History of the Glen Huon Cricket Club
many thanks to Richie Woolley for his work in compiling this.
History of the Glen Huon Cricket Club
The earliest recorded cricket match at what is now known as Glen Huon took place in 1880, when a team of local married men defeated a team of single residents. The area was still known as Upper Huon at this time, and it was under this name that the first local club was formed in 1887.
The site of the current Glen Huon cricket ground was purchased later that year by the club committee, consisting of Thomas Bester, Arthur Brown, William Dean, Alfred and John Watson, Samuel Woolley and Ernest Wright.
The first recorded game on the ground was played in late 1888, with North Franklin recording an innings victory over Upper Huon. At this time matches were played on a challenge basis, and it was not until the Huon Cricket Association was formed in 1896 that a roster was introduced. Upper Huon was a foundation member of the HCA, and won its first ‘A’ Grade premiership in 1900-01 with William and Walter Calvert, Frederick Rayner and Ernest Wright among the leading contributors. A second flag followed in 1901-02, but the opportunity to win a third consecutive title was lost when South Franklin defeated Upper Huon in a special play-off match after the two teams had finished level on points at the end of the roster season.
The district was officially renamed Glen Huon in 1911, and it was as the Glen Huon Cricket Club that the team won its next ‘A’ Grade premiership in 1913-14, with Charles Bester, Percy Buxton, Henry Cohen and Merton Watson among the team’s leading performers. Another title was secured in 1914-15 before the HCA went into recess for the duration of the First World War.
Play resumed in late 1918, with a ‘B’ Grade competition, which included a Glen Huon second eleven, introduced in 1921-22. The club won A Grade premierships in 1923-24, 1926-27 and 1929-30, with “Gus” Brown, Percy Buxton, Doug Calvert, Charles Clark, Don Helm and Cecil and Claude Woolley making significant contributions to the team’s success during this period. An additional flag would surely have been won in 1922-23 had the club not forfeited some HCA matches in its successful quest for the Kingborough Shield, a competition that involved country teams from throughout the southern portion of the state.
Glen Huon continued to field teams in both grades until the completion of the 1939-40 season, but the loss of players due to the Second World War restricted the club to just one side, playing in ‘B’ Grade, during the 1940-41 and 1941-42 seasons. The HCA was again suspended in 1942, with play resuming in 1944, with Glen Huon fielding only a ‘B’ Grade team. A second team and a return to ‘A’ Grade followed in 1945-46, but onfield success was elusive. The first eleven was demoted to a newly-created four-team ‘Reserve A’ Grade competition for the 1953-54 season, but a premiership in this division in 1954-55, with Glen Huon scoring 165 (Bert Clark 44, Jack Woolley 34) and dismissing Geeveston for 85 (Frank Buxton 5-27) in the Grand Final, resulted in a return to full ‘A’ Grade competition for the following season. The team was again relegated to ‘Reserve A’ in 1962-63, but a premiership that season, secured with a ten wicket win over Judbury, who were bowled out for 68 (Ron Young 6-34) in the Grand Final, again resulted in a prompt return to the top level.
The second team, captained by Peter Woolley, enjoyed a rare success in 1963-64, winning the ‘B’ Grade title for the first time, but player numbers soon began to decline, and the club was reduced to one team, playing in ‘Reserve A’ Grade (soon to be known as Second Grade), in 1969-70. A premiership was won in this division in 1973-74, with Glen Huon scoring 174 (Don Parbs 40, Tony Woolley 39) and 215 (Tony Woolley 60, Peter Woolley 46) to defeat Judbury, who replied with 136 (Stan Clark 6-42, Tony Woolley 4-60) and 143 (Tony Woolley 3-35, Don Parbs 3-35).
The acquisition of a number of players from Judbury, which had gone into recess at the end of 1973-74, resulted in Glen Huon again fielding two teams in 1974-75. The first team, promoted to First Grade, met Huonville in the Grand Final, but the match was affected by weather, and the drawn result left Glen Huon as runners-up. The second team, captained by Darren Brown, enjoyed better fortune, beating Dover to win the Second Grade premiership.
This title was the last success for Glen Huon until 1994-95, when it won its first ‘A’ Grade premiership since 1929-30, dismissing Ranelagh-Grove for 164 (Peter Hoffner 6-72) and scoring 3-168 (Paul Doust 91, Rod Watson 43) in reply. The second team won a ‘C’ Grade flag in 1996-97, and in 2003-04 the club also enjoyed the distinction of winning the last HCA ‘A’ Grade premiership to be contested. Fittingly, this match featured the only two clubs to participate in every Huon season since 1896-97, with Glen Huon scoring 9-190 (Michael Parbs 44, Joshua Woolley 28, Dean Harriss 28) and dismissing Huonville for 131 (Peter Parbs 4-30, Michael Parbs 3-23).
Glen Huon also made the Grand Final in the first season of the Huon and Channel Cricket Association, but was beaten by the Kingston Crows, who lost four wickets in passing Glen Huon’s score of 144 (Joshua Woolley 43).