Controversy erupted during the 1944-45 season
when the local Council, following a deputation
from the Ministers’ Fraternal, refused to grant
permission for a Sunday match at Lorn Park between a
local team and a visiting team organised by Jack
Chegwyn, a former Randwick and State player. The
fixture was to be in aid of “Miss Sporting” to assist the
appeal for the Soldiers’ Memorial Hall. The match
ended up being played on February 25 1945 at
Cessnock where the ground was made available.
Chegwyn’s team included Test players Bill O’Reilly
and Sid Barnes as well as State players Ron Saggers
and Vie Iackson. The local team was a composite
Maitland / Newcastle team with R Macmillan,
C Johnston, N Mudd, J Leacy, Roy AlIen, P Drane,
M Hinman from Maitland; and R Camps, K Hill,
J De Courcy and A Gammidge from Newcastle. The
match ended in a tie with both teams being dismissed
for 134 runs.
These country tours of Chegwyn’s were to become a
regular feature during the next thirty years and were to
help unearth a number of talented country cricketers,
including Doug Waiters, John Gleeson and Steve
Rixon, who were to go on to higher cricket honours.
Maitland did not enjoy the same success in the
Newcastle competition as in the previous season. It won
the club championship, but only contested the second
grade final where it was defeated by Newcastle. The
first grade finished fifth in its competition. There were
still some fine individual performances with Hinman
(555), Johnston (466), Macmillan (459) and Leacy (417)
all topping the 400 run mark, while Hinman took 62
wickets and Macmillan 40.
Hinman and J ohnston were selected to play for
Newcastle against a Metropolitan XI at the SCG on
Boxing Day 1944. Newcastle won the match by 228 to
Signs of a revival in the local cricket scene were
shown with the introduction of an 8 team junior
(under21) competition consisting of Methodist OK,
Largs, Lorn Juniors, Marist Bros. No. 1 and 2, Robins,
YCW and Beresfield. The competition was sponsored
by the Maitland Club