They Call It Lord’s

Sunbury Cricket Club

By Peter Argent

Just a couple of kilometres west of Yorketown on farming land in the middle of the Southern Yorke Peninsula is the home of the Sunbury Cricket Club.

It’s on the Saint Vincent Highway as you travel towards Warooka, and you actually turn down the Sunbury Oval Road to get to the rustic grandstand.

The players have nicknamed their oval “Lords” after the famous home of cricket in London, England.

It is fair to say the conditions at Sunbury are more robust and primitive than those at the MCC, but it’s still full of character (…and for that matter plenty of characters).

Sunbury Cricket Club Oval

Sunbury Oval

The Sunbury Oval doesn’t have the lush perfectly manicured green grass of Lords, but like its English counterpart there is certainly is a slope on the playing surface for the participants to negotiate.

Sunbury’s Oval has a wrought-iron six tier wooden grandstand, built in the 1970s and other facilities the ground, including a clubrooms where many a cleansing ale has been consumed in post-game discussion and analysis.

Practise wicket over the old Tennis Court

Practise Net

It has its own practise net created from local timber structures and the management have created utilities at the venue with a typical country application for practicality and getting the job done.

Sunbury is now a part of a 10-team, Southern Yorke Peninsula (SYP) competition and has an august history that traverses the past century.
About a quarter a century ago the SYP team’s and the Yorke Peninsula competition amalgamated.

Modern day combatants includes reigning premiers Eastern Districts, Stansbury, which had won the previous 12 flags during a stellar era before going down in the decider last March, Honiton, Corny Point, Maitland, Minlaton, Yorketown, Warooka and Port Victoria.

Carrying the Blue and Gold colours with pride one of the famous family’s from Sunbury Cricket Club is the Gutsche clan.

The patriarch Charlie is the first generation of this lineage, while his son Graham played SACA district cricket with Prospect.

Blake Gutschke

Blake Gutschke

He was followed by grandson Richie, who was a champion at ‘Lords’, while great grandson Blake Gutsche is an Australian schoolboys player and is currently playing SACA “first grade” with the Woodville District Cricket Club.

Blake has come back home this summer and donned the whites for Sunbury, in between his state underage and Woodville commitments.

Charlie Newbold

Don Newbold, another stalwart of the club also toured England in 1961 with an Australia Country Team.

His brother Ivan or “Charlie” Newbold around the district is the first Life Member at the Sunbury CC.

In previous years there was a tennis club and also a football team as well.

Also at the same venue the Sunbury Football Club already had a side by 1905 and was a member of the Southern Yorke Peninsula Football Association between 1908 and 1926, before amalgamating with Warooka to become the Western Districts Football Club.

Back in the 1940s, when the men were away at war, there was even a women’s team from Sunbury competed in a game against Brentwood to raise money for local facilities.

“My auntie Edna “Molly” Newbold was captain on the Sunbury side that day,” Charlie Newbold explained with a smile.

“From a period in the 1950s to the 1970s Sunbury (Cricket Club) made 23 Grand Finals appearances in a 24 years period.

“The first was captained by Pat Gutsche.”

Daniel Harris

Daniel Harris

Daniel ‘Doc’ Harris, long time servant of the SA Redbacks and a captain of his state, started his cricket life playing colts at Sunbury.

Harris played 58 first class matches for SA, collected five centuries and a top score of 166 not out between 1999 – 2012 and captaining his state.

He also played 49 one-day matches, and later part in his career became a proficient T20 opening batsman playing in a title with the Redbacks in the final season before the Big Bash league started.

His international career included stints in the Indian Premier League, Sri Lanka and New Zealand, before committing to the medical profession.

“When Dan first came out to us, his pads were nearly bigger than him,” Newbold smiled.

“He was a great kid, but I haven’t seen him in a while.”

Harry Mass and Charlie Newbold

Harry Mass and Charlie Newbold

Current President and fellow Life Member of the Sunbury Cricket Club Harry Maas remembered starting in the B grade in the late 1960s as a 12-year-old.

“There was certainly a B grade team for many years, and our colts side was around for a while, having won a title in the 1980s,” Mass remembered.

“Our last cricket premiership was the 1996-97 flag.

SCC Premiers 1932-33 A

SCC Premiers 1932-33 A

“Sunbury has won 15 flags over the journey – the first back 1930-31 season as B grade side.

“The practise net is a recent addition in the last couple of years and that is where the tennis court was.

“I couldn’t tell you how long tennis was played, but if mum was around she’d know, as she played there for many years.”

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