The McKinnon Cricket Club was formed in 1928, when Don Bradman had just commenced his first-class career of attacking hapless bowlers. Our first season was 1928/29, in the B and C Grades of the Frankston-Glenhuntly Cricket Association, just before the Great Depression and about the time when my mother and father were courting.
This park was acquired by the Moorabbin Council in the 1920s from a local resident, Mr Bill Shanahan, hence Shanahan Crescent opposite the playground. The first President was Dr Germon, the first Secretary Aubrey Reader, the McKinnon Chemist, the first Treasurer Fred Reveleigh, who with Jim Richards, the local barber, kept the Club going financially. Meetings were held in the Chemist’s shop and his assistant, Bill Moore [who is here tonight], delivered the notices and minutes. It was common for the local cattle to graze on the park and it was also Bill Moore’s job to remove the cow pats on Saturday mornings. Selection meetings were in Jim Richard’s shop and the teams went up in Reader’s window and on the McKinnon Railway Station.
Two seasons after starting, the 1st XI were runners-up, the next season [1931-32] the Seconds won a flag and the first 1st XI premiership came in 1938-39. World War II decimated many teams and some clubs closed, but we had enough young fellows to fill our ranks and supply players to opposing teams that were short. In those days of few cars, players had to get to games as best they could , on bikes or on the train and often starts were delayed. During the war, the Club decided to lay a turf table and with the help of 3 ward Councillors, Barr, Blackshaw and Pascoe, the assistance of the Moorabbin Council and Bert Carey’s truck, a working bee achieved this milestone in one weekend. In 1943/44, the ground was rebuilt by the Council, a perimeter fence was added and 3 years later we got turf practice wickets on the oval, on the west side near the present scoreboard. They were later moved to the south side near the oval gate and then to their present location in 1966. In the 50s, the outer oval had 4 concrete pitches, later reduced to 3 and then to 2 with the installation of the second turf wicket in 1968.
In the early years of turf, the Club had to make its own wickets and to help, the Council supplied a 3 ft 6 in. diameter concrete pipe, from which the members made a roller by filling it with concrete around an axle. It was so heavy that 6 to 8 men were required to move it, but it was evidently effective because one annual report of the FGHCA stated that McKinnon had the best turf wicket in the competition. It was great to see the main oval again reconstructed in 1998 and I would love to be playing on it now.
The Club joined the VJCA in 1947/48 with 2 turf teams and 2 on matting in the CMCA. Our first premierships came in a double in 1964/65 – a long wait, which long-serving opening bowler Doug Coates expressed as “having waited 18 bloody years”. We expanded to 4 turf teams in 1970/71, but didn’t win a Senior Division flag until 1980/81 under Leigh Aitken, this time a wait of 10 years and it is our only Senior Division Flag, but the peak of our achievement.
Junior XIs started in the early 50s and Barry Edwards, who is here tonight, was selected as the CMCA Under 16 Combined Side Captain; Barry has for many years been an Executive member of CMCA. Fostering juniors has been an objective of the Club since then and it is more important than ever these days, with the sporting options now open to young people.
The club had an old timber pavilion, with floors that had suffered from years of cricket spikes and football studs. It was a double room with matting boxes along the sides on which we sat, ripple iron showers which few used and crude toilets, where we had no option. Due to the efforts of the footy and cricket clubs and the help of Cr Steve Stevens, the first stage of the present pavilion complex was built about 1962. The new scoreboard provided a popular place for our young sons who delighted in juggling the numbers and looking down on the action and probably disturbing Mrs Sanderson in the kiosk below. Two change rooms were added for the outer oval in 1973 and this social room was opened by the Mayor on 29th March 1980 when the late Cr Max Fox was Chairman of the Reserve Committee.
A fact not known by many was that in 1972-73, the Club made application to join the Sub-District CA. We were rejected because of the close proximity to both Ormond and Moorabbin, although if the latter had been successful in joining District ranks, we may have stood a better chance. These facts are all very interesting, but it is the contributions of the cricketers, administrators and supporters and the situations they create that go to develop the culture and tradition of a club like ours.
The Club’s sensible policy of appointing coaches for only one year has resulted in many different approaches and methods being used. The late Jack MacKenzie, who got to the Shield Team, was a great one for the right mental attitude: “Application, Concentration, Dedication” – his ACD of cricket was emphasised on every possible occasion. Leigh Aitken,[here tonight] was a great motivator and got us our one and only Senior Division Premiership.
Leigh Coldrey, son of a former player, got us another premiership in 1986/7 and a lift back into Senior Division. Claude Reid [an apology tonight] played first class cricket in Sri Lanka and District Cricket with Melbourne and showed his class here with both bat and ball. One day at Frankston, we were reeling at the hands of a quick leftie and Claude rescued the innings by belting this fellow out of the attack. Claude is still playing with the Melbourne Club XI. Rick Gough comes from a sporting family and is our longest-serving coach.
Provided through the courtesy of Mr. Ken Dowling
About Our Cricket Club
Club President - Paul Cox
Club Secretary - Andy Kane
Club Treasurer - Dan Weingart
Jake Halasz , Gordon Grewcock , Lachie McKenzie , James Bragagnolo, Fiona Dorrington , Jashandeep Singh
Our Home Ground
Club President Paul Cox
Secretary Andy Kane
Junior Coordinator Jill Watts
Treasurer Dan Weingart
Child Safety Officer Jill Watts
Please feel free to contact us any time with enquires, comments and interests of registration.
Head Coach - Lee Weiss
Assistant Coach - Andrew Jones
1st XI Captain - Wade King
2nd XI Captain - Adam Pullman
3rd XI Captain - Sharne Murdoch
4th XI Captain - Darryl Strudwick
SECA Delegate - Andrew Kane