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Tong Park Esholt CC

Club Details
Gold and Green
Home Ground: BD17 7LQ
Contact:Bob Wilkinson (President) 01274 587792

In 2009 Tong Park CC and Esholt CC merged to form Tong Park Esholt CC.  The decision was taken to join the clubs and to continue playing cricket at both Low Springs (Tong Park) and Esholt, with the Club’s headquarters being at Esholt and the Esholt Lane clubhouse.

The 1XI & 2XI team along with the juniors play at Esholt Lane with the 3XI playing at Tong Park.  The players who stayed with the Club approached the first season very positively with 1XI & 2XI playing in the Airedale & Wharfedale Senior Cricket League and 3XI in the Dales Council. We look forward to future success as both players and committee members are working hard and enjoying the experience of the ‘new’ Club.

Both Tong Park and Esholt share similar characteristics in their histories. The grounds are near to each other and cricket started at both in the late nineteenth century.

A brief history of Tong Park CC and Esholt CC

Esholt CC was founded in 1895 and the present square was first used the following season.

Since the founding of the Club there has been continuous cricket in the village with the exception of three years during the First World War.

In the early years the club were members of the Airedale & Wharfedale Second Class League, winning it in 1903.  After a period in the Bradford District League a move was made into the newly formed 2nd Division of the Bradford League, unfortunately this League was dissolved in 1911.  In the following years Esholt returned to the Bradford League and after the war spent time in the Bradford Central League before moving to the Wharfedale League in 1929.

1946-1953 was the Club’s most successful with teams and players winning leagues and trophies.  In 1956 the Club entered the Dales Council.

The present clubhouse was taken over in 1970 and with grants, loans and much hard work the premises were transformed and opened in 1979 by Brian Close.

The Club was admitted to the Leeds & District League in 1985.  In 1985 Esholt employed their first overseas professional Wahid Niazi.

The 1994 season was probably the most successful in the Club’s history, completing the League and Cup double.  In 1999 the Club joined the Bradford League and spent several very happy years despite a difficult start.

Although Tong Park CC was founded in 1880, cricket was first played at Low Springs in 1910.  The Club’s expenses were all funded by the Denby family who owned the mill and the ground.  The Club’s teams were made up of mill employees.  At one stage there were ten professionals all paid for by the mill.

Two points of interest were that at one time three of the team played for Yorkshire but declined to continue as it was more beneficial to work at the mill and play for Tong Park.  Also, on 18 July 1914 the Club played Windhill in the Cup in front of a crowd of 3000 and the gate was £27.

Tong Park CC joined the Airedale & Wharfedale League in 1959, having previously been in the Bradford League and the Yorkshire Council.

In summary, the history and tradition of both of these Club’s is valued and treasured and will continue to inspire the players and members of Tong Park Esholt CC who hope to continue and add to the legacy left by all involved from both Clubs in the previous hundred years or so.

We aim to encourage the local communities to become involved with the club and welcome visitors to the caravan park at Esholt.  We continue to work to enhance the grounds, by planting trees at Tong Park and establishing a nature reserve next to the ground at Esholt.