SNDCC History 1888-2003

Club History - 1888-2003

In the beginning

At a meeting held on August 30, 1888 an association of cricket clubs playing in Newcastle was formed. There were to be 15 foundation clubs spawned from this meeting, of which the Stockton club remains the only foundation club left.

In the early years, the Stockton club would drift in and out of fielding a first grade side.

Stockton made its first final appearance in the 1894/95 season, but lost to Wickham Albion.

In fact it wasnt until the arrival of 'The great man' Dr Eric Pitty Barbour in the early 1920's did Stockton have anything to show in the silverware department.


Stockton's dynasty

Dr Barbour spent seven seaons with the Stockton Cricket Club between 1922 and 1929. He was arguably the greatest cricketer the game has seen is Newcastle.

His credentials speak for themselves: Dr Eric Barbour was the greatest batsman in public school history. In just 5 seasons for Sydney Grammar School, "The Doctor' scored 8279 runs @ 58.92 and took 550 wickets at 13.62.

While studying medicine at Sydney University he played for NSW up until the outbreak of World War I and was chosen in the Australian team to tour South Africa in 1914. The tour was cancelled upon graduating. 'The Doctor' became a medical officer in France.

Dr Barbour played only 23 First Class matches for NSW, scoring 1557 runs with 5 centuries @ 46.38, hi top score being 160.

In a shield game against Victoria in the 1911/12 season, 'The Doctor' scored 124 in an eighth wicket stand of 270 with Victor Trumper, which is still a record for the eighth wicket in shield cricket.

Dr Barbour had 97 innings for Stockton and scored 5199 runs @ 65.81. He made 12 centuries and had 30 scores between 50 and 100. He also took 48 catches and 368 wickets @ 11.6 on 35 occasions he took 5 or more wickets and 9 times took 10 wickets in a match.

For 5 seasons Dr Barbour topped the NDCA batting averages 1922/23 - 1927/28 and had the most aggregate runs every season he played.

In the season of 1923/24, 'The Doctor' became the only player in NDCA history and the first in NSW to score a thousand runs and take a hundred wickets in the same season.

Dr Barbour still holds the highest aggregate runs (1154) and the most wickets (111) in the history of Newcastle cricket.

During 'The Doctors' time with Stockton, the seasiders were the envy of every cricket club in Newcastle.Stockton won Premierships in 1923/24, 1925/26, 1926/27 and were final winners 1925/26 and 1926/27.

Many fine players played in Dr Barbours team. Some of whom were Archie Starrat, a brilliant wicketkeeper who stood over the stumps to express paceman and Newcastle representative Harry Hodges. Alan Dodds was a fine medium pace bowler. George Henderson was a brilliant batsman and medium pace bowler who later played for NSW. Ossie Osland, who was a splendid batsman, always opened the innings with Dr Barbour. There was not a finer sight from the era of Stockton's history, than these two fine batsmen walking out to the middle to open the innings.

Big crowds turned out at the Sportsground when Stockton and Merewether played in the finals. It was like a test match, they came from everywhere.

During his time with Stockton Dr Barbour wrote a book "How To Play Cricket", and was heavily involved with coaching the younger men and this had far reaching results. Newcastle teams soon became outstanding in Country Week and held overseas and interstate combinations.

There was a touch of sadness when he left Stockton to take up a practice in Sydney. Things were never to be the same at the Stockton club, or indeed the community, such was his standing and respect among the locals. His talent and skill as a cricketer, we would never see th like of again.

On going to Sydney he captained Randwick, who had not won a Premiership for many years and he gave it to them, scoring a double century in the final. A couple of years later Dr Barbour was dead at the age of 43.

He was described by his peers as 'a shining example of all that is good in a great game' and remembered in history books as the best to ever grace Lynn Oval.

His legacy to the Stockton club would be in the form of a young lad he coached, by the name of Rayford Robinson.

Halford Hooker arrived in the early 1930's and carried on the work that Dr Barbour had commenced. Hooker was a fine allrounder who played for NSW on numerous occasions.

In one match against Victoria Halford Hooker and Alan Kippax set the current world record last wicket stand of 307. Hooker also had the rare achievment of 4 wickets in 4 balls in First Class cricket.

The Stockton team of the era also boasted the prodigous talent of Ray Robinson. Ray played forst grade at a very young age, such was his talent. Dr Barbour recognised early on that Robinson could become a great player. In the latter half on the 1930's, Robinson joined the Gordon club in Sydney and was soon in the NSW side and eventually played in the Brisbane Test of the 1937/38 season, along with Bill O'Reilly, Stan McCabe and ofcourse the great Don Bradman, Robinson was only 22.

The advent of World War II saw the end of Robinson's Test career, after only the one appearance. Robinson would have become a great Test batsman, if not for the war. His graceful batting skill was likened to that of the 'Great Alan Kippax'.

Years later on Channel 9's, 'Bradman Special', Ray Martin asked Sir Donald Bradman, who was the best batsman you ever played with or against, and Bradman's answer was. "if you ever saw Ray Robinson bat you would have soon forgoten about me.

Ray Robinson remains the only Stockton bor Test cricketer.

Stockton won the Premiership and Final in 1931/32 and won the shield outright having won it for a 3rd time.

However, the club generously donated the trophy back to the NDCA and it was renamed the 'E.P.Barbour Shield' and is still contested by 1st Grade finalists today.

During the 1931/32 season, Ossie Osland set the record score by a Stockton batsman 215 v Merewether. He also topped the run aggregate with 727 @ 40.83. George Frost also took 8 for 36 for the 'seasiders' which were the best figures for the season.

Over the next 10 years the trophy cabinet was bare for Stockton. Although there were some fine individual performances. Ossie Osland had left the club after seven seasons, scoring 3326 runs @ 30.52.

In the 1933/34 season Ray Robinson had the highest score of 135, as did Jack Wingrove the following season with 147. Our bowlers were also in the record books with Lance Hodges taking the most wickets in the 1936/37 season with 53 @ 17.81.

Mick Hinman, who was an outstanding cricketer with bat and ball, bamboozled the opposition all season long with his leg spin, to finish with most wickets and best average of the 1939/40 season, with 69 wickets @ 10.81. Mick went on to play four seasons with the Peninsular Club scoring over 2000 runs and taking 200 wickets.

The legendary Ern Crossan who was playing for NSW at the time, joined Stockton for two seasons when posted to the Fort Wallace Army Base. Crossan topped the run aggregate with 1018 @ 55.57 in the 1939/40 season, scoring 4 centuries along the way.

It wasn't until the 1941/42 season that Stockton were Premiers again. Unfortunately they lost the Final to Waratah-Mayfield by 24 runs. Mick Hinman scored 91 not out in the run chase but that wasn't enough to lift the shield.

It would be anoth 20 years before Stockton would play in a Final. During this time there were some fine cricketers to have played for the club.

Harry Hodges finally 'pulled stumps' on his 23 season first grade career. He took around 750 wickets and scored over 3000 runs for the club. His run in First Grade is a Stockton record, that still stands today. Harry played from 1924/25 to 1946/47, all in first grade, all with Stockton.

In Post War years Ken Pugh, Doug Turner and Doug Dives all played notable innings for the 'seasiders' and three at one point in their career played for Newcastle.

Through the 1940's and 1950's Stockton had a string of Doctors play for the club. There were brothers Noel and Keith Walker, Derek Miles, but the most talented since Dr Barbour was definitely a former Australian rugby Union International by the name of John Blomley.

Dr Blomley was a fine all round sportsman, who in the 1960/61 season took 77 wickets @ 11.02. Old timers from that era recall that "knowone could swing a ball as much as the Blom". In the same season he had the NDCA best figures of the year with 15 for 90 in one match.

The 1961/62 season saw Stockton and Merewether contest the final, it was also the season the NDCA introduced semi-finals.

This was a match of changing fortunes with Stockton's captain, Dr John Blomley, winning the toss and sending Merewether in on a rain affected pitch. Blomley took 7 for 47 as Merewether were rolled for 106.

Stockton were 9 for 77 in reply before Blomley's 36 not out single handedly put the 'seasiders' in front by one run. Merewether made 9 for 202 in their second innings, but this total proved beyond Stockton as they succumbed to be all out for 116.

The chief destroyer for Merewether that day was a young soccer star named Graeme 'Muncher" Moase, taking 5 for 42. Moase would later be part of the Premiership winning Stockton team of 1972/73.

The cupboard was bare, again during the 60's for the 'island suburb'. Stand out performances from this decade included talented opening batsman Vince Martin who won the NDCA batting average in 1960/61 with 501 @ 50.10.

The son of club legend Harry Hodges, Geoff Hodges, was a NSW Colts player with a tremendous amount of talent. He took the batting average in the 1965/66 season with 610 @ 46.23. Tragically Geoff died in his early 20's, before his star had risen.

Swing Bowler Phil Thoroughgood had best performances in a season with 8 for 48 in 1967/68 and took out the wicket aggregate the following season with 54 wickets @ 13.20.

Mick Rowan was building a reputation as a fast bowler, while younger brothers Phil and John were just starting out.

Des Fisher was a fine left arm spin bowler for Stockton during the 60's and early 70's. In 1971/72 Des has the Districts best figures of 8 For 23.

With the 70's began a new era of great teams and great players for the 'seasiders'.

in the 1972/73 season, Stockton won the Premiership for the first time in 30 years. Captain Tony Steele and a youthful James Hogg made strong contributions and were both members of the all conquering Newcastle side that won the 'Rothmans Knockout' after beating many top Sydney sides. Other members of that team were, former Test player Graeme Corling and NSW star Michael Hill, who was captain.

Tony Steele later starred with the bat in Northern NSW historic win over the touring Pakistan side the same year. Steele also had the most wickets in the 1972/73 season with 44 @ 13.50.

Indrek Soster known as 'Sos' from the RAAF base at Williamtown, had the best figures of the season with 7 for 23.

Doug Walters brother Terry played with Stockton in the 1973/74 season and that same year Glen Woods had the Districts best figures with 9 for 12, a season later Glen had the most wicket with 48 @ 16.90.

In the 1974/75 season, former Test cricketer, Graeme Thomas blasted the years best innings of 215 not out, matching the highest innings by a 'seasider' alongside Ossie Osland's 215, some 45 years earlier.

Stockton's star was to rise high during 1977/78. As well as taking out the Premiership, the peninsular club won thier first final in 46 years and the inaugural Rural Bank Knockout.

Returning from a stint with Balmain, James Hogg began a decade as captain of the Stockton club. Hogg had strong support from a number of promising players including batsman Craig Evans, fast bowler Graham Sneezby and English County player Richard Willams, a very stylish batsman.

Sneezby took 7 for 27 and 3 for 53 in the Final to set up a 9 wicket win over Wallsend.

The Rural Bank Knockout was a one act affair for this champion outfit as they hammered Belmont's attack for 6 for 280 from 36 overs, then scuttled Belmont for 145.

After finishing second on the points table behind Wallsend for the 1978/79 season, Stockton won thier second successive Final, defeating Premier Wallsend in the Final by 43 runs. Englishman Richard Williams 82 and Craig Evans 73, laying the foundations. Sneezby, Williams and Hogg all shard the wickets.

The Following 1979/80 season saw Stockton win a Hatrick of Finals. After only scraping into the semi-finals on quotient, after tying with Waratah-Mayfield, the 'seasiders beat premier Belmont in the semi-final and steamrolled Newcastle City in the Final.

In a remarkable match Stockton could only muster 113 on a damp pitch, but struck back to rout the City side for 49, City losing their last five wickets for 0. Robert Humphries 4 for 19 and James Hogg 4 for 1, the chief destroyers.

In an outstanding season with the bat, NSW Colt, Craig Evans took out the highest run aggregate with 810 @ 57.86. Captain and allrounder also topped 600 runs for the season and held aloft the E.P.Barbour Shield for the 3rd successive time.

The 1980/81 season saw Stockton make its 4th successive final. The match turned into a heart stopping affair against Premier Belmont. Stockton looked certain for victory until a 10th wicket stand of 28 saw belmont deny the 'seasiders' a record fourth consecutive win.

That defeat ended an era not seen since 'The Great Doctor's' champion teams of the 1920's, some 50 years before hand.

History shows that Stockton would not win another Final for 15 seasons! And the next Stockton captain to get his hands on the Barbour Shield would be local junior product Paul Robertson in the 1994/95 season.

James Hogg continued his distinguished career with Stockton into the 80's. In the 1981/82 season Hogg topped the 1st Grade bowling averages with 42 wickets @ 10.60. Later in the 1985/86 season Hogg was honoured as NSW Country Cricketer of the Year. Hogg had been a member of the NSW team that won the Australian Country Championship that year. This was followed by selection in the Australian Country team to play India. Hogg top scored with 59 and also took 2 wickets.

Throughout the 80's and 90's Stockton has had some wonderful talent to fill its ranks.

Wicketkeeper Robert Cox had the most dismissals in season 1981/82, taking 23 catches and 4 stumpings. Former Queensland 1st class player Tim Caban joined the 'seaside' club and had immediate success. Caban wrapped up the bowling averages for 1983/84 with 46 wickets @ 13.26.

Former NSW Sheffield Shield player, Chris Beatty played a couple of seasons for Stockton in the mid 80's and topped the batting averages in 1984/85 with 587 runs @ 83.86.

Stockton won the Club Championship for the first time in its Centenary Season of 1988/89. The same year they lost the final to Charlestown.

Stockton again won the Club Championship in 1993/94.

After 15 seasons Stockton finally lefted the Brabour Shield, when the Paul Robertson led side defeated premier Belmont in the 1994/95 Final. Stockton also claimed the Club Championship flag for a second consecutive year.

Hard hitting left hander John Allanson, scored 3 hundreds during the season and a couple of years later in 1997/98 Allanson scored 186 not out V Newcastle City. To top off a fine career with Stockton he took out the NDCA batting average in 1998/99 scoring 643 runs @ 53.5.

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