• Facebook
  • Twitter

The earliest records of cricket played in Ivybridge date back to the 1930’s, with games played at Gerston, near the site of the town’s paper mill.

The club was reformed in its current format in 1975. Several of the founder members had spent the early part of the 1970’s playing cricket at Moorhaven, in the grounds of the former hospital. Most of the players came from Ivybridge and it was a logical move to form a club in the growing town of Ivybridge.

Amongst the founder members were current President John Scott and former President, Bob Mailling who have both had long-term relationships with the club. In the early days the club played friendlies against other local sides but the club also took part in the West Devon Cricket League. One game in that competition from that era against Keyham is well remembered – it had to be abandoned because of a dangerous pitch!

The early days of the club also saw the beginning of a great Ivybridge tradition – the tour. Without the restrictions of Devon League cricket the club regularly toured the South Midlands area over the early May Bank Holiday.

With an increasing number of West Devon clubs joining the fledgling Devon League in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Ivybridge followed suit, being founder members of the C Division (what would now be B Division) in 1979. Soon after the club moved to a new home ground – Erme Playing Fields. The club’s second XI followed the first team into the Devon League in 1983.

There were a number of good players at the club during this time with the likes of Martin Shepherd, John Pearse, Jeff Collins and Peter Gripaios regular contributors with the bat and John Scott, Don Moody and John Slaymaker consistent with the ball.

The club’s first playing success came in 1988 by winning the Major Cup. The first XI had the achievement of going an entire season unbeaten in 1992, achieving promotion back to C Division of the Devon League in the process.

Another strong side was developed in the mid 1990’s under the captaincy of Gary Daw with players such as Mark Hill, John Simes, Peter Bird and Derek Haynes to the fore. Mel Holsten, Mike Watts and Brian Jarvis were key contributors to the second team at this time.

The mid to late 1990’s saw the development of the club’s youth section. Mainly, under the guidance of Bob Andrews and the late Ray Cox, the club produced a crop of youngsters many of whom are in the current adult section today, and others who have moved on from the club, but continue to play cricket to a good club standard.

An unsuccessful run in the late 1990’s, with many changes of personnel, led to the team competing in E Division. A core of individuals kept the club solvent off the field and surviving on it in period of rebuilding. The efforts of Ian Robertson, Nick Thomas, Brian Flood and Jeff Wakeham in keeping the first team, second team and colts sections running in difficult times were vital.

After a series of seasons of underachievement, an influx of new players including the experience of Andy Coker, Peter Boast, Karl Prescott, Andy Johnson, Derek Solomon and Kevin Jacobs led to promotion from E Division in 2004, followed by a double promotion for both 1st and 2nd teams back to C Division in 2005. Some of the club’s home grown talent have also played a key role notably Kelvin Trent, James Bullock, Paul Veale, Gareth Andrews and Gareth Stuckey.

Gareth Stuckey was also instrumental in keeping the club’s touring tradition and has organised a number of successful club tours in recent years to Bournemouth, Birmingham and Bristol.

The growth of the club’s membership since 2001/02 has resulted in a need for competitive Sunday cricket as well as the traditional friendlies, primarily to provide development to youngsters and a competitive edge to social cricket for the older members.

With this aim in mind, the club had its inaugural season in the South Devon League in 2004. It took a couple of seasons to achieve promotion from Division 4, winning the title in 2006. Kelvin Trent’s side did well to knock out Roborough on the way to the end of season cup competition in the South Devon League, with an unbeaten 89 from Mike Tuckwell. Sadly the cup final was lost to a strong Brixham side. That year also saw the Under 15 side do the Palladium competition league and cup double.

The later years have seen the club obtain the services of an overseas player for the first time. In 2006, the inaugural overseas player was Australian opening bat Cody Morris from Melbourne. Cody found English conditions to his liking scoring almost 1,000 runs in league cricket before having to return home early because of a family illness. His bowling was also more than useful and he would have taken more wickets had an early knee injury not restricted his bowling abilities. The highlight was probably his club record innings of 220 not out against Ipplepen, an innings which most present rated the best they had ever seen in club cricket.

In 2007 and 2008, two more Australians, also from Melbourne, in Michael Anderson and Nick Dunn followed. 2007 also saw several other highlights. Sam Henderson scored the club fastest ever century, from just 33 balls faced, in a P&D game against Plymouth Civil Service. Sam also scored a vital unbeaten 25 to help win a close P&D Cup Final against near neighbours Cornwood. It also saw a debut for the club in coloured kit in the local Plymouth 20/20 competition. Finally, and most importantly the club achieved the prestigious ECB ClubMark award for the first time in 2007 reflecting the progress the club had made.

Another promotion for the second team, this time to B Division, came in 2008 thanks to fine performances from Sam Henderson, Toby Borrow, Tim Lancaster, James Willacy and skipper Gareth Stuckey. Unfortunately a number of that team moved away from the area for various reasons and the promotion proved short lived lasting only one season in the higher standard.

The award of ClubMark was to prove crucial in the next couple of years as the developments required by Ivybridge Town Football Club at Erme Playing Fields were to mean that the club had to look for a new home ground. Thanks to initial backing from Ivybridge Town Council, the club were able to plan a move to Filham Park. Financial backing was received from the England and Wales Cricket Board (partly thanks to the ClubMark achievement) and from South Hams District and Devon County Council’s. The funding enabled the club to convert the existing “Silvermine Suite” building in Filham Park for cricket use and to develop a 10 strip grass cricket square, artificial wicket and outfield.

The project was not without its problems mainly due to a very short timescale for laying the square and required the hard work of many clubs members including Tony Mailling, Jon Sparkes, Andy Johnson and Andy Coker to complete. After arranging fixtures to be played away from home in the first half of the 2010 season, the club was able to play at Filham in the second half of the season, commencing with a victory by 55 runs over eventual divisional winners Dartington & Totnes.

After a season of consolidation in 2011, the wet summer of 2012 proved to be a good one for the club with both 1st and 2nd XI being promoted. Sri Lankan Jeewan De Silva played a key role with runs and wickets but there were also runs for Andy Johnson, Kevin Jacobs and Kelvin Trent and good bowling performances from Paul Veale and Pete Abraham. Promotion was secured with a last day win against Clyst St George.

The seconds won D Division West with consistent run scoring from Des Solomon, Chris Greenhouse and Tanuj Goswami. “Greeners” also had a good season with the ball finishing as leading wicket-taker, with Sijo Kopparambil also a consistent performer.

2013 saw the club return to the B Division for the first time since it first entered the Devon League, achieving its highest ever finish (fourth) having been in and around the promotion mix for most of the season. The second team also had a successful return to the C Division finishing comfortably mid-table in a competitive league.

The winter and spring of 2014 saw construction of a long awaited clubhouse extension at Filham Park to house a scorebox, machinery store, kit store and additional toilets. The extension will also have a large balcony above it which will make for excellent viewing of the cricket. On the field 2014 saw the first team narrowly miss promotion from the B Division (again) finishing third, but the seconds went one better finishing second in C Division to be promoted to B Division. The club hosted its first ever County match in 2014 when Devon Under 13s played Gloucestershire.

2015 saw both sides consolidate in the B Division; before the 1st XI achieved promotion to the A Division in 2016. Once again, Sri Lankan Jeewan De Silva played a big role in securing the promotion scoring over 400 runs and taking 31 wickets. He found able support from youngster Abraham Kopparambil, who also scored over 400 runs. There were other notable contributions with bat, ball or both from Josh Zimmerman, Kelvin Trent, Adam Huxtable, James Bullock, Harry Solomon and Pete Abraham at different times in the season. The B Division title sadly alluded the side though, losing two more games to the weather than eventual champions Plymstock. In particular, a rained off game at Tavistock when the side was 141 for 1 from just 23 overs and the rest of the division played to a finish cost the title.

A fifth placed finish in the first season in the A Division in 2017 was a great achievement with all those who had contributed to the promotion playing their part. Wins over Budleigh Salterton and Plympton were particular highlights of the season. The true highlight of 2017 was undoubtedly the performances of the Under 13 team, who won their League, the Devon Cup and reached the quarter-final of the National Knockout Cup after a last ball thriller against Truro in the last 16. Sam Kidd, Zach Dunn, Arthur Johnson, James Ferriman, Jacob Kopparambil and Lewis Clarke were the core of an excellent side in their age group.

2018 was a tough season with player availability more problematic than in previous seasons. A league reorganisation for the 2nd XI led to them competing against some 1st XI’s for the first time in E Division West. It is testament to the work of the club volunteers that the 2nd XI are now in the equivalent division to that of the 1st XI only 14 years previously.

A slow start to the season eventually led to a double relegation escape. A number of young players were exposed to 1st or 2nd XI cricket for the first time and the future bodes well for the club in this respect.

Funds from s106 contributions from local housing developments allowed the club to complete new outdoor nets in autumn 2018.

The club founded a women’s section in 2020, which despite the COVID-19 pandemic grew quickly to over 30 members.  The women’s section focussed initially on softball cricket but in 2024 this has helped develop a girl’s hardball side for the first time.  To coincide with this the Club will host the full Devon Women’s side for two T20 matches in 2024.