STONEYFORD’S historic cricket premiership “washed away a lot of memories” of a tough journey in Colac and district’s top grade, president Kevin Boyd says.
The club has only reached one Division One grand final and a handful of Division Two deciders, before this week’s momentous Division One victory against City United.
Boyd said Stoneyford spent its early years going back and forth between the A and A Reserve grades, before pushing the league to make the side a permanent fixture in what is now Division One.
“We asked the association if they could put us in A Grade and just leave us there to establish ourselves,” he said.
“We were quite successful in A Reserve without winning a premiership, but we’d be getting outrighted occasionally and really struggle.
“It was a lot of hard work initially, because everyone used to send us in looking for an outright.”
Boyd has been at the helm of the club for nearly two decades and was a player for the side when it joined the competition in 1982.
He said past players and volunteers were present at Colac’s Eastern Reserve for Stoneyford’s first Division One premiership on Sunday, which was an emotional occasion.
“We did a lot of hard yards, we’ve copped an awful lot of hidings, but days like Sunday washed away a lot of memories,” he said.
“We have sort of been going one step forward, two steps back in the past and we’ve had to be patient and let the young kids mature.
“There were life members there and to see the smile on their faces was great.
“Being a Sunday night there was still a lot of club people around, but the players and a few of us were there well into the night.”
Boyd said Stoneyford had its battles this year off the field, with the clubrooms unavailable for players at its home ground at Pirron Yallock.
“I’m proud of the club, because the last two years we haven’t had clubrooms and the girls have been putting on barbecues on Thursday night, but once it starts too get dark and cold everyone goes home,” he said.
“So we haven’t got the facilities for club functions, so for them to stick together was great and hopefully that can be changed over the winter and phase one will be ready.
“Even that in some ways might have made us a tighter team.”
Boyd was confident the Maroon Caps could continue to be a force in the competition, with the majority of its playing group living in the area.