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Historic Poverty Bay and the East Coast, N.I., N.Z.



The Poverty Bay team which met Hawke's Bay in 1895 included W. L. Rees and two of his sons, Arthur and Teddy. Arthur Rees met with remarkable success as a bowler for Auckland in 1889. In successive innings he took 6 wickets for 27 and 8 for 36 against Otago, 7 for 35 and 4 for 63 against Canterbury, and 7 for 56 against Wellington. He was a slow left-arm bowler with a leg break. His removal to Gisborne was a great loss to Auckland.

Several members of other families have been promincnt in district cricket. For Poverty Bay there were the brothers W. and J. Gibson and W. J. Schollum and his two nephews, J. W. and B. Schollum. On the East Coast five sons of William Oates, senior—Willie, Joe, George, Norman and Hedley—were all good cricketers. George, Sam and Jimmy Mill and Colin, Peter and E. H. Dow also represented Waiapu. James, Ernest and Wellwood Reeves were regular players at Tolaga Bay, and, in later years, three sons of James Reeves—Stan, Gordon and Hedley—also attained “rep.” rank.

Up till December, 1902, E. R. Ludbrook, in 10 “rep.” matches, had gained a batting average of 44.6, and surprise was expressed in Poverty Bay cricket circles that he had never been included in a New Zealand XI.

The highest first-wicket partnership in Poverty Bay stands to the credit of J. Moore (90) and H. Ellis (132), who, with extras 5, produced 227 runs in 1913 for Wanderers v. United.

Enterprise on the part of the Poverty Bay Cricket Association provided Gisborne with the “Oval,” its finest sports ground. In 1915 its executive (H. E. Maude, chairman), with the aid of a bank overdraft guaranteed by lovers of the game, acquired a block of 22 acres from Captain Tucker for £4,454. Nine acres were cut up, roaded and sold for residential sites. By 1923 over £3,000 had been expended on improvements, but the ground still lacked a pavilion. The undertaking proved too great a burden for the association. In 1926 it sold a one-half share to the Poverty Bay Ruboy Union for £3,500, and, in 1938, it handed over its equity in the property to the Rugby authorities in return for the perpetual right to use the ground, at an annual peppercorn rental, for cricket between 1 October and 31 March each year.