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Establishing Balwyn Cricket Club

On Saturday 8 October 1921, Balwyn A commenced a two-day match against Canterbury in the Reporter competition and Balwyn B made the lenghty journey to the orchard and farming area of East Doncaster.

It would be pleasing to record that both Balwyn sides commenced with victories. Alas, this was not the case. Balwyn A started well enough, dismissing Canterbury for 61 with Will Pocket taking 5/6 and Tom Mackie 4/25. Play on the first day was curtailed by heavy rain and hail with Balwyn on 4/27.

On the following Saturday, as has often been the case over the succeeding years, Balwyn's batsmen could not quite match the efforts of the bowlers totalling just 46. Opener Jack Lowe, unbeaten on 11 overnight, top scored with 13 and was the only batsman to reach double figures.

Canterbury, perhaps sensing that an outright victory was possible, raced to 3/105 declared in their second innings. Balwyn then either had to score 121 for outright victory or defend grimly until stumps. History does not record how they started the task but they finished by defending grimly, reaching 8/64 when stumps were drawn. Will Pocket having top scored with 21.

The Balwyn B side also lost on first innings, but did not face the risk of outright defeat. East Doncaster batted first and made 93, thanks largely to Johnson who made 63. No other batsman reached double figures. The Balwyn bowlers did well, with Cousins and Stanton both taking three wickets.

Cousins opened the batting for Balwyn to record the highest score of 14. The captain, A. H. Blore, remained not out on 11 but Balwyn could total only 55. Balwyn hit back in East Doncaster's second innings claiming 5/44 by the end of the match.

Balwyn's first matches were thus only partial successes. The bowlers had performed well but not well enough and most batsman failed to fire. However, the club had reason to be satisfied. Twenty-two players competed under the Balwyn banner for the first time, the Club was firmly established on its own ground and there was some money in the bank.


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