Lansdown cricket club founded in 1825 is one of the oldest in England. The original home of the club was on the old race course at Lansdown. In 1850 the club played on the Sydenham field, now covered by the Green Park complex, from which, in 1864 the club was given notice to quit and took up a lease at Combe Park in 1865.
The founder of the club, William Cooper Keating was ably assisted by James Pycroft. The Club is closely linked with the Grace Family and with Somerset County Cricket Club. W.G. Grace first played for the club in 1861 at the age of 12 and the club enjoyed a close association with the Grace family for many years. In 1863, W.G. Grace, then a lad of 14, appeared for Lansdown in a game between All England XI’s in the company of his elder brothers E.M. and H.Grace. A photograph of theses sides is hung in the Pavilion.
Somerset County Cricket Club, was, in it's early days, captained by the Captain of Lansdown. An interesting game was played in 1839 between the MCC and Lansdown on the MCC ground. The records state that Lansdown won the match by 26 runs. The club badge is derived from the family crest of Sir Bevil Grenville who lost his life in the Royalist cause at the Battle of Lansdown in 1643.
A number notable players have played at Lansdown, such as Lord Hawke – a boy who became Foreign Secretary, Chancellor of the Exchequer, then Lord Chancellor and the winning owner of the Derby in 1855; Vivian Richards who played in 1973 whilst qualifying for Somerset; Matt Horne who played in 1990, since become a New Zealand test player.
In 1975 Lansdown joined the Western League and in 1981/82 became the first club to win the title in two consecutive seasons. The club became champions again in 1997, winning all games. Defections to other clubs cost us dearly and in 1999 we managed to win only 1 league match.
2000 The 1st and 2nd XIs joined the new West of England premier league Division 2 where we won 9 and lost 8.
2002 Following an exodus of first XI players Lansdown suffered a difficult year, unable to compete in the top division, which had been their home for so many years, only winning one game and culminating in relegation.
2003 Following the recruitment of some new players the side was able to settle and consolidate its league position. The high profile signing of Somerset County CC Piron Holloway brought a new positivity to the club, once again lifting its profile around the leagues. Piron chipped in well averaging 48.23 with his stylish batting before moving to Perth at the end of the season.
2004 A slightly disappointing year narrowly avoiding relegation. Failing to build on the previous years’ work despite the signings of Australian, Craig Sinclair (a stubborn batsman and excellent fielder who scored over 500 runs), and Ex England Test Fast Bowler and Yorkshire great Paul Jarvis adding to the distinguished list of cricketing members.
2005 The same league position again not reflecting the talent in the side. Jarvis’s final year of league cricket. However new overseas signing Jeremy Dean from Wellington, NZ bucked the trend of the team and topped the league batting tables scoring 723 runs, averaging 48.2.
2006 – Jeremy ‘Deano’ Dean returned to perform well again also keeping wicket, again scoring heavily and averaging over 44. This time though it was not enough as the club were finally relegated out of the premier division and into the unchartered waters of the Bristol and Somerset league. The low light of the year was an unbelievable loss to Ilminster CC after being bowled out for 25 with only three people scoring runs, this result set the tone for the remainder of the season.
2007 An immediate response with the new signings of player/coach, ex Kent all rounder James ‘Goldy, The Bear, etc, etc’ Golding, the return of Ben Staunton and wicket keeper and middle order batsman Gary Mills from Perth. Millsy took 21 catches and 4 stumpings in addition to averaging over 45 and showing us how to finish an innings off in spectacular style. The team played really well with a new vigour and determination and were rewarded with promotion having dominated and won the league in style. All looked good for the following year.
2008 Relegated! This should have been the year where the club pushed to get back to the Premier division, hotly tipped as a promotion contender this unfortunately did not happen. A tough year with injuries, weather and internal politics meant a lack of consistency in selection and performance. With no real performances to speak of, this season culminated in relegation and players again leaving. However it could also be seen as a watershed in the clubs history, with a change of ethos and direction (with a new Chairman) demanded to improve performance and a return to where the club hoped to be. During this period some fantastic friendly matches were played including the continuation of the MCC fixture, which has seen both spectacular, wins and close losses.
2009 A season of two halves! Following relegation the exit of some key players, the clubs aim was to go back to basics and develop its younger talent with the average age of the first team dropping significantly. However the introduction of a non-playing senior coach Dave Simpkins combined with the enthusiasm of new captain Ashley Book meant that even if the side lacked experience, it would not be lacking in effort. This was reflected with solid, ‘high energy’ displays throughout the first half of the season surprising many sides and placing LCC in a strong position at the top end of the league at the half way point. The controversial 10 point penalty placed on the side by the league really blew the wind out of the sails of any promotion hopes, and combined with a consistent decline in form and confidence, following some close games that should have been won, a positive start to the season soon became a relegation battle between LCC and several other teams. This was a season when no team in the league stood out, making it perilous for many and perhaps LCC paid for a lack of experience in the side. However, some good individual performances throughout the season combined with a steep learning experience should stand LCC in good stead for 2010 with solid building foundations in place.
2010 Relegated to Bristol and North Somerset League. Going back to basics and establishing our level.
2011 First season back in the Bristol and North Somerset League losing the first three games was not an ideal start! Lansdown's first two wins owned much to individual performances. This seemed to be a catalyst for turning our season around, a great team ethos was beginning to develop, highlighted by superb high level fielding displays and a refusal to admit defeat even when we were up against it!
Contributions from all members of the team produced 7 wins out of 8 in the final half of the season. The opposition struggled against a strong and well balanced bowling attack. Given a poor start to the season fourth place in the B&NS League represents a decent campaign.
With a great finish to 2011 - hopes are high for the 2012 season.