Glamorgan head North

A view of the Colwyn Bay pavilion and the packed enclosure at the 1949 Cricket Festival. Photo Credit – David Parry / Colwyn Bay CC

Glamorgan continued to make an annual visit to the ground to play in various exhibition or Benefit games. The sizeable crowds and excellent facilities prompted Wilf Wooller and the other Glamorgan officials into considering whether the Welsh county should stage a first-class fixture at the popular resort. Other seaside towns such as Scarborough, Blackpool and Weston-super-Mare had been staging lucrative festivals for many years so in 1966 they allocated the County Championship match with Derbyshire to the Rhos-on-Sea ground. Their reward was an above average attendance in excess of 4,000.

Between 1966 and 1974 the Rhos-on-Sea ground staged either an annual Championship game or a Sunday League fixture. The match in 1969 with Leicestershire saw a quite remarkable bowling performance by Glamorgan`s, Tony Cordle as the Bajan came on as seventh change in the visitors first innings and ended up with career-best figures of 9/49.

April 1973 saw Yorkshire visit the Colwyn Bay club, with Geoff Boycott making an unbeaten 104 in the Sunday League encounter. A decent crowd of 2,400 had watched the famous England opener display his batting talents but with Glamorgan’s overall income falling and costs dramatically rising, the ground was dropped from the county`s fixture list at the end of the 1974 season.

Geoff Ellis, Alan Jones, Mike Llewellyn and Malcolm Nash enjoy the sun and sea air at Colwyn Bay in 1972. Photo Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

A generous sponsorship package, involving Conwy County Borough Council and other local organisations and businesses saw county cricket return to North Wales in 1990 with Colwyn Bay playing host to the County Championship and Sunday League matches against Lancashire. It proved to be a massive success with large crowds for both games, whilst Matthew Maynard, who had been brought up only a few miles away at Menai Bridge, also celebrated by recording Glamorgan`s first limited-overs century at the ground with a typically explosive innings of 100.

Ever since the ground has staged an annual fixture with the Sunday League game in 1993 seeing Adrian Dale claim a hat-trick during a spell of 6/22 against Durham, whilst in the 2000 Championship fixture against Sussex, Steve James established a new Club record with 309*, the highest-ever individual innings by a Glamorgan batsman –  as the county made 718-3, their best-ever total. There were great celebrations as well in 2004 as Glamorgan, under Robert Croft, defeated Lancashire in their National League encounter to clinch the one-day title.

Celebrations at Colwyn Bay after the Welsh county clinch the One-Day League title in 2004. Photo Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

Click here to read more about Glamorgan’s visit’s to Colwyn Bay.

Click here to read about the early years of cricket at Colwyn Bay.