It is 129 years since the Shoalhaven District Cricket Association was set up, and in the 120 competitions held since then, only two bowlers have taken more than 100 wickets in a season.
The first to achieve the feat was the Cambewarra-born George Vidler (1873-1958) in 1896-97, playing with Burrier in its inaugural season.
While only three of the team's 13 matches were reported in the local press, they included a clash with Nowra late in the season at Burrier.
Although the visitors were decisive winners, Vidler returned figures of 5-45 and 10-55.
In the first innings, he had bowled the last four after having one caught; while his second innings victims were six bowled, two caught and bowled, and two caught.
The club's annual report revealed that during the season, its bowlers had taken 235 wickets, the bulk of them by Vidler (111 at 5.9) and Harry Tooth (80 at 8.2).
For many years I had lamented that further details of Vidler's performances appeared to have been lost, but during the recent winter, I came across an article published 26 years later in a Lismore newspaper.
He had long left the Shoalhaven and living at Chilcotts Grass, but was still playing cricket with the Tregeagle club - and took a list of his bowling figures from 1896-97 to the local paper.
In the second round against Pyree, he had taken only one wicket from 16 overs, but he enjoyed enormous success in some other games.
His 111 wickets came from 25 innings in 13 matches.
Apart from his 15 victims against Nowra, there were four other games where he took 10 or more - 6-6 and 5-16 vs Berry; 6-8 and 4-5 vs Coolangatta; 6-45 and 7-19 vs Cambewarra; and 7-23 and 5-27 vs Perseverance in the last round.
There should have been one further opportunity, but Burrier declined to play the grand final in the belief it should have been awarded the premiership trophy without a final.
The premiership went to Perseverance, but Vidler was a member of the Burrier teams that won the next five competitions that were split by a two-year break around the turn of the century.
Along the way, he took the first recorded double hat-trick in the association, and at the end of his final SDCA season in 1903-04 he had in the vicinity of 300 wickets including 10 bags of 10 or more.
The other bowler on the list is Toby Bice (1896-1965) who took 102 wickets from 16 matches including two finals, in 1929-30.
In that record-breaking season, he also amassed 1536 runs including three double-centuries.
Toby apparently had a slight sense of history for he had his centuries written on the wall of his cowshed, but it is not known whether he was keeping a count of his wickets.
However he bowled unchanged through Nowra's second innings of the grand final - and after making Cyril Dent his 100th victim of the summer, he finished with five for his final tally.
Toby finished his SDCA first grade career with more than 17,000 runs and close to 1200 wickets.
On more than 100 occasions he took five or more wickets in a first grade innings; converting to 10 or more in 25 matches.
He was posthumously inducted into the Shoalhaven Hall of Sporting Fame (Sporting Hero category) in 2014.
There is little information on the types of wickets this pair bowled on, but Vidler was probably playing on primitive strips of grass on a farmer's paddock, cut short by a scythe, and Bice on glazed concrete.
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