A special thank you to Tim Allan for very kindly providing us with this incredible photo from the Spartan archives, which has quite a bit of history attached to it!
The photo, of the Spartan Cricket Club as we were then known, was taken at the end of the 1931/1932 season, a year in which the Club finished as runners-up to South Fremantle.
At the time, the Spartans composed only the solitary side, one of eight to make up the Fremantle and Districts Mercantile Cricket Association.
The Spartans reached the finals for their second consecutive year, in only their second season overall in this association. As is particularly well known, up until October 17th 1929, the Spartans were part of the Churches Association.
Amazingly, the 1931/32 season saw the Spartans amass an incredible 6 declared for 350 (with four of the batsmen retiring and Ken Clifton top scoring with 110), before routing the opposition, Essandee, for just 29! (Ritchie Hickmott capturing 8 for 14).
However, perhaps the most memorable part of this season was our non-victory in the grand final.
In the words of the Fremantle Advocate, “To the delight of a large crowd, Spartans defeated South Fremantle in the Final of the Mercantile by 3 wickets.
It was not that the crowd was entirely composed of Spartan supporters but of cricketers who hoped that in the best interests of the game South’s long run of Premierships would be broken.“
Unfortunately however, this premiership victory would last all of one week, as under the rules of the Association as they then were, sides who won the Minor premiership by finishing atop of the ladder, South Fremantle had the right to challenge the result the following week.
Predictably, this is exactly what happened, with the two sides doing battle the following weekend, with South Fremantle reaching 165 and 1 for 46, to the Spartans 133 and 5 declared for 114. Hickmott compiled 83 in our first innings.
As a result, the outright victory reversed the result of the previous game and handed South Fremantle yet another premiership. They would defeat us in the semi final the following year.
Regardless, an incredible performance from the newcomer to an already well established competition, and an amazing slice of history from the Spartan archives.
This is the earliest instalment in our “From The Spartan Archives” series, which we hope to bring to you at regular intervals during the off season. Should anyone wish to aid with the development of the series, please feel free to Email me!