The first County cricket played at Leyton was on the 15th June 1885. A year later, it was made the HQ of Essex. The county's greatest success at this ground came in 1905 when they beat the touring Australians. At the end of 1922 Essex sold the ground to the Army sports control board. This meant that their debts were no longer a worry, and they still had a ground. Finally in 1933 Essex moved away in favour of playing only odd matches here and there. Festival matches continued to be played until 1976 when Essex continued to centralise cricket to Chelmsford.