Cardiff-Boolaroo will in 2012-13 compete in our 63rd year as a member of the NDCA, the premier cricket competition in country NSW. Originally called Western Lakes, we made our debut in the 1949-50 season. By 1955-56 we were a finalist and figured in a heart stopping decider with Hamilton who were going for their sixth final win in succession. Western Lakes eventually lost by three runs but the young club had shown a fine competitive spirit.
Since taking on the Boolaroo-Cardiff then the Cardiff-Boolaroo name, there have been several more final appearances and many fine players and administrators have come through the ranks. Clarrie Roberts and Cec Brownlow were at the administrative helm and Charlie Wellham, father of Dirk, was captain when the club made its debut. At this time Western Lakes played its home matches at Speers Point, where the Macquarie Field soccer ground now stands. Later the club moved its headquarters to Walters Park, a mere stone’s throw away, and then in the early 80s to our present home at Cardiff Oval.
Ron McDonald, Wal Pickles, Doug Turner and Max Fox, along with “Sandy” Alder and Alan Bancks were some of the club’s best players in the first decade. Alder later served as President for 10 years, Jim Parry was a stalwart as secretary and Ron Bartley and Matt Tapp were others to work in official capacities.
Opening batsman Gordon Goffet was a club product that made it to the NSW team via the Waverley and Western Suburbs clubs in Sydney and Chris Beatty reached State ranks in the late 70s direct from Cardiff!
There are often men behind the scenes who work hard with little fanfare and John Potter was in this mould with Cardiff. Vic Levi gave much encouragement to younger players as well as batting with purpose in many matches. He was an aggressive and astute leader.
Cardiff is grateful to captains like McDonald, Goffet, Terry Collins and Jack Littlewood who raised the first grade team to final status ... and to Brownlow and Levi who were at the helm in second grade final victories. Littlewood came from the eastern side of the lake to join the club in 1982 and was a tremendous leader and fast bowler, winning the player of the year award 3 times.
Big Jack had many young guns at his disposal including David and Peter Willis and Matthew and Andrew Maher. David was a tremendous all rounder who represented NSW Country with distinction. Along with the Willis boys, their mother Rhelma gave over 15 years service to the club and was sadly missed when she retired from her first grade scoring duties a few years ago.
In the 90s David became the first grade captain of a young new side that included many fine players such as Neil Goffet, son of Gordon, Simon Moore who is a nephew of the Mahers and has represented NSW and Australian Country, Brett Hawgood and Jason Vero, who went on to great success at Mosman CC in Sydney. During this time the committee was admirably steered by great club men like Bill Wendtman, Don Wells, David King and Brett Meek, all of whom gave many years service both on and off the field. In the late 90s Meekers at one time or another held every position on the committee and in some seasons more than one! Players such as James and Bret Kneller, Damian Robb, Paul Coleman, Richard Green and Wade Keft all served on the committee of the club during 90s and early in the new century.
Currently the committee is an awesome blend of experience and energy. Our President is Matthew Maher, a former first grade opener. 'Thewy' is in his first year in the role and is tackling all tasks with great vigour. Our Vice President is Michael Corrigan, a youngster who has already been with us for 10 seasons. The remainder of the committee is made up of both current and former players topped off with a few life members; we are a very fortunate club.
The 2009/10 season, our 60th Anniversary, will be remembered as the one where the CBs finally lifted the Dr E.P. Barbour Shield as 1st Grade Major Premiers. The side captained by Anthony Hobson, who is a Newcastle & NSW Country Rep player, avenged those that went before by defeating Minor Premiers Hamilton-Wickham in the Semi Final and near rivals Charlestown in the Final.
In a great team effort Hobson with 127 n.o. led his side to victory. Club legend Betty Alder (wife of the late Sandy) and Life Member Ian Gorton presented the boys with their winners medals before a huge rollout of the CB faithful.
The winning side were; Anthony Hobson (c), Steven Bradbury, Damian Robb, Daniel Maher, Jason Keelan, Corey Loveday, Michael Corrigan, Ray Cooper, Richard Green, Gavin Wilson, Brin Osland and Matthew Chappell. The Club was coached by Geoff Smith and Wade Keft was the scorer.
A memorable 60th Anniversary started with a highly successful reunion at Major Sponsor Cardiff RSL and featured Guest Speaker Kerry O'Keeffe. On the night the best CB side of our 60 years was announced. It is: Max Fox (c), Ron McDonald, Gordon Goffet, Chris Beatty, Jason Vero, Simon Moore, David Willis, Brian Davey, Tim Curran, Sandy Alder, Adam Maher and Harold Griffiths. The scorers are Betty Alder and Rhelma Willis.
Our past is strong and we are proud of those who went before us. We look to the future with anticipation of back to back First Grade Premierships and also our maiden Club Championship.