"Arch rivals Burwood qualified through in the other semi-final defeating the Auburn Eagles to face us at the beautiful Airey Park, the host to the biggest match for the Club in 66 years.


We  won  the  toss  and  batted  first  in  excellent  conditions  for  cricket.    Burwood’s strike bowler Seymour was on song early and had both our openers Smith and Forster back in the sheds with the score at 2 for 31.  Jack Gayleard then joined Damian Naughton at the crease and both guys played little blinders.   They put on a season record 3rd wicket  partnership  of  117  and  both  posted  their highest scores of the season.


Damian holed out to mid-off for 66 with the score on 148 and Gayleard for 71 with the score at 4/204.  We had laid the perfect foundation for a huge score and we needed to capitalise.   Enter Richie Gallichan.    Richie  scored  one  of  the  finest  centuries  for  the  Club  in  arguably  the  Club’s biggest  ever  match.  He  batted  across  2  days  and  finished  with  a  score  of  119  including  18 boundaries.  He  was  well  supported  by  Gerald  Cornelius  who  also  produced  his  best  for  the  GF posting 46, Holty chipped in with 18 and then a second day 10th wicket partnership between Richie and Mallyon of 44 runs capped off our best batting performance in over a decade.


We batted for 117.5 overs scoring (appropriately) 369 runs.  Ironically for so many years batting has been our Achilles heel and yet we produced the most marvellous team and individual batting performance I have ever been associated with.


We had all but batted Burwood out of the game, but we wanted to finish the job off, we wanted to take 10 wickets and experience that Premiership winning feeling that had eluded us up until now.  We were on top straight away with a sharp run-out by Mick Forster.  Pete Mallyon then knocked over the other opening batsman and we were on top at 2 for 19.  The next 3 wickets were the big ones.  Burwood’s 3 best bats, Squire, Seymour and Holley.  If we could get through them, then we knew we  were  all  but  home.    Squire  tickled  one behind  off  the  skipper  and  was  well  caught  by keeper Harpham, Holley skied one to the on-side where Glen Smith moved quicker than he ever has before  and  took  a  fantastic  catch  on  the  run  and  Richie  Gallichan  picked  up  Seymour  with  a stunning caught and bowled.


We were now into the tail and victory was in sight.  The score was 9 for 180, Peter Mallyon was bowling to Jalalaty, Jalalaty mistimed a lofted drive in the direction of Glen Smith in the covers.  Glen wrapped his huge fingers around the Kookaburra and we had done it, we had won the First Grade Sydney Shires Premiership, Lane Cove were the champions.


The on-field embrace and recognition of all your teammates and closest supporters was something we’ll never forget.  Walking off the field as Premiers for the first time, we just couldn’t wait to get into the dressing room and soak it all up.  


We  sang  the  Club  song  like  we  were  singing  it  for  the  last  time.    We had  the  official  on-field presentation to get through but then it was straight back to the dressing room where we would spend the next 3 hours, singing, drinking, hugging (the trophy and each other) and pouring beer on each other  ...  the 3  hours went  by  so  quickly.   It was the  most  enjoyable  experience  I have  ever been associated with in sport.


We would then go onto celebrate that night with the rest of the Club at the Diddy, the following day at our un-official local, the Oaks and the following weekend in Melbourne. 


The win was special to so many people, as a team we had created a memory and something we will talk about together forever!  For others associated with the Club for longer than us, it was just as important.  It wasn’t until the following week when I returned to work to find a host of emails from past players with a note of congratulations that I really understood that.

On a personal note I did want to thank Brendan Hood, Geof Sundstrom and the committee for their support this  year.    Ditto  Bryan  Dempsey  –  mate,  congratulations,  the  Club’s  first  ever  4thGrade Premiership, you did a great job, well done.  Thanks again to Trent for all his efforts in preparing the home of cricket this year. Thanks to John Lloyd – Porky, we did it mate!


And lastly thanks to all my teammates and mates.  I’m extremely proud of what we did this year and  I  was  so  proud  to  be  the  leader  of  this  team  –  thanks  for  the  memories  and  thanks  for everything! "


Brett Richardson 1st Grade Captain