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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 21, No. 6. May 28, 1958


The 1957-58 cricket season may reasonably be regarded as a successful one despite the fact that one tends to assess the strength of a Club on the performances of the Senior side. That such an assessment may be misleading is shown by the following report.

The Senior team failed to finish higher than seventh in the competition despite possessing a number of talented cricketers. Potentially, the team was one of the strongest in the grade but for inexplicable reasons the members failed to perform as well as they were expected to.

The loss of the club captain, John Martin, for the greater part of the season deprived the side of a much needed stock bowler to assist Wilf Haskell, Jim Zohrab and Jim Thomson. These three carried the burden manfully but were not supported by the field. On most occasions it was the batsmen who let the side down and apart from M. Lance, J. Thompson and, for the latter part of the season G. Leggatt, no one scored at all consistently. Peter Coutts performed well on a few occasions in which he appeared for the team and Doug St. John, Bob Vance, John Oakley and others at times showed the type of batting which they were capable of but the slow wickets appeared to upset the stroke-making of these dashing batsmen.

With improved fielding, a little more luck and perhaps more of the team spirit that was so evident in the lower grades there is no reason why this side could not win the Senior competition next season.

The Second Grade side had a particularly successful season, winning their grade and thereby becoming the first holders of the Pemberton Memorial Trophy. A number of batsmen scored very consistently, showing that there is no lack of talent available. The fielding was keen and often good and the bowling was extremely steady. In Jock Hutchison and John Thompson the side had two bowlers of Senior standard who bowled most consistently, taking 49 and 31 wickets respectively. Both will achieve much more than Second Grade honours. Peter Coutts played prior to his returning to Hawkes Bay for the summer vacation and scored the phenomenal number of 395 runs in only six innings, being once not out. Peter, along with Jock Hutchinson, represented Wellington in the Brabin Shield Tournament and gained a place in the New Zealand team picked at the conclusion of the tournament. John Gibson performed well in scoring 246 runs in three innings at the end of the season and it is to be hoped he will reproduce this form in Senior cricket next season. David Ward, too, had an average of 84 in scoring 253 runs in three completed innings. Barry Kerr scored consistently and, like Coutts and Gibson, scored a century.

The third grade competition was won by our B team, comprised mainly of Rugby Club members. This team showed exceptional keenness which brought about a well-earned success. Dick Heron and his cricketer-footballers deserve the congratulations of the Club. Tony Clark, Terry Ryan, Bill Roberts and Collie Henderson display as much skill on the cricket pitch as they do on the Rugby field.

The Club's other three teams had mixed success. The club is able to provide cricket for those who wish to play for the enjoyment of the game only and in these teams averages are not the only criteria of success. These teams, however, greatly assisted the Club in reaching third place in the Club Championship.

The Christmas Tour, reviewed in "Salient" earlier this year, and the Club's victory at Easter Tournamerit were the outstanding features of the season. No less than five Victoria players, Jim Thomson (captain), Wilf Haskell, Peter Coutts, John Gibson and Graham Leggatt were selected to play for N.Z.U. against Canterbury. This fine representation reflects the true strength of the Club.

In addition to the regular participation in competition matches, practices were well attended and a number of enjoyable socials and gatherings were held throughout the season.

The one unsatisfactory feature of the cricket scene is that a large number of students are playing for outside clubs. If these cricketers joined the University Club a number of ex-students who continue to play for the Club would joint other clubs and make way for the present day students. As it is, these people have carried our Club through poor times and through the long vacation and will continue to do so. They will support the Club until they are satisfied that the newcomers are strong enough to take over. Much criticism that is heard is ill-founded and the only way to amend the present situation is for students to play for University clubs.

However, with an improved club spirit, fostered by the successful Christmas Tour and the Tournament win, the Club may reflect upon a successful season and look forward with confidence to an even better 1958-59 season.