Together, We Are All Derbyshire: Away Outgrounds

Tuesday 5th May 2020

During these challenging times for all, we want to help keep everyone associated with the club and wider community positive and engaged. We’re in this together and Together, We Are All Derbyshire. 

David Fisher wrote to tell us how much he had enjoyed the feature on the 21 Derbyshire home grounds and wondered if we could do something similar about away grounds, excluding the headquarters grounds.

Our Heritage Officer, David Griffin, writes;

Derbyshire have played cricket on 158 grounds since they opened their account at Old Trafford in May 1871, of which 21 were home venues.

For this look at outgrounds, all headquarters grounds have been omitted from consideration, including Fenner’s and The Parks, respectively the HQ grounds for Cambridge and Oxford University.

That reduces the total to 115 grounds, with the format of cricket played broken down as follows;

First-Class and List A Matches – 26 grounds

First-Class Matches only  – 60 grounds

List A Matches only – 29 grounds

The number of grounds used for List A games grew during the period between 1964 and 1994 when 32 new outgrounds were visited by Derbyshire. This was largely the result of the introduction of the Gillette Cup (subsequently the NatWest Trophy) which saw minor county sides often host first-class county sides in the first round. As a result, Derbyshire enjoyed visits to places like Watford, Bury St Edmunds, Kendal, Shrewsbury, Aberdeen, Wisbech, Chester, Jesmond and Exmouth, where crowds were almost guaranteed to be large, particularly when Derbyshire were at the peak of their one day powers and had players like Michael Holding and Dominic Cork on display.

This provided many cricket supporters who lived in non-first-class counties with an opportunity to see county cricketers at first-hand, and for the host club, usually a handy payday on the bars.

This feature will focus on six memorable games witnessed by this writer, while the full list of outgrounds can be found at the end of the article.


The ground at Maidstone is known as ‘The Mote’ inside the grounds of Mote Park and Derbyshire’s first game there against Kent in 1878 resulted in a 125-run defeat, despite Bill Mycroft’s 12 wickets in the match, and despite losing their next fixture there in 1880, they gained a three-wicket win the following year when Ludford Docker scored 107, only the second hundred in Derbyshire’s history.

Although tempted to select the run-fests of 1995 when Aravinda de Silva and Chris Adams made double hundreds in the championship game, and Mark Ealham scored a remarkable 44-ball ton in the Sunday League game, I’ve chosen the final game Kent ever played at Maidstone in June 2005 when Derbyshire arrived on a pleasantly warm and sunny day for a totesport League match.

Kent asked Derbyshire to bat first and were to regret the decision as the visitors raced to 304-3 off 45 overs. It was the county’s highest score in 40/45 over cricket, beating their 292-9 at Knypersley in 1985.

Michael Di Venuto was the star of the show, taking just 80 balls to reach his century, making 116 off 90 balls and adding 155 for the first wicket in partnership with Steve Stubbings who made 66.

When Di Venuto departed there was no loss of momentum as James Bryant (53) and Jon Moss (47 not out) took Derbyshire to an imposing total. As was generally the case when Di Venuto was in form, his stroke-play was a joy to watch, with stylish drives through the covers and straight down the ground coupled with cuts and pulls to any delivery remotely short of a length.

Kent never looked like chasing the total down; Andrew Hall made 61 opening the batting, but spinners Ant Botha and Andy Gray with a combined 5-71 off 13.4 overs ensured that wickets fell at regular intervals and with Jon Moss taking 2-33 from his eight overs, Kent were eventually all out for 214 in the 39th over.

That game signalled the end of all senior cricket at The Mote – Kent have never played there again – but it was nonetheless, a pleasant tree-lined ground, with a raised area to one side, and crowds were always good especially for one-day matches.


Derbyshire have been the visitors at Chester Road North on 13 occasions – all first-class matches, with five wins, five defeats and three draws – the most recent visit coming in 2019 after flooding forced the game to be moved from Worcestershire’s headquarters at New Road, Worcester.

The ground – the home of Kidderminster Cricket Club at Chester Road Sports and Social Club with a small pavilion and a good-sized newer annexe next to it – is generously proportioned which is not always the case at outgrounds, with generous boundaries on all sides, and the majority of spectators seated close to the boundary.

Runs were rarely in short supply in the 1990s – Kim Barnett played three games there in 1991, 1993 and 1995, batting five times and scoring 496 runs at an average of 99.20 including scores of 169 and 168.

However, in 2019, few spectators – and possibly players too – thought that the game would continue into the fourth day, maybe not even the third, as Derbyshire made just 108 and their hosts 113 before the first day was completed. Luis Reece (4-30) and enjoying a remarkable season with bat and ball, was the pick of the bowlers, and when Derbyshire were 46-2 early on the second morning, it was clear that someone would have to play a significant innings if Derbyshire were to make a respectable total.

Step forward, Tom Lace, who, on a season-long loan from Middlesex, and having made his maiden first class hundred a month earlier at Swansea, scored a splendid 132 not out in an innings which occupied one minute short of 8 hours. He scored 17 fours and combined watchful defence with some glorious driving. Wayne Madsen (60) and Tony Palladino (58), batting at number ten, took Derbyshire to 377 all out leaving the hosts requiring 373 runs to win, and with time to get them.

Worcestershire ended the third day on 156-5 with Derbyshire in a strong position thanks to another good bowling performance. Fynn Hudson-Prentice was the standout performer, taking two wickets and in one spell bowling a remarkable eight consecutive maiden overs.

On the final day, Callum Ferguson (127) threatened to take his side to victory during a 164-run partnership with Ben Cox, but once Hudson-Prentice removed Ferguson, it was left to Palladino and Ravi Rampaul to wrap up an 82-run win.

Models of consistency, Palladino and Hudson-Prentice bowled a combined 40.5 overs between them in Worcestershire’s second innings, taking 6-76, and a good smattering of Derbyshire supporters cheered their side from the field at the conclusion of a fascinating game.


Derbyshire first played Gloucestershire at Cheltenham College in 1933 and have played a total of 11 first class games there, winning 5. The most recent win came in 2014 when Shiv Chanderpaul’s 73 and 52 not out, combined with Tom Taylor’s maiden five-wicket haul took Derbyshire to a six-wicket win, while a very close game in 1939 brought about a one-wicket win for Derbyshire, Tommy Mitchell taking 5-75 in the final innings.

But the game in late July, 1993 was notable for several outstanding individual performances and an emphatic seven-wicket win.

Derbyshire’s focus had been on one-day cricket in the first half of the summer, but with the Benson and Hedges Cup trophy safely locked away, attention was back on the County Championship.

Sussex were put to the sword at Derby as John Morris scored a fine hundred in a huge 195-run victory and the side arrived in the South West with confidence levels high.

Courtney Walsh won the toss and invited Derbyshire to bat first, a move which seemed vindicated when the score was 58-4 after an hour with Barnett, Bowler, Adams, and O’Gorman all back in the pavilion.

However, Derbyshire would score a further 346 runs before the next wicket fell thanks to superb innings from John Morris and Dominic Cork, and a cameo from Matthew Vandrau.

Cork had never scored a first-class century but had registered fifties against Worcestershire and the Australians earlier in the year, while Morris was in his final season with Derbyshire and recognised as one of the finest batsmen in the club’s history.

Morris was a stylist with a full range of shots and was equally comfortable against pace or spin. During this innings – his career-best, 229 – he unveiled his full range, pulling and cutting against anything short, and driving full deliveries with exquisite timing. Cork, who only three weeks earlier had demonstrated both his talent and his sense of occasion with a match-winning 92 not out at Lord’s in the B&H final, batted with great fluency, never getting bogged down as he approached three figures. He scored 16 fours, while his partner hit 32 plus three sixes.

When the partnership had reached 302, Cork retired hurt, allowing Vandrau to join Morris. The pair added a further 44 runs, taking the overall fifth-wicket partnership to 346. The official partnership of 302 runs between Morris and Cork was the sixth-highest in the county’s history for any wicket at the time and is today still the ninth-highest. It remains the county’s highest fifth-wicket partnership.

When play ended early due to poor light, Derbyshire’s total stood at a scarcely believable 408-5 off only 80 overs.

On the second day, Vandrau (57) and Karl Krikken (40) extended the score to 521 all out before Barnett unleashed his bowlers. Inside 31 overs, Gloucestershire were routed for 139 with Allan Warner taking 5-27 and Devon Malcolm 4-77. Warner, in particular, bowled a very exacting line and length, forcing the Gloucestershire batsmen to play at virtually every ball.

Nobody was surprised when Barnett enforced the follow-on although wickets didn’t fall with the same regularity as they did in the first innings. Hundred partnerships were added for the second, fifth and sixth wicket as Chris Broad (120) and Jack Russell (99 not out) nudged their side ahead while Allan Warner was again the pick of the bowlers, taking 5-93 and recording the first ten-wicket match haul of his career.

With Barnett absent through injury and only available to bat if required, Morris opened with Bowler in pursuit of 139 to win, and although Bowler (2) and Base (2) went cheaply, Morris once again batted superbly to make a quickfire 71 to take Derbyshire to victory by seven wickets.

His match total of 300 runs was the second-highest ever for Derbyshire, and to this day only four other players have exceeded 300 runs in a first-class match for the county.

His first innings 229 was Morris’ penultimate century for Derbyshire – he made 39 in all with only Barnett scoring more – and it was difficult to remember him batting better than this.


Derbyshire’s visit to Kendal in 1984 was their first and last. Cumberland were the hosts for this first round match in the NatWest Trophy and a Supporter’s Club coach set off from Derby for the Lake District at 6am.

It was a warm and sunny day when Barnett won the toss and asked Cumberland to bat first. The home side included two former Lancashire cricketers, David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd and Bernard Reidy as well as Qasim Umar who played 26 Test matches for Pakistan.

Roger Finney, opening the bowling with Paul Newman, bowled a relentless line and length, resting after eight overs having taken 2-8 and rendering the opener, Malcolm Woods, virtually scoreless. In one 50-ball spell of his innings, Woods only produced one scoring stroke.

Geoff Miller and Dallas Moir conceded a mere 33 runs from a combined 24 overs, but it was captain Barnett with a spell of what appeared to be mesmerising leg-spin who did the bulk of the damage, taking 6-24 off 9.2 overs. Turning the ball appreciably, he tore through the Cumberland batting to produce what is still the only six-wicket haul by a Derbyshire spinner in List A cricket.

In their 59.2 overs, Cumberland made just 121 and Derbyshire’s batsmen required only 25 overs to score 124-1 and secure a comfortable 9-wicket win, John Wright scoring 73 to secure the Man of the Match award. Barnett had scored 37 to add to his six wickets and there was some surprise among the crowd when the award went to Wright.

The crowd was huge; this was the first ever visit by a first-class county and Kendal falls well outside the catchment area of a professional county club, situated almost 80 miles from Old Trafford, and the local population were obviously keen on watching first-class cricketers in action.

A lovely touch came when Charles Clarke, then aged 74, and having lived for many years in Kendal, was introduced to the Derbyshire players on the outfield. Clarke had played 28 first-class matches for Derbyshire between 1929 and 1933 and was resplendent in a Derbyshire blazer and tie.


(pictured at the top of this article)

When Derbyshire’s fixtures were released in late 2011, ‘The Unicorns at Wormsley’ leapt off the page and was pencilled in by many supporters for an early season trip.

The only downside of the visit to Wormsley in 2012 was the weather – it was terribly cold and didn’t make for particularly enjoyable cricket watching. It was early May and the first month of the season had been wet and cold, but a good number of Derbyshire supporters ventured south to visit the delightful Wormsley Cricket Ground, formally known as Sir Paul Getty’s Ground, Wormsley.

When Getty acquired the Wormsley Estate in 1985, broadcaster Brian Johnston persuaded him to create a cricket ground, which he did, with help from Harry Brind, the Surrey Head Groundsman.

The ground is situated close to Turville, the village in which the BBC comedy ‘The Vicar of Dibley’ was filmed, and a number of Derbyshire supporters paid a visit there before the game.

The ground – in Buckinghamshire – includes a delightful thatched pavilion, perched at the top of a bank which provides glorious views across the estate, and a small – also thatched – scorebox. For bigger games, a marquee is erected on the bank beside the pavilion.

The Unicorns side included wicket-keeper Tom New who had played for Derbyshire in 2008, and future Derbyshire all-rounder Luis Reece. They were captained by the experienced former Somerset cricketer, Keith Parsons who won the toss and decided to field first.

Chesney Hughes was out early with the score on 10, but Martin Guptill and Wes Durston then combined to produce a decisive second-wicket partnership of 222. Guptill (125) took just 90 balls to reach his hundred, Durston (120 not out) took ten balls more, and both looked a class above their opponents. After 40 overs, Derbyshire had scored an imposing 287-3, a total never remotely threatened by the Unicorns batsmen.

Reece, who had been expensive with the ball (8 overs for 63 runs) top-scored with 37 batting at number seven, but it was another left-armer, Chesney Hughes, who took a career-best 5-29 off eight overs to ensure a straightforward win for Derbyshire.

As wickets tumbled, however, there were other off-field highlights, not least the sight of red kites – familiar around the Wormsley Estate – swooping down onto the barbeque and attempting to take beef burgers from the grill which at £7.50 each weren’t selling that well anyway.

Derbyshire won by the comfortable margin of 129 runs.


Derbyshire played their first List A game outside of the UK in 2010 when their Clydesdale Bank 40 game against the Netherlands took place at the Sportpark Thurlede, Schiedam, just a ten-minute drive from Rotterdam.

Derbyshire decided against flying on the basis that while the flying time would be short, the waiting times at airports, plus transfer times and the large amount of kit required made going by coach and using the channel tunnel a better option. Plus, it allowed for a remarkable stop off on the return journey.

And so, a coach laden with players, coaches, support staff and media set off from Derby at 8am on 29 July 2010, and drove onto the Eurotunnel some six hours later, emerging on the other side of the channel 35 minutes later.

A further drive taking in brief stops in Dunkirk, Ghent and Antwerp saw the party arrive in Rotterdam in the early evening, and just 12 hours later everyone was back on the coach for the short drive to the ground.

The ground was large and home to several sports including football and hockey as well as cricket, and featured a pavilion alongside a number of marquees which had been erected for the visit of Derbyshire and Yorkshire, who were due to play the Netherlands two days later.

Michael Dighton, who had played for Derbyshire in 2007, opened the batting for the home side, but it was Mudassar Bukhari with 69 not out off 52 balls who top-scored in a total of 181-9 off 40 overs. Mark Footitt and Steffan Jones both took 3-27 but aside from Bukhari, none of the Netherlands side looked comfortable against the Derbyshire attack.

Chris Rogers and Chesney Hughes ensured that the victory chase was straightforward with an opening partnership of 111, Rogers making 56 and Hughes 72.

Despite the logistical issues involved in attending the game, a surprising number of Derbyshire supporters attended the game, some staying over for an extra couple of days, allowing them to see the Netherlands game against Yorkshire two days later.

Following an evening back in Rotterdam, the party returned to the UK via Tyne Cot Cemetery in Belgium on the day following the game. Tyne Cot is the largest Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery in the world and includes the graves of over 11,900 servicemen from the British Empire who lost their lives in World War I.

The party spent more than an hour walking around the cemetery, looking at the massed graves and reading the assorted tributes and information boards scattered across the site.

It was a remarkably moving place and the mood on the coach was sombre and very quiet for a significant time after leaving.

Outgrounds have always been a feature of county cricket from the early days of the organised game right through to the present day, and Grantham was announced as host for a Royal London Cup game later this year between Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. However, the many changes in domestic cricket mean that the heyday of using non-headquarters grounds has passed, although we can still look back fondly at many of them.

The 115 non-HQ away grounds are listed below – the ‘Year’ column refers to the first year in which Derbyshire played there.

Grounds Away Non-HQ
Year Ground Location First Class or List A or Both
1874 Higher Common Ground Tunbridge Wells First Class
1875 Private Banks Sports Ground Catford First Class
1877 Bramall Lane Sheffield First Class
1878 Mote Park Maidstone Both
1880 Fartown Huddersfield First Class
1881 Park Avenue Cricket Ground Bradford Both
1884 Bat and Ball Ground Gravesend First Class
1886 Recreation Ground Holbeck First Class
1888 County Ground Leyton First Class
1890 County Ground Lakenham Both
1892 Cale Green Stockport First Class
1893 Birkenhead Park Cricket Club Ground Birkenhead First Class
1893 Argyle Street Hull First Class
1897 Aigburth Liverpool Both
1898 St George’s Road Harrogate Both
1899 Dewsbury and Savile Ground Dewsbury First Class
1900 Crystal Palace Park Kent First Class
1901 Warsop, Welbeck Abbey Cricket Ground Nottinghamshire First Class
1909 Bulls Head Ground Coventry First Class
1909 Nevill Ground Tunbridge Wells First Class
1910 The Saffrons Eastbourne Both
1912 Bath Grounds Ashby-de-la-Zouch First Class
1912 Recreation Ground Bath Both
1914 May’s Bounty Basingstoke First Class
1920 Southchurch Park Southend-on-Sea Both
1920 Clarence Park Weston-super-Mare Both
1921 The Circle Hull First Class
1921 Town Ground Worksop First Class
1922 Spa Ground Gloucester First Class
1922 St Helen’s Swansea Both
1923 Tipton Road Dudley First Class
1924 Wagon Works Ground Gloucester Both
1925 Seed Hill Ground Nelson First Class
1925 Amblecote Stourbridge First Class
1925 Angel Ground Tonbridge First Class
1926 Greenbank (Gloucestershire) Bristol First Class
1926 Garrison 1 Cricket Ground Chatham First Class
1926 Chester Road North Ground Kidderminster First Class
1926 Ynysangharad Park Pontypridd Both
1928 Stanley Park Blackpool Both
1928 College Ground Loughborough First Class
1929 Crabble Athletic Ground Dover First Class
1929 The United Services Recreation Ground Portsmouth Both
1930 Cricket Field Road Ground Horsham Both
1931 The Victoria Ground Cheltenham First Class
1933 College Ground Cheltenham Both
1933 Agricultural Showgrounds Frome First Class
1933 Park Road Ground Loughborough First Class
1935 Dean Park Bournemouth First Class
1935 Old County Ground Brentwood First Class
1935 North Marine Road Ground Scarborough Both
1936 Oakham School Ground Oakham First Class
1936 Rowden Road Wells First Class
1937 Cheriton Road Sports Ground Folkestone Both
1938 Vista Road Recreation Ground Clacton-on-Sea First Class
1939 Woodbridge Road Guildford Both
1946 Valentine’s Park Ilford First Class
1946 Abbeydale Park Sheffield Both
1947 Town Ground Rushden First Class
1948 Castle Park Cricket Ground Colchester Both
1948 Garrison Stadium Gillingham First Class
1948 Manor Sports Ground Worthing First Class
1949 Chalkwell Park Westcliff-on-Sea First Class
1950 The Gnoll Neath First Class
1951 Gidea Park Sports Ground Romford First Class
1952 Wellingborough School Ground Wellingborough First Class
1954 Johnson Park Yeovil First Class
1958 Central Recreation Ground Hastings First Class
1959 Courtaulds Ground Coventry Both
1960 Stradey Park Llanelli First Class
1960 Griff and Coton Ground Nuneaton First Class
1962 Imperial Athletic Ground (Somerset) Bristol First Class
1964 Recreational Trust Ground Lydney, Gloucestershire First Class
1965 Morlands Athletic Ground Glastonbury First Class
1965 Brush Ground Loughborough First Class
1965 Trafalgar Road Ground Southport First Class
1966 Penrhyn Avenue Colwyn Bay First Class
1969 Eugene Cross Park Ebbw Vale List A
1969 Cheam Road Sutton List A
1970 Ironmould Lane (Somerset) Bristol List A
1971 Rectory Field Blackheath First Class
1973 Tean Park Sports Ground Cheadle List A
1975 Arundel Castle Cricket Club Ground Arundel Both
1977 Watford Town Cricket Club Ground Watford, Herts List A
1980 Hesketh Park Dartford First Class
1980 Titwood Glasgow List A
1980 Uxbridge Cricket Club Ground Uxbridge Both
1981 Victory Ground Bury St Edmunds List A
1982 Manor Fields Bletchley, Northants List A
1982 Snibston Colliery Ground Coalville First Class
1984 Netherfield Cricket Club Ground Kendal List A
1984 London Road Shrewsbury List A
1985 Mannofield Park Aberdeen List A
1986 Pen-y-Pound Abergavenny First Class
1986 Dolben Cricket Ground Finedon List A
1987 Wisbech Cricket Club Ground Wisbech List A
1988 Boughton Hall Cricket Club Ground Chester List A
1988 Hamilton Crescent Glasgow List A
1988 Rodney Parade Newport List A
1990 Orleton Park Wellington List A
1992 Osborne Avenue Jesmond List A
1993 The Racecourse, Durham University Grounds Durham First Class
1993 The Maer Ground Exmouth List A
1994 Feethams Cricket Ground Darlington List A
1995 The Avenue Sports Club Ground March List A
1996 Lichfield Road Stone List A
1997 Lindum Sports Club Ground Lincoln List A
1998 Lochside Park Forfar List A
1999 Wardown Park Luton List A
1999 John Walker’s Ground Southgate Both
2009 Whitgift School Croydon Both
2010 Sportpark Thurlede Schiedam List A
2011 Sportpark Het Schootsveld Deventer List A
2012 Sir Paul Getty’s Ground Wormsley List A
2016 Welbeck Colliery Cricket Ground Nottinghamshire List A

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