During the period from 1919-41 there were a number of matches which might be classified in the category of “memorable matches”.
Three in particular are worthy of special mention – two A grade matches (one in 1933-34 against Robins and the other against Branxton in 1940-41); and an A reserve grade match against Louth Park in 1932-33.
A Grade v. Robins No.1 – April 21 & 28, 1934
This match played at Robins Oval was remarkable for the hectic run-chase by the Northern Division No.1 team on the second day of the match.
Coming into the last match of the season, Robins No.1 had a two point lead in the premiership over Northern and Branxton. At the end of the first day’s play, Robins No.1 had scored 4 for 216 with no compulsory closure at that time, Robins continued to bat on the second day and were finally dismissed for 310 at 3.15p.m. In a desperate effort to win the premiership, the Northern batsmen went to the crease and with nothing to lose and everything to gain, threw caution to the wind and hit out.
By the time that they were all out at 4.50p.m. they had scored 251 runs in 95 minutes.
The Mercury reported: “there were plenty of fireworks” and that the Robins’ captain appeared to be a “little worried at one stage”. The reporter went on to compliment the Northern batsmen on their aggressive batting: “More cricket of this class is required and it is to be hoped that during the next season, batsmen who are quite capable of enterprising play will emerge from their shellholes and turn on the ‘fire’. H. Patfield played an attractive innings in scoring 64 runs; I.Hudson used the long handle with great success in hitting up 43; likewise Jack Reeves with 44; whilst Colin Johnston (39n.o.) was going strong when the last wicket fell.”
A Grade v Branxton – Oct 26 & Nov 2, 1940
This match played at Branxton was remarkable for the high scoring on both days.On the first day Northern Division scored 7 for 435 with Col Johnston making 196. With that score Northern had every reason to feel confident about the outcome and were looking to an outright result.
However, on the second day with a hot north-westerly blowing, Branxton made 449 with the last batsman at the wicket. Vic Cockerill scored 261 in an innings that included nine sixes and twenty nine fours.
Cockerill’s 261 remains the highest individual score in the first grade competition, and the match remains a district record for the only case of both teams scoring over 400 runs in the first innings in a first grade match!
A Grade Reserve v Louth Park – Feb 18 & 25, 1933
This match was remarkable for the high scoring by the opposition.
Louth Park on their home wicket at Maitland Park scored 593 – the highest innings total recorded in the history of the Association.
The Northern Division side certainly had some leather chasing to do as three of the Louth Park players scored centuries – R. Jonas 137, C.Threlfo 129 and D. Denny 163. “Bob” Jonas made his 137 runs in 45 minutes knocking up seven sixes and fourteen fours and at one stage scoring 56 in three overs.
At the end of the first day’s play Louth Park was 7 for 512 with the total including ten sixes and fifty eight fours. With no restriction on batting time, Louth Park continued to bat on the following Saturday and were dismissed for the mammoth total of 593 made in 265 minutes.
In reply Northern Division were dismissed for 151 giving Louth Park a convincing win by 442 on the first innings.
The bowling figures for the match show some of the Northern Division players who were on the receiving end of “the flogging”:
“R. Lindsay 1 for 88; K. Mosman 3 for 110; J. Burgess 2 for 85; H. Swan 2 for 43; H. Norrie 2 for 123; R. Norrie 0 for 9; G. Hamblin 0 for 31; L. Brown 0 for 25; G. Hingston 0 for 30.”