Nunawading Cricket Club

Tim is a 44 year old father of three, married to Vicki. Been running my own gardening and landscape business for the last 4 years in Emerald area. Played the last 5 seasons at Emerald in the West Gippsland Cricket Association. Mainly in the ones  & twos. Didn't play this year. 

First came to Nunawading after playing 12 & 14s at Heatherdale & moving to Hawthorn Road Vermont South. JSM Bob Saker signed me up. I remember playing 1 game on loan to Bennnetswood, the next in the 16c's & then being picked to debut in Mal West's 16A's against my old team Heatherdale. They were calling me the "Nuna Traitor" which was just the beginning of derogatory remarks directed to me from both the opposition & teammates over the next 30 years. I remember me snagging a couple of wickets then Westy & Virgil towelling them up with the bat to victory.  I went the whole season in the A's without having to bat until the Grand Final in which I faced one ball. I successfully blocked out the last ball of the over & GT promptly smashed the first ball of the next over through the covers for four  to bring up his ton. Westy then declared with us on over 430 (?). We went on to win the flag with Peakey Dot Macca & myself sharing the wickets. BBQ back at Coach Trevor Saker's house was quite an introduction to the "Nuna Way". 

The under 16 season was my only Premiership year until making a comeback from injury after Christmas along with Bryan Reid (MS), Craig Marsden (Broken Leg) & Bobby Tynan (liver?) in Rob Wickham's 6th XI (in the mid 90's?). We had a hell of a game in the GF against Syndal with one of their batsmen being run out Abdul Clark on a dead ball, abusing our skipper (might have even chested him?) then their Captain asking us to call him back. Wick surprisingly refused. I think I got a couple of forties that game (including a hook shot onto Warrigal Road) & had to bat without a box after copping a fairly innocuous blow to the abdomen in the semi-final. The left knacker swelled up to the size of a grapefruit overnight and I couldn't physically fix a box over it.It then turned black!  Fathered 3 children since then some no harm done. 

I am one of the few who has played in all 8 that's right EIGHT senior side at Nunawading. Captains include Max Wilson, Jerka, Pete Dono, Rod Jones,Steelo, Rats, Cowelly, Scratcher West, Col James, Butch Gale, Hughey Shaw, Rob Wickham, Gary Saultry, Stu Hamilton, Steve Dolan, Mick McLachlan, Bill Saker, Bandit Chris Harris, Harry Garrett, Graham "Harry" Harris, Chris Edwards, Andrew Grubich & Peter Phillips. 

Unlike most of my more talented 16A teammates I didn't make it into the first XI until I was 23, under the captaincy of Bill Saker. We made it to the finals that year but lost a rain affected semi to Mitcham who did their best to not play. Not that I'm bitter or anything (cheating bastards!). Bill was clearly the best Captain I played under. He could do it all (except speak, sorry Square Lips).

I've been lucky enough to win a couple of first XI bowling averages when we were in Shield Grade. Neither years were stellar for the club, just battling to avoid relegation or in the middle of the pack at best. You could say I was the "least worst" rather than the best. But I guess I'm probably not the only bloke on the honour board like that. 

In reality I preferred the years I skipper the thirds in A2. We were reasonably competitive and lost 3 semis in 5 years one by 3 runs, one by 2 wickets & one by 3 wickets. "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger"Nietzsch (look it up). I had the privilege to captain a lot of great young players in those years including a few of the men playing in the first XI today. I believe I was the first to show Andrew Kent the "slips drive", we had the captain of Wheelers Hill 2nds refusing to face up to a terrifying 13 year Andy Hone in misty rain, Monty still reminds me of the time he dropped a catch off me as a 15yo & my choice of colourful language to describe his effort (sorry mate). 

Also had 2 of the best swing bowlers I have seen. Roger  Rabbit" Harrison and Steve "The Black Rabbit" Morilly. When these guys were on song, few could keep them out for long. Then there was the sun baking chicks in the units backing onto the bottom ground. I never had any problems getting a volunteer for fine leg on those days. 

One of the best games in the thirds was chasing down 270 odd at Heatherdale's seconds ground. Tony Peake & I put on 227 for the second wicket with both of us making our debut senior tons. Needless to say we did it with ease & ended up with about 330. I've only made one other ton for Nuna in Scotty Millar's team. That was out of a team total of 180. We won that one too. I was never a prolific wicket taker but did manage a couple of 7 fors & a couple of 4 for in the ones. 

I've also been hit for some of the biggest sixes. Neil Clarke from Heatherdale hit me into the paling fence on the Mahoneys Road side of the ground and Chris Dalken (East Box Hill's Wayne Carey) hit me into Box Hill cemetery. If it wasn't for some big poplar trees we could have taken out several members of a Italian family attending at the time. 

Nunawading Cricket Club has always been an important part of me from junior cricketer, senior cricketer, to committee man, to president to past player. To walk back into the rooms or catch up with the guys on an end of season trip is always a privilege and an honour. 

Go Nuna  

Sprouley