000 at the last Australian Census.

  • NSW: Barrier, Clarence River, Cobar, Dungog & Upper Hunter, Gilgandra, Gulgong, Gunnedah, Hay, Inverell, Lake Cargellico, Lithgow, Lower Clarence, Monaro, Moree, Mudgee, Murray Valley, Nambucca Valley, Narrabri, Northern Districts, Parkes, Pilliga, Tumut, West Wyalong, Yass
  • Northern Territory: Alice Springs, Katherine, Tennant Creek
  • Queensland: Bowen, Bundaberg, Lockyer, Proserpine, South Burnett, Stanthorpe
  • South Australia: Eastern Eyre, Far West, Great Flinders, Kangaroo Island, Le Hunte, Lower Yorke Peninsula, Murray Towns, Northern Flinders, Port Augusta, Port Lincoln, Port Pirie, Roxby Districts, Torrens Valley, Tumby Bay, Whyalla, Yorke Peninsula
  • Victoria: Castlemaine, Colac, Emu Valley, Grampians, Hamilton, Horsham, Maryborough, Portland, Red Cliffs, South West, Swan Hill District, Yarra Valley
  • Western Australia: Avon, Broome, Christmas Island, Eastern Districts, Eastern Goldfields, Esperance, Fortescue, Geraldton, Great Southern, Green Range Ongerup, Lakes, Newman, Northam, South Midlands, Upper Great Southern, Warren Blackwood, West Pilbara, Wyalkatchem

On this Day in ACT Cricket History – 2 December

  • 1909 – Birth of John Roseby (ACT 1936/37)
  • 1967 – Terry Booth and David Myers make their ACT Debut
  • 1993 – Death of Tom O’Connor (ACT 1925/26-1937/38)
  • 1993 – 17th Prime Minister’s XI match with the opponent being South Africa
  • 1997 – 20th Prime Minister’s XI match with the opponent being South Africa
  • 2005 – 28th Prime Minister’s XI match with the opponent being West Indies
  • 2012 – New South Wales play Queensland in a Sheffield Shield match at Manuka Oval
  • 2018 – Erica Kershaw makes her WBBL Debut

Australian Premier 1st Grade Statistics as of 1/12/2021

Most Runs Australian Premier 1st Grade 2021/22:
631 H Burdon (GC)
601 DR Drew (WT)
540 AM Hardie (Wil)
540 KR Smith (WT)
520 A Grewal (NSb)
501 SJ Truloff (WSQ)
501 HW Wood (Ips)
491 J Cooper (SR)
478 JJ Clayton (UQ)
452 J Brown (NSQ)

Highest Scores Australian Premier 1st Grade 2021/22:
214* DR Drew (WT)
206* KR Smith (WT)
205* NS Virk (Gle)
199 BT Capel (WT)
187* SM Whiteman (Fre)
182* E Peterson (SB)
181 BE Maher (SC)
180* DR Drew (WT)
179* AM Hardie (Wil)
176* BR McDermott (Lin)

Most Wickets Australian Premier 1st Grade 2021/22:
31 SA Milenko (Red)
26 W Sanders (UQ)
23 H McKenzie (SF)
22 L Hope-Shackley (WM), CJ Boyce (Val), DJ Turkich (CN), DM Whyte (Val)
20 MG Spoors (Stu), H Sardar (NSQ)
19 LN O’Connor (BM), W Dhillon (Wil), CD Hinchliffe (ML)

Most Wickets Australian Premier 1st Grade 2021/22:
7-40 HJ Manenti (NT)
7-41 C Kaluthanthri (SR)
7-55 CT Valente (SHSB)
6-24 MJ Turner (Mel)
6-32 HA Martin (Woo)
6-35 AJ Tye (Sca)
6-36 SA Milenko (Red)
6-37 J Wilde (BM)
6-40 JD Chislett (UWA)
6-44 DOD White (UNSW)

Most Dismissals Australian Premier 1st Grade 2021/22:
24 TA Healy (NSQ)
19 LD Pfeffer (Val)
18 AJ Bottega (ML)
17 B Tredget (SF)
16 GD Barnes (Fre), J Curtis (Per), B Faber (SB)
15 R Strickland (SP), H Walker (UQ)
14 L Farrow (Mel), TP Cummins (SU)


On This Day in ACT Cricket History – 27 November

  • 1932 – Harrie Alderton, Ted Gill, Courtney Gribble, Lorne Lees and Norman Parkes make their ACT Debut
  • 1982 – Steve Marshall and Peter Woods make their ACT Debut
  • 1982 – Birth of Andrew Maher (ACT 2010/11-2012/13)
  • 1986 – Birth of Kate Owen (ACT Debut 2009/10)
  • 1992 – James Peterson and Scott Vidler make their ACT Debut
  • 1993 – Jamie Haynes makes his ACT Debut
  • 1993 – Birth of Robbie Trickett (ACT 2019/20)
  • 1994 – Paul Gambale makes his ACT Debut
  • 1998 – Evan Kellar makes his ACT Debut
  • 2000 – Grant Miller makes his ACT Debut
  • 2012 – New South Wales play Queensland in a Sheffield Shield match at Manuka Oval
  • 2016 – Ben Mitchell makes his ACT Debut
  • 2019 – WBBL match at Manuka Oval between Sydney Thunder and Melbourne Stars

Remembering the ACT Cricketers who Served

103 years ago the guns fell silent around the world and what was then known as the Great War or the War to end all Wars had come to a conclusion. Today we remember the five ACT cricketers who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of their nation.

Cricket in the ACT has had a strong link with the armed forces. In 1916 it was reported that seven members and the scorer of the former Ainslie club had enlisted and either were serving at Gallipoli or in training camps.

ACT Cricketers have served in conflicts starting back to the Boer War through to Vietnam. Two players who later went on to play for the ACT served in the Boer War while another 29 served in World War I. 117 ACT Cricketers served in World War II, four served in Korea, one in Peace Keeping Forces and seven served in Vietnam.

A larger number of ACT 1st Grade cricketers also served in all conflicts including a significant number who played for the Royal Military College while they were part of the ACT 1st Grade competition.

Five ACT Cricketers paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving their nation. Four during World War II and one during the peacekeeping mission in Pakistan.

Mel Crombie

Melville Mahon Crombie was one of the first Canberrans to enlist in the Second World War. He was a qualified accountant who joined the Department of the Interior after gaining first-class honours in mathematics in his leaving certificate.

He was well known in Canberra cricket circles being both the secretary of the Northbourne Cricket Club and the assistant secretary of the ACT Cricket Association. He made his ACT debut in 1936/37 and played six times for the Territory including being a member of the 1938/39 Country Week squad.

On active service he was a member of the 2/19 Battalion after serving as a member of the 3rd Battalion Militia in Australia. After he escaped capture after the fall of Singapore but was later captured in Java. He was made a prisoner of war in Burma and passed away working on the Burma Railway in 1943.

William Worthy

William John Worthy made his ACT debut at the age of just 18 in 1934/35. Born in Yass in 1916, he played for Hall and Ainslie up until the suspension of the grade competition in 1939/40.

He was a bus driver in Canberra and enlisted in the Army in August 1940. He fought on the Kokoda Track with his battalion and rose to the rank of Corporal. Serving in the 3rd Australian Infantry Battalion in Papua New Guinea, he was killed on active service on 26 November 1942 when the Australian force attacked the Japanese stronghold of Gona in Papua.

He is buried in the Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery. His twin brother, Leslie Charles Worthy had also died on active service in Papua New Guinea in March of 1942.

Edward Jones

Flight Sargent Edward Lloyd Jones died while flying a RAAF Boomerang operating out of the Strathpine airfield in southern Queensland. He crashed into the sea east of Caloundra on 10 November 1943. He was buried at the Lutwyche Cemetery in Brisbane.

Born in 1917, he played for the ACT in 1940/41 in the final match before representative matches were suspended for the rest of the war. He played for the Ainslie club in the grade competition.

He was formerly a member of the Parliamentary Hansard Staff in the Federal Parliament before moving to Hobart and was formerly a journalist with the Canberra Times and Wagga Advertiser.

Wally “Faf” Hall

Born in Footscray in 1917, Wally “Faf” Hall came to Canberra at the age of 10 when he moved to the capital in 1927 with his parents. His father was part of the Public Service Board on it’s relocation from Melbourne. He attended Telopea Park High School and was a gifted athlete while at and just after leaving school. On several occasions he ran 100 yards in just over 11 seconds at Manuka Oval and also represented the ACT National Football side in Melbourne on one occasion. He played cricket for the St Andrew’s Cricket Club in the sub-district side and from there was selected to play for the ACT on a single occasion in 1934 against Cooma in Cooma.

After he left school he joined the Commonwealth Bank and served in Canberra, Queanbeyan and Darwin. After which he enlisted in the Army in 1940 after being a member of the militia in Canberra after leaving school. He served in the 2/2 Australian Infantry Battalion embarking for the Middle East in 1941. He moved with the AIF to Papua where he saw action on the Owen Stanley Ranges on the Kokoda Track. He was killed during combat on 18 November 1942 and he is now buried in the Kokoda War Cemetery.

Robert Nimmo

Robert Harold Nimmo was a member of the first ACT (then Federal Territory) side that played Cooma on Australia Day in 1923. He played for Duntroon in the initial grade competition.

He entered the Royal Military College at Duntroon in 1912 in the second intake. He was awarded the sword of honour as the top student in his intake. He landed on Gallipoli as a troop commander in May 1915 and was evacuated due to illness in August. He served throughout the Palestine campaign in a variety of command appointments.

He returned to Duntroon in 1920 was an instructor at the RMC. He also served in various command positions as a Lieutenant Colonel, Colonel and Brigadier in New Guinea. He was promoted to Major General after the War and appointed a CBE in 1950.

Nimmo died in his sleep of a heart attack in 1966 at Rawalpindi, Pakistan while he was acting as the Chief Military Observer to the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan. He had served in this role from 1950 until his death. He was buried in the ANZAC section of Mount Gravatt cemetery in Brisbane with full military and UN honours.