The Spike or Victoria College Review 1937
In comparison with the previous season it can be claimed that the 1936-37 season was a very successful one. Of the six teams entered in 1935-36, four ended at the bottom of their respective grades, whereas of the five teams entered in the 1936-37 season, only one was last, three ended up in the top half of their grades, and the remaining team finished about the middle of the ladder.
The Senior XI under the able-captaincy of W. H. McMillan, had its best season for some time. It rose from bottom in the 1935-36 season to fourth in the 1936-37 season. Of the ten matches played, only three were lost and they by only narrow margins on the first innings. Bad weather affected the team adversely, potential wins being turned into draws as a result of the weather. The batting was really strong right down to the last man, the three-hundred mark being passed on several occasions. As can be seen from the averages below, members had batting averages of twenty or more, which was very pleasing in view of the weak batting of the previous few seasons. The bowling, though steady, lacked its usual sting and the need of a slow spin bowler was greatly felt. The batting honours went to Stevens, Blandford, Lunn and Wiren, while Tricklebank, Rolfe, and McMillan headed the bowling averages.
The team had a most successful season and climbed seven places from bottom to fifth in its grade. Even so, its position should have been higher, as bad fielding lapses in several games cost the team at least a couple of places on the ladder. In batting, the team was mainly served early in the season by Lunn who later earned well-deserved promotion to the Seniors, and after Christmas by Johnston, who scored well consistently. The chief strength of the team lay in the excellent bowling of Knowsley who captured over 50 wickets during the season, and in one innings performed a noteworthy feat in capturing all ten wickets. He was assisted by Stephenson, who captured over 30 wickets, Dean, Edgley, Fortune, Martin and Ongley. The team had a most enjoyable season and hopes that the coming season will be even a better one.
This team did not have a successful season from the standpoint of results, but all games were keenly contested and, although sometimes outclassed, the spirit of the team was excellent and the players who stuck to the team had many Saturdays of enjoyable cricket as a reward for their enthusiasm.
Comparisons are perhaps unfair in a team which did not contain any outstanding players, but the batting of Caird (who was with the team for part of the season only) and the bowling of Howell merit special mention. McRae and Evans returned consistent performances with bat and ball. Berendson and Haplin deserve notice as young and keen players whose batting improved noticeably during the year and who should go further in the game if they keep it up. A word must be said about the difficulty this team had in page 63 fielding its full quota of players each Saturday; this factor more than any other was responsible for the poor results obtained.
The social team playing in the Junior C grade, had a happy and successful season and for the greater part of the season were at the head of their grade championship. After the Christmas vacation, owing to the lack of Connell's and Wilson's assistance in batting and bowling, wins became more difficult to obtain, the side finishing the season in third place. Though the team needed a steady batsman who could be depended on to get runs each week, Roberts, Connell, Campbell, and Porteous picked up a few on occasions, while in the bowling department, Desborough by guile, Roberts by talk, and Connell and Porteous by good bowling, collected most of the wickets in spite of the protests of seven other self-recognised bowlers. Richards and Wilson kept wickets admirably throughout the season.
Third Grade Team:
Although not very successful as far as results were concerned, the Thirds showed considerable improvement by the end of the season. Due mainly to the team having to play short, we did not win a game until after the Christmas holidays. However, we beat the First and Second teams in the competition, and finished about half-way up the championship ladder.
The most outstanding players were. Oram, F. Bray and Wells, all three being well above third grade standard, while Harrison, H. Bray and Evans also played well. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the season, and hope to do better next time.
The team was: Bray (2), Evans (2), Greaney, Harrison, Murphy, McGavin, Oram, Watt, Wells, and such people as we could persuade on Saturday morning to make up a team.
J. A. R. Blandford and W. Tricklebank earned representative honours in the Wellington Plunket Shield Team, while P. Knowsley thoroughly deserved the honour of being picked for the Wellington Colls Team against Canterbury for the Brabin Shield.
College Blues were awarded to T. A. Harpur, W. Tricklebank and W. Wilson.
All of the above are to be congratulated.
The annual Christmas tour was not undertaken this year owing to the difficulty in getting together a side for the whole tour. A team was, however, sent to Wanga-nui at Christmas and succeeded in defeating Wanganui.
At Easter a match was played against Canterbury College at Christchurch. Neither side was at full strength but the cricket was of good standard. Canterbury succeeded in winning by six wickets. This was the first occasion, that a match has been played against Canterbury College, and it is hoped to make this game an annual fixture.
The best average for the season was put up by J. R. Stevens, who in nine innings carried his bat six times, and scored a total of 139, an average of 46.3. His highest score was 33. The highest score of the season was made by J. A. R. Blandford, with 138. In eleven innings, Blandford put up 454, an average of 45.4 P. D. Wilson made a fine hit of 137 not out. Of the bowlers, W. Tricklebank was the most successful, taking 36 wickets at an average of 15.4. T. Ralfe took six wickets with an average of 16.3, and N. McMillan 20, with an average of 18.1 runs.