150 not out...well almost. A history of GCC

Posted by john bell on 11 December 2018

Gresford Cricket Club   150no.  Well almost.

Cricket was certainly being played in the Wrexham area in the 1840`s, maybe earlier! Clubs in Wrexham, Eyton, Llangollen and others were playing against teams from Oswestry, the `Cestrian Clubs` and even as far afield as Liverpool. The grammar schools in Wrexham (Grove Park), Ruthin and Denbigh had sides playing competing against each other as well as other clubs in the area. The Racecourse Ground being an important cricket venue, staging many notable matches with the Turf its pavilion!

 Denbighshire County Cricket was being played in the 1860`s.

Cricket in Gresford is first recorded in the 1870`s with the Elms on Vicarage Lane the location of perhaps the first cricket ground and indeed the name of the first Gresford club. Grosvenor Boys, the Civil Service, Moss Valley and Mr Chiltern`s Eleven were amongst the early opponents. Where else has cricket been played in the village? Gresford Bank was the home of some cricket. What of the Glan Alyn Cricket and Football Club? When did the Elms Club become Gresford CC? Any thoughts, anybody?

By the mid 1870`s cricket was a regular feature in the sports pages of local newspapers. Many local teams were playing in what seems to be acompetitive and well organised competition. Teams included the Civil Service (see below), Caergwle, Black Park, Eaton Park, Eyton Park, Wrexham Wanderers, Clawdd Offa (Coedpoeth), Moss Valley and Wynstay CC

The following extracts are from the Wrexham Advertiser ...full scorecards often followed! (today`s press take note!)

12 Aug 76

Cricket. GRESFORD v. MR CHILTON'S ELEVEN. This match was played at The Elms on Monday, and ended, after a well-contested game, in favour of the Gresford Club, by six wickets. For Mr Chilton's side, the batting of Mr Middleton and Mr Chilton, and the bowling of Messrs. Spence and Scott, was very good. For Gresford, the batting of Messrs. Wright, Settles, Steene, Townshend, and Nicholls was steady, and well hit, and the bowling of Messrs. P. H. Wright and Steene, and Mr V. B. Wright's wicket keeping most effective. The attendance was very large, and the game watched with great interest and enjoyment, the finish being particularly exciting.

CIVIL SERVICE v. GRESFORD. This match was played at Gresford on Saturday, and resulted in a victory for the Civil Service by 38 runs. The batting of Messrs. Price, Edwards, audi Hopkins was very good for the Civil Service, and also. Messrs. Nickells, Ringrose, and C. W. Townshend for the Gresford team. CIVIL SERVICE. GRESFORD. Jones, b Owen 2 Chilton, b Crawford ?? I Edwards, b and c Poyn- Settle, b Crawford 1 ton 32 Nickells, run ou. 14 Southgate, c Owens, b Ringrose, run out 13 Nickells 0 Townshend, c Price, b Crawford, b Owens 3 Crawford 13 Price, b Wright 24 V. B. Wright, runout... 3 Richards, b Poynton 5 P. H. Wright, c Forkin, Lee, c and b Nickells 0 Crawford 0 Hughes, st V. B. Wright 0 Poynton, c and b Jones 5 Crawford, not out 5 Owens, not out U Hopkins, run out 19 steen, b Hughes 0 Forkin, ?? 0 Roberts, b Crawford ?? 5 Extras 9 Extras tJ 99

" GRESFORD v. CAERGWRLE. This match was played at Caergwrle on Saturday, and resulted in an easy victory for Gresford by l:{ runs. The batting and bowling of A. Steen and also the bowling of J. Nicholls for Gresford was very good. Score :— * ?? GKEiI -*>"l>* CAERGWRLE. Wdlan b Evans 0 R. Williams b Nic_oUs 6 S. Roberts b Ellis 0 Jones b Sceeu. I A. Steeu b EUis _b" Roberts b Mcholls " 9 Nicholls b Ellis 1 Edwards c and b sieen 1 J. S. Roberts c Evaus b T. Evans b Steen 0 Edis OT. Ellis c W. Lloyd b J. Steen c Pointner b Nicholls ?? 0 Evans 0 J. Williams b Nicholls 0 T. Lloyd b Graham OJ. Evans b .Nicholls... . 0 W. Llayd c Williams b O. Williams b Steen 0 Graham 0 Graham not out 4 H. Owen b Evans 3 Ruztney run out 1 W. Owen not out 3 Extras 2 Murray c Williams b K vans 0

The Wrexham Advertiser also records that a big crowd were entertained by the game against Rossett in 1876. This must have been a friendly affair as a year later a combined Rossett/Gresford side were playing away at Eaton Park.

Sept 22nd 1877 EATON PARK. ROSSETT AND GRESFORD. H. L. Stafford, c aud b Tunnicliffe SR. W. Egerton, b Shaw 3 I E. Evans, c Egerton, b Wright 13 G. H. Tunnicliffe. b 6 Shaw IS Morris, c Townshend, b steen 14 P. H. Wright, b Evans... 1 E. J. Muspratt, c Pa- lm, b Steen 1 R. B. Wright, b Shaw... 0 R. G. Boydell, b Steen 12 L. G. Campbell, b Shaw 2 J. Shaw, not out 13 A. Steen, b Stafford 3 Perry, c F. Aspinall, ?? 1 F. Aspinall, b Stafford 0 1 E. Wells, c P. H. Wright, b Steen OH. Aspinall, b Stafford 4] A. G. Brown, b Steen 2C. W. Townshend, b Shaw 6 J. Batten, st Wright. b St en ti H. Palm, not out 3 J. Griffiths, b Egerton OG. Montmorency, b Sbaw

 A few years later a 2nd Eleven was in place at Gresford. Cricket certainly seemed to be flourishing in the village at this time, even if the batting might not have been of the best as the scores of the game vs Farndon in 1879 testify. Chasing Farndon`s score of 78 (23rd Aug 1879)

CRICKET. Gresford v. Farndon. — This match was played on Saturday last at Gresford. For Faradon Mr. J. Pinnington played a very steady innings of 23, and very nearly carried out his bat. The Gresford team were weak in batting, making no stand whatever against Mr. Owen's slows, which were very effective. The following is the score : — Gresford. A. Steene c Thelwall b Owen 1 P. H. Wright c Thelwall b Owen 4 A. Egertan b Owen 1 G. Sillery b Owen 1 W. Wilson b Owen 0 W. Crockett o H. Parry b Sperink 1 S. Boberts b Owen 0 J. B. Lancelot* b Owen 0 Q. W. Palm 1 b w, b Owen 1 C. Chilton b Owen "' i * T. Chilton not ont ?? 2 Extras ?? 3 Total 23

By the end of the 1870`s a fixed programme of games in the area was firmly established, the Wrexham Guardian offering a `neatly bound scorebook` for 2s!

By 1881 the cricket ground had moved…we think….to its home for the next 100+ years. High Street. More of that in the next chapter of the history of GCC.

Details of the early history of cricket in the area is a bit fragmentary, from 1913 it becomes slightly clearer due to fact that we have agm minute books dating back to this time ( a brilliant read!). Sadly a lot of memorabilia was lost during the fire at our pavilion on the High Street ground prior to our move to the present location adjacent to the Memorial Hall in the 1990`s

If any readers have any photos, documents, anecdotes to share with us we would be grateful to hear from you. Please feel free to pass on any comments, further information. Contradictions also welcome! This is a work in progress…..amendments will occur!

Our website contains a lot more information on our history and many other aspects of the cricket club.

Email contact……john.bell87@btinternet.com

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