Brunswick Cricket Club

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Brunswick Cricket Club
Brunswick Cricket Club.jpg
Founded23 November 1901; 117 years ago (1901-11-23)
LeagueVictorian Sub-District Cricket Association, Victorian Premier Cricket
Based inMelbourne, Australia
Home groundA.G Gillon Oval
AnthemFlying High
PresidentRon Salhberg - (1997-Current)
Head coachLiam Murphy
CaptainLiam Murphy (Men), Adelaide Campion (Women)

The Brunswick Cricket Club is based in Melbourne, Australia. The club was founded over 150 years ago and currently fields four senior men's teams in the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association[1] along with three senior women's teams and numerous junior sides.


1857–1900: Formation[edit]

Brunswick Cricket Club was conceived from a meeting at the Cumberland Arms Hotel on November 23, 1857, after an advertisement in the Argus newspaper for those interested in playing cricket.[2] After playing informally against Yarra (Heidelberg), Williamson Alliance and Phoenix Park the club began formally in 1901. Brunswick began playing in the Victorian Junior Cricket Association with the club's first home ground on the east side of Sydney Rd, close to the Barkley Brick Company. Later Brunswick would relocate to the McAlister Oval, now the home of Parkville District Cricket Club. In 1907, the Brunswick Cricket Ground was constructed at a cost of £3600, and the club was invited to join the VSDCA shortly afterwards in 1909/10. By 1914/15 the First and Second Eleven's won Brunswicks first VSDCA premierships. During these early years, John Curtin,Australian Prime Minister, played cricket and football for Brunswick.

1900-1950: Glory Years[edit]

In 1909, the Brunswick Cricket Club joined the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association and moved to A.G. Gillon Oval shortly after, which remains as the club's home ground today. From the 1940s Brunswick established a reputation as the powerhouse of the competition, remaining undefeated across two seasons in 1928/29 and 1929/30. The club went on to win six premierships in seven seasons from 1939/40 to 1945/46. Over these decades, William J. Dowling (of Dowling Shield Fame) won the first eleven batting award fifteen times and the bowling award once. Bill was captain of the 1928/29 Premiership team, while other notable players during this period included former Australian Test players Bert Ironmonger and Morris Sievers. Ironmonger returned to Brunswick aged 51 and took 62 wickets at 9.53 in 1936/37. During his time as captain, Ironmonger oversaw the development of young wicketkeeper Bill Jacobs. Bill Jacobs would follow Brunswick players Morris Sievers and Roy Gardiner to the Fitzroy Cricket Club in 1937. Jacobs played 266 consecutive matches for Fitzroy between 1937–38 and 1955–56, before moving into cricket administration. Bill served as a VCA Delegate from 1957-58 to 1968-69, as a State Selector from 1959-60 to 1971-72 (and 1982-83), and as Assistant Secretary of the VCA in 1973-74. Bill managed Australian teams to South Africa (1966–67) and the West Indies (1973), as well as managing the Rest of the World team in Australia (1971–72) at the request of the Australian Cricket Board. He was awarded Cricket Victoria life membership following his retirement as a delegate in 1969.[3]

1950-2000: Return to the Top[edit]

Following the return of club legend John 'Nooky' Swanson from Essendon CC in 1974, Brunswick again saw another golden period. The club won back-to-back First XI VSDCA championships in 1975/76, 1976/77 before winning the title again in 1980/81 and 1981/82.

Brunswick's 1987-88 VSDCA premiership team

Brunswick's last First XI premiership came in the 1987/88 season and was captained by John Mulligan. The side finished fourth in the regular season before beating Malvern, Box Hill and Altona in the finals campaign. The Grand Final v Altona saw club legend John Swanson sharing a decisive 143-run partnership with Geoff Turner as Brunswick recovered from 4-75 to 5-218, Turner compiling 56 before Swanson went on to reach triple figures. However, Brunswick squandered a golden opportunity to post a total in excess of 300, losing 6-25 to be all out for 243. Altona's reply mirrored the Wicks’ innings, stumbling to 5-130 before a 78-run sixth-wicket stand put the championship within its reach. A run out changed the course of the contest before Drinkall ripped through Altona's lower-order. The A's lost 5-20 and were skittled for 228, Drinkall finishing with 5-59 from 23.1 overs which included eight maidens.

From 1975 to 1988, Brunswick won 12 premiership flags across the grades with Hall of Fame member Blair Hillhouse captaining four.

Team of the Half-Century
The best Brunswick team from 1950-2000 was selected to celebrate the club's centenary in 2000.
These players are listed below in alphabetical order.

Name Seasons Years Runs Wickets
Blair Hillhouse (Captain) 16 (1974/75- 1989/90) 4699
Ray Biffin 4 (1971/72-1974/75) 895 69
Dave Cranston 16 (1948/49-1963/64) 3558 552
Kevin Dillon 15 (1955/56-1973/74) 3555 30
John Hedley 7 (1983/84-1989/90) 2018
Derrick Hiho 5 (1972/73-1976/77) 1702 16
Fred Leslie 6 (1948/49-1962/63) 1753 1
Paul McGinty 19 (1976/77-1995/96) 766 557
Tom O’Neill (Wicketkeeper) 9 (1957/58-1975/76) 2296 236 dismissals
John Swanson 23 (1956/57-1989/90) 7107 313
Geoff Trivett 3 (1968/69-1970/71) 538 175

2000-present: Growing Women's Cricket[edit]

Carlton-Brunswick Strikers 2016/17 Premiership

Brunswick formed its first independently run senior women's team in 2014/15. In only their second season, the Brunswick women claimed the Women's Community Cricket T20 final and finished runner-up in the One Day competition. Following this success, the Brunswick Cricket Club's women's side partnered with the Carlton Cricket Club to form the 'Carlton Brunswick Strikers' in 2016/17. In their first season of in the Second Division of the Victorian Premier Cricket the side won a momentous Grand Final over Ringwood.[4]

In 2015/16, the captain/coach pairing of David Mckay and Karl Mayne, both also former Essendon players, lead the men's First XI to back into finals cricket after a three-year absence. The 15/16 Legend & Heroes T20 side also performed well making the Grand Final with special guest players including Clint McKay and Cam Stevenson. For the 2018/19 season, Liam Murphy was announced as Captain/Coach to take over the reigns from McKay and Mayne. Liam Murphy won the 14/15 Hatch Medal and captained Balywn to the 2015/16 Premiership. The 2018/19 season also marks the promotion of the Carlton/Brunswick Strikers into the Premier grade of Victorian Premier Cricket with Addy Campion continuing as captain for the inaugural season.

Notable Players[edit]

William J Dowling[edit]

Bill Dowling joined Brunswick in 1907/08 before moving to Carlton in 1910/11, where he played six games. The following year, Bill returned to Brunswick and captained the club's first premiership in 1914/15, making 77 runs opening the batting in the final. Bill also played in consecutive premierships in 1928/29 and 1929/30 making 122 in the latter final. In his first 13 seasons with Brunswick which was interrupted by a period of enlistment in the armed forces, he won the batting average on 11 occasions. Not only an outstanding batsman, Bill was also considered a brilliant cover-point fieldsman. In 1955, Cricket Victoria named the 'Under 16 Dowling Shield' after Bill. The competition remains a central aspect of Victoria's pathway into elite cricket today.

Bill Dowling's record at Brunswick:
Played 249 games between 1909 and 1935, Fourth highest VSDCA run-maker with 8895 runs @ 30.67, 12 centuries and 43 fifties, Represented the VSDCA on 13 occasions, Won the 1st XI batting average on 15 occasions, Brunswick CC life membership,

John D Swanson[edit]

John "Nooky" Swanson was a local Brunswick boy who joined the cricket club at 14 years old in 1955/56. After starting in the fourth XI, John had made his way to the First team by the next season. At 20, John went to the Essendon Cricket Club where he played 123 First XI matches during 11 seasons from 1962/63. One of his five grand finals for Essendon (two of which were successful) was the famous defeat by Northcote when Bill Lawry made an inspired 282 no. John went on to represent Victoria in state cricket on 29 occasions between 1965/66 and 1969/70.

After returning to Brunswick in 1974/75, 'Nooky' played a further 18 seasons in the first eleven, which included three premierships and a championship win. In the 1987/88 championship final, John made 100 and took a vital wicket near the end as Brunswick dismissed Altona to win by 15 runs. John's performance won him the 'JL Seelemeyer Trophy' for Player of the Final.

John Swanson Honour Board

John was a damaging left-handed batsman and one of the most brilliant gully fieldsmen in the country, taking the skills from his baseball career. John played baseball for Australia on several occasions, winning the Claxton Shield batting title in 1967-1968 and the Helms Award as MVP in 1968. In 2005, John was an inaugural inductee into the Baseball Australia Hall of Fame.

In 2017, John was recognised for his outstanding contribution to Brunswick through a tribute night celebrating his exceptional career. The night concluded with John being presented with the 'John Swanson Honour Board' which now hangs on the wall of the Gillon Oval club room.

John Swanson's record at Brunswick:
273 1st XI games, 7107 runs @ 30.24, 10x100's and 28x50's, 311 wickets @17.03, 7 batting averages, 2 bowling averages, 11 club championships, Brunswick CC life member, 1976/77 Hatch Medallist

Cameron Stevenson[edit]

Cameron Stevenson playing in the Big Bash with Melbourne Renegades

Cameron Stevenson played junior cricket with Brunswick from 2003, before moving to the senior squad in 2008/09 and making his First XI debut in 2009/10.

After one season in Victorian Premier Cricket with Geelong Cricket Club, Cam moved to Carlton Cricket Club in 2012/13. Through his first season at Carlton, Cam worked is way through the grades to make his First XI debut. From 2015-16, he became one of the competitions most fearsome bowlers.

Cam was rewarded with a Big Bash T20 debut for Melbourne Renegades against Sydney Sixers on 23 December 2015, before he moved from Victoria to Tasmania for the 2016–17 Sheffield Shield season, making his first-class debut on 4 November 2016.

In 2014/15, Cam returned to Brunswick to play in the T20 side as a 'special guest player', Cam played a leading role in taking the side to final, eventually finishing runners-up to Oakleigh.

David McKay[edit]

David McKay bowling at A.G Gillon Oval in 2015

David Mckay joined Brunswick from premier cricket club Essendon in 2010/11, taking the captain/coach role. Over the next decade, Dave would become one of the best performing players in the VSDCA. The left-arm swing bowler and destructive lower order batsmen has taken over 230 wickets and made over 2000 runs. In 2014/15, David was named Captain of the VSDCA 'Team of the Year' and was again selected in the prestigious side in 2016/17.

Club Premierships[edit]

First XI Second XI Third XI Fourth XI Carlton / Brunswick
1914/15 1914/15 1927/28 1973/74 2016/17
1928/29 1922/23 1954/55 1974/75
1929/30 1923/24 1955/56 1989/90
1939/40 1924/25 1977/78 1990/91
1940/41 1941/42 1978/79 1994/95
1941/42 1986/87 1995/96
1942/43 1990/91 2004/05
1944/45 1993/94 2012/13
1945/46 1994/95 2017/18
1975/76 1995/96
1976/77 2009/10

First XI Club Records[edit]

Games Played[edit]

Name Games Career
273 SWANSON, John D 1956-57 to 1989-90
249 DOWLING, William J 1909-10 to 1934-35
242 TURNER, Geoffrey R 1971-72 to 1992-93
222 MOLLOY, Steven D 1981-82 to 2010-11
218 McGINTY, Paul A 1976-77 to 1995-96
212 BROWNING, Rodney P 1969-70 to 2000-01

Highest Individual Scores[edit]

Score Name Game
271* RUSSELL, William Camberwell 1944-45
178 GRANT, Albert Coburg 1929-30
175 McKENZIE, John J Hawthorn 1912-13
163 BRADLEY, Colin Sunshine 1955-56
161* SWANSON, John D Kew (Semi-Final) 1982-83[5]

Highest Wicket Takers[edit]

Wickets Name Career
672 EXELBY, Murray 1935–1950
551 McGINTY, Paul A 1976–1996
550 CRANSTON, David H 1948–1964
519 CARSON, Walter J 1932–1950
496 McLEAN, Herbert R 1920–1931


External links[edit]