Tuesday, 21 May 2013

"The Don" Plays at Menangle

There was great excitement in the small village of Menangle when the great Don Bradman participated in a match in 1929. Although he had only played in 4 tests at that stage, Bradman had already created a big impression in that short time. He scored 112 and 79 in the third test at Melbourne earlier in the year and was suddenly becoming a household name.

Bradman took part in a match between a Combined Metropolitan XI and a team called Menangle and District played on Camden Park Estate at Menangle on 7 April 1929. The combined team batted first and scored 9 declared for 184 with "The Don" scoring only 13! He was out to a caught and bowled 'hot one' by a J.O Mulley. Menangle replied with 162 all out. Bradman shared the opening bowling attack and took 3 for 25.

At the conclusion of the game Mr John Hickey, President of the Menangle Cricket Club, extended a very warm welcome to the visiting team. He admitted that the ground was a 'little bumpy' and not what the city boys would normally be used to. He then congratulated Don Bradman on what he had achieved in recent test matches and wished him luck in the upcoming Ashes trip to England. Little did he know that Bradman would completely re-write the record books and establish himself as the greatest batsman of all time.

Bradman replied that it was the first time he had played at Menangle, but would be only too pleased to come back. He remarked that the locals did exceptionally well with the bat.

Joining J.O. Mulley in claiming Bradman's wicket in another match was a local Campbelltown identity Bon Wrightson.  Bon was playing as wicket-keeper for Berrima in a match against Bowral when he removed the bails to run the great man out. Bradman apparently never forgot his adversary and even sent him a telegram on his 85th birthday!

We would love to hear from relatives or anyone that knew J.O. Mulley- the man that dismissed the great Don Bradman at Menangle.

Below are 2 photographs that include Don Bradman taken on that day at Menangle. Bradman is second from the left at the back in the group photograph. (click on the images for a larger view).

Sources:

The Campbelltown-Ingleburn News April 19, 1929

McGill, Jeff
Campbelltown Clippings
Campbelltown City Council 1993

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