01:36, Thu Dec 09, 2021 (UTC +0000)


A cricket club was founded in Bridgend around 1840 and reports of their games appeared on a sporadic basis during the mid 19th century in the local newspapers. A major influence on the early events of the club was John Cole Nicholl of Merthyr Mawr Ho use. Nicholl was the son of the M.P. for Cardiff and in 1853 inherited the country house and its extensive grounds. He was a keen cricketer himself and opened the batting for the Bridgend club, so it was little surprise that he arranged for the town club to use the grounds of his lavish house for their major games. Nicholl was also instrumental in arranging country house and county ga mes at Merthyr Mawr, and his home became one of the earliest centres for good cricket in South Wales.

In their early years, the Bridgend club also used a number of other grounds around the town, with the Merthyr Mawr ground being reserved for their most prestigious games. In 1903 J.C.Nicholl`s son, J.I.D.Nicholl inherited the Merthyr Mawr Estate. Lik e his father, John Illtyd Dillwyn Nicholl was a good cricketer, playing for Eton, Incogniti and the early Glamorgan side, and he too was keen that the town of Bridgend had decent sporting facilities. He was also keen to dispose of some of the Merthyr Mawr es tate so he offered part of Newbridge Farm to Bridgend Urban District Council for them develop a recreational area.

After the First World War, the cricket club joined forces with the town`s rugby, tennis and hockey clubs to form Bridgend Amateur Athletic Club, and work began on creating a proper recreation ground at Newbridge Field. However, in 1928 the Athletic Club was reorganised and the cricket section moved to yet another ground at Coychurch Road. It was at this venue that Glamorgan p layed their first game against Bridgend C.C., as Maurice Turnbull arranged a fund-raising game against the town club in August 19 32.

During the 1930`s further club and ground fixtures were played at the Coychurch Road ground, but in 1948 the Bridgend clu b moved back to Newbridge Field, where a new square was properly laid out and the Urban District Council oversaw other improveme nts. Glamorgan visited their new home in 1950 for a game in aid of George Lavis` Testimonial and they returned on a regular basi s during the 1950`s for other Benefit games.

The facilities at Newbridge Field were further improved during the 1960`s as a new pavilion was built, and it was formall y opened in May 1965 with a game betwen the town club and a Glamorgan XI. Wilf Wooller, the Glamorgan Secretary, was suitably im pressed with the new facilities and the good wicket, and in 1966 the ground was allocated a 2nd XI fixture against Warwickshire. Since that time regular second team games have been staged at Newbridge Fields, and amongst the club`s players to have recently p layed for Glamorgan are Alistair Dalton and Roger Davis.