“The Cricket Pitch” at Pine Mountain

Since the early days of the Pine Mountain community, “The Cricket Pitch” has been recognized as being part of the social hub of Pine Mountain. It was originally bordered by Pine Mountain Hall, Pine Mountain School and the makeshift community showground. Only “The Cricket Pitch” and Pine Mountain Hall remain.

Originally part of Ugarapul country, “The Cricket Pitch” land was purchased by David Hughes and Charles Christopher Cameron in 1866. In 1873 they nominated the Synod of the Diocese of Brisbane as trustees of the land. The Anglican Church sold the land to Ipswich City Council in 1998. Its use as a community cricket pitch was established when the land was taken over by the Anglican Church. Pine Mountain cricket teams played other local teams such as Borallon, Fernvale, Glamorgan Vale, Ipswich, Marburg, Mt Crosby and Mt Tarampa. The most noteworthy cricketer to emerge from Pine Mountain was Bert Ironmonger (1882-1971), a slow-medium, left-handed spin bowler. He went on to represent Queensland and Victoria and later Australia (1928-1933). Ironmonger’s test career overlapped with that of Sir Donald Bradman.

The original pitch being either grass or clay, locals such as Dave and Joe Russell, Matt Murtagh and Don Stokes banded together to lay a concrete pitch in 1921. Bill Hill, Todd Johnson, Len Mahon, Dave Russell, Jack Sheppard and Artie Sherlock laid a second concrete pitch in 1947. A remnant of this concrete pitch can be found by the entrance to “The Cricket Pitch” park. Many local families were involved in the Pine Mountain Cricket Club, such as the Bowens, Brockies, Collies, Cunninghams, Goodins, Hills, Johnsons, Kanars, Kinanes, Locks, Mahons, Mallets, Pogdsons, Pointings, Russells, Sheppards, Sherlocks, Smiths, Summervilles, and current concrete pitch in 1999. In recent times Ipswich City Council has also provided picnic, barbeque and playground facilities, enhancing the amenity for all to enjoy.

On 25 January 1999 the park on Pine Mountain Road was officially named “The Cricket Pitch”. The name was submitted by the Pine Mountain & Districts Progress Association and was proposed in recognition of its historic links with community cricket. It is to be hoped that “The Cricket Pitch” will continue to be a centre of community activity for years to come.

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