1960-61 CTPL Season & Grand Final Review
For the first time since the finals series was introduced Glenorchy missed out on the minor premiership; they lowered their colours to Kingborough – the final standings being Kingborough 68, Glenorchy 63, with New Town and North Hobart equal on 51 points. An outright loss by seven wickets to Glenorchy in the last round ruined South Hobart’s chances of making the finals to defend its title of the past two seasons.
The weather intervened to determine the course of the finals series when play was seriously affected by wet wickets. So it was a disappointing conclusion to an outstanding season when minor premier Kingborough was beaten by North Hobart; chasing 300 Kingborough managed just 85 in a match dominated by the Richardson brothers – Reg scoring 102 with Col and Ted sharing six wickets. Glenorchy scored 206/9 and 65/6 to comprehensively defeat New Town which made 102 in its only innings.
The final was punctuated by the arrival in Hobart of the Australians en route to England and play was scheduled for the Saturdays on either side of the state’s match with the national team.
Some of the most dismal batting seen in TCA cricket was witnessed in the final. In reply to North Hobart’s 164, Glenorchy was 75/2 at stumps on the first day. Batsmen on both sides lacked enterprise and were simply content to allow the ball to hit the bat. Play started shortly after 10am and when stumps were drawn at 6pm only 239 runs had been scored by the two teams in 396 minutes.
The pattern of dull and colourless batting was shown by the fact that only fifteen boundaries were hit all day. The crowd showed its discontent especially late in the afternoon when Glenorchy, having played themselves into a good position, were still content to flatter the bowling and adopt negative tactics. At no time in either innings was the bowling really hostile; there was the occasional good ball but for the greater part the bowling was merely accurate.
Both captains were at fault in their batting and set poor examples to their teams. North skipper Ted Richardson, one of the hardest hitters in the state, took 97 minutes for his 13 runs, while Glenorchy’s captain, Lloyd Smith, batted for 119 minutes making 43. The crowd became vocal as Glenorchy failed to push home their advantage, but ironically cheered as a single was scored and pleadings ‘to have a go’ failed to bring any response.
The position was aggravated when at 5.35pm the umpires considered that the light was bad and the players left the field. For several minutes the crowd watched the sun shine warmly on the deserted field and at 5.45pm play was resumed.
Of the North Hobart batsmen, David Long was by far the most enterprising and his 42, put together with crisp stroking, included five fours. He and Reg Richardson added 46 for the fourth wicket.
Don Bower, Des Kenna and Roy Bowden each took three wickets, but Bowden’s bowling was a marathon effort, sending down 22 overs in succession, six of them maidens, to take 3/41.
Ray Heffernan and Dal Johnston batted quietly when play recommenced on the second day – a fortnight later, and the 100 came up after 153 minutes; eight runs later a ball from Gordon Long struck Johnston on the body and rebounded onto his wicket, dislodging the bails. Heffernan was stroking confidently although finding it difficult to penetrate the field. He reached fifty in 156 minutes but with the score on 149 he was caught at mid-on by Col Richardson off Tony Hill – there were only three boundaries in his 64.
Rodwell went for 18 eight runs later when Athol Townley took a fine diving catch at mid-off. Mike Hyland then joined Doug Walton in what proved to be a glorious partnership. They pasted the bowlers all round the wicket, adding 108 in 86 minutes. Hyland’s 40 included eight fours – he was caught and bowled by Hill.
Walton continued to entertain with magnificent footwork, dancing down the pitch to drive the ball to the long-on boundary or through covers; he reached his century in 160 minutes. Although he batted with restraint in the pre-lunch session, his later play was of rare quality; he hit sixteen fours and a five in his 105.
At the same time, David McGuire was in an aggressive mood, hitting the ball better than at any other stage of the season. His fifty came up in 109 minutes and at the end he was undefeated on 77, including ten boundaries, scored in 159 minutes.
Glenorchy’s 419 assured them of the premiership after they had been the runners-up for the previous three seasons. It was the second time in a week that Walton had top-scored for his team – his 51 against the Australian XI was the best by a Tasmanian the previous weekend.
Col Richardson had the best bowling figures with 3/58 and Gordon Long also bowled well for lengthy periods to finish with 4/148.
North returned to the wicket soon after tea, but the game finished at a farcical level, although David Long and Gavin Wood stroked well in making 47 and 40 respectively. During the day 467 runs were scored in 420 minutes – a stark contrast to the opening day’s play when just 239 runs were registered.
Mercury reporter – Keith Welsh