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Club History

End of an Era (1988/89 - 1997/98)

Mitchell Park started this era with 5 sides, two premierships and the A-Grade in Section 1 finals. They ended the decade with only three sides, and the A-Grade missing the finals for the eighth consecutive season, having finished bottom of Section 1 for the first time ever in 1996/97.  There were four premierships in this decade, making it the most successful in terms of flags. The first was in the B-Grade, while the remaining three were in the C-Grade.

Decade Summary

Mitchell Park started this decade in fine style, winning two premierships in 1988/89, with the B-Grade in Section 2 (Ray Jaunutis 359 @ 39.9, Scott Rusby 287 @ 35.9, Dave Reddaway 29 wickets @ 13.7, Malcolm Davies 18 wickets @ 14.2) and C-Grade in Section 4 (John Kocbek 462 runs @ 46.2, Flash Flesfadar 422 runs @ 70.3 and 36 wickets @ 16.7, Terry Hollis 16 wickets @ 17.6), while the A-Grade were competitive in Section 1, finishing fourth (David "Dingo" Dean 417 runs @ 34.8, Neil McAvaney 27 wickets, Peter Berkshire 16 wickets @ 19.6).

The following season (1989/90) saw Mitchell Park field 6 teams for the only time in its history, with the "F-Troop" going down in folklore. Over the years nearly everyone of that era has claimed a piece of the pie. To this day, Terry Hollis swears he played for them. But he didn't. The Lions didn't win any premierships that year, but finished fourth in C-Grade, third in B-Grade and fourth in A-Grade (Scott Rusby 503 @ 50.3, Alan Sutherland 389 @ 35.4 and 39 wickets @ 14.0, Peter Berkshire 23 wickets, Malcolm Davies 20 wickets @ 14.95).

In 1990/91 Mitchell Park fielded 5 sides and only the E-Grade played in finals, finishing 3rd in Section 6 (Berkshire 354 runs, Boglic 39.2 bat ave, Berkshire 32 wickets, McGinley 31 wickets @ 14.2, Boglic 30 wickets @ 12.1). The A-Grade were led by the usual suspects with both bat (Rusby, McArdle, Sutherland) and ball (Sutherland, Davies, Reynolds), but dropped off significantly on the Section 1 ladder.

While the early 90s saw Mitchell Park drop down the Section 1 ladder on a consistent basis, 1992/93 saw some success in the lower grades at least. The C-Grade played in a losing Section 4 Grand Final under Peter Berkshire. Berky led the way with bat and ball that year, winning the batting with 276 runs and the bowling with 31 wickets, while two other stalwarts in John Gumley (183 runs, 23 wickets) and Terry Hollis (257 runs, 18 wickets) contributed solidly with both bat and ball. Anthony Nobes won the batting average with 202 @ 67.3, while Neil McAvaney won the bowling average with 22 @ 16.4. The same season saw the E-Grade finish third in Section 7 under Jon Kocbek. Leith Lelliott had two tons in his 704 @ 58.7, while club Player Of The Year Gerry McGinley also had two tons in his 629 @ 62.9, while also taking 22 wickets @ 14.6 in the process. Phil Hunter won the E-Grade bowling with 28 wickets @ 11.9.

The C-Grade won the Section 5 premierships in 1994/95 and 1996/97, albeit with totally different sides and in totally different circumstances. In 1994/95, skipper Jack Doherty captained a very talented and well rounded team of mates to a dominant season and finals series. While Michael "Bolt" Dinan switched from tennis to footy with a couple of batting trophies (392 @ 56.0), he was ably supported by a troop of batsmen, with no fewer than six batsmen (Dinan, Jack Doherty, Warren Crook, Jeff Trinne, Mark Backman and John Forster) making over 200 runs that year. With the ball, Darren Riddle led the way. His blistering pace was far too quick for Section 5, and he took 30 wickets @ 8.2. Supporting him were a couple of future A-Grade premiership players in Terry "TH" Hollis (23 wickets) and Steve "Tank" Sherman (15), as well as a host of part time options in Doherty, Trinne and Forster.

In 1996/97 the C-Grade won the Section 5 Grand Final but lost the premiership on a technicality. Robbie Lawrence only made 82 runs @ 11.7 and took 1 wicket @ 78.0, but he unfortunately played more games (2 x A, 5 x B) in the higher grades than in the C's (6 games) and nobody realised until club secretary Darren Adams received a phone call from John Heptinstall on April Fool's Day 1997. Skipper John Leicester's side celebrated like premiers and runners up Sheidow Park didn't want to take the premiership, and it was just disappointing all round. Superstar of the C's was Simon Burden, who won the BJ McArdle Trophy (now Daryl Reynolds All Rounder) with what remains to this day a record score of 1105 points. Burden won the Section 5 A&SCA batting with 888 runs @ 68.3 including three hundreds and four fifties, while also taking 27 wickets @ 12.8 with a best of 8/63. While he won both batting trophies, John Forster won the bowling aggregate with 39 wickets and Jeff Trinne won the bowling average with 25 @ 12.72.

The B-Grade finished third in 1996/97 and then fourth the following year. Winners of the batting trophies were Anthony Nobes (373 runs) and Kym Dawson (58.3 ave), and John Shirley (304 runs) and Michael Dinan (83.7 ave), while Daryl Reynolds and Terry Hollis had solid years both years. With the ball, trophy winners were Terry Hollis (37 wickets and 22 wickets) and David "Muey" Scott (12.4 ave) and John Forster (22 @ 14.3).

Notable Players

  • Scott Rusby - a solid and capable middle order batsman (winner of  and a superb catcher in the field, whether in slips or wicket-keeping.
  • Jim McDonald - Jim and his long, ginger, WG Grace beard were synonymous with Mitchell Park cricket for many years. A quietly spoken, sturdy, evergreen opening bat and great committee man.
  • Daryl Reynolds - a tearaway quick bowler in his younger years, who loved to hit and hurt the batsmen, and an aggressive lower order batsman.
  • Ray Jaunutis - Sugar Ray was a great club man who played most of his cricket here in the 90s. Ray took 155 of his 200 wickets in this decade.
  • Terry Hollis - Terry is the club's leading wicket taker and has also played the most games for the Lions. A late blooming medium paced in-swing bowler, with a late blooming nickname, TH transitioned smoothly to Tangles a few years ago. Terry has both a penchance for no balls and a deceptive yorker. Also has a crack in the cement at Mitchell Park Oval named after him.
  • Chris Farrant - Thrasher Farrant was a middle order batsman and leg spin bowler. Didn't score any A-Grade hundreds during his 4 seasons at the Lions, but still averaged an impressive 33.5 in Section 1 nonetheless.

Team Of The Decade (unofficial)

1. B.McArdle
2. J.McDonald
3. G.Moran
4. A.Sutherland *
5. C.Farrant (c)
6. D.Adams *
7. Scott A. Rusby + *
8. K.Dawson
9. P.Berkshire *
10. D.Reynolds *
11. M.Davies
(12th S.Rodgers)

* = Member of official All-Time XI
(c) = Captain

+ = Wicket Keeper