The New Millennium and Beyond (1998/99 - 2007/08)
After finishing bottom of Section 1 in 1998/99 for the second time in three seasons, Mitchell Park were relegated to Section 2 for the first time in the club's history. Having finished in the lower portion of the table for pretty much the previous decade, dropping down actually brought back a lot of enthusiasm and momentum, as well as a few handy players. As a result, Mitchell Park A-Grade played Section 2 finals in 1999/00 and won Section 2 in convincing style in 2000/01. However, the subsequent re-promotion to Section 1 wasn't as successful, and the Lions found themselves languishing near the bottom again for the rest of the decade.
Unfortunately there were no other premierships for Mitchell Park in the new millenium. The A-Grade didn't play finals after 2000/01, the B-Grade didn't play finals at all, the C-Grade finished 4th in 1999/00 and again in 2004/05 before finishing 2007/08 as second in Section 6. Mitchell Park fielded a D-Grade again in 2007/08 after a 6 year absence, and they finished runners-up in Section 7,
Mitchell Park finished bottom of Section 1 in 1998/99 and were relegated. The only bright light was young Mark Sansome winning the A&SCA fielding trophy. The Lions surged up the Section 2 ladder the following year (1999/00) under the captaincy of Darren Adams, ultimately being beaten in the semi final and finishing third. The skipper Adams led the way with the bat, winning his third successive batting aggregate and average trophies with 353 runs @ 32.1, while a pair of veterans made their mark in the A-Grade that year aged almost 40. Terry Hollis took 22 wickets @ 13.3 to win his first A-Grade bowling trophy (just ahead of JL with 20 @ 13.8), while John Leicester won the club's Player Of The Year for the first time, thanks to his 302 runs and 20 wickets.
The following season saw Mitchell Park A-Grade dominate Section 2 from pretty much start to finish under the captaincy of Steve Rodgers. Westminster Old Scholars were swept aside by 96 runs in the semi final, and Sheidow Park conceded defeat in the Grand Final during a rain interval when they were 5/22 chasing 217. For the premiers, Darren Adams won his fourth consecutive batting trophy. His 487 runs containing a best score of exactly 200, against Westminster OS on a 40 degree day when the opposition skipper won the toss and bowled!
No fewer than 6 batsmen (Adams, Scott Rusby, Steve Rodgers, Shaun Hollis, Craig Wisniewski and Craig Hewitt) had a top score over 50, and wicket keeper Scott Rusby won the batting average trophy with an average of 47.88 (narrowly from Wizza with 47.33). Scott Rusby also had an A-Grade century that year, with his completely dominant 102 not out (from a team score of just 4/149) containing 7 of the team's 8 fours that day.
With the ball, the top 6 wicket takers all averaged under 20, making it the most well rounded high performing A-Grade (statistically) that Mitchell Park has fielded. Opening the bowling into the wind, Shane Rusby won the Section 2 A&SCA Bowling Trophy, with his metronomic fast mediums netting him 40 wickets @ 11.85. He was ably supported by a handy pace attack of Terry Hollis (28 @ 12.5), Darren Adams (17 @ 13.4) and Steve Sherman (15 @ 18.5), along with part timers Steve Rodgers (12 @ 12.2), John Leicester (5 @ 17.4) and Brett Thompson (5 @ 33.6).
- Justin Smoker - in just over 80 A-Grade games, Smokey has managed to take over 220 wickets, opening the bowling with his exotic mix of cut and swing. He is a member of the MPCC All-Time XI.
- Mark Sansome - this great club man has won multiple A&SCA fielding trophies as well as being a solid late order batsman and outswing bowler. 12th man for 2000/01 A-Grade premiship.
- Steve Rodgers - 6 x A-Grade captain, including the 2000/01 premiership. Sturdy opening batsman and a medium paced inswing bowler with a fast bowler's attitude.
- John Leicester - after debuting in the late 70s, JL actually played most of his cricket for the club in this decade. Handy batsman and off-spin bowler, and member of 2000/01 premiership team, as well as several lower-grade premierships in the 1990s and 2000s.
- Darren Adams - Top order batsman and quick bowler. Lurch has won both the A-Grade Batting Aggregate and Average trophies a record number of times. He was a member of the 2000/01 premiership side, as well as making the club's All-Time XI.
- Steve Sherman - A member of the 2000/01 premiership side, as well as having played in the 94/95 C-Grade premiership. Tank took nearly 150 wickets in this decade, with a best of 7/36 amongst his 6 five wicket hauls.
Team Of The Decade (unofficial)
2. S.Rodgers (c)
5. D.Adams *
7. M.Dinan +
9. Shane G. Rusby
10. J.Smoker *
* = Member of official All-Time XI
(c) = Captain
+ = Wicket Keeper