The Eley Park Snapshot
The Ebees Cricket Club was formed on a Sunday morning by three Burwood neighbours John O’Sullivan,Tony Toms and Kevin Horne in 1969. From this social meeting came the idea to start up a cricket side. At a subsequent meeting called on the August 3rd 1969 the Ebees Cricket Club was formed.
From just fielding one senior team in 1969, the club has expanded to over 10 team ranging from Seniors, Juniors and Veterans and a Milo Cricket program for young children.
It wasn’t long before the Ebees were making a name for themselves in the BHRDCA, playing off in the finals in their first year only to be beaten by old foes Templestowe Footballers .They went one better in their second year by winning a senior premiership. Since then the club has gone from strength to strength winning premierships at all playing levels.
Our first premiership team in 1970/71 comprised of John O’Sullivan (Capt), Kevin Horne, Kevin Dows, Tony Toms, Vic Rodwell, Vruce Muitimer, Kevin Fareelly, Max Thomson, Tony Smith, Ron Mcnamara, Bob Jantke. Playing against Wattle Park the opposition batted first and made 196 EBEES were struggling st 9 for 120 when Captain John O’Sullivan in typical fashion, declared our innings closed and set about trying for a second innings win. It worked as Wattle Park were dismissed for 90 runs in their second innings leaving EBEES with 170 to win. EBEES passed this score for a memorable premiership Our supporters included at the game Barry Pearce and Eddie Madjeski who showered us all with champagne, Peter Taylor drank his fair share.
Then in 1971 a young player joined our under 12 side and soon made his mark as a player of the future – Dean Jones. Dean made centuries as a junior player and also performed well when he played in the afternoon our seniors. Dean was also a member of an Under 12 premiership team. We all congratulate Dean on his outstanding International career with Australia and his service to Victorian cricket.
From the successful early days we went onto win senior premierships 1970/71, 75/76, 76/77 ,78/79 ,80/81, 81/82, 83/84 , 85/86. 86/87, 89/90, 90/91, 92/93, 95/96
The early days of the EBEES were exciting ones with players the calibre of John O’Sullivan, Kevin Horne, Vic Rodewell, Kevin Dow, Noel Grayson, John Uren Ramsey Gunasekera, the Carter brothers Greg and Ted, the Muitimer brothers John & Bruce, Les Gosstray, Tony Toms, Ron McNamara, Ray Pearson, Kevin Farrelly, Colin Crowle ,Bob Jackson and many others.
1975 saw the club join the Oakleigh Districts Cricket Association and for two years we established ourselves as a force to reckon with, winning two premierships. Who could forget the last wicket partnership between Bruce Muitimer (70 runs) and Bob Jackson (52no) in 1975/76 which took the score from 9/120 to all out 244. The opposition were bowled out for 186 with Kevin Dows involved in a “Mancad”run out at bowlers end, and there was Ray Pearson and his team of youngsters who also won a thrilling Grand Final in 1976/77.
In 1978 the club changed its name to Eley Park Cricket Club and re-joined the BHRDCA, where our performances have been up with the best in the competition. We established our headquarters at the Eley Park Community Centre at long last we had some where to have our GRO-AX ‘s (Grog and Tarax). Up to this stage we relied on on the generosity of players to open up their homes for us to congregate after matches. Ian Belling’s garage (even if it was often flooded) was used, Bruce Muitimer’s backyard and Jhn Uren’s loungeroom were aso meeting placesafter matches.
At this stage we had some good youngsters coming through our junior teams. Warren Gibson, Greg Dows, David Muitimer, Tony & Daryl Grayson, David Bowen, Steven Jackson,Craig Davidson, Andrew Duncan and Scott Pearson. All these players have gone on to represent in our senior 1st sides. We have prided ourselves in looking after our juniors .
During the 1990’s our club has enjoyed many finals appearances in many grades in 1995/96 our C1 team had a great win in the Grand Final against
In 1997/98 the club appointed Robbir Jursonovics as Captain Coach with great results reaching the Grand Final against Mitcham at East Burwood. The Parkers were well in the contest having Mitcham 9 for 150 but a recod 10th wicket stand of 150 put the game out of reach. The sixths won a best of three games in the Grand Final lead by some Darren Bookluck. They again went onto defend the tittle in 1998/99 in a memorable final at Blackbiurn.
In our 30th season our on field performance in Shield 1 was poor which saw the club relegated to A1. The only highlight of the season being the announcement of our Team of Century at a function at the Eley Park Community Centre.
In 2000/01 the club appointed Tony Wunhym as Captain Coach with immediate results making the Grand Final only to go down to a very strong Glen Waverley Hawks team. In 2001/02 we again managed to make the A1 Finals this time defeating Bulleen Templestowe in the Semi Final and then defeating our biggest Rival Blackburn South at Forest Hill Fraser Reserve to regain Shield 1 status similar to 1983/84. At 5 for 123 it appeared as though we were in trouble but a solid partnership by Patrick Luby and Matthew Whitbread guided us to 5 for 212 at stumps on Day one. On Day Two resuming at 5 for 212 we managed to get to 264 all out a reasonable target to defend. Our bowlers did the job bowling Blackburn South out for 114.
In 2002/03 we were very competitive winning 6 games missing the finals by 8 points, the following season after a good start to the season we faded only winning 5 games for the season finishing in ninth position.
At the start of the 2004-05 season the club appointed Ross Peterson as Club Coach and favourite son Glenn Comte as Captain with Comte coming home finally after a 10 year stint at Sub District club Box Hill. Both Shield 1 and Shield 2 teams finished on top of the ladder with the 2nd XI & 3rd XI all eliminated in the Semi Final. The Shield 1 team won the Semi Final in a rain effected game chasing 129 off 54 overs to advance to the Grand Final.
The Grand Final was played at Walker Park with Eley Park winning the toss and batting making 6/247cc with Tony Wunhym 64 and Matthew Tynan making 42. Tony Wunhym sent butterflies through the Eley Park camp when he dropped a catch. But when Peterson whipped off the bails to dismiss the final batsman, the crowd and 11 players were whipped into a frenzy The Parkers then recorded a magnificent win, to bring The McIntosh Shield home to its rightful home and break a long awaited drought.
The clubs First XI currently plays in Wilson Shield after being relegated at the end of the 2011/12 season. The club currently is rebuilding after some tough times. Eley Park has been a valuable part of the local community for over 40 years and is looking forward to an exciting future in the years to come.