Lorn Park during the mid-forties was to be the venue for what became known as the “Chegwyn matches”.
Jack Chegwyn played for the State in 1941-42 and later became a State Selector who for forty years took star-studded teams into “the bush” to promote country cricket, to spot new talent and to give country people the opportunity of seeing past and present State and international players in action.
The first Chegwyn match in Maitland was to be played at Lorn Park in February 1945. However, there was much controversy when the Council, following a deputation from the Ministers’ Fraternal, refused permission for the fixture to be held on a Sunday. As a result the match had to be transferred to Cessnock.
A second Chegwyn match was arranged for the 1945-46 pre-season and was played at Lorn Park on Saturday, September 22. The Chegwyn team included Bill O’Reilly, Sid Barnes and Ron Saggers while the Maitland team had two Northern Division players, Norm Mudd and Col Johnston who scored an impressive 95.
Chegwyn made a third visit to Maitland in the 1946-47 pre-season and played two one day matches at Lorn Park on September 21 and 22. His team again included some top players – Arthur Morris, Sid Barnes, Ernie Toshack and Bob Cristofani – while the Maitland teams included the Johnston brothers, Colin and Alan, Norm Robards and Ken Smith. In the fifties and sixties Chegwyn was to return for further matches at Lorn Park.