|Ground:||Diamond Ground, Cardiff|
DateLine: 1st July 2008
The Diamond Ground has been the home of Cardiff cricket club since 1996 following the acquisition of the lease of their previous home (Sophia Gardens) by Glamorgan CCC who have subsequently transformed the parkland ground into an impressive modern stadium.
The Diamond Ground is situated close to Junction 32 of the M4 and is also the home of Cardiff High School Old Boys RFC, and includes the club`s three rugby pitches, two of which are floodlit.
The ground is located four miles or so to the north west of the city centre in the northern suburb of Whitchurch and occupies the site of what was Forest Farm. Cardiff HSOB RFC was formed in 1929 and like many junior rugby teams in the Welsh capital, they played on a variety of grounds in the city as well as Cardiff Arms Park where their inaugural fixture was held against Cardiff RFC.
In the early 1960s Cardiff HSOB RFC purchased their own ground at Forest Farm, and the Diamond Ground, named after a former headmaster at Cardiff High School, came into being.The land had originally been owned by the Melingriffith Tinplate Company. Known then as the Elyn Ground, it was the home of the Melingriffith Sports Club who played rugby there from the late 1920s, before diversifying into cricket and soccer.
In 1957 the tinplate works closed and the sports club disbanded. For a couple of years, the ground remained unused, but in 1961, the Cardiff High School Old Boys RFC took a lease on the ground and began playing there from 1962. In 1963, together with their now defunct cricket club (founded circa 1900), they acquired the freehold of the eight acre site with the help of a ten-year Welsh Rugby Union loan, and the ground was renamed in honour of George Clifford Diamond, who had been headmaster at the High School from 1934 to 1966. Fittingly, he kicked off the celebratory match between the Old Boys and Cardiff RFC.
In 1996, Cardiff CC began playing at the Diamond Ground on the square which had previously been used by the Melingriffith and Old Boys cricket clubs. During the 1970s, to accommodate the growing playing membership, Cardiff High School Old Boys RFC had taken a long lease from Cardiff Council on the former Forest Farm land which adjoins the northern boundary of the Diamond Ground. This allowed them to create a third, and an occasional fourth, rugby pitch, and it was on this extension to the original Diamond Ground that Cardiff CC developed their new cricket field and pavilion, which was first used in 2007, with a fixture against the M.C.C.
Besides the rugby and cricket clubs, the Diamond Ground is also currently the home of the Cardiff Harlequins Running Club and the Cardiff Harlequins Lacrosse Club. It has occasionally hosted other sports, including cross-country, soccer, rugby league, baseball and American football. It has also been used as a rugby training ground by Cardiff RFC, Cardiff Blues, the Welsh Rugby Union and by international touring teams including the All Blacks, the Springboks and the Canadians.
(Article: Copyright © 2008 Dr.A.K.Hignell)
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