The Tyabb Cricket was officially founded in 1892 when the club advertised in the local area for matches to be played throughout the impending summer. Mention was made of the club reforming, research shows that the club had played Somerville in 1889, whether this match was a one off or not is unknown, so the club puts 1892 as it birth date. These matches were social in nature, but keenly fought out as they were generally played between neighbours. This rivalry soon became fierce - on the verge of tribalism between competitive teams.
During the 1880’s cricket on the Peninsula and throughout Australia really gained a foot hold on the back of the national team’s success against the founders of the game in England. Local teams from Somerville, Mornington, Balnarring, Frankston, Moorooduc, Somerville Rail, Hastings and Mornington Junction (today known as Baxter), played irregular matches between themselves and against other more remote areas like Rye, Flinders, Cowes, Clyde, Rhyll and Kangerong (known now as Dromana). Other matches were also organised at the time from teams from around the city, and games against sides from Richmond, Collingwood, Brighton were known to have occurred.
In 1890 Tyabb had a friendly against Rhyll that was to become a yearly event lasting well into the next century, this game was generally played on one of the public holidays and generally rotated between townships. The travel was by boat from Tyabb and it would be assumed that many great times were had on these journeys.
In the early 1890’s much of the land in Tyabb and surrounding area was changing the local Council had just approved the size of allotments in the Tyabb area to be reduced from 20 acre lots into 10 acre lots, this brought new development to the town with new residents taking the available land, which sold quickly. And with new residents comes activities and it was not long before clubs etc were formed. Cricket, Football, Euchre, Happy Hour (yes this is true), Tennis, Athletics, Debating Dancing and Progress Association to name just some.
Mr J.H. Thornell was elected President for the inaugural season, with Mr S. Hollyock as Secretary and Mr A. Mc Kirdy as Treasurer. Mr J. O’Neil, Mr F. Toohey and MR H.H.Peddle were elected as Vice Presidents. The match committee consisted of Mr W. Baker, Mr. J. MacDonald along with Mr. Hollyock. Mr William Baker was elected as the clubs first captain. Subscriptions for membership was 3/- and with over 35 players representing the town for the season the club was off to a promising start. The colours that the club played under in that first year were red, white and blue. The club is fortunate enough to have in its possession today the original annual reports from its formative years until 1901. This shows the clubs membership, fixtures, averages and expenditure over this time. In the first season the club received 4 pd 12 shillings from members and spent 3 pd 19 shilling and 1 pence, leaving a profit of 12s 11d. It is interesting to note some of the purchases made were 2 bats at 15s 6d each, one pair pads at 9s 6d, set of wickets at 9s 6d, balls were then restitched and were used in more than one match.
The first game was against Somerville on Oct 5
1892 at the Tyabb reserve with Somerville coming out victorious 10/111 to Tyabb’s 10/52. Only F. Hall with 32 runs offered any resistance with the bat, he also excelled with ball taking 4/37.
It was not until Rd 4 against Somerville Railways that Tyabb registered its first official victory knocking over the visitors for only 44 with Charles Baker brother of captain William taking 4/9, Tyabb then made 77 Charles Baker topped the scoring with 22.
In a match against Flinders to show how difficult things were in just getting a game organized it was noted that the Tyabb team was late in turning up having met with a disappointment regarding a conveyance. As they travelled in those days by horse and cart one can only guess as to what the problems may have been but it does indicate the enormous task that must have been undertook to travel even short distances. At times games were played at neutral grounds to accommodate clubs and spectators, eg Flinders v Tyabb played at Balnarring.
These local players were not only fine cricketers but also community leaders and there is little that happened in Tyabb in those formative years that did not involve Bakers, Slocombes, Grants, Denhams, Mc Kirdys, Nobles, Unthanks, Mills etc. The town was a close knit community that had a real spirit and this was evident in the amount of activities that thrived in Tyabb at the time. Most of the people were farmers, orchardists, sawmillers and railway employees encouraged to the area by the arrival of the rail line in the 1880’s and on weekends looked for activities that involved the town including debating clubs, card clubs, football, cricket, local dances and large picnic days were common involving the whole town folk who saw this as the one opportunity to get together and share in a common goal. A game of cricket or football at this time attracted quite large crowds as people really joined together making it a true social day enjoyed by the whole family.