Elwood Cricket Club has had a relatively short, but proud history. We behave been affiliated with three major cricket associations – the Young Christian Workers Cricket Association (1972), the City of Moorabbin Cricket Association (1978) and the Victorian Womens Cricket Association (1985). Hundreds of players have been registered as members of the club, playing either for our Juniors, Mens or Ladies XIs and all showing a continuing commitment to the establishment of the Club as a force in suburban cricket. A glance at our record so far, reflects the degree to which this aim has been successfully realised.
The Elwood Cricket Club was established in 1972 when the members of the St Columbas’ Youth Group, led by John Feehan, Jim Harling and Paul Hanneberry, saw the need to foster the development of a cricket club in the local area. Beer bottle drives were conducted on Sunday nights to raise money. At 9 cents a dozen, it required a lot of bottles being stored in the Feehan’s back yard. A ground was secured behind the Elwood Lifesaving Club which remains today the proud home of the ‘Woods’ and where you can still watch teams playing on the picturesque ‘Wattie Watson Oval’ in Elwood Park.
The Club fielded its first side as a member of the YCW Cricket Association, a one day competition played on Sundays. By 1974 we were fielding two sides and under Coach Ben Fernando our first team took out the C Grade Premiership and followed it up with the B Grade flag the next year. By 1976/77, Elwood were fielding three Sunday sides and were going from strength to strength. In 1977/78 a Saturday side was entered in the City of Moorabbin Cricket Association (now the South East Cricket Association). This was based on our growing list of players and a demand for ‘traditional’ Saturday cricket. The idea proved successful – the side went through the season undefeated winning the premiership in their first year.
From there the Club has gone from strength to strength. Elwood entered the 80s with new clubrooms, an improved ground and renewed enthusiasm. The 80s saw two major developments in the Club’s structure, both vitally important to the continued success and survival of the Club. The first in 1981 when Elwood fielded its first Junior XI in the Under 16, followed up by and Under 12 and Under 14XI. The second in 1985/86 with the introduction of the first Ladies XI.
During the 80s the Men’s XI enjoyed a high degree of success. The undoubted high points of the Club’s brief history were the 1985/86 season where Elwood won four premierships, including its first ever A grade premiership, the YCW Sunday A Grade competition. Our first season in the CMCA Longmuir Shield was a triumph with captain coach Marty Lyons leading Elwood to a premiership in our first year in the CMCA’s highest grade.
Those dizzying heights have not been replicated. While the 90s, 2000s and 2010s have brought some further success, it has also had some difficult years where the club has struggled for numbers, years where there were no junior teams, and years where nobody was drinking. The appeal of Sunday cricket has waned and unfortunately the Club is no longer represented by a Ladies team. But there have been many glorious years filled with many, many premierships and outstanding individual achievements. The Club has had somewhat of a renaissance in recent years, but the ultimate success eludes us having lost the Longmuir Shield Grand Final in 2021-22.
In 2022/23 the club fielded six senior teams and six junior teams in various SECA competitions, and celebrated the Club’s 50th anniversary in style at the MCG. In 2023/24 and beyond we strive hard to replicate the success of the 1980s and continue to develop our players, culture and history.
We are a jolly bunch of chaps
And each one is a star
And every Saturday/Sunday night you’ll find us at the bar
For we are the champions
We are the team
We can’t be beaten
That’s easily seen
At the end of the season
You’ll know the reason
We are the premier team