|Ground:||Ynysmaerdy Ground, Briton Ferry|
Briton Ferry is a small industrial settlement to the south of Neath, and like many towns in South Wales it was a successful steel-making centre during the last century. The influx of well-to-do migrants and the financial support of the industrialists led to the creation of two cricket teams in the town.
A cricket club was in existence in the town by the 1870's, and they played on various grounds before acquiring from the Earl of Jersey a permanent home in 1887 on Ynysmaerdy Field.The Earl acted as a generous benefactor, providing facilities free of rent to the cricket team, as well as fencing the ground, and taking steps to ensure the wicket improved. The Earl's support also ensured that a number of former county players were hired as professionals or groundsmen. As a result, the club had a decent wicket, plus some useful players.
As a result, Briton Ferry Town became one of the leading sides in the South Wales Cricket Association, and in the mid-1930's, when Glamorgan 2nd XI entered the Minor County Championship, they used the Ynysmaerdy ground for two games. The scores were:
June 24, 25, 1936 Glamorgan II (65 and 73) beat Middlesex II (38 and 85) by 15 runs the match was completed on the first day, so a one innings game was staged on the 25th with Glamorgan II (171-6dec) drawing with Middlesex II (152-9)
July 5, 6, 1937 Cheshire (243) drew with Glamorgan II (65-2)
In 1965 and 1966 the ground was used for Second Eleven Championship matches against Gloucestershire and Leicestershire.
(Article: Copyright © 2003 Dr.A.K.Hignell)
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