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Club History

 

Wodonga Cricket Club was originally formed at a meeting on July 7th, 1869.

 

Games were played mostly as social events against district teams until 1893 when the Albury Cricket Association was established.

 

Wodonga played its first game in the ACA, losing to Albury on October 27th, 1894.

 

In the 1890’s games were played on the common north of Batt Avenue.

 

On September 24th, 1909 the Albury and Border Cricket Association was formed:

Teams were from Thurgoona, Railways, Wodonga and two teams from Albury.

 

Wodonga were premiers in the first year of competition with O’Leary and Powell the best performers in the Grand Final. Games were played on rolled gravel pitches.

 

Wodonga Club was abandoned in 1913 because of lack of numbers and was in recess until 1918.

 

In the 1920’s, C. Bray was a star batsman and was the Club’s first century maker scoring 121 not out in 1921. R. Richardson was a top all-rounder and scored 135 and had best bowling figures of 7/27. In 1924/25 Jack Cole had figures of 7/10 including the Club’s first recorded hat trick.

 

The Club went through a lean period in the Depression years and after the Second World War cricket was revived on the Border.

 

Clem Hicks, Life Member, made his first century for the Club in the 1948/49 season and went on to captain Wodonga, scoring many runs and a becoming a staunch Committee member.

 

In 1949, the WCC withdrew from the AWCA and the 1st and 2nd Grade teams formed the basis of the Wodonga Cricket Association.

 

In 1950 a Wodonga entered a team in the AWCA to allow a representative side to compete at Melbourne Country Week. The Association name was changed to the Albury Border Cricket Association. Clem Hicks led the group and made centuries in 1950/51 and again in 1953/54. The batsman/wicket keeper captained the ABCA premier team in 1952/53.

 

In the late fifties, Wodonga had star performers in Les Healey and Bruce Stanton.

Healey made 8 centuries in his four and a half seasons and in his first four, compiled 696, 865, 374 and 474 runs. Stanton from 1956 until 1965 took most wickets for the Club eight years in succession. He took more than 70 wickets and more than 60 on two occasions. He conceded only an amazing 8.44 runs per wicket. He captained premiership teams in 1959/60 and 1962/63.

 

In the late sixties John Gehrig took over captaincy of the Club and was captain of the 1969/70 and of the 1972/73 premiership teams. Gary Williamson arrived via football to establish himself as an outstanding all-rounder and a great Clubman and Life Member who skippered the 72/73 grand final win, replacing the injured John Gehrig. Juniors Ron Hill and Eddie Rogalski emerged as match-winners. Eddie a reliable accumulator of runs and Life Member for services to the Club and Ron Hill a top all-rounder who was a damaging and aggressive quick, and a stylish batsman who scored a match winning captain’s century to lead the team to the 1973/74 premiership. Ron was an excellent attacking captain and only a wet wicket in the 1994/95 final denied him a hat-trick of premierships as the Club was victorious in 1975/76. In that year, Wodonga Cricket Club were inaugural winners of the Ian Cameron Shield Club Championship. The Club won the A, B,C grades and Junior premierships.

 

As a result of Wodonga’s dominance at the time, the AB&CA resolved that for the 1976/77 season, Wodonga was to have two teams in A Grade and C Grade. This saw the splitting of the Club into the Whites and Maroons. Neither side made the finals. In spite of the split Wodonga won their fourth premiership in the seventies when Bill Proud captained the 1977/78 team which had 6 former juniors in the team. Bowlers and all-rounders triumphed in the grand- final with Gary Williamson, Ron Trivett, and Bob Craig rescuing the side after the loss of early wickets on a two-paced pitch. Bob Craig took 8 wickets in the final and had an outstanding season, taking 66 in that premiership year.

 

The Club won the 1984/85 flag captained by Mark Florence. Goulding and Florence made most runs and Bob Craig and Tim Williamson most wickets. In this period the three Williamson lads blossomed and followed in the footsteps of their father Gary. Steve and Tim went on to played 200 plus games for the Club and were multiple winners of most wickets for a season. Russell too, took most wickets in 1988/89 and would have won others with his express deliveries had he played more. John Tate and Chris Palmer were prolific run scorers during this era.

 

The nineties saw the arrival of Steve Wood and in six seasons he won the batting and bowling awards three times. In 1993/94 Bob Craig captained Wodonga to a thrilling premiership win in one of the most hard- fought finals seen in ABCA cricket.

 

Wayne Ashton came to the Club in 1995/96 and established himself as an outstanding batsman and leader. He introduced a high standard of coaching and discipline and set a standard for the Association. In his first year he scored what is still the competition’s highest individual A Grade score of 270 not out. In the season he made 795 runs.

Wayne attracted class players and Brendan Rodgers, Ben Stewart, Darren Cousins and Cameron Lodding regularly scored fifty plus scores. In 1998/99 this talented group eventually triumphed, winning the premiership.

 

From the turn of the century there was a period of team building and a very young side was developing under the outstanding leadership of Tim Williamson. However, the inexperience of the group, coupled with the exit of players such as Lucas Kennedy and Dean Collishaw saw the team in 2007/8 facing relegation. A fine century from Sean Lappin and a win against Tallangatta, avoided the humiliation.

 

The following season saw a turn-around. The Club appointed Andy Gibson as coach and Tim Kennedy as captain. Andy’s astute coaching and Tim’s fitness training, on-field leadership and an outstanding season with the ball saw a committed team reach the grand final, only to be beaten by North Albury. Robbie Jackson’s arrival at the Club had an immediate impact. His experience and ability gave the team a tremendous boost.

 Tim Kennedy won the Association Bowling Trophy and the Cricketer of the Year Award.

 Wodonga Cricket Club won the Clubs’ Championship and was awarded the Ian Cameron Shield and the Division 1 Under 17 team, coached by Felicity Limbrick were premiers.

 

At the start of the 2009/2010 season the batting strength was boosted by the arrival of Ian Roberts, a talented batsman and wicketkeeper. The team reached the grand final by defeating Tallangatta in the semi final and played North Albury in the final. The game was one of the best finals played in the CAW. Batting first, Wodonga scored 298 for 8 on day one, Robbie Jackson scoring 92, well supported by Keiren Schulz 48, Sean Lappin 43 and Tim Kennedy 35 not out. The second day provided spectators with a thriller. Dutchy Holland bowled brilliantly and captured the first four wickets when things were looking grim for Wodonga. Brilliant fielding couldn’t stem the accumulation of runs and the North Albury middle order put them in a winning position. Two sharp caught and bowled by Robbie Jackson and outstanding ground fielding gave the advantage to Wodonga but tenacious batting by the lower order had North back with a good chance of victory. But this was not to be - a batsmen misunderstanding and brilliant fielding by Tim Kennedy and Keiren Schulz affected a run out and Wodonga won a heart-stopper by 17 runs.

 

To cap it off, Robbie Jackson was awarded the Gary Williamson Medal for the Player of the Match. Paul Webb led the District B Grade team, who were unbeaten for the season, to a premiership and won the District B Association batting award.

 

Coach Andy Gibson, team leaders and players had performed admirably.

 

In 2010/2011 lack of consistent batting support for Robbie Jackson and Ian Roberts saw Wodonga bow out to East Albury in the semi-final. The highlight for the year was the record breaking second wicket partnership by Robbie Jackson and Ian Roberts of 238. This broke the previous record held by John Tate and Anthony McIvor, by one run.