Frankston Peninsula Cricket Club made its debut on 2 October 1993, taking on North Melbourne at home at the newly redeveloped Adrian Butler Oval in front of a large crowd who were expectant to finally see District Cricket at a home on the Peninsula.
The club was led into the first season under the expertise of President Dennis Prendergast, Vice President Bill Foley and Captain-Coach Shaun Graf. Shaun brought so much first class experience to the club as was exactly what the club needed to kick start its playing campaign.
Shaun and the club were able to secure the services of various players who were previously playing at inner city clubs such as St Kilda and Melbourne, who were excited at the prospect of a better chance of playing consistent 1st XI cricket, and being able to play much closer to home in many cases.
The club played 20 players in the 1st XI during its opening season. In total, 122 players have represented the 1st XI in the 20 seasons up until 2012/13. The first team to step onto the field for Frankston Peninsula Cricket Club in batting order were:
1. David Robinson
2. Simon McEvoy
3. Gavin Thompson
4. Gavin Hurley
5. Matthew Deighton
6. Shaun Graf
7. Brad Glenn
8. Peter Klauer
9. Adrian Mack
10. Bryce McGain
11. Paul Wilson
Although the club didn’t make an immediate impact on the competition in terms of finals appearances, Frankston Peninsula had built a solid foundation in the early years for player development. This is evidenced by the 2nd XI having a dominant season in 1996/97 where they captured the 2nd XI Premiership against St Kilda at the Junction Oval in only the club’s 4th season of Premier Cricket.
The Premiership side was captained by coach Peter Buchanan and included young stars Cameron Wallace, Darren Groves and Bryce McGain who all went on to have amazing careers. The key batsmen during this season were Stuart Peck, Jason Mathers, Tony Horvat, Craig Robinson, Craig Entwistle and Leon Kennedy. This Premiership remains the only Two-Day Premiership in the Club’s 20 year history.
The only other taste of Grand Final victory was the One Day 4th XI Premiership won by a young side in 2011/12 against Geelong at Adrian Butler Oval. Geelong batted first before the match was abandoned due to rain, handing Frankston Peninsula victory as the higher ranked side.
The coaches who have led the club over the first 20 seasons include: Shaun Graf (1 year), David Robinson (4 years), Peter Buchanan (2 years), Gerard Cull (1 year), Keith Jansz (6 years), Stuart Clark (2 years), Nick Jewell (3 years) and Matthew Chasemore (1 year).
The club has seen two main successful eras, culminating in Grand Final appearances in 2002/03 against St Kilda at The Albert Ground and in 2010/11 against Dandenong at University Oval.
Coached by Keith Jansz and captained by Matthew Mott, the 2002/03 side made the Grand Final with an amazing Quarter Final victory against a star studded Melbourne line up at the Albert Ground thanks to a century from Steve Stubbings. They then secured an unbelievable reverse outright victory at home against Camberwell Magpies in the Semi Final thanks to an unplayable bowling display by Cameron Wallace and Darren Groves. Unfortunately, the side couldn’t reach the target in the Grand Final run chase, falling 88 runs short.
The Grand Final team of 2002/03 in batting order was:
1. Mark Butler
2. Matthew Mott (c)
3. Jason Mathers
4. Phillip Cheadle
5. Luke Walker
6. Shawn Flegler
7. David Nankervis (wk)
8. Jarred Moore
9. Darren Groves
10. Cameron Wallace
11. Mark Boraston
Under the leadership of Nick Jewell who captained-coached the team in 2010/11, the 1st XI snuck into 8th position in the last round of the season by a very small percentage difference of 0.017! The team then completed the seemingly impossible task of defeating top team St Kilda at the Junction Oval in the Quarter Final, before knocking over favourites Geelong in Geelong after all looked lost at the final Tea break on Day 2. An inspired spell of bowling captured 5/3 after Tea to secure a 55 run win and a berth in the Grand Final against Dandenong.
Coming up against a team with a Test Cricket standard bowling attack of Peter Siddle, James Pattinson and Darren Pattinson was always going to be difficult. However the game contained so many swings in momentum and turned into one of the most exciting cliff hanger Premier Grand Finals in recent history. Even though it was great for the club to be a part of history, it is no consolation when you are on the losing side.
Batting first, Frankston Peninsula reached 5/213 on day one thanks to hard fought innings from Luke Walker and Nick Jewell. However, the loss of 5/4 on the morning of Day 2 saw Frankston Peninsula bowled out for a below par 10/224. However when Dandenong had slumped to 8/154 thanks to heroic bowling from James Miller, hope of a first premiership victory was reignited.
The Dandenong tail dug in to ensure a nail-biting climax on the morning of Day 3 of the Grand Final. A couple of tough chances were missed, allowing Dandenong to nervously get 2 runs ahead before being dismissed for 10/226. FPCC had no option but to swing the bat and set up hope of an outright result, reaching a lead of 136 after 28 overs before declaring.
Dandenong attempted to bat out the day for victory, but with Darren Groves, James Miller and Jon Holland capturing steady wickets, Dandenong found themselves to be 9/118 and staring down the barrel of an unthinkable reverse outright result. However, Darren Pattinson (21* off 81 balls) and Justin Butterfield (0* off 12 balls) saw out the remaining overs to deliver a devastating first innings defeat to FPCC. Overall Dandenong (19/351) took 1 less wicket and made 11 less runs than Frankston Peninsula (18/362) for the match, but that meant little in this heart breaking defeat.
The Grand Final team of 2010/11 in batting order was:
1. Ricky Damiano
2. Chris Dew
3. Ben Clements
4. Matthew Chasemore (c)
5. Nick Jewell
6. Luke Walker
7. James Miller
8. David Nankervis (wk)
9. Jon Holland
10. Scott Boland
11. Darren Groves
Jack Benbow (12th man)
In recent seasons, the 1st XI has figured prominently in finals action:
· 2008/09 – finished 6th, Quarter Final vs Carlton was abandoned due to rain.
· 2009/10 – finished 7th, defeated by St Kilda in the Quarter Final.
· 2010/11 – finished 8th, defeated St Kilda in Quarter Final, defeated Geelong in Semi Final, defeated by Dandenong in Grand Final.
· 2011/12 – finished 4th, defeated Geelong in Quarter Final, defeated by eventual Premier Richmond in the Semi Final.
· 2012/13 – finished 8th, Quarter Final vs eventual Premier Melbourne was drawn due to time lost due to rain.
Frankston Peninsula always targets a top eight finish in the Club Championship Ladder, with this goal achieved over a couple of the recent seasons:
· 2010/11 – ranked 11th in the Club Championship
· 2011/12 – ranked 4th in the Club Championship
· 2012/13 – ranked 8th in the Club Championship
The club has been privileged to welcome some UK first class players into the 1st XI over the years including:
· left arm slow bowler Gary Keedy from Lancashire (who won the bowling award in 1995/96),
· right hand batsman Will Kendall from Hampshire (who won the batting award in 1997/98),
· left hand batsman raised in Frankston Steven Stubbings from Derbyshire (who won the batting award in 2005/06),
· left hand batsman Matthew Lineker from Derbyshire (who made 645 runs in 2012/13).
Frankston Peninsula Cricket Club has been very proud to generate and support numerous Victorian representatives, including:
· John Forrest – Victoria Under 17’s (1994/95)
· Steven Stubbings – Victoria Under 17’s (1994/95) and Victoria Under 19’s (1995/96)
· Cameron Atkins – Victoria Under 17’s (1995/96) and Victoria Under 19’s (1996/97)
· Darren Groves – Victoria Under 17’s (1995/96) and Victoria Under 19’s (1996/97)
· Chris Brittain – Victoria Under 19’s (1997/98)
· Matthew Mott – Victoria (1998/99 to 2003/04)
· Joel Wylie – Victoria Under 19’s (2005/06)
· Ben Clements – Victoria Under 17’s (2005/06)
· Nick Jewell – Victoria (2001/02 to 2010/11)
· Jon Holland – Victoria (2008/09 to current)
· Jayde Herrick – Victoria (2010/11 to current)
· Scott Boland – Victoria (2011/12 to current)
· Matthew Chasemore – Victoria (CA Futures League 2012/13)
· Michael Edwards – Victoria Under 17’s (2010/11)
· Ben Ashkenazi – Victoria Under 17’s (2011/12), Victoria Under 19’s (2012/13), Australia Under 19’s (2012/13)
· Jake Wood – Victoria Under 17’s (2012/13)
Over 20 years, the club has had some great service from the following key players who have played more than 200 games for the club:
· 273 – Darren Groves
· 250 – David Nankervis
· 243 – Luke Walker
· 230 – Leigh Lowry
· 226 – James Miller
In terms of 1st XI records, only four players have played more than 110 matches (Groves – 224, Nankervis – 204, Walker – 181, Miller – 175).
Luke Walker took on the role of 1st XI Captain at a young age, helping the cub work through a rebuilding phase for four seasons between 2004/05 to 2007/08. He remains the highest run scorer for the club (6,716) and the highest run scorer for the 1st XI (5,211).
Matthew Mott was a key recruit for the club, joining Frankston Peninsula after moving from Queensland to further his first class career in Victoria. Despite often being away on representative duties, Matthew was a prolific run scorer for the club, winning the 1st XI Batting Award on four occasions in 1998/99, 2001/02, 2002/03, and 2003/04. He accumulated 3,482 runs at an average of 57.08 in only 70 matches to be one of the best cricketers to represent the Heat.
Nick Jewell was recruited to the club in 2008/09 after achieving stunning multiple premiership success with St Kilda. Still playing for Victoria, Nick captained and coached the club over four seasons, bringing a hard edge and a new wave of professionalism that saw the club rise back up the ladder.
Matthew Chasemore was recruited to the club in 2009/10 after playing over a decade of cricket at Dandenong, and he has made a big impact on the club to earn three out of the four possible Club Champion awards with his all-round ability with bat and ball. He is about to commence his second year as captain-coach of the club, with a difficult but enjoyable task of regenerating the club following the retirement of some key senior players.
Darren Groves (464 wickets at 19.18), James Miller (337 wickets at 20.40) and Cameron Wallace (236 wickets at 20.14) are three bowlers who have given their heart and soul to the club over many seasons. Forming dominating bowling partnerships, with long standing wicket-keeper David Nankervis collecting many of the dismissals, opposition sides have found scoring runs against these club legends a huge challenge.
The club is delighted to have the next era of fast bowlers coming through the ranks with Scott Boland, Ben Ashkenazi and Jake Wood already representing Victoria at various age levels in their young fast bowling careers.
Current President, Dennis Prendergast, steps through the many stages of Frankston Cricket Club prior to becoming Frankston Peninsula Cricket Club for the 1993/94 season:
Commencing in 1864 the Frankston Cricket Club has had an interesting journey on its way to Premier Cricket.
As was the case in those early days matches were by arrangement, history shows that games were played against various groups, including the MCC.
All matches were played at Frankston Park (Frankston Dolphins VFL Ground).
With the formation of the local MPCA competition in the early 1900’s, malthoid was the preferred playing pitch for this competition.
It was also around this time that the Frankston Football Club lobbied Frankston Council to remove Cricket from Frankston Park. The alternative presented to FCC was Cranbourne Road Reserve (later to be named Sherlock Reserve). However FCC President complained it was too far out of town! Yet it was to become the Club’s home for the next 70 years.
The major change came around 1938 when the committee of the day had the foresight to install a turf wicket table and affiliate with Dandenong District Cricket Association.
Around 1950 the Club made a controversial decision to affiliate and play in Victorian Junior Cricket Association (VJCA) which meant a lot more travel and impacted the Clubs’ playing numbers in the short term. This was arguably FCC’s most successful on field period, with 8 premierships.
In 1971 the Club relocated totally from the Cranbourne Road Reserve, the Club’s home since approximately 1905, to Jubilee Park, albeit the Club’s Juniors and lower elevens had used the West oval (now Butler Oval) since the late 1950’s. In 1973 the Club was admitted to the Victorian Sub-District Competition, where it was to participate for 19 seasons with moderate success, but progressing 21 players to District Cricket, with 5 players going onto first class honours.
Following a VCA commissioned report in 1986, by former Politician Walter Jona, in short recommended the areas of Geelong and the Mornington Peninsula should be represented by “District” cricket; a joint submission from MPCA & FCC was eventually successful and FCC was admitted in 1992, playing its first season 1993/94. The Frankston Cricket Club became the Frankston Peninsula Cricket Club, here we are now 20 years on....with the long history to be continued!
Current Vice President, David Archer, reflects on his experiences of the Frankston Cricket Club Sub-District era, which was immediately prior to the club becoming Frankston Peninsula Cricket Club:
I came to Frankston Cricket Club (FCC) in August 1986 aged 24. Mike Brinkman who had been playing in the 1sts at FCC and had come to Heatherhill CC the year before suggested I ‘have a crack at turf cricket’ and so I did.
FCC had four senior sides at that stage and no juniors. We did also try a 5th XI in the MPCA for a few years but that wasn’t a huge success.
Our 1sts and 2nds played in the Victorian Sub-District Competition in those days having moved up from the VJCA in the 1970’s. The standard in the 1sts was quite good. You came up against ex-District players, ex-County players and the occasional Test player. We played Moorabbin who boasted Malcolm Marshall and Dandenong who had an in form Desmond Haynes, unfortunately I didn’t get to bowl to Dessie and luckily I didn’t have to face Malcolm!
We also had some legends of our own at FCC. Roger Gill, Neil Lockhart, Daryl Mohr, Cliff Wright and a host of others who were terrific cricketers and great mentors. I also remember opening the bowling with a tear away quick by the name of Brad Williams, and yes, I had choice of ends (he was only 16!) I also opened the bowling with Rob Harvey who I’m sure would have played cricket for Victoria if he hadn’t been such a fantastic footballer.
I went onto the board 1987 and apart from one year when I captain-coached North Dandenong in the DDCA I have been on the board ever since. Even in 1987, having been in Subbies for only a decade or so, the talk was starting about going to the next level, District cricket (now Victorian Premier Cricket). As I remember it, one of the main reasons for this was the huge amounts of travel involved for the 15-17 year old hopefuls on the Mornington Peninsula to get to District training, the closest then being the Junction Oval in St Kilda.
A LOT of work went into getting FCC into Premier Cricket as the Frankston Peninsula Cricket Club and much of that work was done by two absolute pillars of the club in Bill Foley and Dennis Prendergast. Dennis is still with us, thank heavens, but Axel unfortunately passed away and is still missed by all that knew him.
And so in 1993 we entered District/Premier Cricket and what a ride that has been for the last 20 years. Lots of ups and downs on and off the field but I like to think that one of the main reasons we made the effort to enter the top level has been fulfilled. We now have a local club and pathway program for aspiring young cricketers in the region to follow their dreams.