The Old Bournemouthians’ Association subsidised the activities of the Old Bournemouthians Association Cricket Club until the side disbanded in 2015.
The club has a long history, going back to the time when the first pupils left Bournemouth School in 1905.
It is known that the first matches were played in 1905 and the side played in the local league in the 1920’s, before the club folded for a while. Although little else is known of the prewar period, certainly the club restarted after the war in 1947, when sport revived. In those days the games were all ‘friendlies’ and the home games were probably restricted to the school ground at Castle Lane.
Jumping forward to the 1960’s the club made quite an impact in Bournemouth cricket, winning the De Zoete Knock-out Cup, in the days when large crowds would gather at Winton Oval to see the charity matches. At the time, weekend cricket was still entirely friendlies, with the odd game being played at Dean Park, then one of the county grounds of Hampshire CC. A look back at old fixture cards show the majority of games were played in Hampshire, with matches as far away as Havant and Winchester.
By the early 1970’s the Dorset Club Championship was taking shape, with clubs’ performance in the Championship being measured by the results in club matches. At this time there were 20 teams in the Senior Championship, with a minimum of fourteen games having to be played. Thus a team could win the championship by playing twice against just seven clubs!
At this time the draw was still a valid result. The Old Bournemouthians entered the competition around 1975 and so the club looked towards Dorset for its future fixtures.
The early eighties saw the Senior Championship split into two sections, as some clubs wished for ‘result’ cricket. The Old Bournemouthians were in the lower section, known as the Thomas Scorebook Championship and in its first year came 2nd, pipped by local side Wayfarers, who collected 60 points out of 60 from their last three games to win the title. During the 1980’s the use of Castle Lane was phased out and Dean Park became the home ground for all the club’s Dorset fixtures. This brought a major improvement in amenities, with the standards of a county ground, sight-screens and a bar!
The club’s next near-miss to the title was in the early 1990’s, when the final game of the season at Cattistock became the Championship decider. Local knowledge of their compact and sloping ground proved too much for the Old Bournemouthians and success eluded us again.
The late 1990’s saw major changes in the structure of the Dorset League, with separate competitions being played on Saturdays and Sundays. The club competed on both days, with one team in Dorset. There was also a 2nd XI playing in the Bournemouth League on Saturdays, based at Wallisdown.
Although the origins of the club were with the old school, the Old Bournemouthians have welcomed non Old Boys for many years.
In 2001, Bournemouth University advised us that we would not be granted the use of Dean Park for 2002 and sadly the club ceased as a separate entity. The club then merged with Bournemouth Cricket Club, to become Bournemouth with Old Bournemouthians CC. From the 2002 season, the club became part of Bournemouth Cricket Club and played at Chapel Gate near the Bournemouth International Airport.
The club disbanded in 2015.