Glamorganshire CCC - A Brief Historyby Andrew Hignell
Further improvements also took place to the region's transport network, allowing the clubs to play an increasing number of fixtures across South Wales as well as in neighbouring parts of England. With growing regional - and national - pride, several prominent gentlemen and members of the local gentry in Glamorgan raised their own elevens, labelled as county teams, to play annual fixtures against similar elevens representing other Welsh counties.
The first recorded inter-county match took place at Llanelly Park on August 5th and 6th, 1861 between Carmarthenshire and Glamorganshire, with the latter side being assembled by J.W.T.O'Donaghue of Swansea C.C. and the South Wales C.C. Over the next few seasons, O'Donaghue,as well as J.C.Nicholl of Merthyr Mawr continued to raise 'county' teams for these annual encounters, with the Glamorgan side containing leading players from the thriving clubs in Swansea, Neath, Bridgend and Cardiff, as well as including a few members of the local gentry.
The success of these matches - and the ever-rising economic status of the county - led to J.T.D.Llewelyn, the squire of Penllegaer and himself a decent player, to convene a meeting of officials from the premier clubs at The Castle Hotel in Neath in March 1869. At the top of their agenda was the feasibility of forming a properly constituted county club, and after a short discussion Glamorganshire C.C.C. came into being.
In May 1869 the newly-created county club played its inaugural fixture against a Colts XXII - a fixture described by one newspaper as a game which will "show the talent in the rising generation of cricketers". Inter-county matches were also held against Radnorshire, Breconshire and Monmouthshire, whilst the following year, Llewelyn was able to secure a couple of fixtures against the crack West Gloucestershire side, patronised by the Grace family. Both games however ended up in heavy defeats for a slightly under-strength Glamorganshire team, and it highlighted to the county officials that a lot of hard work was still needed if a fully representative county side was going to challenge the English counties.
Between 1873 and 1875 Glamorganshire only played home and away fixtures each year with Breconshire, and the initial impetus behind a fully-fledged county club dwindled away in the face of several defeats and also the lack of proper organisation which had seen Glamorganshire travel to games without some of the best players who had not been released by their club teams.
In an attempt to move forward, J.T.D.Llewelyn oversaw the re-formation of the South Wales Cricket Club in the Spring of 1874, and the creation soon afterwards of county sub-committees for Glamorgan, Breconshire, Carmarthenshire, Cardiganshire, Radnorshire and Pembrokeshire. The upshot was that the Glamorgan sub-committee devoted their energies to the affairs of the South Wales C.C., rather than the ailing county club who played their final fixture in August 1875 against Breconshire at Cardiff Arms Park.
However, the Glamorgan sub-committee still contained several influential and vocal individuals who were aware of Llewelyn's dream of forming a county club to represent the industrial heartland of South Wales. During the 1880s, John Price Jones, an architect and influential member of both the sub-committee and the Cardiff club made strenuous efforts to form a county side. During the mid 1880s he organised various matches between the South Wales C.C. and a Colts XXII to showcase the rising talent in the region - in the same way that Llewelyn had attempted back in 1869.
Jones also secured the support of officials from the leading clubs in the west of the county, and in early June 1888 J.T.D.Llewelyn wrote to the leading clubs in the region inviting them to a meeting in early July at the Angel Hotel in Cardiff in order to discuss resurrecting a county side. The outcome was the formation of Glamorgan C.C.C., with J.P.Jones as Chairman and Llewelyn as Treasurer, and arrangements were put in place for the first county fixtures in 1889.
After his involvement with the now defunct county organisation, as well as with the South Wales C.C., J.T.D.Llewelyn fully deserves the epithet of 'the father of Glamorgan cricket'.