1977/78 - almost there!
JEFF WHEATON became the Club's third President prior to this Season and Russ Wealands became Vice President. Wayne Ross and Andy Gilroy-Scott continued to serve as Secretary and Treasurer, and Committee Members were Gordon McLeod, Les Thomas, Graeme Spence, John Peacock, Mal Smith, Bob Parker and Ray Vivian. Club Members were asked to pay an increased Membership Fee of $12, plus a Match payment of $2. Season 1977/78 was the first where the Administration had it's fair share of problems. Firstly, the Club decided to "go professional" and appoint a Coach, and while this move had the full backing of members when put to the vote at the Annual General Meeting, when the appointment was made, some members expressed concerns. The major concern no doubt, was the perceived over-looking of Col Munro, who had been the on-field leader for the Club's entire life, and without doubt it's best player. It is true to say that Col was asked to apply for the position on a number of occasions, including the occasion when the first application was received. Col declined these offers, but did have a change of heart when the appointment was made. To Col's, and all members', credit, everyone got behind the Coach with the result that the very professional Long Island teams improved dramatically on their previous performances. The second problem faced was the resolution of the 2nd XI captaincy, when Graeme Meadows resigned because of a conflict during the Season. Graeme's resignation was accepted with reluctance and Mal Smith who resumed playing with the Club this Season took over. The third debit was the inability of the Club to field a Junior team, as the average age of Senior players was climbing steadily. The Club looked at the possibility of fielding an Under 16 team, but very few boys who were not playing with other Clubs of that age lived in the area. The Club decided to attempt to fill an Under 14 or Under 12 team the following Season. Later in the Season, the Club discussed with the Frankston Council, the possibility of relocating. Worland Park was a drainage basin on which the Council had constructed a Cricket Pitch. One of the main problems with the oval was that after rain, no matter how much, it was unplayable. The Club wrote to the Council and was ultimately advised to look at a new ground, presently under construction, at the Baxter Park complex. A decision was made soon after, rumoured to be by the Executive Committee of the MPCA, that Long Island was a Frankston-based Club and should remain in Frankston.
The Club's first Coach was Rob Dean, an experienced player and sporting leader. Rob had played his most recent Cricket with Carnegie in the VJCA, but had played with District Club Richmond previous to that. He was a very good batsman, and (in his opinion!) a slow bowler who specialised in the lolly-pop delivery. (In Rob's favour, his application did not state his prowess or otherwise with the ball). Rob brought the desired leadership qualities to Long Island, and the 1st XI team became a force in the District Grade, reaching the finals (finishing in 2nd position on the ladder, and Runner-up in the Grand Final).
During the 1977/78 Season, Mal Smith resumed playing after a one-year lay-off and Wayne Carter (Frankston East), Glen Farrow, Alan Goodwright (Pines), George Griffiths, Bill Griffiths, Ron Hulme, Ray Kinsey, Ron Murphy, Steve Reynolds and Kevin Stokes joined the Club, while Lindsay Batey, Bill Craig, Bill Dunn, Mark French, Alan Moulden, Roger Vivian, Noel Williams (Mt Martha) and Paul Whelan left. Of these, Carter, Kinsey, Reynolds and Stokes were to continue for a substantial period of time, while Lindsay Batey found the transition playing under a Coach not to his liking. "Bish" however, did return later.
The 1st XI started the Season against Sorrento, and was soon in trouble at 5/35, however Col Munro and Wayne Ross took the score to 135 and we ended the day with 9/155. Col scored 70 and Wayne 44 not out. On the second day, Glen Farrow in his first game with the Club took 7/33 to rout Sorrento for 114. In the second game we were pitted against Dromana - at that time a highly successful combination. Batting first we scored 9/103 with Wayne Ross and Glen Farrow both getting 30. On day 2, it was again Glen Farrow (3/26), this time with the support of Gordon McLeod (3/23) who destroyed Dromana which only managed 65. We then had a loss to the big-hitting Tootgarook but then defeated Flinders, with Wayne Ross scoring 56 not out and taking 3/20, and Gordon McLeod in great touch with the ball taking 6/34. A loss to Rye followed (Col Munro 65) then we finished the first half of the Season with a win against Boneo (Gordon McLeod 102, Col Munro 4/20, Dave Muir 6/19). After the break we defeated Langwarrin (Rob Dean 47, Col Munro 55 and Dave Muir 44 not out), then drew with Heatherhill (George Griffiths 5/47 off 24 overs, Rob Gailey 41). A good victory over Pearcedale followed with Gordon McLeod 90 not out and George Griffiths 5/61. In another rain-affected game we were this time the victors, over Moorooduc, when having to chase 222 with just on 2 hours to bat, we amassed 7/238 with Rob Dean scoring 63 and Col Munro 71. In the last game before the Finals Jeff Wheaton scored 67 in our total of 7/247 on the way to beating Main Ridge. The team played Tootgarook in the Semi Final, which plundered 297 runs on a very hot first day. George Griffiths bowled superbly in the stifling heat to take 4/86 off 17 overs. On a very wet second day, Long Island scored 109 runs for the loss of 4 wickets, with Ron Hulme scoring 41 not out and Gordon McLeod 42 not out, to draw the match, and move to the Grand Final. In the Grand Final, we played Flinders, and were soon in trouble at 3/8, but Col Munro, 75 and George Griffiths, 47 took the score to 139. The last few batsmen took the score to 195. Flinders batted slowly, and at one stage was 5/86, but two Centuries saw them onto 295. Glen Farrow was in great form taking 4/52 off 26 overs. George Griffiths and Rob Dean took two wickets each.
The 2nd XI won six games for the Season and lost 4 games. It won first up against Sorrento (Ray Kinsey 4/39) and then beat Dromana (Dave Phillips 61 and Graeme Meadows 4/4). Losses to Tootgarook (Graeme Meadows 4/35), Flinders (Clarrie Swan 68) and Rye (Ray Kinsey 48 and Dave Muir 4/25) followed. The 2nds then had an outright win against Boneo with Ron Hulme, 102 Rob Gailey, 58 and Ray Vivian 7/62 and 3/25, then beat Langwarrin by one run (Brett Harris 5/46). The next match was drawn because of poor weather, when Ray Kinsey scored 44, then Pearcedale was defeated after Dave Phillips scored 96 and Ray Vivian took 4/42. The second last game, against Moorooduc - a vital one, to ensure a place in the finals - was lost despite good batting from Ray Kinsey (48) and Dave Phillips (46) and another fine bowling performance from Ray Vivian (4/62). In the last game, we took the points, with Mal Smith (75 not out), Ray Kinsey (58), Graeme Meadows (44 not out) and Ray Vivian (5/62) all doing well.
The 3rd XI , under the Captaincy of Bob Parker, won three games for the Season, but some splendid performances occurred. Dave Phillips scored 107 in the first game of the Season, and Dave Muir scored a hard-hitting 82 in Round 4. From Round 5, the 3rds started to become competitive. Against Main Ridge, Bernie Stabb scored 50 and followed up with 68 against Langwarrin, while Barry Cotterell hit a fine 66 in the latter game. Although beaten outright in the next game by Sorrento, Kevin Cook scored 53, then he followed up with 4/25 in a rain-affected draw against Flinders, a game in which Barry Cotterell continued his good form with 70 runs. In the last three games, we suffered defeats, and only Nick Crossley (44 and 56) showed much form.
Award winners for the Season were :
During the Season Wayne Ross became the first Long Island player to reach the 50 game mark, Colin Munro scored his 2000th run and took his 50th wicket, Gordon McLeod scored his 1000th run and took his 50th wicket and Dave Muir took his 50th wicket for the Club.
Semi Final :
Grand Final :
3rd XI :
Major contributors throughout the Season came from :
After the Season, the Club entered a team in the Night Cricket Competition at Jack Potter's Indoor Cricket Centre in Mornington (the first of its type in Australia), and with Les Thomas acting as Chief Selector and Team Manager, a number of players enjoyed the winter months involved with a new brand of cricket. We were not the most successful combination, but we did come away with a trophy - a wooden spoon, which holds pride of place in the Thomas residence.