Ashley Ball digs into the archives to remember Yorkshire Cricket Club’s visit to Darfield…

DEATH, taxes and the English rain ruining a good party.

These are the only certainties in life.

The latter struck in April 1981 when Darfield Cricket Club hosted Yorkshire County Cricket Club to celebrate the opening of their new pavilion.

Unfortunately the weather put a bit of a dampener on things.

As the Chronicle reported at the time, morning drizzle delayed the scheduled start time and ensured a premature conclusion with the match abandoned just after 4pm.

Yorkshire’s team unfortunately did not contain any of the five England internationals who had just toured the West Indies.

Yorkshire scored 228 for four and Darfield were on one for one in reply, with just one over bowled.

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Future England cricket international and Manchester United player Arnie Sidebottom got the wicket of Ralph Swindells before play was cancelled.

The programme for the event featured a number of columns including from the Barnsley FC manager at the time, Norman Hunter, umpiring legend Dickie Bird and journalists Peter Snape and Keith Lodge.

The club chairman, JW Ennis, wrote: “Today is a great milestone in the history of Darfield Cricket Club. When we approached Ray Illingworth, manager of the county side, he was only too pleased to celebrate the opening of our new pavilion. Whilst the multi-purpose club satisfied the immediate needs, changing facilities were a bit cramped and limited.

“Thus in 1980 extensions to the club were started for the new changing rooms and showers, score box, new stores and garage.

“The ground itself was purchased during the year.

“Now, 130 years after its inception, Darfield Cricket Club can look around and proudly say: this is ours.”

MAIN PICTURE: The Darfield team. and, below, the Yorkshire team, the Chronicle’s coverage of the match and souvenir brochure.