Club History

The earliest known match of the Ashbourne Cricket Club (known then as Finniss Flat) was in 1872 against Middleton and social matches were played consistently throughout the 1880s and 1890s against a range of local towns. The first known scorecard comes from a match against Queens own Town (now Finniss) in 1895 with ‘The Ashbournes’ being defeated in that match, although it didn’t take long to turn the tables with Ashbourne defeating the Finniss boys one month later (see exerpts from the Southern Argus below)

From the Southern Argus,

Thursday February 28, 1895




"Queen's Own Town, Feb. 23.

An eleven of our cricket club journeyed to Ashbourne on Saturday last, and gained a decisive victory. Owing largely to the success of Jamie Sutherland's bowling the Ashbournes were all disposed of 48 runs, which the Queen's Own club were enabled to cover with the loss of only one wicket, through the excellent stand made at the sticks by R. H. Collett and A. Cameron. Below are the scores :-


Payne, c J. Sutherland, b Evans


R. Kirkham, b J. Sutherland


W. Carter, b J. Sutherland


T. Kirkham, b Evans


J. Carter, b Evans


T. Allinghame, c Parker


J. Mannion, run out


S. Allingham


J. Carter, b Parker


Haines, b Cooper


Stenson, not out









A. Cameron, not out


G. Parker, c Carter, sen b T Allinghame                                 


R. Collett, not out






Total for 1 wicket




From the Southern Argus,

Thursday March 28, 1895


"Finnis, March 23.

A cricket team from Ashbourne played a return match here today with the Finnis Club, made up of the following eleven:- Messrs. T. Collett, S. Collett, Alec Cameron, J. Chibnall, Mians, Jas. Sutherland, W. Cooper (capt.), E. Tucker, G. Parker, H. Evans and T. Porter. Unfortunately the scoring-book was not given to your correspondent, and the scores are not given in detail. The visitors who turned out a surprise for our men, sent the home team in first, but alas, for the uncertainties of cricket, they were all disposed of for a total of 6 runs, S. Collett 3 and E. Tucker 2 being the only ones to break the nest egg, the other one having to be recorded as a sundry. For the visitors J. Allinghame took 6 wickets for 1 run, which I believe, must be a record. The Ashbournes then took strike, and suceeded in compiling 72 runs, J. Carter 38 and J. Manion 13 not out being the principal scorers, after which returned home highly elated with their success. It is difficult to understand the total collapse of the home team, and it must be put down to one of those things that "no fellah can understand."


In the years through the early 1900’s the club was the dominant force of the fledgling association winning 13 premierships between 1910 and 1930. Much of this success was due to the club’s dominant all rounders, Harry Meyer and Vin Payne, both of whom were often chosen for the combined SA Country XI to play a SACA team. Harry Meyer was very strongly involved in the SACA . Harry Meyer’s involvement in the SACA saw the soil for the Adelaide oval centre wicket pitches and a number of district clubs being sourced from his property near Ashbourne. This was due to the high suitability of the black clay soils found in the area. 

The Meyer family with HR Meyer, effectively the "father" of the Ashbourne Cricket Club at the rear on the extreme right hand side. Near the early 1900's. John Meyer is centre front. Photo Custodian - Mrs R Johnson (nee Meyer)




 Harry Meyer, Don Whittam behind and to the right Mrs Meyer (nee Whittam) with Rob Meyer, all on a trip to Adelaide Oval. Around 1923.Lady and girl not known. Photo Custodian - Mrs R Johnson (nee Meyer)


Harry Meyer was made an Honorary Life member of the South Australian Cricket Association in 1965. In moving the conferral of this membership it was reported in the 1965-66 SACA Year Book (p. 124).

"Mr Meyer was well known for his devotion to cricket and was a stalwart in the administration of the Country Carnival, to which Carnival he had provided trophies, and also in connection with the Schoolboy Competition. More recently (1965), Mr Meyer had assisted the Association by providing land on his property from which the black soil could be obtained. Mr Meyer had given the Association a lease for 50 years and if the soil on his deposit ceased then he was prepared to make other deposits on his property available for use by the Association."

The Adelaide Oval Museum currently houses a Harry Meyer Cup which relates to the Country Championships.

Harry R Meyer handing on the Meyer Cup to we believe the President of Northern Association, Captain Norm Hage and an unknown gentleman. This photo represents the 1950's and many years of Country Carnival cricket matches hosted in and around Adelaide Oval. Mr Harry Meyer played a key role in organising these great sporting occasions. Photo Custodian - Mrs R Johnson (nee Meyer)


The club has competed in a number of associations throughout it’s history, the first comprising largely local teams and most of whom we still compete against today. The club is currently affiliated with the Alexandra and Eastern Hills Cricket Association (AEHCA) and the SACA.


From the book "Regiment on the River" by Heather Partridge under the title

Woodchester Cricket Club, 1874 - 1934-1935,

"1895 at a club meeting it was suggested that an association be formed comprising Ashbourne, Macclesfield, Meadows, Milang, Langhorne Creek, Strathalbyn and Woodchester."


From the clubs formation in 1895 to the mid 1960’s the club fielded an A grade team. The club competed in the B grade competition from the mid 1960’s to the 2000’s where a second team was formed, giving the club an A and B grade. The club introduced a third senior team as well as juniors in the late 2000’s with the club currently fielding three senior teams and one junior team.

The centre wicket playing surface started life as a slate pitch in the early years of the club and these were changed to concrete in the middle of the last century. The hard wicket was replaced by two turf pitches in the 1960's making Ashbourne Cricket Club one of the few in the Association to play on turf wickets. An additional two turf pitches were established in the late 1990's and early 2000's to give the club the four centre wickets it sports today. The Ashbourne turf pitches are regarded as being amongst the best in the Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula regions with Ashbourne oval widely regarded as one of the most picturesque and delightful cricket grounds upon which to play and watch the game of cricket. 

HR Meyer's son Rob, at Ashbourne Oval at approximately ten years of age. He is wearing his PAC Uniform. We've dated this photo at about 1923 and at this time the oval has not yet been "cut out" adjacent to land owned by Johnsons.The pitches are to the right, commenced as slate, then concrete and then turf in the 1960's. Photo Custodian - Mrs R Johnson (nee Meyer)



The Ashbourne oval around 1963, after the oval levelling, and the replacement of the concrete pitch by a Turf wicket. Photo Custodiam - Mrs Beth Pethick


And again in 1998, only more trees and colour, fence posts, side screens etc.. (Social Game at end of season). Photo Custodian - Mr Andrew Stidston