A hundred years ago on 20 May 1921 Glamorgan won their inaugural County Championship match against Sussex at Cardiff Arms Park.
Needing 334 on the final day, the visitors seemed to be well set with a fourth wicket stand of 166 in just ninety minutes between Ted Bowley and Don Jenner, especially as there were several fumbles and dropped catches by the Glamorgan fielders whose average age was 43.
But the stand was ended as Harry Symonds – the Cardiff amateur completed a fine running catch on the long-off boundary to end Jenner’s innings. Soon afterwards, Bowley also departed as he tried to again loft Edgar Cooper in the direction of Cardiff Castle . It was not long before Henry Roberts, the Sussex tailender, chipped a ball from Harry Creber straight to Percy Morris at mid-off, as Sussex fell 23 runs short of their target and celebrations began in the home camp.
It had been a fairytale start for Glamorgan following their elevation to the first-class ranks and many of the crowd, estimated at around 7,000 at the Cardiff ground, surged onto the field at the fall of the final Sussex wicket in order to congratulate Norman Riches and his team.
The two teams then gathered on the first-floor balcony of the pavilion with both captains making impromptu speeches. Arthur Gilligan, the Sussex captain, graciously congratulated the Welsh side, saying how “they gave us a magnificent game, and we do not mind being beaten in the slightest. We have been down until today, but today we might have won. We did not – Glamorgan did, and I congratulate them very much.”
A special commemorative talk was held recently to recall events from this match in May 1921 as well as other matches between Glamorgan and Sussex in the County Championship – watch below: