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1 WEST TORRENS DISTRICT CRICKET CLUB The West Torrens Cricket Club Powered By Docstoc

The West Torrens Cricket Club has been in existence for 137 years and,
consequently, is the oldest cricket club in South Australia. It began in 1862 as the
Hindmarsh Cricket Club and changed its name to West Torrens in 1897 at the
insistence of the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) and has had its
headquarters at three different locations

Early years (1862 – 1897)
In the early days of cricket in South Australia, there was no organized or
programmed competition. There was a rather haphazard system of organizing
matches. Most games were “challenges” – usually played for money. Club
secretaries would simply issue challenges through the newspapers or by posting
notices in hotels. Some of the other clubs involved were Eastern Suburbs
(Norwood), Adelaide Railways, Queenstown and Alberton, Port Adelaide Senior
and United Tradesmen.

One of these cricket clubs, the forerunner of the present West Torrens District
Cricket Club, was the Hindmarsh Cricket Club. The “Bricks”, as the club was
commonly known, was formed in 1862. The club colours were originally white
with a red sash but, in 1879 this was changed to cardinal and gold. The first
meeting at which minutes were recorded took place at the home of James Kemp
sen. on March 20th.

Little is known of the Hindmarsh Cricket Club until 1871 when the club became
one of the foundation members of the South Australian Cricketing Association.
The club temporarily withdrew from the Association due to lack of funds but
rejoined when a programme of matches was arranged for the first time in 1873 –
74. Other clubs that took part in this first competition were Kensington, Kent,
North Adelaide Young Men (the “Holy Boys”), Norwood, Quidnuncs and South
Adelaide. Three other member clubs were Adelaide, Stepney and the Register
but they did not compete.

The first match of the Hindmarsh Cricket Club played in the South Australian
Cricketing Association was played at Lindsay Circus (later called Hindmarsh
Oval) and resulted in a loss when Kent scored 111 runs to Hindmarsh “Bricks” 66
runs. The club was forced to withdraw before the next match as it did not have
the required number of members to allow participation in matches.

A new club, the Thebarton Cricket Club, entered the SACA in 1874-75 but only
competed for one season. It appears that the club sprang up during the 1840’s.
The Register newspaper reported that a challenge match between Thebarton
and Walkerville for a “guinea a bat” was played at Hindmarsh Oval on 30th
November 1846. A notice of this match had been posted in The Great Town of
Lincoln Inn at Thebarton. A large crowd attended this “healthy and gentlemanly

A report in The Advertiser of 18th September 1875 indicated that a “meeting was
held at the Wheatsheaf Inn, Thebarton on Wednesday to unwind the Thebarton
Cricket Club. That being done, a new club was formed called the West Torrens
Cricket Club”. Other cricketing associations had, by now, sprung up and West
Torrens, whose colours were white with a blue stripe and whose subscription was
8 shillings, played challenge matches until it became a foundation member of the
National Cricketing association in 1877-78. Other cricket clubs in the Association
were United Tradesmen, Surrey, Central, Garrick, Union and Hilton clubs. Mr.
E.C. Haddrick of George Street, Thebarton was the new secretary of the West
Torrens Cricket Club.

By 1884 there seems to be no trace of this West Torrens Club so, apparently,
there is no connection with the present club. Other clubs in the area about this
time were the Bowden Tyros (established in 1872) who played in the Adelaide
and Suburban Cricket Association – membership was 2 shillings and threepence
per week, and also the Hindmarsh Literary Cricket Club which competed in the
Goodfellow Challenge Cup Association.

By 1896-97 only Hindmarsh, North Adelaide Young Men, Norwood and South
Adelaide remained of the original 1871 SACA clubs.

Until this time players could play for any club that they wished. However the
SACA introduced Electorate (district) cricket for the 1897-98 season. There were
to be seven Electorate clubs representing and named after the seven
metropolitan parliamentary electorates, and players were compelled to play for
the club in whose electorate they resided. The clubs were West Torrens, Port
Adelaide, Sturt, East Torrens, North Adelaide, East Adelaide and West Adelaide.
East Adelaide and West Adelaide amalgamated in 1905-06 to form the Adelaide
District Cricket Club and North Adelaide later merged with the Prospect Cricket
Association to become the Prospect District Cricket Club.

Beyond 1897
It appears that only one club from the former SACA competition remained intact
with the birth of the electorate (or district) competition. This was Hindmarsh
which, other than the change of name to West Torrens, kept its original identity.
The club retained its players and officials and continued to use Lindsay Circus, a
piece of public parkland, as its headquarters. Lindsay Circus became Hindmarsh
Oval, which was officially opened on February 18th 1905. The same delegates to
the SACA, James Chittleborough and Frank King (later Mayor) who had
represented Hindmarsh for many years, continued to represent West Torrens.
The Chronicle of April 24th 1886 reported that “the Hindmarsh Club was re-
organised at the beginning of the season when the sensible course was adopted
of restricting the selection to local men”. This made the club unique at the time
as, although other clubs had suburban location names, a great many of their

players resided elsewhere and thus were compelled to move to new clubs in

Lindsay Circus was used by the club from its inception but significant work on the
ground was not undertaken until the event of district (electorate) cricket. This was
probably due to the fact that most of the First XI matches were played at
Adelaide Oval (North and South) and the Neutral Ground (now Adelaide Oval No.
2). The ground was allowed to deteriorate, though the Hindmarsh Second XI
played their matches there on an asphalt pitch. On the introduction of electorate
cricket, clubs were encouraged to upgrade their own grounds and First XI
matches resumed at Hindmarsh Oval in 1905. West Torrens Cricket Club moved
to Thebarton Oval in 1921 as the Hindmarsh Council was unable to finance the
turfing of the wickets, while the Thebarton Council offered the use of its oval at
the same fee as Hindmarsh and would include turfing the wickets. The club,
however, retained Hindmarsh Oval until 1959 as a second ground until soccer
took over.


      William Jones – early devotee of sledging against players & umpires
      1895-96 rules – toss for innings then toss for ends
           At Adelaide Oval – under and over chairs – 4
                            - over the fence – 5
         At Kensington Oval – under the chairs – 4
                             - over the chairs – 5
                             - over the fence – 6

Electorate Cricket     1897 – World War 1

      First Match – all out for 10 runs at Adelaide Oval No.2 (neutral ground)
      First Century – H.J. Day against Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval No.2
      Grounds used – Adelaide North & South, Neutral Ground, Cathedral
                              - later used Unley, Alberton, Norwood and
      First victory – against Port Adelaide at Neutral Ground
      First season – finished sixth with -1 point
      First Century at Hindmarsh Oval – Bert Day (B) and Sam Dimmid (A)
      1905-06 – saw the formation of West Torrens Cricket Association
      comprising West Hindmarsh, Thebarton Literary, Bowden United,
      Ridleyton Blockers, Robert Street Literary, Fulham, Metropolitan and Mile
      This lasted one season probably because clubs disbanded.
      Other clubs in the area were – Bowden, All Saints, Montefiore, Welland,
      Brompton Methodist, Hindmarsh Place, Torrensville, Free Gardeners
      Lodge as well as Fulham and Grange
      Jack O’Connor – first Test player from West Torrens


          Many senior players did not continue after the war – there was not a lot
          of young players around with the casualties of war – with death and
          many being incapacitated. For example, the Bowden club (an
          amalgamation of Bowden Tyros and Bowden Vics that played in the
          Adelaide and Suburban Association had to disband
          Perce Coombe, aged 40, had to open the bowling with his quick leg
          West Torrens had little success in the 1920’s – however
                 Andy Smith transferred from East Torrens due to his
                 employment at Horwood Bagshaw at Mile End and he had a big
                 influence, not only on West Torrens, but also on the SACA
                 Dr. Charles Dolling – had been a GP at Millicent and Streaky
                 Bay and toured New Zealand with the 1912 Australian team. He
                 was selected to tour South Africa in 1914. Dr. Dolling practiced
                 in England and Wales after World War 1, returned to South
                 Australia in 1921 and set up practice in Station Place, Bowden
                 (he died in his surgery in North Terrace, aged 49, after a stroke)
                 Hugh Bridgman – took the first hat trick and made the first
                 century at Thebarton Oval. He was a state coach, selector,
                 captain and player and was said to be one of the best all-
                 rounders West Torrens has ever seen. Hugh was a leading
                 SACA administrator.

Both Andy and Hugh developed a junior program quite simple by today’s
standards but revolutionary in the late 1920’s – a program that soon reapt
rewards for West Torrens.

1940 – 1950’s
      Bruce Dooland and Ron Hamence – toured New Zealand and played tests
      against England and India
      Ron Hamence – went to England in 1948
      Bruce Dooland – played in England for East Lancashire and
      Ron Hamence – retired from Test cricket after 1948 and State cricket after
      1952. He made a century on debut and a century on his last innings (even
      Sir Donald Bradman could not do this)
      Graeme Hole – played in 1953
      Phil Ridings – served West Torrens/South Australia/Australia
                            - captained SA seventy nine times
                            - In 1950 he was vice-captain of Australian
                                Second XI that toured New Zealand
                            - In 1950-51 he played for Australia against
                            - In 1953 he toured England with the Australian
                            - President of SACA, chairman ACB, SA and
                                Australian selector and played in three
                                premiership teams for West Torrens in the
      Brian Pittman – only case of HTBT at Kensington Oval in February 1957.
      Ross McLennan – took all ten wickets in an innings at Thebarton Oval in
      February 1958 (the last batsman was run out but recalled)
      West Torrens had 5 players in the state team in 1950-51

1960 – 1970’s
      Jack Carr – captained last premiership team in 1961 – 62 (since then
      West Torrens have lost eight grand finals)
      Two fast bowlers – West Torrens had two fast bowlers of note in Hitchcox
      (Pitchcox) and Trethewey (Throthrowey)
      1968-69 – West Torrens, chasing a total of 100 runs at Unley Oval
      declared at 8/9
      Rex Blundell – took seven stumpings in an innings which is a world record
      (in Guinness Book of Records)
      David Hookes – makes A grade debut for West Torrens in 1972-73
      1976-77 – David Hookes makes five consecutive centuries in six innings
      for South Australia (a century in each innings of five consecutive games).
      This was only the second time this had occurred after Tom Hayward in

      1977-78 – Jeff Crowe arrived from new Zealand and stayed for five years
      1979 – new clubrooms opened and Ian Chappell played.

1980 – 1990’s
       1985 – 86 – fast bowler, Gladstone Small (born in Barbados but played
      for Warwickshire) came to play for West Torrens
      1988-89 – cricket was played at King’s reserve (“Circus to Pughole”)
      1990–91 – West Torrens had five players in the state side in Hookes,
      Crowe, Curtin, Lewis and Duigan
      West Torrens shifts to Henley Memorial Oval

   West Torrens Identities
         Butcher Parry – coached Tasmania in 1931-32, South Melbourne in
         1934-35 and Prahran in the 1950’s
         Charlie Walker – came from Coglin Street Mission Cricket Club. In
         1930 went to England and in 1934-35 went to Prospect
         Bert Hearfield – C grade/state
         Ron Hamence – youngest ever to play A grade cricket at 15 years and
         25 days
         Harold Sincock – two sons that played cricket for South Australia and
         one (David) played for Australia
         Danger Waite – in a preliminary final match at Adelaide Oval against
         Port Adelaide he made 339 (37 fours and two sixes) in 434 minutes
         Wally Fails
         Bruce Dooland
         Ross Stanford – made the world record score (416 not out) as a
         schoolboy when Lockleys Primary School scored 5/574 against
         Richmond Primary School on December 2nd 1931
         Ridings family – father Rowland had four sons
                Ken (died Bay of Biscay flying Sunderlands)
                Rowly (sole survivor POW)
                Syd (wounded)
         Eddie Bell


No. 2 in a series by Denis Brien
Arthur Harwood (“Affie”) Jarvis (1860 – 1933) was the only cricketer from the
Hindmarsh Club to play Test cricket. He was one of Australia’s first wicket-
keepers, unlucky to be a contemporary of the famous John McCarthy Blackman

who some authors compared with Phar Lap, Les Darcy and Boy Charlton as
legendary folk heroes.

The nick-name “Affie” came from a nephew who, through an unfortunate lisp
couldn’t pronounce Arthur. He first kept wicket for SA at 17 (second youngest
ever after Clem Hill at 17 years and 23 days) and was a member of -80,’86,’88
and ’93 Australian touring sides. Clarence Moody, in his 1897 “Cricket Album”,
recalls that on his day Jarvis was “superlatively brilliant but not as reliable as the
Victorian stumper Blackman. The feature of his wicket-keeping was the dexterity
with which he took the ball on the leg side”.

George Giffen wrote that “Affie” did not have a single unsound finger. My father
disputes this having met Jarvis in his later years when he was a visitor to the
Southwark Hotel in the mid-twenties. My father remembers the old keeper having
gnarled fingers on both hands. Contemporaries at the Southwark in those days
recalled that in his cricketing days “Affie” worked in the brickyards and practiced
at lunchtime by having his workmates throw him half bricks.

He made 3234 first class runs, with a top score of 98 not out against NSW in
1894-95 and took 115 catches and made 83 stumpings in first class matches. In
11 tests he made 303 runs, caught 9 and stumped 9. In 1886 Blackman, and in
1888 Jarvis, fielded while the other kept wicket (4 tests). In a match for the 1886
Australian team on its way to England, he had the unique distinction of stumping
5 and catching 12 against Eighteen of Canterbury at Christchurch, NZ. Another,
but rather dubious claim to fame, was making a “king pair” against the MCC at
Lords in 1893, bowled by C.J. Kortright in each innings. This seems to bear out
Moody’s other comment that Jarvis was a successful quick scoring batsman on
the true Australian wickets but never justified expectations on English pitches.

“Affie’s” son, Harwood, also kept wickets for West Torrens and SA in 1905 – 06.
Unfortunately, being predominately a wicket-keeper, the name of A.H. Jarvis
does not appear on our honour board.

From information supplied by the West Torrens Historical Society


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