Jacko Leads Tiger Colts to Victory
Browsing through our 1983-84 annual report, (my wife said "get a life"), a little known Richmond premiership win jumped out at me and knowing how hard it is to win anything, I thought our group may be interested.
The club Secretary (1980 to 1990) Russell Collins wrote in that report: "With the objective of fostering promising young players for district and in turn state cricket, the V.C.A. launched this season a Sunday under 23 competition - with at least 4 players under 19. The series proved beneficial for players and selectors as a result of extra cricket under Saturday match conditions by teams of a younger age profile."
Richmond played 3 group games and a semi-final; they were undefeated and played Essendon in the Grand Final of the 1983-84 inaugural Colts Competition.
The Tigers used 21 players in the 5 games and when you realise that we included 7 players who had or would soon play for Victoria in the group, Richmond's depth of young players was the envy of most.
Class players Michael and Paul Quinn, Ryder Medal winner Warren Whiteside, Paul Jackson, David Harris, Gerard Clarke and Paul Reiffel, ensured the Tigers would play off in the finals, but because of state duties several were missing on the big day.
The Bombers with Simon O'Donnell, Jamie Siddons, Carey Smith, David Tate, and Ryder Medal winner John Leehane in their eleven were a top group, and most certainly could have won the game but for the Tigers Grit.
Essendon batted first and Leehane with 59 led the way, but when our opening batsman and change bowler Steve Maxwell had Siddons brilliantly stumped by "Darkie" Harris for 19 and Reiffel disposed of O'Donnell for 9, Richmond were able to keep the opposition to a gettable 186. The bowling was good, Reiffel and Ian Cannington collected 2 each,but Paul "Jacko" Jackson's 4 for 45 off 26 overs was outstanding.
We lost a wicket just on stumps and "Jacko" jumped at the chance to take on the nightwatchman's role and without further loss, the Tigers were confident of running down Essendon's total on day two.
The second day's play was filled with drama. Bomber bowlers Smith, Tate and Silcock dismissed 7 Richmond players for a dismal 64, only night watchman "Jacko" stood up when it was needed, he had 57 on the board before he was bowled.
The Tigers were 9 for 141 (46 required) with bowlers Paul Sheehan and Peter Chambers at the wicket and most Richmond supporters were resigned to the runners up position.
We knew the last pair would fight but our nerves were most assuredly showing. We paced around the outside the oval, while out in the middle our last hopes snicked, slogged and ran them selves and the opposition fieldsman ragged in a partnership that saw us past Essendon's total and beyond.
When our undefeated last pair had seen us to 211 the shell shocked Bombers conceded defeat, our players rushed onto the field to greet the match winners who had put on 70 for the 10th wicket.
The Tigers were Premiers and my thoughts went to Paul Jackson because it was he who kept us in the game with his classical left arm spin bowling and resolute batting. Jackson's cricket career was full of class (he played in 3 Sheffield Shield Final wins for Victoria and Queesland) and that is another story in itself.
This "Colts" competition continued on for a further 4 seasons and although Richmond lost very few games and made the finals each year, they were unable to repeat their amazing victory of 83-84.
By Ron Reiffel
Return to the list of Ron Reiffel Recaps stories.