The Boroondara Cricket Club was formed on the 26th July 1938. One of only four ESCA matting clubs to continue to play throughout the war years, Boroondara won the 2nd Grade matting premiership in season 1940/41. Its home ground was at Highfield Park, where the club played up until 1999, before moving to its present ground at Victoria Road Reserve, Auburn. In 1980 the club merged with ESCA club, Riversdale (founded 1966), to form Riversdale-Boroondara. In 1999 the club changed its name and once again became Boroondara. Steady growth since this time now sees the club represented by six senior sides (including a veteran’s team) and twenty junior sides (including two girl’s teams).
The club has won 18 senior premierships and 22 junior flags. The last senior premiership was in MacGibbon Shield in 2016/17, whilst in juniors, the under 12B’s won in 2017/18.
Many fine players have represented Boroondara with distinction. Geoff Pearton was a legend. He was an outstanding player and served tirelessly as secretary and treasurer for more than 30 years. Geoff was a dashing batsman and a very good left arm slow bowler, playing over 380 games, scoring at least 10,000 runs and taking over 900 wickets. He won the First XI bowling average 13 times and the Association bowling average three times (as well as runner-up three times). Geoff also won the First XI batting average 8 times. Geoff first captained the club at the age of 22, in 1943/44, and last captained it in 1970/71, aged 50. He won the President’s Award for the best player in the matting section twice, in 1956/57 and 1962/63.
Greg Johnson played senior cricket with the club at the age of 14 and soon joined Prahran, where he played for two seasons. On returning in 1966, Greg scored 898 runs at 74.8, winning the Association batting averages and helping Boroondara to the A matting premiership. The following season he scored 743 runs, and in 1968/69 he made 647 for the season. In his final season with the club Greg scored 933 runs at 84.8, including 175 in the grand final, helping Boroondara to another premiership. He scored 12 centuries with the club before leaving to continue an outstanding turf career with Deepdene.
Paul Hillman was a top all-rounder who won the President’s Award for the best player in the matting section in 1970/71 and its replacement, the Dunstan Medal in 1973/74 and 1974/75. In those three years Paul took 130 wickets and scored 1,319 runs. In 1976 he transferred to Canterbury to play turf cricket where he played in three successive premiership teams.
Scott Bingley was awarded the Dunstan Medal in 1991/92, scoring in excess of 2,500 runs and taking over 250 wickets, before injury curtailed his career. He was part of our first XI premiership sides of 1981/82 and 1995/96.
Robbie Ross was one of our first junior players since the re-establishment of a junior side in 1999/2000. He had previously played senior cricket for us in 1998 and by season 2003/04 had progressed to our first XI. Robbie was a significant part of our first XI flag in Burt Shield in 2004/05 taking 35 wickets and scoring 285 runs for the season. By 2016/17, when he last played for the club, Robbie had taken 344 wickets and scored almost 3,000 runs. His best bowling figures were 7/14 against Wyclif in 2011/12 and his highest score was 122 in 2012/13, after having scored two other first XI centuries the previous season. He was awarded the Stuart Medal for best player in the MacGibbon Shield in 2011/2012.
Zac Mowat was a product of our junior program. He first played senior cricket in the 3rd XI versus Mazenod in 2007/08. In 2009/10 he was part of our 3rd XI premiership side after having scored his first century (109) for the club in the final home and away game, also against Mazenod. Zac scored three more centuries for the club (all in the first XI) and captained our firsts to their two flags in 2015/16 and 2016/17. He was also a very effective bowler taking 179 senior wickets for the club, including 7/18 against Edinburgh in 2015/16. He was awarded the Stuart Medal for the best player in MacGibbon Shield in 2015/16 and again in 2017/18.
Jeremy Musso played four seasons at Boroondara from 2014/15 to 2017/18. He was a very effective fast bowler, able to bowl prolonged spells and helped our first XI to two successive premierships in 2015/16 and 2016/17. In 2015/16 he took a club record 74 wickets and also was awarded the Stuart Medal for best player in the MacGibbon Shield.
Sean Ross and Graeme Saker hold the all-time club record partnership of 414 runs for the first wicket (1991/92). The best ever bowling performance is by Darren Bingley with 9/11 off 16 overs in Senior grade matting (1996/97). Five players have scored double centuries for the club, Ryan Punton 222, Geoff Lockwood 219, Graeme Saker 215, Scott White 204, all not outs, and Richard Whitfield 201.
Association Awards for best player in Highest Grade Matting, Non-Turf or Synthetic Section. (President’s Award/ Dunstan Medal/ Stuart Medal)
Geoff Pearton won two awards, Paul Hillman won three awards, Zac Mowat won two, Scott Bingley, Robbie Ross and Jeremy Musso have all won one.
Boroondara Cricket Club – A short history
Boroondara Cricket Club was formed in 1938 when a few players from Riversdale (formerly Highfield Cricket Club), decided to start a new cricket club at Highfield Park. Syd Howse was elected president, Cam Rennie, captain, and Geoff Pearton, ESCA delegate. During WWII the ground became a ‘searchlight station’, but cricket continued – with barbed wire around the ground as the boundary line. Boroondara was one of only four matting teams to continue playing throughout the War. In 1940/41 two sides were fielded and the club won the 2nd Grade premiership. During this time Mrs Elsie Pearton, mother of Geoff, was a volunteer to Navy House in Port Melbourne where Cerberus was located. Elsie would bring home ‘billeted out’ navy servicemen who wanted to play cricket and they would go with Geoff on Saturdays for a bat and a bowl. In 1951, Boroondara won the Jubilee Premiership after finishing top of the ladder at the end of the home and away season, but lost the grand final. Members who served the club well in its first 20 years include H.C.(Cam) Rennie (first life member, 10 years as president, and four years secretary), Laurie Anderson (seven years president), and Jack McConville (11 years vice president, and two years president). Great players to serve the club were Steve Bee, Geoff Pearton, C. McConchie, W. Kean and Jack Johnston.
From 1942 through to 1957, Boroondara remained a one-team club, then with Balwyn IOR folding, a number of players, including Les Johnson, joined Boroondara enabling the club to field two sides for season 1958/59. Les and his family became an integral part of the club; a fine cricketer, Les worked tirelessly on the committee for 17 years including nine years as president. A junior side commenced in 1959/60 and continued until 1972/73, with many fine cricketers progressing to senior ranks, notably Greg Johnson, Paul Hillman, the Blakey brothers, and Col Waller. Well known player and umpiring identity, Jack Sheehan joined Boroondara in the 1943/44 season as a player and committee-man for 20 years, including six as president. In a playing career that spanned seven clubs he took a remarkable 1007 wickets, including seven hat-tricks. On retiring from playing, Jack turned to umpiring first in the Eastern Suburbs, then to district ranks and finally Shield cricket.
From the mid 1960’s, in a period of nine seasons, the club played in five A grade grand finals for two premierships. In 1966/67, Geoff Pearton led the first XI to the club’s first A grade premiership. In 1969/70, Greg Johnson led the side in another flag. In the semi-final he scored 109 of the team score of 261 against North Kew; in the grand final against Malvern City, Greg scored 175, to help his side to a convincing win. He finished the season with 933 runs at an average of 84.82.
Through the 1960’s and 1970’s great clubmen included Jack Sheehan, Les Johnson, Geoff Pearton, Vic White, Mick Pullen and Geoff West. After finishing last in 1979/80, Boroondara and Riversdale (10th) merged to form Riversdale Boroondara. During the 1980’s the club was well served by Trevor Schwarz, Charles Seager, Ken Goddard, Peter Lilley, Michael Bingley, Jeff Saker, Rick Pickering, Graeme Upham, Ernie Williams, Mark Fimmel, Eddie Miovich, Steve Ford and Dave Wain.
In the 1991/92 season Scott Bingley won the Dunstan Medal but very little other success came the club’s way until 1995/96, when a premiership was won in Senior grade matting. Players who performed well during the season included Ken Thomas (who won the Association bowling averages with 33 wickets at 12.82), Brent Thomas, Darren Bingley, Michael Bingley, and captain Scott White, whose century in the grand final was his third for the season. In the 1990’s the club was well served by Danny Ross, Steve Ford, Jeff Saker, Michael Bingley, Steve Jackson, Damian McNamara, Terry Ford, Scott Bingley, Darren Bingley, Oliver Thockloth and Scott White. Players to have represented the Association side in this era included Scott White, Dave Wain, Steve Jackson, Scott Bingley, Nick Tribe, Michael Bingley and Darren Bingley. Since 1980 notable performances include players scoring over 5,000 runs for the club – Michael Bingley, Scott White, Jeff Saker, Tim Kerr and Danny Ross. Bowlers with more than 400 wickets include Steve Ford, Michael Bingley, Terry Ford and Sean Ross.
As the 20th century came to a close Boroondara council decided that the old brick clubrooms at Highfield Park should be removed and a new home ground was sought. Council indicated its preference for a merger between Riversdale-Boroondara (three sides) and Kooyong (one side), since the first XI of each club already shared Victoria Road Reserve. After discussions both clubs agreed to accept the proposal and the new club returned to the original name of the Boroondara Cricket Club.
For the new century, the most important and progressive step taken by the club was to re-introduce a junior side in 1999/2000. Thanks to the outstanding contribution of Mark Morris, within one decade the junior section of the club had expanded in team numbers and also won six junior premierships, including our first Under 16A flag.
In the senior part of the club, five premierships were also achieved; three in the outstanding 2004/05 season. In this season our club had grown to five senior teams and all five played off in grand finals with our top three sides winning in Burt Shield, B and C grade synthetic.
Boroondara Cricket Club Players on the eve of an Association record of all 5 teams playing in the 2004/05 Grand Finals.
Players who performed well for the firsts this season included Brendan Long, Scott White, Robbie Ross, Kunal Limaye, Terry Ford and David Howsam. Others such as Michael Dumesny, Tim Kerr, Ben Thomson, Peter Bailey and Patrick Kendall had good seasons throughout this decade.
By season 2010/11 we had grown to fourteen junior sides from Under 10 to Under 16’s. A number of players had emerged and progressed to playing senior cricket for us, including Robbie Ross, Zac Mowat, Harry Philip, Chris Morris, Matt Poustie, Matthew Silk, Chris Rosengarten, and Seb Scanlon.
After fourteen seasons at the helm of our junior program Mark Morris handed over the reins to Rod Croes who continued to also work hard for the growth and success of our club. By season 2016/17 we now had eighteen junior teams, including a girl’s side initially set up by Steve Jackson.
In October 2013, a re-union of past and present players was held at our clubrooms to recognise the 75th anniversary of our club. This was a follow up to the 70th anniversary function held in October 2008. As part of the celebrations, teams of the decade were announced for each decade of our existence. In 2013 both senior and junior teams for the first decade of the twenty-first century were announced. These teams are now displayed on pennants in our clubrooms for all to view and recognise our club’s history.