The Junction Oval
(officially, the St. Kilda Cricket Ground
) is an historic sports ground in Melbourne
. 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
The current capacity of the ground is around 8,000. The scoreboard (built 1954-55) is a landmark of the St Kilda Junction area. There are two main heritage grandstands, the Blackie-Ironmonger stand (named after two of St Kilda's Test cricketers: recently restored and in use), and the Kevin-Murray grandstand (named after one 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.
Although the ground was originally built for cricket, it is best known as the original home ground of the VFL/AFL club St. Kilda
for many years. After much controversy, the Saints vacated the ground at the end of 1964.
The first ever women's footy match was played there in 1921.
In 1970, Fitzroy relocated to the venue and stayed until the end of 1984. Because of war time requistioning of their ground, South Melbourne were also based at the ground between 1944 and 1946. A total of 734 VFL/AFL matches were played there, the highest score being Fitzroy's 34 goals, 16 behinds (220) against North Melbourne in 1983.
The ground hosted the VFL/AFL Grand Final in the years of 1898, 1899 and 1944. In recent years, the Melbourne Football Club have based their Football Department at the oval and use it as a training ground, and it is used regularly by the Victorian Amateur Football Association's Old Melburnians Football Club. The annual Community Cup Australian rules event is played there.
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
was being prepared for the 2006 Commonwealth Games
The Shane Warne Oval?
Cricket great Shane Warne
has had a long association with the Junction Oval, 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
46,973 people turned up on 20 May 1950
for a St. Kilda
versus Carlton VFL
match. This is a bigger crowd than any of the three Grand Finals played at the venue.