Emergence of the Leagues
From the 1870’s the use of the railway system enabled fixtures to be arranged not only locally but as far away as Cardiff, St Fagans and Barry.
“Sport was flourishing (in the town) from 1901 to 1914 as never before. In 1909 the cricket club engaged the first professional in the towns’ history, one Kavanagh, a good wicket keeper and fast bowler. He was observed to enjoy a glass of stout at intervals during a game; this was possible because the cricket club committee and press sat at a table near the boundary and were (themselves) well supplied with liquid refreshment”. (3)
From 1926 until 1961 the club played in the South Wales and Mon league which was mainly based around Swansea. Ebbw Vale was the last Monmouthshire club to leave that league. It was during this period that a number of famous cricketers played for the club.
Leonard PITCHFORD (Bedfordshire Minor Counties and Glamorgan) opened the batting for the club 1931-35 renting “Pendennis”, Tredegar Road. The club have his original contracts for 1931 & 32 and are on display.
Percy HOLMES (Yorkshire and England) opened the batting in 1938. He with Herbert Sutcliffe held the record opening stand of 555 for Yorkshire against Essex at Leyton in 1932.
George MACAULAY (also Yorkshire and England) opened the bowling for Ebbw Vale in 1939and took 10 wickets in one match. Both men lodged with Mr & Mrs Arthur Jones in Heol-ael-y-bryn.
Harold GIMBLETT (Somerset and England) played for Ebbw Vale in 1955 and rented a house in the town. He scored a six over square leg at Brecon with the first ball he received for the club.
Between 1962-70, “Friendlies” were played as “time cricket” but pressure to return to a league format grew stronger in the late 1960’s.
With the failure of the Monmouthshire Cricket Association to create a county wide league (because some clubs in the east and the south of the county “crossed the border”) the club lost out on the new system
However, the Welsh Club Cricket Conference, founded in 1969, accepted Ebbw Vale’s application to join in 1971. This league was based on the area between Bridgend and Sudbrook and consisted of three divisions.
In 1988 the club joined the newly created Welsh Counties Alliance, a league which saw the club enter a more confined one division based on better playing facilities.
After 10 years the E.C.B asked the clubs playing “over the border” to return to South Wales and the three division South Wales Cricket League was created in 1999 based again from Bridgend to Chepstow.
Following the E.C.B and Glamorgan County Cricket Club’s “promoting” a semi-professional “Premier League” of 10 clubs was created in 2010 to cover an area from Ammanford to Usk.
To retain a three division organisation in South East Wales the Glamorgan and Monmouthshire was formed for the 2010 season.