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Tales of a winning cricket team


In recent years the Ōtaki Cricket Club has had success in the local competition – it reprises days gone by when Ōtaki were at the top of their game.

The club began more than 150 years ago, in 1870.

During the 1960s and 70s, it had strong teams, recalled by one of its players, Ron Gibbard.

A score book given to Ron by the widow of fellow player John Heatherwick showed the Ōtaki team got arch rivals Weraroa out for only 15 runs in each of two innings in November 1968. Ken Templey and John each took five wickets; Ken 5-8 in both. There were no extras and Ōtaki duly won outright that afternoon.

Ron remembers one incident in 1965 when the club had two adjacent nets – for the A and B teams – at their home ground, the Ōtaki Domain.

“While bending down to retrieve a ball I was struck in the back of the neck and knocked unconscious by a shot from Ken Templey, who was batting in the A net,” Ron says. “Fortunately I was quickly taken only 200 metres away to Dr McAffie’s surgery in Waerenga Road.”

The local doctor said if the blow had hit Ron 5cm higher it would have been fatal.

The doctor was himself a keen cricketer and had a ball with which he claimed a hat-trick mounted on his desk.

At one aftermatch function at the tearoom next to the grandstand, the married men were bemoaning the fact that if they stayed too long for drinks they would get no dinner. Albert Winiata, who had not long been married, boasted there was always a meal waiting for him. But he said couldn’t stay long this night. Last week the roast meal was there when he got home, but his wife had scattered it across the front lawn!

And Larry Grosse, the local Presbyterian minister, was not known for his catching but was able to pull off one stunning catch a season. It was always called his “miracle” catch.

Tales of a winning cricket team


Ōtaki Cricket Club, winners of the Horowhenua B grade France Shield 1967-1968. back row from left: Bob Bartosh, Terry McGee, James Anderson, Bruce Baker, Ken Templey, Geoff Phillips and Larry Grosse. front row: Maurice Tapp, Albert Winiata, Bill Whitehouse (captain), John Heatherwick, Warwick Jacobson and Hunter Rhodes.

 Photos courtesy of Ron Gibbard


Also (absent), Ron Gibbard  (top) and Richard Bannister.



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