TRIBUTE TO RON SCHEELE
Tribute posted to Manningham CC Facebook Page
Manningham Cricket Club had some very sad news over the weekend, with the passing of who many consider the club’s greatest ever player, Ron Scheele.
For those that are not aware Manningham CC was formed through the amalgamation of the Doncaster Uniting CCC and Eastern Districts SACC – Ron was significant in the forming of the Doncaster side and its superstar player in its first decade.
In the 20th anniversary book of the Doncaster Uniting CCC, life member and fellow legend Bill Marsh described Ron as:
Probably the greatest individual player ever at the club. Member of the original team and of both ‘A’ Grade premiership teams. Fast medium right-hand bowler who can cut the ball viciously both ways.
Over the first ten years of Doncaster Uniting CCC Ron won the 1st XI bowling trophy nine times. The only time he did not win it was when the club could only field one team and elected to keep its C1 grade team and not its A grade team. The association ruled that Ron and Kevin Noy were not allowed to play in that low a grade (they went and played one season elsewhere until the club went back into a higher grade the next year).
In the second season of Doncaster Uniting CCC Ron was to bowl the 1st XI to an amazing A Grade premiership. After trailing on the first innings, we won outright as Ron took 3-17 and 7-27 against Highfield. This was part of a 52-wicket season that is still an equal club record for any grade (equalled by another Ron, Downes, in the 2nd XI in 2000-01). It was described in the 20th anniversary book as:
Highfield were elated with their first innings lead but did not count on Ron Scheele turning in one of his greatest bowling efforts in the second innings. They were to a man of the opinion they could counter Ron by batting down the wicket in order to break his line and length. However, Ron countered by calling his keeper on to the stumps irrespective of the fear of possible byes thus anchoring the back foot of all batsmen. The dual effort of bowler and keeper resulted in Ron taking 7 wickets for 27 runs.
We went back-to-back the following year with Ron taking another 51 wickets and a tailend batting effort to help beat Highfield again. He had spearheaded an amazing three years where the club had formed, been promoted to A Grade after one season, then won back-to-back A Grade premierships (along with a 2nd XI flag too!). His contribution? 150 wickets!
Ron sits seventh on the all-time list of wicket takers at Manningham with 370 wickets at an average of 11.5, but this was in only 98 games. It also does not tell the story of his career pre- Doncaster UCCC where he took more than 600 wickets at East Kew Methodist CC before they folded. Through his entire cricket career he took 1024 wickets at an average of 12.6 runs per wicket.
Manningham CC and Cricket Victoria Life Member Kevin Noy was his teammate when the club started:
Ron was an opening bowler who used his great skill to swing and cut the ball in both directions to take wickets over many seasons at an exceptional economy rate and average. His main attribute was to outthink batters and he took great delight in bamboozling the finest players of his time just when they thought they had worked him out. I never saw a player handle him with certainty and yet Ron’s demeanour was always calm and respectful usually ending with a satisfied smile as the batter departed. A great bowler and representative of our club.
Fellow Manningham CC life member Ian Oxley played with Ron at both East Kew and Doncaster:
I played cricket with Ron at East Kew Meths before we both went to Doncaster Uniting. Ron was an amazing bowler who could swing the ball and cut it prodigiously both ways. His biggest wicket takers were his cutters which he bowled with his middle finger behind the ball, Jack Iverson-style, flicking it one way or the other, a style he practiced early with a tennis ball down his sideway. His most dangerous ball was his off cutter which looked for all the world like a leg cutter action. I lost count of the number of batters who shouldered arms only to see the ball cut back severely and shatter their stumps.
Ron finished his 1st XI career at Doncaster Uniting CCC in 1980, though he was to come back occasionally to play in the lower grades through the 80s when his son Malcolm was playing some senior cricket.
In 2011 Ron was an obvious choice in Manningham’s team of the 1970s, and earlier he was named in Doncaster Uniting CCC’s 20th anniversary team. But perhaps his greatest honour was being named in the ESCDCA Team of the 20th century – a huge honour for Ron but also for the club to have a representative in this prestigious team.
The 1st XI bowing trophy at Doncaster Uniting CCC was named after Ron, later this practice was adopted by Manningham CC.
Everyone at Manningham CC is saddened by Ron’s passing, just as we were by the recent passing of Ron’s contemporaries and teammates Geoff Webb, Dennis Wilson, Geoff Minster and George Beaumont, and we offer our condolences to Ron’s family, friends, and teammates.
Ron’s cricket achievements (as with Dennis, George and the two Geoff’s) will live on as we soon open our new clubrooms where those records will be displayed prominently, permanently, and proudly.
Vale Ron Scheele 1939-2021
Blackburn South were yet again promising in season 2020/21 across all grades and there’s a sense of optimism at Mirrabooka Reserve heading into the 2021/22 season.
The Cobras had a terrific season from firsts to fifths in 2020/21, with four out of five teams making finals, two making the grand final and their seconds winning the A Grade.
Their firsts also showed plenty of promise in their second season in the HWS, finishing third before being thumped by Mitcham in the Semi Final.
Speaking to bhrdca.com.au, senior coach Tim Snow believes his team will be back up there again.
“We’ve got a young side who’s constantly improving and wanting to improve,” he said.
“We’ve got so much depth across the club, which is really good to see. I’m really optimistic we can go a step further”.
Senior captain Mitchell Fitton said the boys are excited to be back and also believes they’re set to play their best cricket in 2021/22.
“Guys are really excited to come back and play.
“That’s something we pride ourselves on as well is making sure everyone’s enjoying their cricket because that’s when you play your best as well.”
They haven’t heavily recruited this offseason, with Snow believing retaining most of their core group was key to their chances in 2021/22.
“This offseason we’ve really invested in our own players, we’ve retained pretty much everyone from previous seasons and we’re really investing our coaching and training into those guys.”
However they have bought in one star player in ex-Camrea and Tullamarine allrounder Gihan De Silva.
Last season he scored 528 runs (second most) at 33 and took 25 wickets (fourth most) at 15 in the North Metro Cricket Association’s second tier, with both Fitton and Snow agreeing that he’ll enhance an already strong Cobras squad.
“I’m pretty happy to have him on board and involved, he’s going to be a really good asset for us,” Fitton said.
“He’s a different player, not too many leg-spinners are around in the comp, I’m gonna be really looking forward to seeing how he goes this season,” Snow said.
They’ve also bought in a batting and bowling coach in Fitzroy Doncaster and Melbourne University players Sean Pietersz and Elliot Durrant.
Durrant will also play in, with Snow also stating that both have been a massive help heading into 2021/22.
“When we opened back up we were able to do a few small group sessions in pairs with those guys to get us a real head start and hopefully a leg up on our opposition.”
The T20 side could potentially be enhanced by Dutch T20 world cup keeper Scott Edwards.
Tim Snow confirmed that Edwards could make an appearance in the T20 competition if all goes to plan.
“The Dutch squad’s got a couple of tours on, but there’s nothing locked in yet. At this stage we’re expecting to have him for at least three or four games,” he said.
Snow said he was proud and amazed at how much Edwards has improved the four years he’s been at Blackburn South.
“Every year he seems to get better and better and better, his work rate is incredible to continually improve.”
Fitton also mentioned that the Cobras can improve, but this season will be all about making finals yet again.
“This season it’s about getting into the top four and then anything can happen from there.”
Snow is also excited about kicking off the season down at Highfield Park, with his players also eager to get out there too.
“Even though we haven’t had that many training sessions together, we’re all looking forward to getting started, getting into it and testing ourselves.”
Umpires play one of the biggest roles in the cricketing world, but the BHRDCA is still looking for more for the upcoming season.
BHRDCA Umpire Association president Phil Hermann told bhrdca.com.au that part of the reason it was struggling was due to the toll it’s taken on some of them.
“There’s been issues because some of our guys are older, it’s taking its toll being able to stand out there for a period of time.”
Hermann is back as the president of the association for his third year, and after plenty of years of experience, he still enjoys being a part of a game he loves.
“It’s something that keeps my interest in the game of cricket and in the end, you’ve got the best seat in the house.”
And whilst it’s had its funny and intense days over the years, it still has plenty of benefits, including having a drink after each game.
“The best part is then having a beer with the guys after the game, talking about anything, not necessarily cricket,” Hermann said.
He’s been with the BHRDCA for a while now and says he’s very fortunate that he’s gotten to umpire here, particularly up in the higher grades.
“I’m fortunate I’ve umpired pretty high grand finals in the time that I’ve been here, I’ve had some success that way, I also like to think I’m fairly well respected in that regard.”
However this year being president has been tough due to the lower numbers, believing they need to bring in umpires with past cricket experience.
“I’m sure they’ll find they’ll enjoy it just as much as cricket because everyone I know of has played the game at some stage. We need people who’ve got that experience to participate and have a go at it.”
He added that they don’t even need them to umpire every weekend.
“Even if they could give us one game a month or something like that, it would take some pressure off the guys that we do have. It also gives us an opportunity to field further down the grade.
They have bought in a new umpire advisor in Nick Davies, who has umpired in the 3rd and 2nd (Men and Women) XI of Victorian Premier Cricket.
Replacing the unwell Des Hearn, Hermann added that he’ll bring ideas as well as bringing knowledge to the younger umpires and keeping the older ones active.
“It’s a good learning curve for him and development wise in which he can impart some of that developing strategy into our less experienced umpires to help them along and keep the experienced ones on their toes with fresh thoughts.”
Hermann mentioned that people should join the BHRDCA because they can still be involved in cricket this way.
“They can still be a part of the cricket community in this area if they take on umpiring, they don’t give it away completely.”
There will be an umpires meeting on Wednesday night, with new advisor Nick Davies as well as Hermann being there.
The Vermont Cricket Club has had plenty of success recently, and that’s in part due to their successful junior program.
It’ll have high numbers yet again this year, with President Brendan Cleary telling bhrdca.com.au that Vermont legends Danny White, Brad Cullen and Bradd Taylor will also continue to coach the juniors. He’s particularly impressed with the work Taylor has put into his side.
“He coached the U12’s to a flag last year and he’s a fantastic man because he never gets upset, doesn’t get out of first gear, shows them how to bat, shows them how to bowl, teaches them cricket the right way and in the right spirit too.”
Part of the reason it’s been so successful is because of Vermont being a young families suburb and terrific job that ex-junior coordinator Steve Bissett did.
“As well as having the up and coming suburb, it’s also the fact that Steve Bissett was pretty relentless with another bloke about five years ago called Reece Wallace.”
Bissett has been replaced by Jason Retchford, with Retchford having been by Bissett’s side the last few years and bringing many benefits along.
“Retch’s enthusiasm is one of his key aspects and he’s worked closely with Steve for the last couple of years so he’ll just carry on the good work and hopefully keep it going.”
The last two years have had its problems due to COVID, however Cleary said that once COVID safe protocols and now vaccines have been administered, parents are signing up their children left, right and centre to play at Vermont.
“When everyone’s up to speed and it’s all working properly they’re more than happy for their kids to be playing sport, that’s what it’s all about, and we encourage it, it’s fantastic.”
“You get 150 kids cycling them through like we do, I think it’s a pretty awesome effort”.
They had a lot of players and sides last season, including three at the U16 level, with the ones making the semi finals in the RDCA U16-1 competition.
Some of those players played a bit at senior level in 2020/21, including in the thirds premiership.
“Our thirds last year the average age was about 18, and there was only one old player, Mick McMahon, he ended up captaining the side last year, he bumped it up because he’s about 45 or something so I think he bumped up the average a bit.
And whilst they retained most of them, Oliver Horlock has moved on to Premier Cricket at Ringwood, with Cleary happy to let these players go so they can pursue their dream of playing at a higher level.
“These boys are moving up through the ranks, and we encourage that and it’s great to see them play there so hopefully one day they’ll come back and put back into our club.”
In the seniors they’ve got a couple of recruits this year, with Trent Fitzgerald and Ben Gibson returning, as well as bringing in East Burwood duo Tharanga Jayawardhane and Weranga Bulathwala.
However, despite the signing of the spinner Jayawardhane, Cleary believes that Zane Gelsi will lead the way in the spinning department.
“He’s that keen on cricket he was devastated when he couldn’t keep training due to COVID. He loves the game; he’d play it every day of the week.”
They’ve also got a couple of new sponsors along, including Vermont Pizzeria, and Cleary has been thankful of their support the last few years.
“We’re very lucky with the sponsorship of the past players, we wouldn’t be able to operate with so many people without the input from these guys, they’re just magnificent.
BHRDCA Media Manager
“To be honest, It’s still pretty raw”
Words from a President discussing the loss of one of his own.
During a lengthy discussion with Heatherdale Cricket Club President Andrew Grealy, it become increasingly evident just what Steve Creighton meant to not only the Heatherdale family but the wider community.
“The Guv” as he was affectionately known, a life member of the ‘Dales passed away in July of this year following a blood clot in his lungs.
“It hasn’t been easy that’s for sure in terms of having a chance to grieve, or even a chance to say a proper goodbye.”
The Heatherdale community was rocked by Guv’s passing, however given current restrictions found themselves unable to come together to celebrate his life. That was until close friends and club mates Kevin Oakey and Tony Johns engaged the club in “The Long Run.”
The Long Run is a month-long initiative run by the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia which aims to build awareness and raise much needed funds for ongoing research into Prostrate Cancer.
Learn More: https://www.thelongrun.org.au/about-us
During September 2020, Steve completed the month-long fundraiser supported by members of the local community and raised $6000, in 2021 Heatherdale banded together and raised upwards of $26,000 placing them in the top 5 of all contributors to the campaign.
Grealy felt it was a way for the club to come together as one in a time where that is becoming increasingly difficult.
“Put simply, its coming together for Guv – he just viewed everyone the same”
“We didn’t even think twice, what can we do to find ways where we can stay connected to each other but also find a way to honour Guv’s memory.”
Some gave what they could, others went above and beyond raising more hundreds of dollars for the cause in honour of their great friend whilst pounding the pavement over the month.
Teammate and good friend Jack Ujma walked often with the Guv and made it his mission to honour Steve in the right manner.
“Not being able to come together and come to terms with it has been really difficult, and in a way I think I still haven’t properly acknowledged his passing”
“Steve cared a lot for the charity, for obvious reasons with his own battle, plus I think it helped a lot of guys from the club to come to terms with losing a great mate.”
Ujma raised more than $2000 for the cause and totalled stomped more than 250km in the month of September. Grealy believes the support for the initiative speaks volumes of the Dales culture
“It’s about living up to our values, being a family organisation and caring for one another – that’s what we do”
A mad Demons man, Creighton unfortunately missed the drought breaking Melbourne Premiership a couple of weeks ago, Grealy shared a thought about his good friend following the final siren of the AFL Grand Final.
“We were so glad that he got to see Liverpool win, and then I think very quickly the attention turned to the Dees getting up.”
“You can almost picture how the Guv would speak about it, he would be a very happy man.”
If omens are anything to go by, could the Guv pull the strings one more time and give Heatherdale yet another crack at the McIntosh Shield title?
Heatherdale will turn their attention to the forthcoming 2021/22 season with a homecoming of a couple of favourite sons as well as a pavilion re-development just about to begin its sure to be a big season at Purches Street.
You can still donate to the cause https://www.thelongrun.org.au/fundraisers/HeatherdaleRunsforGuv