Cricket was first played in Sharlston on the village green. It was organised by three brothers, Ernie, Alfred and Arthur Bell who lived in the old original White Horse with their sister Lily.
The Inn, overlooking the green, was probably used by the players for changing and making the teas in the interval.
Ernie, who was the landlord of the White Horse, was later to become the first President of OSCC.
Sharlston was a small mining; farming village situated between Wakefield and Pontefract.
Sadly the mine closed in 1993 and 4 of the farms have been broken up and the buildings converted into luxury dwellings.
The cricket club was originally formed in 1905 and was called Old Sharlston Red Rose C.C. similarly the Sharlston Rovers Rugby League Club was also called Red Rose.
As yet we have not been able to establish a connection or meaning, in 1906 the Red Rose bit was dropped and we became known as Old Sharlston Cricket Club.
At that time we rented a field from Mr Wildman a local farmer.
The field was situated at the south end of Grime lane to the west side; In 1908 after the members successfully turned the pastureland into a suitable playing area we were accepted into the West Riding Cricket League, with just one team playing on Saturdays.
1927 brought about the formation of a second eleven as cricketing interest in the village increased;
Old Sharlston won the West Riding League1st Division League Shield in 1936 and then again in 1948; at that time there were around 36 teams forming the league.
1946 was the year Ernie and his sister moved from the old White Horse to an old Coach House on West Lane. The Pub, though many changes have taken place inside, still looks much the same from the lawns, which flow down to the road. The White Horse was the Headquarters of OSCC until the old wooden Pavilion was built in 1959, but regular meetings were still held there and was our “Watering Hole” after the match until 2010.
In 1957 we were asked to vacate our cricket field, as the owner required it for extra grazing land.; The Church came to our rescue and agreed to lease us the field at the back of the Church, which is now our present home. In 1958 a lease for 25 years was signed, with an option of a further 25 years. Fifty years leasehold now secure, the members once again set about creating another playing area which included the removal of the turf in small slabs to where the square was to be positioned. The ground was then levelled by hand and then relaid. One year later cricket was again played in Sharlston; Sometime around 1959 the first junior side was formed but by 1974 our wicket had worn so badly that it was deemed dangerous for the under 16’s and we disbanded the junior team; In 1978 the club paid £2300 for a brand new square to be laid.
Junior cricket was resumed in 1981.
1982 the First team beat Hundhill Hall at Hensall to win the West Riding Senior Cup. The nineties brought a lot of success to the club.
In 1991 the First team were crowned Division One Champions. That same year we had to find another £27,000 to level the field and again relay the square. The “National Coal Board” paid for the bulk of this as Subsidence had caused most of the problems with the last coal face at Sharlston Colliery passing under our field. During the grading of the outfield, the machine uncapped an old Bell Mine just off the square and was almost lost down the exposed shaft. Work was held up whilst the mine (which was not on any of the Board’s maps) was recapped.
The following year Denby Grange was the opponents in the Senior Cup Final at Ryhill, Sharlston came out on top in that encounter and regained the cup; Three more junior sides were added in 1993 the under 13’s, 15’s and 17’s.
The club left the West Riding League in 1994 and after passing stringent entry requirements we moved into the Pontefract and District cricket league.
The First team was placed in the Third Division and the Second joined Division Six. The move to a higher level of cricket served as an inspiration and the club continued to flourish,
In 1996 the First team were promoted as runners in Division Three.
The Millennium brought further success as the Junior section of the club, the U13s, lifted the Kitty Robinson Trophy in the Osgoldcross league Cup, and an U11s team was introduced. The First team were again promoted as Champions of Division Three.
2001, more success for the First team, as they won the Gordon Batley trophy and the Second team were promoted as runners up of Division Six.
2002 was a great year, the First team beat Knottingley at Whitley Bridge to win the Hepworth Memorial trophy and the Second team were promoted as Champions of Division Five.
In 2003 the First team were promoted as Champions of Division Two. Also a Sunday side was included to play in the Wakefield and District Union League to help the thriving junior section become accustomed to playing the longer version of the game.
In 2005, the Club became the West Yorkshire area champions in the national village competition and the Sunday side won the East Section of their league.
2006, the clubs centenary year, the First team were winners of the Dyson-Skidmore Cup. The Sunday side won their section of the league and went on to win the play off final at Morley. Not to be forgotten, finally the under 13’s won their league.
A great centenary year!
2007 brought a Heywood-Williams Cup final appearance for the Second team.
In 2008 the Under 15s team appeared in the ECB Regional Trophy Semi-Final, losing out narrowly to Pudsey Congs.
2010 saw the First team win the Dyson-Skidmore Trophy for a second time, by defeating Rothwell in the Final at Ackworth.
2011 and 2012, saw the Second team again appear in the final of the Heywood-Williams Trophy final but were defeated by Thorpe Audlin and Thurnscoe.
2013 was the pinnacle of the clubs achievements, the First team were crowned Pontefract and District Division One Champions!
Now for the future, we have moved from one team to four in our first 111 years a lot of this is due to the main principles we have followed over the years;
1. To promote all forms of cricket, in an enjoyable and entertaining atmosphere.
2. To remain a non-profit making family club.
3. To welcome all players regardless of race, ability, age or handicap.
We are totally committed to the junior teams, as most of our successful teams of recent years have been stocked with players who have come through the junior system. We have four qualified coaches and have recently invested heavily on new training facilities such as artificial practice wickets new cages and a bowling machine; we can see that the future prosperity of the club lies with the juniors. During the season we train on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and everybody is welcome so if anyone is interested in playing please come along from 6pm onwards.
In 2006 we secured ownership of the field in our Centenary Year, purchasing it from the local church and Wakefield Diocese.
Buoyed on by this success the club embarked on a new bigger challenge! To replace our tired old wooden pavilion! Grant applications were submitted to various organisations without success and it became a condition of application, that consultants be used to submit future applications to access Lottery funding. Despite this being done all attempts failed to receive adequate support and with the world’s financial markets in turmoil further attempts were shelved in 2010.
Following the success of becoming Division One Champions in 2013 which gave the club a lot of publicity and impetus, another attempt was made to access much needed external funding. Clubs were once again able to apply direct for funding and a comprehensive programme of excellent applications was submitted, this included showing that the club had £23,000 towards the project and could call on further pledges of £20,000. Pleasingly the club was eventually offered a £50,000 grant from WREN environmental, to fund the interior of the building. Furthermore we were indebted to a new charity the Streethouse and Sharlston Youth Foundation who gave £10,000. This then paved the way for Sport England to offer an initial £93,000 which turned out to be well over £120,000 to turn our dream into a reality!
In September 2015 we ourselves demolished the old wooden pavilion ready for work to commence, unfortunately very old coal workings were located below the area of the footprint of the new building, so work was delayed till these were pumped full of concrete, this work was completed in January 20016. Thankfully Sport England covered these unforeseen costs.
The New Clubhouse contains a function room for 100 guests a dance floor, a bar, a large well equipped kitchen and storage room. It has two large team changing rooms, complete with showers and toilets, a separate umpires changing facility including shower and toilet.
All facilities have disabled friendly access and a separate disabled toilet and baby change facility is provided as well as spacious Ladies and Gents toilet facilities.
We were extremely proud and privileged when Yorkshire’s Double Championship winning captain and current coach of Yorkshire, Andrew Gale opened the building in March 2016. It was a fantastic day attended by invited guests from WREN, Sport England, Local MP, cricketers young and old and many people from the village.
Working tirelessly into the next 100 years, we continue to follow the motto on our club badge NEVILE FENO.