In 1964 when analysing the reasons for the Club’s remarkable post-war run of success in first grade where there had only been one season (1950-51) when they had not finished first or second, Col Johnston pointed to three factors: “Firstly, of course, the ability of the players; secondly the team spirit that we have been fortunate to always have; and thirdly the policy of encouraging young players and bringing them on in company with the seniors.”These factors particularly applied to the decade from 1956-66. Regular first grade team members during this period were Col in and Alan Johnston, Keith Smith, Doug Rawling, Dave Rutherford and Robin Cotton – players who provided a solid nucleus of experience in batting and bowling. There were two main changes to the opening attack. Keith Smith continued on with his good form but following Norm Mudd’s retirement from first grade, John Brown took over Norm’s role of opening bowler in 1957-58. John, a left arm medium pacer, came across from Methodist OK to try his luck in first grade after taking over 100 wickets in third grade the previous season. He took over 30 wickets in each of his first three seasons with the Club and followed this up with his best performance in 1960-61 when he headed the District bowling aggregate and average with 59 wickets at 7.7. The other change in the opening attack came when Warren Trappel started playing with the Club in 1963-64. Another left hander, he took over from John Brown and became Keith Smith’s regular opening bowling partner up until 1971. For the first couple of seasons the Club had the services of Roy Levi and Ken (Terry) Finch. Roy was a stylish wicketkeeper who won selection for Combined Country in 1956-57 while Terry was a talented batsman who later transferred to Eastern Suburbs and became in company with Ron Alien, one of the district’s best openers. The team’s batting strength was also boosted in the early 1960’s by the Elliott twins, Colin and Allan, who were to become a real force in Maitland cricket. Allan was also useful with his medium pace bowling while Colin was to become one of the best wicket- keepers in the State, thereby continuing a Club tradition of top class wicket-keepers. In addition to all of this talent, there were a number of promising youngsters who made their way into first grade. Among these were Jack Killer, Neville March, Glenn Brooker, John Archer, Arnold Roberts, Trevor Holden, Robert Robilliard, Jeff Crittenden and Romney Newman. Col Johnston continued on as captain of the team until the end of the 1964- 65 season. Having skippered the first grade for 22 seasons since 1937-38, he then stepped down and was succeeded by John Cox, an experienced campaigner who had come to the Club in 1963-64.