Cricket has been played on the site of what used to be called the North Riding Mental Asylum on Shipton Road since 1867.
The present Clifton Alliance Cricket Club was formed in 1974 when Alliance CC, a club originally founded by York’s Baptist community, merged with the cricket club playing at Clifton Hospital, as it was by then known.
By then York Cricket Club had taken occupancy of the site “over the fence”, having moved to Clifton Park in 1967, a full century after one of the teams that would evolve into CACC had begun playing there. A friendly rivalry soon grew up between the two clubs, although in reality it has been a bond of mutual support and co-operation rather than outright competition.
Progression and development
The newly formed Clifton Alliance team quickly found success, winning the York Senior League Division 5 in 1975 before gaining promotion from Division 4 and then winning the Senior League Division 3 in 1978.
The 1980s were a relatively quiet decade for the 1st XI in trophy terms. The club took a leap forward in the 1990s though after it fought hard to buy its home, the Alliance Cricket Ground, in 1992 from the Health Authority that ran Clifton Hospital.
Its senior first team followed up by promptly winning the York Senior League Division 2 title in 1993. Although the 1sts were relegated the following year, they quickly bounced up again and finished as runners-up in 1997 before winning the first of its four York Senior League Division 1 titles to date in 1999 and have spent the vast majority of the past 25 years playing at the very top level of North Yorkshire club cricket.
The modern club
Clifton Alliance CC no longer represents a hospital or any religious group but retains much of its character from its local community and its historical roots.
As an example, the modern club’s crest, a snake wrapped around a set of cricket stumps, is a version of the serpent entwined around the Staff of Aesculapius – a historical doctors’ symbol since the Middle Ages (although many visiting batsmen have muttered about snakes in the wicket as they rue another low score at the Alliance Cricket Ground).
The club has had many top-class cricketers throughout its history, including a number of very talented overseas players. Perhaps the most notable of these was Aaron Finch, who spent the 2009 season at CACC before going on to play for Yorkshire CCC and captaining Australia.
The 1st XI won its fourth and latest York & District Senior League in 2016 and has played in the ECB Yorkshire Premier League North ever since. It finished third in the COVID-affected 2020 season, its highest ever league finish. See our full list of senior honours here.