Friday, February 25, 2011

Tigers disappear from Punt Road

It was with great sadness to hear that another of Victoria's traditional grade cricket sides will be moving house. Richmond CC has called Punt Road Oval home since 1854 just a few hundred metres from the MCG and was a founding member of the Premier competition in 1906/07.

With the recent expansion of Australian Rules Football side of a simular name having built a new wing to its ever expanding offices and training facilities also the constant use fo the ground by the professional football club having forced Richmond CC's hand in looking else where to provide a viable and better purpose built cricketing venue.

Will this remain the same?
As it stands Richmond CC will be moving out to Glen Waverly an outer suburb of Melbourne far from Richmond Oval. As part of this move Richmond will have a brand new pavillon, 2 grade standard turf wickets and a training venue that will be available intruption free. What they will lose is the name, and in my eyes the beauty that was the inner city team, and one of the last remaining. With Fitzroy having moved out to Doncaster, and Carlton no longer playing many matches in Carlton, the inner suburb grade sides are leaving home bases and I think this is sad. A club that has a list of formidable former & current players in Bill Johnson, Graham Yallop, Doug Ring, Paul Reiffel as well as Cameron White and recently retired Paul Collingwood.

Now living in Southampton its a shame to know on my return trips home as I crawl along the busy Punt Rd, the traffic bumper to bumper as I cut across the city towards the bay for a swim, I shall never see the men in white scampering across the grass of Richmond Oval. When I lived in East Melbourne, Richmond CC being the closest grade club (a short 10 min walk) was fantastic to sit in the old stands and see them play.

Sitting in those old wooden benches over looking the ground, with the The Cricketers Arms pub just out reach across the road you dream of times of great grade cricket match-ups of Miller vs. Johnson or Riffiel vs. Hughes.  The move across the suburbs will no doubt bring better cricket to the club but Punt Rd will be poorer for it.

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