The Eastlake Cricket Club (ECC) is an affiliated grade cricket club of the ACT Cricket Association. The club was established in 1922 and is the only foundation club to be playing in the ACT cricket competition.
The Club has taken some different names over the years including Kingston, Manuka, Easts and Souths but early in the 21st century the club returned to its original name of Eastlake.
ECC carries an affiliation with the Eastlake Football Club and wears the Demon badge with pride.
The club is an established part of the South Canberra community and provides cricket to its member base of over 400 players – 300 of which are juniors ranging in age from 6-17 years.
Supporting women’s cricket is a key goal of the Club in providing an enjoyable sport to all ages and genders and ECC field a team in the ACT women’s grade cricket competition.
1922 - Eastlake Cricket Club participate in the inaugural season of the Federal Territory Cricket Association.
1927 - From October the Association refers to itself as Federal Capital Territory Cricket Association. South Eastlake Cricket Club, which had existed prior to this, join the FCTCA competition.
1928 - The competition becomes a district competition. At a meeting on 6 August, Eastlake CC and South Eastlake CC amalgamate to form Kingston Cricket Club. Manuka Cricket Club join the competition as one of the six district clubs along with Kingston.
1938 - The Association becomes the Australian Capital Territory Cricket Association.
1940 - Kingston Cricket Club withdraws from the competition due to the impacts of the Second World War - its oval had been requisitioned and many players had left to fight in the war.
1945 - Kingston Cricket Club rejoins the competition.
1954 - Manuka takes the name Manuka-Yarralumla
1965 - Woden Cricket Club joins the competition.
1969 - Kingston and Manuka amalgamate and form East Canberra Cricket Club. South Woden Cricket Club is formed and joins the competition.
1983 - East Canberra CC became Eastern Suburbs Cricket Club.
1984 - Woden and South Woden amalgamate to become Woden Valley Cricket Club.
1989 - Eastern Suburbs and Woden Valley amalgamate to become South Canberra Cricket Club.
1998 - South Canberra CC is renamed to South Canberra Eastlake Cricket Club.
1999 - South Canberra Eastlake CC is renamed to Eastlake Cricket Club.
2002 - Eastlake enter a team in the women’s competition.
On 13 September 1922 the Federal Territory Cricket Association was formed. At that time Canberra had a population of 2287. Prior to this cricket had been played since white settlement on primarily a social level.
The founding clubs were: Eastlake, Hall, Ainslie, Westridge, Canberra, Duntroon & Cadets. The first matches played under the auspices of the new Association were on 7 October 1922 between Eastlake & Cadets and Westridge & Duntroon. Westridge's original home was roughly near the ground now known as 'Forestry' within the CSIRO Forestry Division at Yarralumla, which is now the regular home of Eastlake's 5th grade and Womens sides.
Eastlake was unable to claim a title in this period.
The earliest reference to the Kingston Oval location was in 1926-27 when clubs advised the Association of their official home grounds. Eastlake listed its home ground as an area ‘south of the Printers Headquarters’ believed to be the current site of Kingston Oval.
South Eastlake first joined the Association as one of the eight Clubs with A Grade teams, alongside Eastlake.
In 1928-29 two new clubs, Kingston and Manuka, formed out of the Eastlake Cricket Club. Kingston Cricket Club took over the assets and debts of the old Eastlake club. This included: “seven bats and three pairs of leggings” it also inherited a twelve pound debt. A purchase of some second hand matting (used as wickets) was made for just over 3 pounds. In this sense Kingston Cricket Club was Eastlake Cricket club renamed. Traditionally Canberra operated on a district cricket system with
players required to reside in areas allocated to a particular club. Kingston as a district club drew from Kingston, Fyshwick, Narrabundah, Symonston, Causeway and most of Barton, while Manuka draw from Deakin, Forrest, Griffith, Mugga and the northern section of Barton.
Manuka and Kingston became intense rivals until they were reunited for 1969-70 season. During this time Kingston was seen as the working class team, while Manuka were viewed as a team from the upper class area.
Balancing accounts became very difficult in the late 1920s’ and early ‘30s due to the Depression. At the end of its first year Kingston Cricket Club reported a credit balance in its accounts of around 9 shillings (about 1-2 dollars) but, by August 1932 it had still not paid its affiliation fees for the previous two seasons.
Mcfadyen represented Eastlake as a bowler in at least eight representative games primarily against surrounding regional teams between 1927 & 1932. During this time he was one of the ACT’s leading wicket takers.
Eastlake/ Kingston/Manuka did not win a premiership leading up to the Second World War. During the war years the competition was seriously disrupted. Kingston was the strongest club in the competition in the post-war years. It featured as either Premiers and/or Champions in 6 of the 11 years from 1946-47 to 1956-57. Kingston were premiers in: 1946-47, 1948-49, 1949-50, 1951-52, 1954-55, 1956-57 and Champions in 1954-55.
Manuka were premiers in 1947-48.
Between 1939 and 1952-53 the title was decided on competition points (premiers). Grand finals were re-introduced in 1952-53. Often premiers were decided in the last round and Kingston and Manuka featured heavily in the post war period:
1946-47 - Kingston 180 (Fred Johnston 34) defeated Ainslie 147 (Fred Johnston 5/58, Peter Robertson 5/74 (no doubt Mr Johnston didn’t pay for his drinks that night!). This was Kingston's first premiership.
1947-48 - Manuka 352 ( Merv Wark 109 and Noel Kilgour 80) defeated Northbourne 113. In Manuka's innings, Northbourne tried eleven bowlers with their wicket keeper Jock Torrence most successful with 3 wickets! This was Manuka's first premiership.
1948-49 - Kingston 180 defeated Manuka 170 after being in early trouble with the bat. There was intense rivalry between the teams during these times so this game must have been a very tough affair.
1949-50 - Kingston entered the final round needing only a draw or first innings points over Manuka to retain the title. At the end of the first days’ play Manuka were all out for 124 but Kingston were 4/49. Rain then washed out play and Kingston claimed their third title in 4 years.
From 1959-60 to 1962-63 the two clubs remained strong. Manuka finishing as premiers in 1959-60 and Kingston in 1962-63. Kingston were premiers in 1961-62 and 1962-63. But this was all to change very quickly.
From the late 1950’s the Federal Government decision to transfer departments to Canberra from Melbourne and Sydney caused a dramatic growth in Canberra’s previously stable population. By 1969 the population had almost trebled to 120,000 and growth in new areas like the Woden Valley was putting pressure on the district cricket system. New clubs were being sought in the growing areas and, with its relatively small population, South Canberra was struggling to support two clubs.
Manuka was particularly hard hit finishing near the bottom of the table from the early 1960’s and Kingston didn’t fare much better after their premiership in 1962-63. By 1964-5 Kingston only had 31 financial members and could only field two teams.
A review was conducted by the Association which led to a proposal to amalgamate existing clubs in both north and south Canberra and admit two new clubs to serve the growing Woden Valley. This was strongly opposed by the Kingston and Manuka clubs who had quite different cultures and wanted to continue independently. The two clubs had a strong rivalry on the field and both wished to retain their identities. The proposed amalgamation was delayed for four years but, eventually, with membership of both clubs at critical levels, the logic that neither club could survive separately prevailed. A working party comprising representatives of both clubs finally sat down, accepted reality, and worked harmoniously to create a new merged club.
Thus in season 1969/70 East Canberra Cricket Club was formed. Contrary to previous misgivings the merger worked well and in complete harmony.
South Woden Cricket Club was also formed for the 1969-70 season to serve the area south of Hindmarsh Drive, while the Woden Cricket Club continued to draw from the area north of Hindmarsh Drive in the Woden valley.
During the 1960s, a days play in ACT cricket finished at the odd time of 5:45. Cynics suggested that this was so players could reach the local hotels before trading finished at 6pm but this cannot be verified.
Ken played for Kingston from 1955 until the mid 1960s. He represented ACT U14s in 1955. In 1956-57 at the age of 14 he took 25 wickets at 7.40 including a hat-trick in each innings of one match in second grade. He was soon promoted to first grade and in 1959 at the age of sixteen was selected to play for the combined Southern Districts-Southern Tablelands team to play Riverina-Murrumbidgee. He top scored with 91. He was then selected to play for Country against Metropolitan in 1961. He was selected for many country representative teams (making 64 not out and 2/53 against the NSW Sheffield Shield team). In 1964-65 he topped the ACT batting averages with 469 runs at 58.62.
John was a very good cricketer playing for Kingston/Easts from 1962 to 1973. In 1965-66 he was second in the ACTCA batting averages, averaging 45.40, but it was his wicket keeping which gained him higher honors. He was named ACT Cricketer of the Year in 1964-65 for his performances as captain and wicket-keeper batsman for Kingston. John was also President of ACT cricket from 1984 to 2008-9 and a Justice of the Supreme Court of the ACT.
The coming together of the old Eastlake club to form Easts quickly produced results. ‘Easts’ became the powerhouse of Canberra cricket winning four first grade premierships in a row between 1970/71 and 1973/4. South Woden also won the Club Championship in 1973-74, a good effort for such a young club.
From a lowly start, the clubs finances grew steadily. The clubs’ major source of income in the latter part of the 1970s was a twilight competition it conducted at Kingston Oval. Business’ paid for advertisements around the perimeter of the oval and stalls selling refreshments did good business.
February 1976- Wayne Boardman, Easts captain-coach, persuaded his club to take advantage of daylight savings and play a 20/20 match against Wests commencing at 4:30pm on a week night. The match was a great advertisement for the concept. The scores were tied with 1 ball remaining. Easts hit a 4 and won 8/125 to 9/121. This was the first recorded 20/20 game played in Canberra. As a result a twilight competition began in the 1976-77 season.
Premiers: 1970-71, 1971-72, 1972-73, 1973-74, 1977-78
Champions: 1974-75, 1977-78
1970-71 - Easts 336 (Brian Hurrell 76, Mike Gallagher 60) defeated Woden 247 (Alan Middleton 3/34)
1971-72 - Was a thrilling game. On a batsmans’ pitch the two ‘batsmen’ who won the game for Easts were a wicketkeeper and a bowler. Woden batted first and made 255. Easts were 7/122 Wayne Boardman then joined Terry Booth and the pair put on 135 for the eighth wicket, Booth 93, Boardman 82 not out. Easts made 289 and won on the first innings.
1972-73 - Easts 202 (Kerry Owen 94 in 238 minutes). Norths first innings 113. Easts opening bowlers Boardman (5/38) and Dene Moore (5/35) doing the damage. Easts batted again and made 224. Fifteen year old Fred Flanagan made 104. This was enough to win the game.
1973-74 - Easts 184 (Booth 56, Brian Kensey 48) defeated Queanbeyan 134 (Boardman 4/36, Moore 4/40).
1974-75 - Easts went down to ANU. To their credit ANU came from being down 5/16 in its first innings and 3/9 in its second to make to take out the game.
1977-78 - Easts 8/147 (Gallagher 61 no.) defeated City 113 (Middleton 7/53)
1979-80 - Easts finished on top of the competition but were eliminated by the eventual champions, Norths in the semis. Former Easts player Dene Moore terrorized them taking 6/26.
Dene joined Easts in 1970. In four seasons he took 232 wickets at an average of 9.93. His best match figures were 12/64 against Queanbeyan in 1973. He took 8 wickets in an innings on two occasions (8/17 against South Woden and 8/80 against City, both in March 1974). He took seven wickets on three other occasions. His figures were even more impressive than they appeared because his opening bowling partner in the four seasons was Wayne Boardman whose ability took a number of wickets Moore may have taken. In 1973-74 the opening pair of Moore and Boardman took 116 wickets at 9.63. Only their predecessors at Kingston oval Bruce Robin and Jim Backen have better figures. Moore then went on to play with Wests where he maintained his good form.
Richard entered first grade in 1973 and soon distinguished himself taking 6/55 against Woden. He was selected for ACT but was dropped to Easts second grade due to the presence of Moore and Boardman. He took 14/37 off 20.7 overs in the second grade semi final and was reinstated to first grade in time for the grand final. In 1974 when Moore and Boardman transferred to Wests, Done became Easts opening bowler and took 27 wickets at 9.62 in the 1973-74 season and 43 wickets at 8.84 in 1975-76. He then went to play Sydney Grade and County cricket in England. He played first grade with St George where he took 57 wickets at 15.49 in that clubs’ premiership winning season of 1984-85. He played 12 Sheffield Shield games for NSW and represented ACT 23 times taking 51 wickets at 20.92. He returned to Easts as their Captain in 1987-88.
Easts remained a highly competitive club throughout the 1980’s. Being champions in 1987-88 and both premiers and champions in 1988-89
1980-81 - Queanbeyan defeated Easts in the final despite Easts Eugene Nix taking 3/29
1988-89 - In a rain affected final Easts made 7/247 (Matthew Corkhill 97 not out) when rain ended play and Easts were declared the winners.
1986-87 - Easts took out the title in the twilight competition.
In 1989 the pavilion at Kingston Oval was completed. It was named the Greg Lord Pavilion in memory of the former Executive Director of the Association and a former captain and president of the East Canberra Cricket Club
John commenced playing with the Manuka/East Canberra club in 1962 and played over 200 games (including all grades). He was secretary at Manuka then became Deputy President and President of Easts for many years. More recently, until 2010, he was Patron of Eastlake. He joined the ACT Cricket Board in 1997 and was Chairman for 11 years until he retired in 2008. In 2009 he received recognition from Cricket Australia for 50 years service to Australian Cricket.
We know that at the end of the 1988-89 season the ACT Cricket Association decided to reduce the number of district clubs from 10 to 8 through club amalgamations. Woden Valley and Eastern Suburbs were amalgamated to form South Canberra Cricket Club – later (1999) to be renamed Eastlake Cricket Club - (and City-Daramalan and Northern Suburbs, to form then Canberra North Daramalan).
So, what is the history of the Woden Valley Cricket Club?
With the rapid increase in Canberra’s population in the 1960s, particularly in the southern suburbs, a new club called Woden was formed in 1965, at a time when Kingston and Manuka Clubs were still district clubs.
Woden entered a team in each of First and Second Grade in 1965-66, and from 1966 it was able to enter teams in all grades. Based at Deakin Oval, Woden won the 1966-67 Club Championship. It quickly developed a junior base and had 14 junior teams in 1968-69.
Woden never won a First grade premiership in its 19 years, but was always competitive. It won the twilight competition in 1977-78, four premierships in second grade (67-68, 71-72, 72-73 and 78-79) and two premierships in fourth grade (70-71 and 71-72). It was also very successful in the ACTCA’s winter indoor competitions.
Some of Woden’s top players of First Grade over the era included: Bob Smith, Bill Atkinson, John Osbourne, John Cope, Kevin Flaherty, Barry Andrews, Tim D’Arcy, Mark Urquhart, Peter Woods, Peter Gulbranson, Ken Bone, Sean McElhinney (based on winning at least twice First Grade most runs, most wickets or highest batting/bowling averages).
Some of its longer serving administrators included: Doug McIver, Paul Barsdell, John Osbourne, Jack Morgan, Kevin Lenox, Don Crouch, Barry Andrews, John Pollard, Alec Lewis, Greg O’Connor, Neil Bayles (based on at least three years in one of the four senior positions of President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer).
In early 1969 the Association restructured the competition substantially and the 1969-70 season saw four new clubs. Kingston and Manuka combined to become East Canberra. The other three new clubs formed were: City, Western Districts and South Woden.
South Woden grew out of the Woden Club and was to serve the suburbs south of Hindmarsh Drive. It was based at Phillip (Football Park). It was Club Champion in 1973-74 when four of its five teams reached the semi-finals (although none won a premiership that season).
In 1981-82 South Woden won its first First Grade premiership. It won the Twilight Competition in 1982-83. It won two Third Grade premierships (76-77 and 79-80) and one Fifth Grade premiership (74-75) over its 15 year life. South Woden also had a women’s team that from 1982 to 1984 dominated the women’s competition winning two premierships in a row.
Some of South Woden’s best cricketers included: Ken Stone, Brett Hannam, Peter Stanek, John Bull, Mark Thornton, M. Curtis, Peter O’Reilly and Greg Rowell (based on mention in Don Selth’s book or ACT representative honours).
Some of South Woden’s key administrators included: Greg Mann, Ian Meek, Bob Allen, Eric Fock, Vic Schofield, John Regent, and Don Wilkie (based on life memberships).
Canberra continued its rapid expansion in the 1970s and 1980s. With the admission of Tuggeranong to the district competition in 1984, the Woden and South Woden clubs amalgamated to form Woden Valley, thus keeping the number of district clubs at 10. The amalgamation was initiated by the presidents of the clubs (Trevor Butler and Ian Meek respectively) and was seen by most as a positive opportunity to build a strong new club. The club was based at Phillip (Football Park) and used Deakin West as its second ground.
The amalgamation brought immediate rewards when Woden Valley won the First Grade one day and two day premierships and the Twilight Competition in its first season, 84-85. This was the first time any club had won the trifecta of competitions. All five grade teams made the semi-finals in 84-85, but none bar First Grade won the premiership.
Woden Valley benefited greatly in its initial three years by the allocation from the ACTCA of Lancashire professional all-rounder Mike Watkinson who was brought out for the Association’s school coaching program. It also had for those years ACT captain Ken Stone as its First Grade captain.
Over the next four years, Woden Valley won the Fourth Grade premiership twice: 85-86 and 87-88, under stalwart captain Jeff McGrath.
Woden Valley had 9 senior teams in its inaugural season including a women’s team. It had seven men’s teams in its last season, 1988-89. It also had a strong junior playing and administration base throughout its five seasons.
Some of Woden Valley’s best players included: Mike Watkinson, Ken Stone, Ken Rooke, Colin Crouch, Brad Bretland, Steve Marshall, Mark Thornton, Darryl Stevenson, Graham Harriott, Peter Stanek and Ben Day (based on representative honours and Club First Grade averages).
Some of the key Woden Valley administrators included: Trevor Butler, Jon Crossman, Bob Allen, Ian Meek, Gary Molineux, Stephen Richards, Mark Powell, Neil Bayles and Wayne Crouch.
Interestingly, at then end of its last season, Woden Valley changed its name to Woden Southern Cross Club on the promise of an ongoing association with the Southern Cross Club. This name change was made redundant by the 1989 club amalgamations.