History...


Here is the history and some informative links regarding our club.  Some interesting stuff in there!


Hills Plymouth Cricket Club was founded in the early 1860's.

The name comes from the Plymouth Ironworks run by the Hill family, firstly by Richard Hill and then by his son Anthony. Early newspaper cricket reports refer to the club as Plymouth Merthyr. At the beginning of the 20th century the club played in the Glamorgan Cricket League winning the championship in 1902 and 1903.
In 1926 Hills Plymouth became one of the founder members of the South Wales and Monmouthshire League. At that time the club was known as Hills Plymouth Athletic Club, as the also had a tennis section. They continue to play in the same league, which is now called the South Wales Cricket Association.


In the clubs history they have won the 2nd Division championship in 1960 and 1964, the 4th Division in 1979 and 1998. In 2007 the 1st X1 gained promotion to the 3rd Division for 2008. The closest Hills have come to winning the 1st Division championship was in 1934 when they finished runners-up to Pontardawe, winning 10 games and losing only one of their 16 matches. During that season Tim Davies, who was a professional player as well as being the groundsman, scored 560 runs and took 42 wickets. Rees Williams scored 369 runs and Ralph Grocutt 293 runs. However, before the 1935 season, Tim Davies went to play for Maesteg, and Plymouth slumped to bottom but one in  the table.


Over the years several professionals have played for the Pentrebach side, and during the early years of the 1900's players were brought from Lancashire, Hampshire and other parts of England, and given jobs in the ironworks as well as playing cricket for the club. At one time the only amateur playing with ten professionals was the local star Jim Williams. His Hills Plymouth career spanned 1891 to 1949, he played his first game for the 3rd X1 as a 12 year old and his last game as a 70 year old in a cup match.


Since the mid-fifties the only professionals to play for Hills were Stan Montgomery, Brian Edrich, Billy Davies and Alwyn Harris. The latter was an ex-Glamorgan opening batsman who served the club as a player and coach for over 30 years. In 1952 Stan Rosser the club secretary initiated the purchase of the ground from the Earl of Plymouth's estate and a clubhouse was built in 1955.  A clause in the deeds insisted the club must foster the game of cricket.  The old wooden building was replaced in May 1973 with a new metal building, which still exists today.  The new premises was opened for business on December 21st 1973, and the official opening took place on November 8th 1974 with Glamorgan batsman Alan Jones unveiling a plaque.


The Hills Plymouth ground hosted benefit matches for Glamorgan players such as Peter Walker and Don Shepherd form 1958 to 1961 but the introduction of the John Player Sunday league competition meant the end of these types of games. In 1979 the club was fortunate to be given a representative game between a Morgannwg league X1 and the touring Barbados Wanderers.  Hills Plymouth opening batsman Clive Owen played for the league side.


The previous season had seen the 2nd X1 win the 4th division of the Morgannwg league. They played in that league from 1974 to 1982, because the South Wales Cricket Association did not have a 2nd X1 league for 3rd and 4th  division teams.
The history of Hills Plymouth is not restricted to cricket as the clubs football team in 1977-8 season won the Merthyr  Football League Treble, winning the league without losing a match and beating Courthouse 4-1 in the Senior Cup final and Treharris  Athletic 5-1 in the Challenge Cup final. The most notable achievement that season was reaching the final of the South Wales Intermediate Cup beating Newton Wanderers,  Gurnos Athletic, Albany Baptist, St  Joseph's, Cambrian United and Whitchurch Hospital on their way to playing Cardiff Cosmos at Penrhiwceiber. Hills Plymouth were beaten 2-0 after extra time.


Other football memorabilia can be found in the Hills Plymouth clubhouse in the shape of two Welsh football shirts worn by Rees Williams known as  'Rhysi Tavern' and Danny Gethin Evans. Williams was a professional footballer who played for Merthyr, Sheffield Wednesday and Manchester United earning 8 Welsh caps, he played cricket for Plymouth for over 25 years. Evans was also a professional footballer who earned  4 Welsh caps as well as playing cricket for Hills.

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http://www.alangeorge.co.uk/Images3_I-P/MerthyrExpress_26-08-76_StoryOfHillsPlymouth_TonyBowen%20CC.jpg


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Taken from Aberdare Cricket Club website -


Historical footnote:- I know you're all asking why a cricket club in Pentrebach is called Hills Plymouth. In 1763 John Guest and Isaac Wilkinson started the Plymouth Works in the area, on land leased from the Earl of Plymouth. They failed to make the business a success, and sold up two years later, to Anthony Bacon. At about the same time Bacon built his first furnace at Cyfarthfa. Richard Hill (Bacon's brother-in- law) was appointed manager of the Plymouth works. Following Bacon's death in 1786, the works were left to his sons, who sold them to Richard Hill. The works prospered under Hill's management. The metal produced at Plymouth was considered to be the finest in South Wales. On the death of Richard in 1818, His son Anthony Hill took control of the works. The Bessemer process for converting pig-Iron into Steel, was first partially developed by Anthony Hill. He died in 1862, and the company was taken over by Messrs Fothergill, Hankey, and Bateman. This partnership allowed the company to rundown for various reasons, which led to its closure in 1882.

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