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1983/84 premiership reunion

The club recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of the winning of the 1983/84 VCA Premiership.

A gathering of former players, plus past and present club administrators and committee, convened at the Orrong Hotel on 12 March to share memories and catch up on current events around the club.

First eleven players present from the premiership year included:

  • Dav Whatmore (capt)

  • Andrew Grant

  • Peter Grant

  • Greg Booth

  • Greg Feben

  • Michael McLear

  • Paul Morrey

Players unavailable to attend for various reasons were Owen Mottau, Brad Green, Ian Maddocks, Michael Ephraims, Simon Davis, and the late Blair Campbell.

The 1983/84 team finished on top of the ladder at the end of the home and away season, winning 12 of its 15 matches to be seven points clear of second-placed Richmond, who were knocked out in the semi final by third-placed Essendon.

Prahran took a strong team into the grand final replete with current and future international (Whatmore and Davis) and state players (Campbell and Green). Michael Ephraims also played a List A match for the Vics and went on to take out the coveted Jack Ryder Medal in the 1985/86 season.

Dav Whatmore hit a club record of 912 runs in the 1983/84 season, a record that still stands today. He also still leads the club run-scoring record with a career tally of 7,994 runs, closely followed in third place by Andrew Grant with a total of 6,959 runs.

The bowling attack was also highly effective and Green (34 wickets), Davis (32), Feben (33) and Campbell (30) all finished with 30 plus wickets for the season, a rare feat in any team!

Whatmore was subsequently, and rightly, inducted as a Legend of the Prahran Cricket Club while Andrew and Peter Grant, Campbell, Davis, Green and Ephraims all became members of the club Hall of Fame.

The Grand Final itself was played over three days with no play on the second day due to bad weather. Essendon won the toss and chose to bat first. They started well and cruised to 100 with only the loss of their opening pair but, while their top order all got starts, including Simon O'Donnell (25) and Jamie Siddons (48), they were all dismissed and Essendon were sitting at 6/208 at the end of the first day's play.

After no play on the scheduled second day speedster Simon Davis (4/68) tore through Essendon's lower order and they were all out for 229 early on day three.

Prahran chased down Essendon's total for the loss of only three wickets to take a seven wicket victory and our first First Grade premiership for 29 years. Skipper Dav Whatmore carried his bat for an unbeaten 145 not out and was undoubtedly the star of the match.


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