1\ highlight of the 1946-47 season was Mick
rtHinman’s performance for Northern NSW
against Wally Hammond’s MCC team in the match at
Newcastle on December 21 and 23 1946. Hammond’s
team included such notables as Leonard Hutton, Denis
Compton, Cyril Washbrook and Bill Voce.
In the first innings Hinman took 5 for 92 off 22.3
overs when the MCC scored 345 with Hammond
making 142 and Laurie Fishlock 110. Batting for
Northern NSW, he top-scored with 46 in a total of 202.
Col Johnston also played for Northern NSW and
captained the side after Reg Beatty withdrew following
the death of his father after the first day’s play. Col
thereby carried on a family tradition as his father had
captained the team that played against Arthur Gilligan’s
MCC team in Maitland in 1925.
At the start of the season there was uncertainty about
whether Maitland would continue to play in the Newcastle
competition. The Annual Meeting in a close vote refused
permission for the Maitland Club to enter. However, a
later meeting decided to enter an Association team in the
Newcastle competition, and to conduct local competitions
for first, second and third grades.
Thirty-seven teams entered the competitions with
registrations reaching 851 – the highest since 1926-27.
For the first time since the war a first grade competition
was conducted. Six teams entered – Robins, Marist
Bros., East Maitland, Branxton and Northern Division
No. 1 and 2. Second and third grades were organised
into two divisions, with one division of second grade
including 8 teams from the Raymond Terrace and Port
Stephens district: Bob’s Farm, Booral, Williamtown,
Nelson’s Bay, Karuah, Limeburner’s Creek, Anna Bay
and Raymond Terrace Methodists.
For the first time since 1932-33 finals were re-
introduced. In first grade the premiers Northern
Division No. 1 defeated East Maitland; in second grade
Raymond Terrace Methodists defeated Thornton; and
in third grade Greta United defeated Thornton.
Ray Allen (son of Roy Alien) began to emerge on
the cricket scene and headed the first grade district
batting aggregate with 446 runs at an average of 55.75,
and was second in the bowling averages with 25
wickets at 7.92. W Langford of Robins was the leading
wicket-taker in first grade with 40 wickets.
One player to show considerable promise was Keith
Smith of Northern Division. A pre-season report noted:
“He is a bowler of pace with a nice easy action. He also
knows how to play shots and is a grand fieldsman.”
During the season, including the final, he took 44
wickets at 9.64. Among his best efforts were 6-10
against Branxton and 6-31 against Robins, when he
took 4 wickets in 6 balls.
Another young player showing potential was Charlie
Bridge who came from a long line of Branxton cricket
identities. Together with Ray Alien, he played some
games for the Maitland team in the Newcastle
In the Newcastle competition the Association team
failed to make the final. The outstanding performance
was by Mick Hinman who headed the team’s batting
and bowling aggregates and averages with 434 runs at
27.1 and 45 wickets at 12.2.
It was a busy season on the representative front.
During the pre-season Chegwyn made his third visit
to Maitland and played two one day matches at Lorn
Park. His team again included some top players –
Arthur Morris, Sid Barnes, Ernie Toshack and Bob
Cristofani. In the first match Morris “carried his bat” to
make 111 in a total of 187. Best of the locals were Mick
Hinman who made 52 in the first match and Alan
Johnston who made 35 in the second.
Hunter Valley was one of eight teams to compete in
Country Week from November 1-8 1946. Ray Alien,
Alan J ohnston, Col Iohnston and Peter Macmillan were
Hunter River representatives in the team. Hunter Valley
had a disappointing Carnival, losing four matches and
drawing one.
At the end of the Carnival Col J ohnston was selected
as captain of the Combined Country team to play
Metropolitan on November 11 1946 at the SCG. He
scored an impressive 141 n.o. in the Comb-ined
Country’s total of 4 for 267 and gained high praise from
the Sydney press.
Following on this innings he was chosen for NSW
Second XI to play against Victoria at the MCG on
December 3-5 1946.
With the re-formation of the Hunter Valley Cricket
Council a series of inter-district matches for the John
Bull Shield was played on public holidays. Newcastle
again won the competition.
At Easter a Hunter River team played against a
NSWCA Xl – one of four teams sent to the country by
the NSWCA to promote country cricket.