The Riverton Rostrata Cricket Club formed in 1994 from the merger of the Riverton Cricket Club and the Rostrata Cricket Club. The Riverton club was formed in 1971 with the Rostrata club forming in 1985. The aim of both of the founding clubs was to provide local community members the opportunity to play cricket, however the path both clubs took to their formation could not have been more different.
Riverton Cricket Club
Our club is fortunate to possess a copy of the inaugural club Year Book from 1971/72. With an eye to history, the club President at the time, Ian Donaldson, provided the following comments about the formation of the club:
“For posterity, and future club historians, our club gained its start in the season prior to our inauguration. In season 1970/71, two under 14 teams, Riverton and Shelley, were entered in the South Perth Cricket Club under 14 competition, under private sponsorship.
This sowed the seeds of senior cricket, and on the 14th September 1971 a meeting was called to discuss the possible formation of a club. This meeting was chaired by myself over the then prospective members – Dave Copeland, Phillip Clark, Vic Varischetti, Robin Ogg, Richard Fahey, Dave Vodanovic, Des Kenna, Ian Cuthbert and P. Webb, and from this meeting we were born.”
For the 1971/72 season, the club was able to field two teams in the South Suburban Cricket Association (SSCA). The first games for the club commenced on 16 October 1971 and resulted in two incredibly different results with the 2nd Grade team having an outright victory by an innings and 115 runs over Maddington, whilst the 3rd Grade team suffered an outright loss to Thornlie by 9 wickets (after scoring only 39 and 43!).
Rostrata Cricket Club
The formation of the Rostrata Cricket Club was somewhat different with club life member, Owen Bryden, playing a leading role in its formation.
Owen was a long time player and administrator for the Willetton Cricket Club, who also competed in the SSCA. The move of the West Perth pennant cricket club to Willetton caused a level of friction to the extent that at the end of the 1984/85 season, Owen walked away from Willetton with the parting comment along the lines of ‘I would rather start up my own cricket club than play for Willetton!’ Clearly, somebody had poked the bear.
In the months after the 1984/85 season Owen was approached by a number of Willetton players who were wondering if he was serious about starting a new club. Though he knew he was not going to play for Willetton again he hadn’t really given it much thought, however after getting a lot of support from players from Willetton as well as players from Brentwood Cricket Club, Owen started to make enquiries with the SSCA as to the process for entering a new club. From there he approached Geoff Moore at the City of Canning regarding the availability of an oval with the south oval at Malindi Street, Willetton identified (with the club moving to Prendwick Reserve, Willetton several years later).
A meeting was held at the Willetton Indoor Cricket Centre attended by players from the Willetton and Brentwood clubs and from there the Rostrata Cricket Club was formed. Harry Findlay (another life member) was appointed Secretary, Jeff Smith from Brentwood CC was appointed Treasurer with Owen Bryden as President.
In the 1985/86 season, the club fielded a team in 3rd Grade in the SSCA. Their first game commenced on 5th October 1985 and resulted in a strong first innings win for Rostrata over Kelmscott (Rostrata 246, Kelmscott 92 & 2/65).
Riverton Rostrata Cricket Club
It’s fair to say that chance played a part in the amalgamation of the Riverton and Rostrata Cricket Club’s.
During the 1993/94 season, the Riverton Cricket Club fielded three teams and Rostrata Cricket Club fielded two teams. However, both clubs were having trouble in comfortably fielding these teams. As the main ovals for both clubs were less than 2km apart it was apparent that both clubs were competing for a limited number of local players which was having a negative effect on the performance of both clubs.
However, none of this would have mattered if it wasn’t for the SSCA and their policy at the time of hosting finals at neutral venues. The SSCA determined that the 1993/94 3rd Grade Grand Final between Riverton and Armadale would be held at Prendwick Reserve, the home of the Rostrata Cricket Club. Finals held at neutral venues were financial windfalls for the hosting club as they not only had supporters of the opposing teams in attendance but also many of their own members would come down to watch the game and support their club.
While the grand final played out on the field (a premiership for Riverton) it was off the field where Ian Donaldson from Riverton and Owen Bryden from Rostrata first discussed the possibility of a merger. From there a steering committee was formed and by the commencement of the 1994/95 season the Riverton Rostrata Cricket Club had been formed. The club fielded five teams in that inaugural season with Ian Donaldson once again taking on the role of President.
In respect of a nickname for the new club – it was a no brainer. Riverton had taken on the Roos following on from the Riverton Junior Football Club lead, however it was the existing Rostrata nickname that almost all players in the merged club wanted. Yes, all the young guys in the club were keen for the club nickname to be ‘The Rats’. Welcome to the Rattery!
Finally, a thank you to the SSCA (now the South Metropolitan Cricket Association) for providing the clubs the platform that led to the merger. The merge may well have happened but the decision to host the 1993/94 Grand Final at Prendwick Reserve certainly shortened the merge timeframe.