Strathdale-Maristians Cricket Club

All Seasons Oval, Reservoir Rd, Strathdale
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The great traditions of our club include a long list of Life Members. They are all listed here along with a description of why they were elevated to this exalted position.

We thank the individuals below for the significant contribution they have made to our club.

Jack Semmens (1965): The first person to be awarded life membership of the then Maristians Cricket Club. Jack made a significant contribution off the field by volunteering his services as the clubs scorer for many years in the early days of the clubs formation.

Gerry Gelly (1965): Gerry Gelly was one of the clubs first great players. He took 225 wickets at an average of 15.88 with best figures of 8/47. He also amazingly took 2 hat tricks in an era when the club lost a majority of their matches.

Tony Bourke (1969): Bourke's involvement with the club spanned the decade between the 1961/62 and 1970/71 seasons. While making occasional appearances as a player in both A and B grades, it was off the field where most of his contribution came. Bourke was the honorary curator at Bachaus Oval for many years, preparing wickets almost single handedly without a motorised roller. At the time of his passing in 1971, he had been club secretary for five years and in recognition of his contribution, the First XI club champion trophy was named in his honour when it was introduced for the 1971/72 season.

Brother Gonzaga (1972): Brother Gonzaga was coach of the Maristians C grade for 10 consecutive years between 1962/63 and 1971/72 seasons. He coached the team to consecutive premierships in 1963/64 and 1964/65 and was also runner-up on four other occasions. Gonzaga was also a regular opening batsmen in Maristians B grade teams between 1969/70 and 1972/73. He also coached many junior teams in his time at the club and was a well respected and loyal clubman for many years.

Kevin Crawford (1974): There is not much Kevin Crawford hasn't achieved in Bendigo Cricket. He played an amazing 24 seasons in which he holds the runs record (6606), games record (233), is a team of the century member, captained for 5 seasons, won the batting award 9 times, is a BDCA Hall of Famer and BDCA Living Legend. He still contributes to Bendigo cricket by being a well respected umpire with the BDCA.

Gerard Sheehan (1977): Like Kevin, Gerard Sheehan also had a long career in the 1st XI playing for 24 seasons also. A member of the clubs first Premiership in 1980/81, Gerard also captained for 5 seasons, won the batting award on 3 occasions, was club champion in 1977/78 and is a BDCA Living Legend. Gerard like his brother Pat, was instumental in the Maristains Cricket Club moving to the Strathdale area and becoming the Strathdale Maristians Cricket Club.

Pat Sheehan (1977): Pat Sheehan's contribution towards the SMCC can never be forgotten. His association with the club as a member spans back to the club in it's early years where he started as a player but it's been his off field work that may never be surpassed, giving the club leadership direction in areas of business and financial management. Under his astute presidency, the club emerged from being a nomadic club to find it's home in Strathdale. He was President for an amazing 26 years which the clubs first and only 2 1st XI Premierships were achieved under his term in office. Pat still remains to this day a valued member and sponsor.

Michael Bourke (1986): Mick's involvement with the club began when he assisted his father in preparing the wicket at the clubs old home ground of Bachaus Oval. In his playing career spanning nearly two decades, he played all three senior grades, captaining both the B & C grade. As well as being a very acurate, tireless left arm bowler and aggressive tail end batsmen, he served on the clubs committee for many years. After retiring from playing he maintained his involvment with the club and game, generally by coaching junior sides as well as umpiring.

Stephen Bourke (1986): Like his brother Mick, Stephen's involvement with the club also began when he assisted his father in preparing the wicket at Bachaus Oval. His playing career spanned nearly 20 years while playing in all three senior grades. He was a member of the 1980/81 A Grade Premiership team, the 1981/82 runners up team and he was the A Grade captain in 1987/88. Stephen served on the committee for many years and even when work shifted him to Melbourne he continued to travel back each week to play for many years.

Brendan Keane (1987): Brendan showed through his application and determination to his cricket a commitment to achieving the best outcome both in a team and personal sense. As well as his lengthy playing career, he was on the committee and helped prepare the wicket during his many years of service to SMCC. Brendan may have been better known for his football achievements but as a cricketer he was a batsmen who did not give up his wicket easily as well as being a very handy wicket-keeper. He played in both A & B grade for the club as well as being the inaugural captain of the C grade team when the division became open age in 1990/91.

Phil Southby (1989): Phil's career spanned from the mid 1970's to the early 1990's, while only playing a handful of A grade games, he was a consistent performer in the B grade. Phil played most of his cricket in the B grade as a stylist middle order batsmen and exceptionally quick fieldsman especially patrolling the cover region and later years also captaining the B grade side for several seasons. Phil was the hard working secretary for five years during the transition time of the club moving to Strathdale in the late 1970's early 1980's and was one of the most popular players around the club. Phil also worked in many other off field roles to ensure the success of the club.

Bro. Paul Murphy (1990): Paul Murphy played for SMCC form 1982 until 1990 when he left Bendigo. During this time he played 63 matches. He was well known for his extremely economical Left Arm Orthodox bowling taking 90 wickets at 25.24. The highlight with his batting came when he made 115 coming in as a night watchmen. In 1985/86 he was Club Champion and won the batting award, averaging 41 with the bat and 20 with the ball. In addition to on the field, Paul was a dedicated clubman. He coached the senior side in 1987/88 and also coached junior teams. In addition to this he was curator in the years that the club played on the wicket at Junortoun.

John Brown (1993): John Brown was a true legend of Strathdale-Maristians. John joined our club in 1984 and continued his association up until his untimely death in 2004. John was a wirily leg spin bowler who relied more on overspin and deception than sideways spin. In addition to this, he was a damaging lower order batsmen renowed for quick runs late in the day. However it was John's work off the field that gained him most accolades. John was an outstanding curator. His dedication to the wickets at Bell Oval made him the most respected preparer of wickets in town. Everyone looked forward to playing cricket on John Brown's wicket. John spent thousands of hours rolling, watering and planting couch and rolling out the covers at Bell Oval. He captained the 2nd XI and in his latter days he loved helping and advising young players. John always had an opinion on any topic.

John Hecker (1993): John Hecker made his 1st XI debut in 1978 when he transferred from BUCC's. Over the next 10 years he played 105 matches as a top order batsmen making 1984 runs. He was a member of the 1980/81 Premiership Team, 1981/82 runners-up and captain in 1978/79. John was an outstanding administrator. John was a fatherly figure to the many young players around the club. His contribution to cricket in Bendigo has been outstanding. John is a life member to most organisations he has been part of.

Richard Murphy (1993): Richard Murphy is Strathdale-Maristians Cricket Club. Richard began his association with SMCC in the junior in 1977 and has played every year since. He made his 1st XI debut in 1982 as an 18 year old. Richard Murphy was a Richard Hadlee look alike. He was a fast right arm bowler and prided himself on his lower order batting. He played 116 1st XI games and took 244 wickets at 20.51. He is a team of the century member He was captain/coach in 1990/91 and coach in 2002/03 & 2003/04. He was club champion in 1986/87 and 1989/90. Richard has been a member of the clubs committee for much of his time here and is currently President of the club.

Michael Chalkley (2001): Michael Chalkley (Mick) was recruited from the Bendigo C.C as a promising, young opening batsmen and won the C Gade batting average in his first season, 1981/82. The following year he made his A Grade debut and cemented his place in the team as an opening batsmen and was a member of the A Grade runners up side. Mick returned to the club in 1991/92 after a 4 year absence at university in Ballarat and made a big impact as the catalyst of many opening or early wicket partnerships over the next seven years with the ability to be both an aggressive and patient run scorer. Mick was a quality slips fieldsmen, also on hand for a quick word of advice to opposition batsmen and was a captains dream with his knowledge of the rules of cricket in tight circumstances. He took over the captain/coaches role in 1992/93 and was also club champion that year. In 1994/95 he was part of the A Grade Premiership team. Mick retired at the end of the 1998/99 season with an aggregate of 3784 runs @ 30.03. He continued being involved off the field after retirement by serving on the clubs committee in various roles, including vice president and secretary for many years. In all Mick played 139 A Grade games and was part of the Team of the Century. In 2000/01 he returned to the playing field in a one off cameo in the C Grade due to short numbers and peeled off a classy century. Mick is still an active supporter of the club and is often seen at games supporting the club and his son Andrew.

John Neylon (2003): John Neylon's arrival in 91/92 spawned an exciting and successful new era at the club. He was immediately appointed captain and set apon knocking over batting attacks everywhere with his off spin. 1994/95 saw him become the clubs second premiership captain after taking 42 wickets during the season. He has been the club champion on a record 8 times, is the clubs Team of the Century Captain and also holds the clubs wickets record on 302. John's exploits did not end with the ball, he was also a leading batsmen in the league scoring 8 centuries and 20 fifties, he won 3 batting awards along with his 5 bowling awards, he also claimed the leagues bowling aggregate award in 01/02. John will always be remembered as one of the clubs and leagues greatest players.

Travis Ledwidge (2004): Travis's passion and enthusiasm for the club are second to none. He has played at the club his whole cricketing career and debuted in the First XI in the 1990/91 season as a solid opening batsmen. He has played in all grades but is most known as the 3rd XI's inspirational skipper leading from the front with his dependable middle order batting and well controlled bowling, a true all-rounder. He has served on the clubs committee for many years, coached our U/17 team and eventually tasted Third XI success in 2011/12.

Ben Irwin (2006): Ben Irwin has been one of the leagues premier fast bowlers over the last decade and a half. With 266 wickets at an average of 20.08, Ben has led from the bowling attack on over 130 occasions. He was a part of the 94/95 Premiership side, has been club champion 4 times, won 5 bowling awards and is a part of the club's Team of the Century. A hard hitting tailender, Ben has produced some fine innings with the bat. Off the field, Ben is a keen supporter of the clubs social scene, often offering to man the bar.

Ben Smith (2006): Over the last 15 seasons, Ben Smith has led from the front with bat and ball. One of the clubs best allrounders of the modern era, Ben has hit 2289 runs and taken 131 wickets with best bowling figures of 8/35 which he took in a semi final against Bendigo. Ben was part of the Premiership team of 94/95 and captained the side in 03/04 when we made it to the final. Ben has spent many years on the clubs committee and has helped his good friend Sean McCann coach junior sides. Ben is one of the most liked people around the club and is currently captain of the clubs 2nd XI team.

Dennis McCormick (2006): Dennis McCormick has been an integral part of making the SMCC junior program so strong. He has coached many junior sides over the last decade as well as coaching many junior representative sides. He has also spent many years on the clubs committee and has spent time on the leagues executive committee as treasurer.

Les Norton (2007): Les Norton is known as one of the clubs greatest cricketers in it's history. He was the opening strike bolwer in the clubs first 1st XI Premiership in 80/81, Club Champion on two occasions, is a member of the clubs Team of the Century and won the BDCA's innagrual player of the year award in 75/76. Les has best bowling figures of 8/14 and is the only player in the clubs history to take 10 wickets in a match twice. Off the field, Les coached many junior teams, was a member of the clubs committee and assited in curating the clubs wickets for 5 years.

Sean McCann (2007): After crossing from BUCC's at the start of the 1993/94 season, Sean made an immediate impact blasting 143 not out aganist the arch rival in his first match. Sean's contribution to the club on and off the field has been second to none ever since. He's spent many years on the clubs committee, 2 as secretary, was a crucial member of the clubs 1994/95 Premiership side as wicketkeeper, was club champion in 04/05 (showing true commitment to the club travelling back from Mildura each weekend for the first half of the season due to work commitments), captained for 2 seasons, coached for 4 seasons, has won the batting award twice and won the BDCA Batting Average award in 02/03 with an average of 111.20. Sean has also coached many junior sides over the last decade. An avid supporter and coordinator of our AAA program, Sean has always had the best interest's of the club at heart and is truely one of clubs favourite suns.

Andrew Price (2010): After coming out of an early retirement, Andrew came to our club in 2002/03 and made an immediate impact on the field. Winning the 1st XI Cub Champion Award in his first season, Andrew made 335 runs and took 24 wickets. He backed up the following season by again winning the 1st XI Champion Award where he made 565 runs and took 22 wickets. His best season however came in 2005/06 where he emassed 637 runs making 3 tons and 2 half-centuries, he also won the club champion award this season making it his third. Off the field, Andrew joined the clubs committee in 2005/06 and became a vital member overseeing special projects such as the development of the Strathdale Park preceint. On top of all this he has served as the clubs curator and also the clubs coach.

John Hewitt (2010): In John's first season at the club in 2000/01, he won the 2nd XI Club Champion Award, making 337 runs @ 42.13. He would go onto play in the 2nd XI until 2003/04 where he then went on to finish his career in the 3rd XI retiring at the completetion of 2007/08. John's major contribution to the club has been off the field with him being the clubs curator for 4 seasons, a committee member for the last 9 seasons and the clubs BDCA board member for the last 9 seasons. He has been the 1st XI scorer since the early 2000's and has been awarded the clubs Best Clubman Award twice, in 2002/03 & 2004/05.

Geoff Findlay (2011): Coming from a successful career at Eaglehawk, Geoff was recruited to the club in 1995/96 and appointed captain/coach. In his first season, he won the BDCA Player of the Year award making 565 runs @ 43.40. The wicket keeper/opening batsman went onto make 3246 runs and take 120 dismissals behind the stumps over his 100 game 1st XI career with the club. Geoff was named in the clubs Team of the Century in 1999 and was inducted into the BDCA Hall of Fame in 2004. Geoff's roles off-field after his retirement include many years as a junior coach, long time and current sponsor of the club and also the current chairman of selectors, overseeing the clubs last 1st XI premiership in 2010/11.

Michael Prowse (2011): Despite his young age, Michael has been a wonderful servant of the Strathdale-Maristians Cricket Club. On the field, Michael is a product of the SMCC junior program, commencing his involvement with the club in 1993/94 in the primary division. He commenced his senior career in 2003/04 and has represented the club in 1st XI matches. He was a member of the 2nd XI premiership in 2009/10 where he played a key role as a medium/fast bowler. Not only has he made a great contribution on the field but off the field he has been a fine committee man, already shouldering the responsibilities of secretary and treasurer of the club, a fine effort for such a young man. Michael has been the man behind many club initiatives which include, club accreditation as a 'Good Sports Club', the introduction of one day kits for the senior body of the club, the collation of the clubs 1st XI statistical history and has been a driver for many club fundraising events.

Dom Taylor (2013): Dom played 141 First XI games in a 12 year career between the 2001/02 and 2012/13 seasons, winning the batting average twice (03/04, 09/10) and being named as club champion in 2009/10. He is a three-time First XI Premiership Player (10/11-12/13) and was vice-captain of the team in the first two of these seasons. Despite serving only briefly on the club's committee, Dom's off-field contributions has been significant and his professionalism, both on and off the field, has been a major influence on the devlopment of the club's culture during its most successful era.

Ben DeAraugo (2013): Ben has played 192 First XI games across a 15-year period between the 2000/01 and 2014/15 seasons, including four premierships in 10/11, 11/12, 12/13 and 14/15. His performances on the field have been matched by very few in the history of the club. Ben holds club records for most First XI wickets (368), most bowling awards (7) and is also a five-time club champion. As a noted big game performer, he was also the recipient of the Taylor/Walsh medal as the best player in all four winning grand finals. Off the field, Ben has also served for twelve years on the club's committee, including seven as club treasurer. 

Geoff O'Shea (2015): Geoff's first involvement with the club came in the late 1980's when he was the team manager for the junior sides that his son Brad was playing in. He then went onto be an assitant curator to John Brown for four seasons and during this time he completed a number of projects including the construction of a new roller/storage shed, building a covered concrete pad for turf storage and most notably, building Bendigo's first set of sightscreens for use at Bell Oval. He returned as an assitant curator to John Hewitt in 2006/07 and then went onto hold the position himself from 07/08 until today. 

Linton Jacobs (2015): 

Elaine McCann (2019):

Loretta Prowse (2019):