1976/77 - the struggle begins
SEASON 1976/77 came around, and Long Island Cricket Club was still partying on. The problem was that the competition in which we were drawn was a lot better than what we experienced over the past couple of years. At the Club's Annual General Meeting all went smoothly even to the effect that there were no changes to the off-field team - Lionel Harris: President, Roger Vivian: Vice President, Wayne Ross: Secretary and Andy Gilroy-Scott: Treasurer. Les Thomas, Ray Vivian, Jeff Wheaton, Russ Wealands, Kevin Cook and Armin Otto were Committeemen. The Membership Fee was increased to $10, and the Match Fee remained at $2. In addition, a third Senior team was added. The MPCA placed the teams in the District 1st, 2nd and 3rd Grades.
Although the 1st XI was not able to maintain its high standard, it did manage to steer clear of relegation, and did show that it was as good as the top bracket teams by beating Flinders and Tootgarook, both of whom made the finals. Col Munro was again the on-field leader, but the team suffered because it did not have enough players who consistently scored runs or took wickets, and consequently the team struggled for much of the Season. In it's first game in the District Grade, we only managed to score 116 runs, and while Main Ridge struggled for runs early, it managed to score 19 runs more. Paul Jones made his debut (and only game in 76/77) in Round 2 and scored 48 runs. Sorrento however managed some 30 runs more than our total, resulting in our 2nd loss in 2 games. Col Munro (5/52) put us right in the next game against Dromana, but our batting was pathetic and we only managed 107 - a devastating loss! In Round 4 our bowlers again toiled hard with Alan Moulden (4/10) and Gordon McLeod (6/25) taking all wickets. "Bish" Batey (41) and Andy Gilroy-Scott (45) showed the way with the bat - our first victory! We followed this with another good win (Batey 47 and Ray Vivian 5/46) against Flinders, and with Gordon McLeod in top flight, scoring 74, we made it 3 in a row against Rye. After Christmas we lost all 5 games, three by only small margins, but with only Gordon McLeod, Rob Gailey and Alan Moulden showing any consistency. The Club knew after this initial Season that District Cricket was not going to be easy, and to maintain our place in the Grade was going to be extremely difficult.
The 2nd XI was initially led by Roger Vivian, but Graeme Meadows took over from the second match. We started the Season with a bad loss to Main Ridge, then with Brett Harris - match figures of 10/41 - and Graeme Meadows scoring 42, we had a handsome win against Sorrento. All players seemed to be firing after that initial win, and with Brett Harris in great form with the ball and Graeme Meadows and Russell Wealands leading with the bat, we were well-placed at the Christmas Break. After Christmas Roger Vivian resumed playing and was soon in sensational form - 38 against Rye, 39, 5/16 & 3/19 against Boneo - and with Bill Dunn, Les Thomas and Graeme Meadows (still) doing well. we entered the Finals pretty confident of success. Hastings had other thoughts and we were savaged, scoring only 63 and watching them score almost 300.
The 3rd XI , in its inaugural year was captained by Les Munro, and while it only won three games for the Season, these included the last two matches. We almost lost the first match outright even though there were only 11 runs in the 1st Innings result. Newcomer Nick Crossley showed good form with 8/71 for the match. Rounds 2, 3 and 4 were disasters - Kevin Cook 54 & 4/23 and Steve Clark 53, but in Round 5 we won our first game, with Paul Whelan taking 9/44 for the match. We struggled in the next few Rounds although there were some good contributors - Clarrie Swan 48 & 63, "Tucky" Fry 50, and Alan Griffiths 44. But in the last two Rounds we were winners with Cooky and Tucky scoring 40's and Mark French doing well with the ball.
In this Season 15 new players represented the Club - Bill Dunn, Rob Gailey, Alan Griffiths, Clarrie Swan, Nick Crossley, Mark French, Paul Whelan, Stephen Clark, Barry Cotterell, Bob Kent, Dave Martin, Mick Worthington, Chas Buccilli and Terry Peacock. Paul Jones filled-in for one game, and made such an impact that the Club tried to secure his services thereafter. While we were not successful in doing so, we did have patience, and in 1982/83 our patience and persistence was finally rewarded. Some of the players who joined this Season were to last at the Club for a substantial period of time, while others disappeared to greener (not necessarily cricket) fields.
The players who left the Club included Trevor Griffin, Mike Last, Mal Williams and Mal Smith.
Award winners in this Season were :
During the Season, Lindsay Batey scored his 1000th run for the Club, while Wayne Ross and Ray Vivian each took their 50th wicket.
Semi Final :
Major contributors on-field during the Season were :