Junction Oval
The Junction Oval (officially, the St Kilda Cricket Ground) is an historic sports ground in the suburb of St Kilda in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Its location near the St Kilda Junction (the intersection of St Kilda's main street - Fitzroy Street - and St Kilda Road) gave rise to its nickname. It is located approximately five kilometres from the centre of Melbourne and is in the southernmost part of the large Albert Park sporting precinct.

The current capacity of the ground is around 8,000. The scoreboard (built 1954-55 by the St Kilda Cricket Club) is a landmark of the St Kilda Junction area. There are two main heritage grandstands, the Blackie- Ironmonger stand built by the St Kilda Cricket Club (named after two of St Kilda Club's Test cricketers: recently restored and in use), and the Kevin Murray grandstand (named after one of Fitzroy's greatest footballers: not in use). The remainder of the ground is terraced asphalt, with grass embankments at the rear. Older structures were demolished in the 1980s during a rationalisation of the ground. It is a very picturesque venue, with a top-quality turf playing area and a modern backdrop of tall buildings and parkland.

Australian Football
Although the ground was originally built for cricket (St Kilda Cricket Club has played at the St Kilda Cricket Ground since 1855), it is also known as the original home ground of the St Kilda Football Club. The Saints played home games at the venue until 1964. St Kilda played 564 home matches for premiership points at the ground between 1897 and 1964. The Saints' final home game at the venue was on the 22 August 1964 ”“ a 12 point win against the Geelong - 12. 18 (90) to 11. 12 (78) - in front of an attendance of 37,100. The club also played 16 away games at the venue ”“ 13 against the Fitzroy Lions (now part of the Brisbane Lions) and three against South Melbourne (now the Sydney Swans).

The first ever women's footy match was played there in 1921. In 1944, the military vacated the Junction Oval. Because it was closer to South Melbourne's still-occupied home base of the Lake Oval than Princes Park, the Swans started playing their home games at the venue. The South Melbourne Football Club (now the Sydney Swans) played 29 home matches for premiership points at the ground between 1944 and 1946.

In 1970, Fitzroy relocated to the venue and stayed until the end of 1984. The Fitzroy Football Club (now part of the Brisbane Lions) played 135 home matches for premiership points at the ground between 1970 and 1984.

The ground hosted a total of six finals series matches including two semi-finals, one preliminary final and three grand finals in 1898, 1899 and 1944. The Fitzroy Football Club won all grand finals played at the venue. A total of 734 VFL/AFL matches were at the ground, the highest score being Fitzroy's 34. 16. (220) against North Melbourne in 1983. In recent years, the Melbourne Football Club have based their football department at the oval and used it as a training ground. The major winter tenant since the early 1990s has been the Victorian Amateur Football Association's Old Melburnians Football Club, who still call the ground home today. Since moving to the ground in 1992, the Junction Oval has seen OMFC win four senior premierships and in 2009 the club, which fields five sides in the VAFA, won four premierships in one year. The annual Community Cup football match is played there. 29 August 2009 the ground hosted the VAFA finals, with Oakleigh 11.7 defeating Beaumaris 6.10 in the first semi-final in C section.

The Junction Oval is home to the St Kilda Cricket Club, which plays in the Victorian Premier Cricket competition. The oval has also been used as an occasional home ground by the Victorian Bushrangers first class cricket team, most recently during the 2005-06 season when the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) was being prepared for the 2006 Commonwealth Games. In the early 1990s it was used regularly because of the construction of the Great Southern Stand at the MCG. It also played host to the 2008/09 Sheffield Shield final, won by the Bushrangers, due to the unavailability of the MCG, because of the Bushfire relief concert.

Change of name
Cricket great Shane Warne has had a long association with the St Kilda Cricket Ground, not only making his first class debut at the ground for Victoria in 1991, but also playing there on numerous occasions between 1989 and 2006 for his club side, St Kilda. Due to these connections, the club has now started proceedings to rename the venue to the Shane Warne Oval.

Record attendance
46,973 people turned up on 20 May 1950 to watch St Kilda play Carlton in a VFL match. This is a bigger crowd than any of the three grand finals played at the venue. The record attendance for a South Melbourne home game at the Junction Oval was 38,000 against Richmond in 1946. The record attendance for a Fitzroy home game was 27,202 versus Collingwood in the opening round of 1981.

St Kilda Football Club Home Match Record at the Junction Oval (St Kilda Cricket Ground) Venue Played Won Lost Drawn Most Recent Home Match Junction Oval 564 ~ 250 (44.33%) 310 (54.96%) 4 (0.71%) 1964 Premiership Season Round 18 1897 to 1964 South Melbourne Football Club Home Match Record at the Junction Oval (St Kilda Cricket Ground) Venue Played Won Lost Drawn Most Recent Home Match Junction Oval 29 - 20 (68.97%) 9 (31.03) 0 (0.71%) 1946 Premiership Season Round 19 1944 to 1946 Fitzroy Football Club Home Match Record at the Junction Oval (St Kilda Cricket Ground) Venue Played Won Lost Drawn Most Recent Home Match Junction Oval 135 - 75 (68.97%) 59 (31.03) 1 (0.71%) 1984 Premiership Season Round 22 1970 to 1984


2 photos