East Melbourne Cricket Ground

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Albert Thurgood (1874–1927) — a noted Essendon footballer who trained and played Essendon Home games at the East Melbourne Cricket Ground

The East Melbourne Cricket Ground was a grass oval sports venue located at the corner of Wellington Parade and Jolimont Parade, in East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.[1]

History[edit]

The ground was opened in 1860 and closed in 1921. It adjoined the Melbourne Cricket Ground and was not far from the Richmond Cricket Ground, all three grounds being cited in the area formerly known as Captain Lonsdale's Cow Paddock, now Yarra Park.[1]

Cricket[edit]

East Melbourne Cricket Club was the most successful member of the Victorian Cricket Association during the 19th Century and early 20th Century, winning more than half of the VCA's Premierships during that period. The club was formed in 1857 as the Abbotsford Cricket Club but they soon changed their name as part of a putsch to use the East Melbourne ground. The team mainly consisted of Scotch College old boys.

Four first-class cricket games were played at the ground in the 1880s, including the Smokers v Non-Smokers match, in which the Non-Smokers made 803, at the time a world record innings score.

Season Teams Date Result Ref
1880–81 Victoria v South Australia 1880-11-12 12–13, 15 November 1880 Victoria won by 7 wickets [2]
1882–83 Victoria v South Australia 1883-03-24 24, 26–27 March 1883 Victoria won by an innings and 98 runs [3]
1886–87 Smokers v Non-Smokers 1887-03-17 17–19, 21 March 1887 Match drawn [4]
1888–89 Victoria v Tasmania 1889-01-01 1–5 January 1889 Victoria won by 9 wickets [5]

Football[edit]

The East Melbourne Cricket Ground was used for Australian rules football during the winter months. The ground hosted the first ever interstate football match, on 1 July 1879, between Victoria (represented by the VFA) and South Australia. The match was attended by more than 10,000 people. It also hosted the first intercollegiate football match in Melbourne, played on 21 July 1881 between teams from Trinity College and Ormond College from the University of Melbourne.[6]

Tenant football clubs of the ground included:

As a venue for football, the East Melbourne Cricket Ground had an unusual quirk that the field sloped downhill towards the railway end, but was often affected by a strong wind which blew to the pavilion end.[9]

The largest football crowds seen at the venue were for Victorian Football Association finals matches. An estimated crowd of 25,000 saw the 1907 VFA Final, played between Williamstown and West Melbourne.[10] The record for a VFL match was 18,000, set twice during the 1921 VFL season.[citation needed]

Closure[edit]

After the 1921 football season, the ground was closed and then demolished to make way for an extension of the Jolimont Yard railway sidings.[11]

When the East Melbourne Cricket Club lost the use of the ground in 1921, it amalgamated with the Hawthorn Cricket Club to form the Hawthorn-East Melbourne Cricket Club, and moved to Hawthorn's Glenferrie Oval. One of the wooden stands was moved from East Melbourne to Glenferrie Oval where it stood until 1965 when it was replaced by the Dr A.S. Ferguson Stand.

After the Essendon Football Club lost the use of the ground, it moved to the Essendon Recreation Reserve; however, it had initially tried to move to the North Melbourne Recreation Reserve, resulting in a off-field political struggle between the Essendon, Essendon Association and North Melbourne Football Clubs, the VFL and the VFA.

The former site of the ground has now been taken over by a housing estate, a feature of which is a semi-circular housing block with a tower, obviously designed to look like an ersatz football pavilion.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Santo Caruso, Marc Fiddian and Jim Main, Football Grounds of Melbourne (Melbourne: Pennon Publishing, 2002 ISBN 978-1877029028.
  2. ^ "Victoria v South Australia, 1880–81". ESPNcricinfo. ESPN Inc. Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "Victoria v South Australia, 1882–83". ESPNcricinfo. ESPN Inc. Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  4. ^ "Smokers v Non-Smokers, 1886–87". ESPNcricinfo. ESPN Inc. Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  5. ^ "Victoria v Tasmania, 1888–89". ESPNcricinfo. ESPN Inc. Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  6. ^ 'Football', The Argus, 21 July 1881, p. 6
  7. ^ "Football – the Victorian Football League". The Argus (Melbourne, VIC). 13 April 1897. p. 6. 
  8. ^ "Football – Victorian League – Question of Grounds". The Argus (Melbourne, VIC). 28 March 1907. p. 4. 
  9. ^ Old Boy (11 October 1920). "Footscray premiers – success of the unbeatable". The Argus (Melbourne, VIC). p. 11. 
  10. ^ "Final - Williamstown v. West Melbourne". North Melbourne Courier and West Melbourne Chronicle (Melbourne, VIC). 4 October 1907. p. 3. 
  11. ^ "Flinders Street Yard – why the cricket ground is needed". The Argus (Melbourne, VIC). 1 December 1920. p. 11. 


Coordinates: 37°48′36″S 144°58′36″E / 37.81000°S 144.97667°E / -37.81000; 144.97667