JOHN BENTLEY, (1937-2012)(Right)Second Life Member of the Shoalhaven Ex-Servicemen's Cricket Club, conferred in1976
John Bentley (1937-2012) joined Ex-Servicemen in 1961-62, having previously played with Bega, Mildura and Nowra. His first grade career extended over 20 seasons and he proved himself an outstanding allrounder.
For six seasons during the 1960s, as a right-arm fast medium bowler he shared the new ball with Fred Baker and they proved to be a formidable combination, taking a phenomenal 405 wickets between them, Baker 221 and Bentley 184.
While Baker then left the club, Bentley continued on and finished with 239 wickets at 13.55 including 12 bags of five or more, and a best analysis of 7/37 against Milton in 1965-66, while he twice took 10 wickets in a match. His best season was 1965-66 when he took 47 wickets.
However John Bentley was also an aggressive, right-hand top order batsman who scored 3183 runs during his career, including nine half-centuries and a top score of 89 against Bomaderry in 1966-67. He features in the oldest partnership record for the team, 127 for the fourth wicket with Baker against Albatross back in 1964-65. That was his most successful season when he totalled 415 runs after hitting four successive half-centuries early in the season.
John featured in Ex-Servicemen’s premiership teams of 1962-63, 1964-65, 1966-67, 1970-71, 1972-73 and 1974-75, the last as captain.
Life membership was conferred on him in 1976-77, but he did not rest on his laurels and served as club president later in that decade.
With his skills as an allrounder, he was an obvious choice for Shoalhaven representative teams of the 1960s.