The Resurrection in the 1940s
When cricket returned in 1946, Mount Colah fielded a team for the first time since 1933. Entering both a B and C Grade team into competition, this season proved an unqualified success when both teams became premiers of their respective grades.
The C Grade team made waves when J Napoli’s run-total of 624 constituted the highest aggregate in C Grade for the association. In bowling, K Ellis set a C Grade association record for his bowling average of 5.1 which would stand until the 1990s. In the same team, K Doyle took 88 wickets for the season, which was the most out of all grades. In the B Grade team, K Moore stood out as a star batter, winning the seventh highest aggregate of runs in the association with 412 total.
Playing cricket during this time was made more difficult by the state of the grounds, most of which were malthoid. John Hayne, a life member and patron of the HKCA, recalls:
The grounds around the late ’40s and ’50s could best be described as shocking and we must have loved our cricket to put life and limb on the line just for a game.
John W Hayne, quoted in Summer Saturdays, 46
Nevertheless, Mount Colah continued to establish itself in the district in 1947-48, entering three teams and winning one premiership. B Grade won against Brooklyn with a margin of 17 points. In this winning team, K Moore continued to lay down his legacy, setting a B Grade record batting average of 75.4 and aggregate of 841 runs, both of which would remain uncontested until the 1950s. This was also the first season Mount Colah entered a junior team with U15.
1948-49 was another successful season for the club. K Doyle set an association record for most wickets in A Reserve with a formidable 71. In B Grade, G Heddles set a record batting aggregate of 983 and record batting average of 98.3.
Mount Colah Cricket Club and the Schoolboys’ Competition
Junior cricket in the HDCA was started in 1937-38 with the introduction of Saturday morning games in a Boy’s competition, designed for younger boys who could not yet play grade cricket. Initially without divisions, the first season of boy’s cricket saw a significant age range that made for quite the interesting competition, and the suggestion of age-based teams by the following year.
When the HDCA managed to field enough teams to hold a challenging competition in 1941 despite the war, the association attributed their success to the introduction of boy’s cricket five years earlier. Junior cricket thus emerged as a method of investing in the local community and fostering young talent and potential.
…it was remarkable to see small boys not much higher than the stumps manfully battling away against boys twice their size, and never for an instant giving up.
Secretary W.D. Weeks, Hornsby District Cricket Association Annual Report 1936-37
While junior cricket was temporarily put on hold for WWII, it returned with great fanfare in 1947. Mount Colah junior cricket started in 1947 with the introduction of one U15, team who would go on to come third in the competition that season.
The Sleepy 1950s
Mount Colah did not enter a team in 1949-50 and wouldn’t again until 1962. The 1950s were a sleepy period for the club, and represented its final dissolution before rising from the ashes for good in the 1960s.
The 1950s saw a general drop in numbers for cricket across the district. A series of secretaries for the HDCA speculated on why this would be the case, attributing the decline to everything from a lack of dedicated umpires, to poor grounds, to a general lack of interest in cricket (Annual Report 1950-51, 1951-52).
One change of note in this otherwise quiet decade for Mount Colah is with the association, which rebranded from the Hornsby District Cricket Association (HDCA) to the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Cricket Association (HKCA) before the 1949-50 season.