When eleven St George cricketers walked on to Hurstville Oval on 1 October 1921 for the Club’s debut match in the Sydney First Grade competition, none of them could have imagined the dynasty they were about to create.
Last Saturday, after a Covid delayed start to the new season, St George celebrated the Centenary of that first match, again playing Parramatta, as they’d done a century ago. Also in attendance were Club Patrons Brian Booth MBE and Warren Saunders OAM and a number of Life Members.
Prior to the match both teams and the umpires gathered as St George President, Kevin Greene, highlighted the efforts of all the players and administrators who had built the Club over that one hundred years. He noted the strong foundation and tradition that had been established and the importance of all those who had gone before.
The St George Club is recognised as the most successful Club in Australia, having won seventeen 1st grade premierships and 24 Club Championships, amongst its 106 trophies across all competitions. When the Australian Team of the 20th Century was selected four of the twelve players were from St George, Don Bradman, Ray Lindwall, Arthur Morris and Bill O’Reilly. Of the 87 district clubs in Australia no other Club had more than one player chosen.
One hundred years on St George continues their proud tradition of producing outstanding players for NSW and Australia. Current players, Trent Copeland, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques and Kurtis Patterson, are all Australian representatives, performing brilliantly at the national and international level.
The St George Club has brought enormous success to the district but it also appreciates the wonderful support it has received from the local community over the last century,’ said Kevin Greene. ‘Our Councils and local business have also been behind the Club, allowing our players to enjoy quality facilities and opportunities to impress, the tradition continues.’
Ist Grade Wrap Up
First Grade - Captain Nick Stapleton won the crucial toss and had no hesitation in sending Parramatta in to bat on a pitch that looked to offer some assistance to the bowlers due to the previous day's rain. Parramatta lost three big wickets early to be 3-6 before the next partnership got the score to 91. With Stapleton was the pick of the bowlers, The Saints fought back eventually dismissing Parramatta for 204 from 47.2 overs.
St George got off to a disastrous start losing a wicket second ball of the innings but recovered decently thanks to a quality half century from Blake Macdonald (53 off 71 balls). After the loss of a few more wickets middle order batsman Matthew Hopkins 60 from 85 balls and Kaleb Phillips 41 not out from 49 balls put on a match winning partnership of 104 runs to help the Saints eventually pass Parramatta’s score with 29 balls to spare in the innings.
First Grade - Parramatta 204 from 47.2 overs (Nick Stapleton 3-29, Tom McKenzie 2-27, Kaleb Phillips 2-17) def by St George 5-205 from 45.1 overs (Matt Hopkins 60, Blake Macdonald 53, Kaleb Phillips 41*)
Second Grade - Parramatta 157 from 48 overs (Victor Strange 2-19, Jono Craig Dobson 2-29, Rory Russo 2-31, Vasi MacMillan 2-32) def by St George 3-158 off 37.1 overs (Kurt Chalker 64, Jackson Shaw 43*, Max Farmer 30)