By Jackson Russell
Lawrie Boyd has been part of the Kilmore Cricket Club and community cricket throughout the region for more than 60 years.
He’s played and coached numerous premierships, and has also guided the Seymour District Cricket Association to Country Week success.
When Boyd first came to the club in 1958, they were playing in the Kilmore District Cricket Association and had a local rivalry with Kilmore CYMS club.
Boyd said he was 14 when he first went to the club.
“I turned up to an annual meeting in 1958. There was no junior cricket at all. I turned up and the club disbanded for a year and that was my start with Kilmore, which wasn’t very encouraging,” he said.
Before the Kilmore association was disbanded, Boyd played in a premiership and captained the side at just 19 years old.
After the club joined the SDCA, it took five years before it found success.
Boyd said the first flag triggered a golden era for Kilmore Cricket Club, winning nine flags in 15 years.
“I captained eight premierships and coached the ninth, Greg Hanson captained that ninth flag,” he said.
“In that last premiership, Greg and Phil Hanson made 100 runs on the last wicket to win the premiership – that was pretty soul destroying for Seymour.
“Those nine flags came in a period of 14 years and included five in a row in the middle of all that.”
Boyd’s contributions to the cricket community has been recognised by both Kilmore Cricket Club and the SDCA, receiving life memberships from both while the SDCA’s C Grade medal is named in his honour.
He captained the SDCA’s Country Week side for about 15 years, guiding it from C Grade to a decade-long run in A Grade. He is still irked by a narrow loss to Warrnambool.
Boyd said he had played with and against some fantastic players over the years, many coming from Assumption College.
“We played Assumption many times when Ray Carroll was in charge and we played against Neale Daniher and Simon O’Donnell, they’re probably the best that I remember,” he said.
“Locally, two players at Bendigo Country Week, Mick O’Sullivan and Dick Martin were both district players.
“One of the best was one of our own, Rod Mcleod who was an extremely good player.
“The ones in our hay day were the Hanson brothers.”
Boyd said he also rated Neale Daniher highly among the best sportsmen he had seen in the area.
“Neale Daniher was such a good footballer and cricketer but that list goes on because there’s been 170 league footballers from Assumption and being my age, I’ve seen people like Peter Crimmins and Shane Crawford. There’s so many of them that it’s difficult,” he said.
In more recent years, Boyd has served on committees for Kilmore Cricket Club, Kilmore Cricket and Recreation Reserve and SDCA.
He’s been secretary of Kilmore Cricket and Recreation Reserve committee of management, believed to be the oldest crown land committee in Victoria, for nearly 50 years.
He’s also been the treasurer of the club for more than 40 years and served the SDCA as president.
Boyd’s community contributions extend outside of the cricket sphere, having served on the board of The Kilmore International School and as chairman of Kilmore Racing Club.
“One reason that attracts me to stay involved is that the reserve is quite unique and has so much history,” Boyd said.
“When we first went into the SDCA, there’s an old wooden shed that’s still there that was the Kilmore Cricket Club. What’s there today is all community funded.
“My fingerprints are over most of it, except the old wooden shed.
“Cricket has taken up the majority of the time and it’s something that’s been building and I have a lot of satisfaction in seeing the cricket club succeed and get the community facility up to a good standard.”
Boyd said the thing about cricket that had kept him in love with the game was the team aspect, and the variety of skills needed to excel at the sport.
That is something that he has instilled in the many juniors under his tutelage during his coaching career.
“That’s why I’ve always been a believer that kids need to learn those basic skills early on because it’s not easily picked up later on,” he said.
Boyd said he was most proud of his achievements for the club off the field, rather than on-field.
“It’s great to see the development of the facilities and the club over that long period of time. The club now has more juniors than seniors so it’s thriving,” he said.
“The most rewarding part of it is to see the club succeed, be competitive and the numbers involved.
“I made a lot of runs but maybe the other achievements might be the most significant.”