1965-66 CTPL Season & Grand Final Review
In a splendid display of free hitting, fast bowler Gary Brakey was a major contributor in North Hobart’s victory over Glenorchy which enabled them to replace the Magpies in the final four. Final standings were: New Town 65, Sandy Bay 62, Clarence 56, North Hobart 48, University 44 and Glenorchy 40.
New Town was caught short after losing the toss in its semi-final match with North Hobart and was beaten by an innings with 47 and 166 to 252, but it wasn’t the wicket that defeated them – North’s fast attack led by Sam Randall (5/15) absolutely demoralized the minor premiers after Wayne Williams (84), supported again by Brakey, lifted the Demons to a competitive score. When Len Maddocks was required to leave the match at tea to attend to business interests in Melbourne, his fourteen-year-old son, Ian, the youngest cricketer to participate in a TCA final, substituted for his dad with the gloves. Maddocks would not have been amused to find his team, without him, routed for 47 before stumps on the first day of the semi-final.
Clarence made yet another unsuccessful finals appearance – this time losing to Sandy Bay after scoring 219 in response to the Bay’s 348/8 (and 109/6). Ben Wignall, with 86, and Brian Patterson, 83, set up the Bay’s big score; then Patto cleaned up the Roos on day two, taking 6/51 to complete a fine double.
Fourth on the ladder meant North needed to win to take out the premiership in its fifth attempt and, with rain in the air, they could ill afford to miss opportunities.
At the conclusion of a rain-affected first day, honours were in fact even.
The Bay skipper Brian Patterson surprisingly agreed to play before lunch. The incentive of having North Hobart making two starts to their innings in the course of 80 minutes did not outweigh the lack of confidence by fast bowlers Graham Mansfield and Terry Bowes in their treacherous run-ups. Had Patterson objected to starting at 11.54am it was extremely doubtful umpires Fred Hay and Jim Stevens would have agreed to start play before lunch scheduled for 12.30pm.
As it was they should have had early success when Geoff Burrows dropped Kerry Deayton in the slips with the score on eight, and North went to lunch on 34/0.
Deayton, a very promising left-hander with any amount of confidence made full use of his let-off and played his best innings for North. Pull shots and powerful stroking off the front foot brought him seven boundaries in his 52 scored out of 81 in 92 minutes. He was out to a ball which he tried to play to leg but which kept a shade low. With Max Atwell he added 59 for the 1st wicket.
Athol Townley was the only other batsman in the early stage of the innings to go for his strokes and he was settling down for a long innings when faulty footwork brought about his downfall – he gave a return catch to Kerry Flint. He batted for 64 minutes for his 23. Gary Maynard was also caught in front to give Flint 3/16 and North slumped to 123/4.
Worse was to follow when Wayne Williams, who survived a stumping chance off Patterson, played on to Flint seven runs later and only six minutes before tea, which was taken at 138/5.
When play resumed after tea, North captain Ted Richardson was beaten by the first ball he faced and things were not working in North’s favour at 139/6. Gordon Long and Gary Brakey set about reviving their chances but rain forced the players from the field at 4.30pm and when play resumed a little later the pair added 29 valuable runs in intelligent style and without undue trouble. Stumps were drawn with North 168/6.
Patterson, who’d saved countless runs in the field, conceded only 36 runs from 23 consecutive overs, but it was the youthful Flint who got that extra life from the wicket and beat the bat to break the back of North’s batting.
There was no doubt the work put in by TCA curator Jack Callinan to provide a wicket worthy of a final in difficult weather conditions was exceptional, and the pitch played better as the match progressed. When North resumed batting on the second day, the following Saturday, the wicket had few dangers. North was able to move its score smartly to 259/9, when Richardson declared the innings closed after 306 minutes batting, which left 315 minutes for Sandy Bay to get the runs or defy the North Hobart attack.
North’s batting depth was illustrated when they put on 91 in quick time to enable the declaration to come 45 minutes before lunch, which gave its bowlers two starts at the Bay’s top-order. However, early set-backs would impact as the day progressed. Initially its bowlers failed to break through before lunch and on resumption (four balls later to be exact) Rist touched one of Randall’s deliveries but Brakey grassed the opportunity, although keeper Lyn Cox may have unsighted the slipper. It was a costly mistake since Rist, then 11, went on to score 67 out of 125 in the best innings of the match, hitting five boundaries in his 166 minutes at the crease.
Highlights of the day included:
Brakey was called for throwing in the second of his four-over spells before lunch and he wasn’t brought back into the attack until 81 minutes after lunch when Sandy Bay was 95/0. He had an immediate result when he crashed a yorker through Burrows’s defence, and then broke the back of the Bay batting by bowling an indecisive Ben Wignall and Geoff Burrows and then catching Leigh Batchelor in front by sheer pace, all in the course of fifteen ominous minutes. When he yorked Bill Butler not long after, he’d taken 5/18 and the Bay was in trouble at 159/6.
Richardson was forced to rest his trump card so that he would be fresh for the new ball and used his spinners to hasten the event. It was at this stage that Patterson and Bowes dug in. When Bowes left at 5.40pm to a controversial catch that required the umpires to consult, the match looked safe for Sandy Bay, especially with the fast bowlers taking too much of the little time left.
At stumps Sandy Bay was still 46 runs short of its target but importantly had three wickets intact to ‘win’ the premiership from the drawn match.
Brakey was a tired and exhausted man – not only had he taken 5/59 from 19 action-packed overs, he top scored for his team as well – but it was fitting that Patterson was at the crease at the close of play to give his club its first premiership for twenty years. He enjoyed perhaps his best season and was largely responsible for the Bay getting the opportunity to play in the final series.
Mercury reporter – Gordon Burnett