Club history

Full Scorecards for first class games played at Shaw Lane

Barnsley CC - A brief history

The first organised game in Barnsley was in 1834, when a local side took on the might of a Sheffield eleven.WG or Trelf??

Many clubs came and went over the next twenty or so years, including the "Reds" and the evocatively named "Barebones" club, until the Clarence club emerged in the 1850's as the town's main club.

In 1859 the club acquired a new ground in the Shawlands area of the town, off Shaw Lane. The ground was opened on 14th June 1859, when the Clarence Club played and defeated the Holbeck Club.

The All-England Eleven first visited the ground in 1860, and in May 1862 returned to play a team described as "20 of Yorkshire". Emboldened, perhaps, by the success of this game, the club organised a game in August with a much stronger Yorkshire side and despite odds of 14 to the All England's 11, this game has been granted "important" status by the A.C.S., and stated that the attendance was "numerous". This was to be Barnsley's only brush with top class cricket for more than a hundred years.

Entertainment on the ground for the All England game included the band of Barnsley Rifle Corps, Dodworth Brass Band and the "Howard Family" hand bell ringers featuring a father and his eight sons. On each evening of the match a ball was held in Barnsley Corn Exchange, which many of the All England team attended.

The present day Barnsley CC were formed in 1862 from an amalgamation of the Clarence Club and the Beechfield CC. The ground soon became known as Shaw Lane, its old epithet of the Clarence Ground now being meaningless. It was not until the 1890's however that Yorkshire returned to play minor matches, including the Yorkshire Colts v Nottinghamshire Colts fixtures. When Yorkshire entered the minor counties competition in 1901, Barnsley was established as a fairly regular venue. The old pavilion, now demolished and replaced by a new clubhouse, was believed to have dated from this era. It was the ground's main feature and was altered considerably over the years.

Following the loss of Bramall Lane, Barnsley was tried as a venue for Benson and Hedges Cup games in the mid 1970's; despite limited accommodation the larger playing area and reputation for good wickets were in the grounds favour. To cope with the large crowds anticipated, temporary grandstands, bars, toilets etc. were erected around the ground. Initially the experiment seemed a success as the first game attracted an attendance in excess of 8000 but subsequent games were not as popular.

There was a plan at this time to turn Shaw Lane into a permanent first class venue, subject to finding financial backing, but Yorkshire were unable, or unwilling to commit themselves to giving the ground regular fixtures and the plans fell through. The Benson and Hedges cup game of 1978 was to be the last and by the mid 1980's even Yorkshire 2nd XI visits ceased.

The new owners of the ground, Barnsley Rugby Club, who bought the land from the Shawlands Trust in 1996, are undertaking a series of ongoing developments.

Barnsley CC has been a thriving club over the years and they are justifiably proud of their history, and a number of cricketers have come through their ranks and gone on to represent Yorkshire and England including; Geoff Boycott, Martyn Moxon, Arnie Sidebottom and Graham Stevenson. Ironically though perhaps the clubs most famous product made his name after retiring from the first class game; umpire Harold "Dickie" Bird. A member of the current England squad, Darren Gough, is a product of Shaw Lane.

Looking to the future, Barnsley have provided several members of Yorkshire's Cricket Academy; who it is hoped, will become the next generation of county cricketers.