perform with much success well into the 1950s, both in the lower grades and, in later seasons, for the Senior team.
The 1947 season had indeed started well for both Havelock teams. But any sense of euphoria soon dissipated. The A side had two narrow losses. The first against Midland, by 4 runs on the first innings, followed by the loss to Napier High School Old Boys by 10 first innings runs.
However despite the losses, many players in this Havelock A team were emerging as loyal members of the Club with the genuine aim of maintaining the impetus which had already been achieved in a very short space of time.
Manley Michael, along with ‘Hughie’ Fair gave notice of future successes by their consistent performances. These two were well supported by the likes of Dudley Hawkes, Sandy Coombes, John Neilson, Morrie Miller, Laurence Rickard, Anthony Matheson, Payne, Bates, H. Hill, Mitchell, Panckhurst, Foote, Max Liley and Ray Gurran.
In the Hastings Sub Association’s Junior grade, the following players in the B team, turned in good performances for the 1947/48 season – Hay, Keith Fulford, Ray Baker, Milne, ‘Nobby’ Clark, Clapperton, Wright, John McCormack, John Beaumont, Ron Sivewright, C. Hill, Kani and B. Slade.
Many of these would become stalwarts of the club as it made progress into the decades of the 1950s and 1960s. It should also be remembered that some of them were still schoolboys attending Hastings High School, so the performances of Keith Fulford, John Beaumont and Ray Gurran, were commendable to say the least. Having played for the School on a Saturday morning these keen youngsters would turn up to the practice sessions at Hereworth School on the off chance of getting a game in the Saturday team.
Both teams battled through the rest of the season with a good balance of wins and losses, but the one thing of significance was that the village now had a playing pool of considerable depth and ability, consisting of cricketers whose allegiance to the Club was based on their residence in the village or its horticultural/agricultural surrounds.
During this same 1947/1948 season the catalogue of exploits of the five Havelock North compatriots playing in the Hawke’s Bay Cricket Association’s inter-town Senior grade competition for the Rugby club, was further evidence of the wealth of cricketing talent which had emerged in Havelock North in the immediate post war years. Players of ability and talent such as, Harry Hawthorn, Bill Nichol, Keith Baker, Noel Fulford and Jim Stevenson, were not at this stage, tempted to transfer to the village club. They were, in fact well settled as an integral part of the Rugby Club`s senior team.
The Rugby Cricket Club was founded in the inter war years with the aim of maintaining the camaraderie and team fellowship, established among the players in the winter months on the rugby field. The club established a reputation and a tradition for encouraging young rugby players to aspire to participate in the game of cricket at all levels. Rugby not only fielded its paramount senior team, which came third in the H.B.C.A.’s competition, but also some four teams in the lower grades.
For any cricketer playing for a side in the Napier/Hastings Inter town competition, to even consider transferring from his secure and stable cricketing environment, to join up with the recently formed Havelock North club, it would have been necessary for him to seriously consider many factors. The comparative lack of facilities found at Havelock, the absence of an established cricketing tradition, and the somewhat remote nature of the village, removed from the epicentre of Hawke’s Bay cricket.
However the 1948/49 season which began a little later than usual on November 6th saw the Havelock North B team, playing in the local Hastings competition, score a good win against the Baptist club by 43 runs on the first innings. A pleasing aspect was, that the team had lost very few, in fact hardly any players from the