Founded in 1907
The Adelaide University Cricket Club was founded in 1907 and entered the South Australian Cricket Association in the season 1908-09.The first A grade premiership came in 1925-26 but not again until 1992-93. This was backed up with another premiership in 1994-95 and again in 1997-98. The B grade won premierships wins in 1967-68, 1970-71 and 1983-84. University was named club champions in the season 1970-71 and then again in 2001/2002.
1920 to 1930
The cricket season of 1925-26 was a notable one for the Adelaide University Cricket Club. In that season, a triangular Intervarsity contest was held on the University Oval in Melbourne, the teams taking part being from Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Sydney had beaten Melbourne in an earlier game and then Adelaide were successful against Sydney making Adelaide the premier University Cricket side in the country. This success in late 1925 was followed, early in 1926 by the Adelaide University Cricket Club winning the premiership of the district competition in Adelaide.
1926 Advertiser Reports “University’s first A Grade Premiership”
The report on Wednesday announced the victory: “For the first time in their history, University have won the cricket premiership of South Australia. When play ceased on Monday evening University required 31 runs to win and they had three wickets in hand… every run was cheered, and four byes from Scott left University with 20 runs to get. Greatly to the disgust of Selth, he failed to take another ball, and two more byes were run. The crowd were now worked up to a great pitch of excitement. Then, amid uproar like that at a college match, there was a crack to the square leg boundary by Bayly and the match was won by three wickets. A crowd of enthusiastic University supporters invaded the field and immediately the runs were scored and seized Wagner and bore him off in triumph. Bayly evaded his pursuers. Sturt players freely offered their felicitations to the victors and in the University dressing rooms, the Sturt captain (V.Richardson) congratulated the premiers on their fine win”.
1940 to 1949
[F.C.Bennett] – Cricket in the early 1940’s was played in the shadow of events in Europe and South East Asia. University entered the forties with a hard core of experienced players led by John Stokes, Geoff Page and State batsman Jack Tregoning. As Japan moved southwards into Java and New Guinea, the district competition was abandoned altogether in the 1942-43 season and was restarted in 1944. University was fortunate to gain three young talents left hander Hugh Douglas, right hander Ben Goode and fast bowler Don Beard lead by Captain Coach Chester Bennett. By 1946 University took on a more mature look with Jack Tregoning and Norwood and State footballer Peter Dalwood with his specially made tall pads and super Jumbo bat which posed a threat to the rowers and ducks on the Torrens Lake.
1950 to 1959
The Grand Final which University should have won. Uni got Sturt out for about 290 and were 0 for 100 at stumps with John Wilkin who had kept wickets all day and a virtual night watchman Geoff Gubbins doing the job. The score the next week (no Sunday Cricket in those days) was pushed up to one for 200 and University still had their star batsmen State Players Ern England and Laurie Smart to come. They didn’t make the necessary runs and tears almost come to John’s eyes as he relates the story. Both John Wilkin and Laurie Smart I know will be present at the centenary dinner and I think those players are as note worthy as others mentioned. I believe in 1951 University also made the semifinals but then struggled until 1959-60, when they were in the semi finals three years running.Medical student John Lill was the outstanding Varsity player in this decade. He won the A Grade aggregate for five years and represented the State on innumerable occasions. He is widely acknowledged as one of the finest players never to play test cricket. The A Grade started the 1950’s as runners up they has moved up to fourth the following season. The wooden spoon reposed at Memorial Drive on four occasions.
1960 to 1969
The beginning of the sixties saw the Adelaide University Cricket Club as a very solid and traditional establishment managed by President Mr L.J.T Pellew. The A Grade was captained by “Shorty” Rogers and contained such notables as Bob Cameron and Brian Quigley. Bob Cameron was considered the best all-rounder in the state the same year David Sincock and John Sangster represented the State. Sincock was an outstanding acquisition for University. He came to us from Sacred Heart College at Somerton and went on to play for Australia. As we left the sixties, all was calm again, the flower people were respectable middle-aged businessmen and the club was about to enter into the Birchall decade.
1970 to 1979
1970 saw four district sides, and some of the most memorable characters like The Mayor, Boz, Jaws, Legal, Nages, Young, Rorro, Whimpey, the Mechanic, Pounds of Tuna, Clem, Wozza, the Judge, Dazzling Darren, Kanga, Ph.D, P.V.C and many more. This decade saw the initiation of the Kanga Awards, The play dirty cricketer of the year, the double-wicket competition and the Port Cup. The 1970’s saw several premierships in 70-71 B Grade def. Kensington and C Grade def. Flinders. In 73-74 C Grade def. West Torrens and Uni Whites def. Prospect and in 79-80 C Grade def. Salisbury and Richard Smith lead Uni to Adelaide Turf victory. State caps were gained by Ahsley Woodcock, Peter Clements, Graham Winter and Bob O’Shannassy. Bradman Medals were worn by Rob O’Shannassy and Kevin Griffiths. A Grade Captains during the 70’s included Ashley Woodcock, Phil Scanlon, Rob Brice, Michael David and Kevin Griffiths. Special mention must go to Tom and Dulcie Palmer for their unswerving devotion to the Club over two and a half decades. Dulcie’s egg and lettuce sandwiches nourished many a player and Tom’s score sheet was forever accurate. What a decade, what a bunch of personalities, what memories, ‘really great decade that’ (thanks Richie!).
1980 to 1989
The 1980’s saw the club grow to five district and 3 turf sides. Premierships abounded for the first few years of this decade, with three of the clubs grand total of eight district flags coming home to roost. The new decade dawned with the intense and competitive schoolmaster David Jeanes sweeping his team to the C Grade premiership at Hawthorn Oval in March 1980 against Salisbury. The same year our team led by Kevin Griffiths, demolished the combined Oxford/Cambridge University XI. Intervarsity success continued with victories over Sydney and Tasmania although Melbourne still gave us a couple of hidings. The outstanding performances for the decade were by Robert O’Shannassy who took out his third Bradman Medal, Graham Winter (who played State cricket with success, including 7/63 against the powerful West Indies) and Gary Davis (who was runner-up in the Bradman Medal on a count-back). Off the field as well as on, the fun continued. Long may the Blacks prosper.
2007 to 2008
Season 2007/08 marked one hundred years of the AU Cricket Club, which was celebrated in great style. Over 400 people attended the event, held at the Adelaide Oval. Past players and supporters came from interstate and overseas to be part of the event. The club’s A Grade captains since WWII, most of whom were in attendance, were recognized, as were all of the club’s premiership captains. A number of speakers related tales of the club, from John Lill who played in the 1950s through to present day captain Nathan Adcock. A display of memorabilia showed the history of the club from the early 1900s to the present day. And a DVD was shown throughout the evening displaying over 300 photographs, depicting the club’s history. The club thanks Mark Lyons for his work producing this DVD.