Nunawading Cricket Club

Cowley and his spudboy mates

David  ( Cowelly ) Cowell has been an enigmatic character of the Nunawading Cricket Club for 30 years, his contribution both on and off the field has been enormous, holding a number of positions from President to Junior Coach as well as his love of Captaincy which he has also undertaken for many years from the 2nds to the 5ths.

David has a number of claims to fame both on and off the ground, but he does hold the rare title of being the oldest player to debut in the first eleven at the ripe old age of 40 a moment which we suspect is his fondest.  David’s other claim is that he has been called several times for “chucking”, however this has never deterred him from bowling. There are a number of BHRDCA batsman out there who must say that they have been extremely unlucky to have been dismissed by Cowelly.  David’s enthusiasm to make Nunawading the best cricket club in Victoria never seems to wain

He came to Nuna with John Macaulay as an U/16 in 1976/77 and played with Bill Saker, Andy Sach and Jeff Woolley. First senior season (77/78) was the first year of the new 5th XI (under Alan Haag who made 978 runs for the year) and we won the flag. The biggest memories of the year for David were in the first game of the season (when he actually opened the bowling). In the opening over of the game (8 ball overs) Ian Presnell took 3/8 in a 16 ball over (including 8 wides) and Jeff Woolley was given out for handling the ball. David's contributions were modest.

One big highlight for David was being Vice Captain to Bob Saker one year (in the early 80s) in the 3rds.  David really looked up to Bob.

In 81-82 he played 3rds all year only to be dropped for the Grand Final for Stu Hamilton who came in from the 2nds. Stu failed, but David, as 12th man, came on to the ground for 10 minutes when Roy Jackson had to go to the toilet. In that period he managed to secure a run out from the boundary which helped turn the game our way, as it broke a big partnership. We went on from there to win the game and David really felt like part of the team.

David made a ton as captain of the 5ths in 86-87 on the middle ground. Stu Hamilton and he put on 188 for the 3rd wicket. Next ton was in 1996-97 as captain of the 4ths where he made 100 in a partnership of 238 with Leigh Callander, who also made a ton. Final ton was in 2009-10 when, as captain of the 3rds, Dave made 110 in a team score of 6/496 cc in what was a very big win including Paul Harrison and Mal West also making tons.

David's best season was in 97-98 where he ended up in the 5ths after an ordinary start to the season. The season turned around after Christmas when he made 250 more runs including two 90s. We won the Grand Final and David made 47, batting for most of the day, and took a wicket and a catch, finishing a great season for him.

David remembers the lowlights, which were narrowly losing semi finals and grand finals along the way, particularly against Mitcham. Perhaps the worst was in 03/04 playing in the 2nds when we made the finals and had a great win in the semi. David again batted for most of day one and made 47. We won the game vs. Eley Park in a tight finish and he says, was probably the best team win he has ever been involved in. Nuna went into the Grand Final vs. Box Hill North really pumped, but got rolled for 72 and the game was over on day one. He still remembers the terrible sinking feeling in the rooms after the game.

David has been on the committee for most of the last 25 years and had stints as Social Secretary, Treasurer, Secretary and President and was made a Life Member in 2001. He rates his committee highlight as the organising of the Team of the Century and associated dinner and the naming of the Bob Saker Oval and associated Legends Cricket match. Dave is also very proud of his efforts in re-starting the junior progam from scratch and managing it from inception to 5 teams plus Milo In2Cricket, with Friday (junior) nights at Nuna the biggest night of the cricket week by far.

Social highlights have been the 25+ trip aways he has been on, which have seen him spend time in hospital, in jail, playing nude golf, various antics on golf courses, fitting 16 blokes in Pong’s Mazda Capella at Corowa, the antics at the Cottage at Macambo in Corowa and the Globe in Albury (unprintable).

He also have fantastic memories of several trips to Merimbula in the 80s undertaken by up to 15 Nuna boys. David says that these were some of the best times of his life. Everyone loved it so much that on a 2 week trip, they would do the 7 hour drive straight after cricket, drive back for cricket the next Saturday and return to Merimbula straight after cricket again for the 2nd week.

David love the place and says that most of his life-long friends are mates from Nuna. His newer mates are all young blokes which helps keep him young and he says that every time he contemplates retirement, by the time October comes around he cant wait to get back into it.