Cricket has been played in South Wales since the 1830’s (3).
I wonder with improved transport links, was it a coincidence that when the passenger railway service came to Ebbw Vale (Monday 19th April 1852) the Ebbw Vale Club’s first recorded match was at Blaina later that summer. It was the first reported game for both clubs and resulted in a win for the visitors (2).
During the 19th century the influx of people from the surrounding counties, attracted by work in the iron and coal industries, helped develop all aspects of the town with cricket being no exception. Support came from school masters teaching the game as part of the curriculum, from industrial managers and from the clergy, who as disciples of the Victorian concept of Muscular Christianity believed that playing games helped to give order and moral structure to life within the tightly knit and drink ridden industrial communities
At the same time Rugby Union was thought to be the pre-eminent game because it developed the strength of character for military service (8).
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