Junction Oval

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St Kilda Cricket Ground
Junction Oval
JunctionOval2.JPG
Location Lakeside Drive, St Kilda, Victoria
Coordinates 37°51′21″S 144°58′48″E / 37.85583°S 144.98000°E / -37.85583; 144.98000Coordinates: 37°51′21″S 144°58′48″E / 37.85583°S 144.98000°E / -37.85583; 144.98000
Opened 1852
Owner Parks Victoria
Operator Parks Victoria
Surface Grass
Capacity 10,000
Tenants
Victorian Bushrangers (Sheffield Shield)
St Kilda Football Club (VFL) (1901-1941; 1944-1964)
South Melbourne Football Club (1944-1946)
Fitzroy Football Club (VFL) (1970-1984)
Old Melburnians Football Club (VAFA)

The Junction Oval (officially, the St Kilda Cricket Ground) is an historic sports ground in the suburb of St Kilda in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Its location near the St Kilda Junction (the intersection of St Kilda's main street - Fitzroy Street - and St Kilda Road) gave rise to its nickname. It is located approximately five kilometres from the centre of Melbourne and is in the southernmost part of the large Albert Park sporting precinct.

Ground[edit]

The current capacity of the ground is around 8,000. The scoreboard (built 1954-55 by the St Kilda Cricket Club) is a landmark of the St Kilda Junction area. There are two main heritage grandstands, the Blackie-Ironmonger stand built by the St Kilda Cricket Club (named after two of St Kilda Club's Test cricketers: recently restored and in use), and the Kevin Murray grandstand (named after one of Fitzroy's greatest footballers: not in use). The remainder of the ground is terraced asphalt, with grass embankments at the rear. Older structures were demolished in the 1980s during a rationalisation of the ground. It is a very picturesque venue, with a top-quality turf playing area and a modern backdrop of tall buildings and parkland.

Australian Football[edit]

Although the ground was originally built for cricket (St Kilda Cricket Club has played at the St Kilda Cricket Ground since 1855), it is also known as the original home ground of the St Kilda Football Club. The Saints played home games at the venue until 1964.

St Kilda played 564 VFL home matches for premiership points at the ground between 1897 and 1964. The Saints' final home game at the venue was on the 22 August 1964 – a 12 point win against the Geelong - 12. 18 (90) to 11. 12 (78) - in front of an attendance of 37,100. The club also played 16 away games at the venue – 13 against the Fitzroy Lions and three against South Melbourne. St Kilda left the venue after the 1964 season and moved its home base to Moorabbin Oval, mostly motivated by its desire to operate its own venue as ground manager; at the Junction Oval, the St Kilda Cricket Club was the ground manager and the football club its tenant.[1]

St Kilda Football Club Home Match Record at the Junction Oval (St Kilda Cricket Ground)
Venue Played Won Lost Drawn Most Recent Home Match
Junction Oval 564
~
250
(44.33%)
310
(54.96%)
4
(0.71%)
1964 Premiership Season Round 18
1897 to 1964


The first ever women's footy match was played there in 1921.

In 1944, the military vacated the Junction Oval. Because it was closer to South Melbourne's still-occupied home base of the Lake Oval than Princes Park, the Swans started playing their home games at the venue. The South Melbourne Football Club played 29 home matches for premiership points at the ground between 1944 and 1946.

South Melbourne Football Club Home Match Record at the Junction Oval (St Kilda Cricket Ground)
Venue Played Won Lost Drawn Most Recent Home Match
Junction Oval 29
-
20
(68.97%)
9
(31.03)
0
(0.71%)
1946 Premiership Season Round 19
1944 to 1946

In 1970, Fitzroy relocated to the venue and stayed until the end of 1984. The Fitzroy Football Club played 135 home matches for premiership points at the ground between 1970 and 1984.

Fitzroy Football Club Home Match Record at the Junction Oval (St Kilda Cricket Ground)
Venue Played Won Lost Drawn Most Recent Home Match
Junction Oval 135
-
75
(68.97%)
59
(31.03)
1
(0.71%)
1984 Premiership Season Round 22
1970 to 1984

The ground hosted a total of six VFL finals series matches including two semi-finals, one preliminary final and three grand finals in 1898, 1899 and 1944. The Fitzroy Football Club won all grand finals played at the venue.

A total of 734 VFL/AFL matches were at the ground, the highest score being Fitzroy's 34. 16. (220) against North Melbourne in 1983.

In recent years, the Melbourne Football Club have based their football department at the oval and used it as a training ground.

After World War II, the ground became the regular venue for Victorian Football Association finals. It staged every VFA finals series, including Grand Finals, from 1945 until 1962;[2] and continued to stage its finals intermittently thereafter. The VFA's Sandringham Football Club used Junction Oval as its home ground during the 1966 season.[3]

The major winter tenant since the early 1990s has been the Victorian Amateur Football Association's Old Melburnians Football Club, who still call the ground home today. Since moving to the ground in 1992, the Junction Oval has seen OMFC win four senior premierships and in 2009 the club, which fields five sides in the VAFA, won four premierships in one year.

The annual 3RRR Community Cup football match was played there until 2007.

A VAFA match featuring Old Melburnians at the Junction Oval looking towards Fitzroy Street from the hill on the outer

Cricket[edit]

The Junction Oval is home to the St Kilda Cricket Club, which plays in the Victorian Premier Cricket competition. The oval has also been used as an occasional home ground by the Victorian Bushrangers first class cricket team, most recently during the 2005-06 season when the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) was being prepared for the 2006 Commonwealth Games. In the early 1990s it was used regularly because of the construction of the Great Southern Stand at the MCG. It also played host to the 2008/09 Sheffield Shield final, won by the Bushrangers, due to the unavailability of the MCG, because of the Bushfire relief concert.

Change of name[edit]

Cricket great Shane Warne has had a long association with the St Kilda Cricket Ground, not only making his first class debut at the ground for Victoria in 1991, but also playing there on numerous occasions between 1989 and 2006 for his club side, St Kilda. Due to these connections, the club has now started proceedings to rename the venue to the Shane Warne Oval.[4]

Record attendance[edit]

46,973 people turned up on 20 May 1950 to watch St Kilda play Carlton in a VFL match. This is a bigger crowd than any of the three grand finals played at the venue.

The record attendance for a South Melbourne home game at the Junction Oval was 38,000 against Richmond in 1946.[5]

The record attendance for a Fitzroy home game was 27,202 versus Collingwood in the opening round of 1981.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ron Carter (25 March 1964). "St. Kilda moving to Moorabbin next year". The Age (Melbourne, VIC). p. 25. 
  2. ^ Scot Palmer (4 March 1963). "Clubs act on VFA finals". The Sun News-Pictorial (Melbourne, VIC). 
  3. ^ Jim Blake (27 April 1966). "Coburg show hot form". The Sporting Globe (Melbourne, VIC). p. 6. 
  4. ^ St Kilda could be renamed after Shane Warne
  5. ^ AFL Tables - Junction Oval
  6. ^ Ibid

External links[edit]