Despite not having a team in the Shoalhaven Senior Cricket Competition since 1987, the Kangaroo Valley Cricket Club has a long history, dating back to 1892.
That 95-year history has now been put down on paper.
Legendary local historical author Alan Clark has produced A History of Kangaroo Valley Cricket.
It is the latest in Clark’s superb Shoalhaven Cricket Clubs of Yesteryear series.
Kangaroo Valley was one of the original eight clubs that formed the Shoalhaven District Cricket association in its inaugural season of 1892-93.
Mind you regular matches had been held in the area for 20 years previously.
Of those initial eight, only two, Berry and Nowra survive, the likes of Coolangatta, Currambene, Numbaa, Pyree, Cambewarra and the Valley have all disappeared.
Published by the Kangaroo Valley Historical Society the book will be launched at a special afternoon gathering on Saturday, October 13 at Osborne Park (Kangaroo Valley Showground) from 2pm.
Historical society president Garth Chittick said it was great to see the club’s history put down in print.
“Alan Clark, as usual, has done a phenomenal job,” he said.
“The club’s story is one of dedication - in the early days, players often had to travel so far to even contest games, it took a huge amount of commitment and dedication.”
Mr Chittick himself played cricket for the Valley, captaining the club’s second grade team to a premiership.
“I probably wasn't the best player - actually I was probably a better captain than a player - but reports that year were we were a well organised team,” he said.
“I might have been a bossy captain,” he laughed.
He said the Valley club lived up to our motto ‘Play the game and play it hard and fair’.
“We always enjoyed our games and were social off the field as well,” he said.
The Valley has one first grade premiership to its credit in 1971-72, when a 20-year-old Graeme Sawkins led the team to victory over Bomaderry in the semi-final and Cambetross in the grand final.
That team included - Graeme Sawkins (captain), Eddie Jarrett (vice-captain), Stephen Campbell, Darryl Goodger, David Goodman, Mick Harben, Bert Madge, Garry McGuire, Don Orth, Doug Richards, Ian Sawkins.
With that first grade title the club has 13 premierships to its credit, with a further eight in second grade, two in thirds and two in juniors.
Mr Clark paid credit to the Sawkins’ family who provided the club’s treasured scorebooks from the late ’50s through to the 70s.
“Regular scorers Audrey Sawkins and Cath Merchant made my task easier,” he said “and with scorebooks from other clubs and then my records from 1976-77 onwards I have been able to put the history together.
“Records from the Kangaroo Valley Times covered a period from 1898-1904 with information sourced from other various Shoalhaven newspapers who regularly published cricket scores.”
As well as a rich cricket history the book also reveals the community contribution to the club and how times have changed - from the early days when the whole team would travel to a game in a single coach or truck - or when the team’s award winning batsman made 65 dozen sausage rolls for the 1938-39 premiership ball, or the women who knitted the jumpers in club colours for the 1974-75 premiership side.
And in true Alan Clark style the book also includes the all important statistics listing century makers, best batting and bowling performances among many others.
The book launch on October 13 is being promoted as a reunion weekend and is the chance for all former players and supporters to come together and relive memories of the Kangaroo Valley Cricket Club.
Light refreshments will be provided at the gathering and the book will be on sale for $20.
For further information contact Garth Chittick on 4465 1367 or email: history@KangarooValleyMuseum.com