Dust Jacket Front Photo with textA history of the Strathdale-Maristians Cricket Club, titled “Rising Suns” was written and published by local cricket historian Darren Rodda.

The book was launched at a Gala Event in October 2015 in front of 260 past and present players and supporters.

Whilst the books are now sold out, copies can be borrowed from the Bendigo Goldfields Library, 259 Hargreaves St, Bendigo.


The Timeline of the Club

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    A New Club

    Maristians Cricket Club was formed by Brother Flavius (pictured). He founded the club in 1952, a club made up of mostly students and Brothers from Marist Brothers College, Bendigo. Our first home ground was Weeroona Oval. For the first 10 seasons in the BDCA, we struggled.
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    The First 10 years

    Initially beginning in B Grade, the team eventually were promoted into A Grade in 1954/55 season. The first ten seasons in A Grade only produced 27 victories in all and with out reaching the finals. This time did unearth greats of our club - Crawford and Sheehan amongst the names who began their career in this initial period.
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    C Grade

    At the beginning of the 1955/56 season, Maristians formed a C Grade side, in addition to the A and B Grade sides. In 1956/57 the C Grade side won their first Flag and would win another 4 in the following 8 years.
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    Backhaus Oval

    The move to a new oval in Golden Square allowed the club to settle, however success did not follow immediately. Issues with the wicket, finances and constant scrutiny from the BDCA would plague our fledgling club.
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    First A Grade Finals campaign

    A Grade were never out of the four for the whole 64/65 season and faced top placed Eaglehawk in the Semi. We weren't to win, but the first taste of finals had been taken. B Grade won their first flag.
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    Footballing Connection

    During the season 1967/68, the club had 5 future VFL stars playing. They were Geoff Southby, Trevor Keogh, Kevin Higgins, Brian Walsh and Kevin Sheehan.
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    First Minor Premiers for A Grade

    After only losing three games for the season and all by small margins, A Grade were to bow out in the Semi-Final - meaning the team had still not played in an A Grade Grand Final.
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    First Grand Final

    Finishing as Minor Premiers, Maristians went into the Semi Final against Bendigo as underdogs. They won, just, but in a four day Grand Final against North Bendigo, they went down.
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    A Time of Unsettlement

    Backhaus Oval was becoming an issue with the lack of a good wicket and the ground sub-standard. There was a move at a committee meeting to disband and it was narrowly avoided. The club decided it needed to find a new ground. It found one at St Vincent's College - now Catholic College, Junior Campus.
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    A New Ground and Name

    In 1979, the club moved to Strathdale Park and began preparing Strathdale Park Number 2 - later to become Bell Oval. After much discussion and angst, the traditional name of Maristians and the new era of Strathdale were merged to become the Strathdale-Maristians Cricket Club. The oval had a turf wicket embedded.
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    Our First A Grade Premiership came as we defeated Eaglehawk in the last 3 day Grand Final. Making 228 runs on a 'belter', Eaglehawk struggled, losing regular wickets to be all out for 140. Greg O'Brien bowled 50 overs finishing with 8/62. Norton was a magnificent backup conceding only 36 runs from 34 overs.
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    Our 2nd First XI Premiership

    Restricting BUCCs to 212, with John Neylon taking 6/45, SMCC were able to post 5/213 to win. Nick Crawford top scored with 58.