1956-57 CTPL Season & Grand Final Review
Glenorchy served notice of its power and favouritism with a last round serve of 407/6, the highest score of the season, with Emerson Rodwell smashing a brilliant 208 against Sandy Bay, and headed the standings with 81 points from North Hobart 79, Clarence 70 and New Town 57.
The semi-finals saw Glenorchy defeat New Town and North Hobart win over the Clarence in only its second season in the TCA 1st grade competition. Glenorchy won by six wickets but North was pressed all the way by the newcomers. Of note, Clarence was well served by forty-two-year-old veteran Ron Morrisby, who scored 24 and 77. Morrisby had a distinguished career over some twenty-five seasons with South Hobart (where he scored in excess of 16,000 runs), and transferred to Clarence when the club joined the TCA in 1955-56.
Leading up to the final there was doubt that North Hobart’s captain Bert Brownlow would play. He’d been injured at hockey and had missed the last two roster games. When the team was selected North Hobart named an emergency keeper – David Long. Ted Richardson was the stand-in skipper.
Glenorchy had not defeated North during the roster – rain having prevented a decision each time they met –but the reigning premiers had not lost only one match (to Kingborough) all season, so they were very confident of success. But so were North Hobart, for it had lost only one match as well, although its record was not as convincing as Glenorchy’s.
Glenorchy’s main strength was its batting depth whereas North’s had been less consistent. Much would depend on Reg Richardson. North’s trump card was Col Richardson, whose swing bowling skills had been so successful, and he was backed by brother Ted and slows Fred Westwood and Gordon Long.
Premiers for the past two seasons, Glenorchy’s team had undergone little change – perhaps it was stronger with the inclusion of young paceman Des Kenna to support the proven trio of Palmer, McGuire and Diprose.
North batted first and would have been well pleased with the afternoon’s work – a day interrupted for some forty minutes because of rain. At stumps, pulled shortly after 5pm when a light appeal was upheld, its batsmen had recovered to 174/8.
The innings had begun badly with opener Tony Hill touching a ball from McGuire, but thanks to stout resistance from the Long brothers against the accurate and penetrating attack there was a glimpse of a recovery until Kenna bowled David Long and Jackman. But when Gordon Long went soon after, North was in tatters at 97/6.
Townley and Col Richardson steadied the ship somewhat but the tight bowling backed by some excellent fielding kept the run rate down. Townley’s dour but valuable innings of 40 was his best for the season. The Richardson brothers added valuable runs before the light appeal. Kenna (3/31) was the pick of the Glenorchy bowlers, while Diprose sent down 28 overs unchanged for his three wickets.
On resumption the following day, only eight more runs were added with Palmer cleaning up the tail but North’s 182 was arguably competitive total in the circumstances and so it proved in the face of the accurate swing bowling of Col and Ted Richardson that Glenorchy would have to fight desperately to score a winning total.
Glenorchy’s innings did not get away well, with the top four batsmen failing to make double figures, and with the score at 39/4 the match looked like being a close one, particularly when teenager Bill Murray strode to the crease to join Frank Dewsnap; it was Murray’s first senior match and he settled down to break the back of the North Hobart attack, collecting runs slowly but consistently.
When they were finally separated the score was 120/5 and the match was balanced in Glenorchy’s favour.
Murray’s innings of 58 was a great example of concentration and courage. Undeterred by the tense atmosphere he batted confidently.
After North’s score was passed, fast bowler Palmer merrily drove the first ball he faced for six followed by two fours and the Glenorchy innings ended at 212. North’s bowlers had toiled manfully; Col Richardson was unlucky to finish with 1/22 from 22 overs, while Gordon Long returned the best figures of 4/53.
North played out time in its 2nd innings and Glenorchy celebrated its premiership hat-trick.
Mercury reporter – Keith Welsh