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Ed Joyce, Dublin University graduate, now starring with Middlesex

The Dublin University Cricket Club has been at the forefront of Irish cricket for almost two centuries. Cricket has been played in Trinity since the 1820s, when there was a poem written about a team from Ballinasloe playing 'the Collegians', but references to a constituted cricket club have not been found before 1835. The club produced a magnificent hardback history in 1980 (written by Michael Milne, Nick Perry and Michael Halliday) and this work is commended to anyone interested in finding out more about the long and illustrious history of the club. In this short summary I can just highlight some of the great players that turned out for the club and some of the achievements of DUCC.

The great jewel of our club, of course, and of Irish cricket in general, is the College Park. We are privileged to play here and in doing so walk in the footsteps of some of the all time legends of cricket. No less than 300 test cricketers have played on our ground, including WG Grace (seven times!), Richie Benaud, Gary Sobers, Len Hutton, Colin Cowdrey, Wally Hammond, Victor Trumper and Bill O'Reilly. Many of them played for touring sides and counties against Ireland, who used College Park as the main Dublin venue for many decades, but the Trinity club was also able to invite over and compete with English counties and universities for more than 40 years before the Great War. It may surprise many who look at DUCC as a small club, struggling to make itself heard in a huge university and a professional-swamped Leinster league, but the club was on the official tour programme for the Australians (twice), South Africans (three times) and, as late as 1923, the West Indies. The university was the centre of Dublin cricket for most of this time, but the coming of an independent Ireland in 1922 was to change the game forever in this country. Trinity kept its pre-eminence into the 1930s, but its influence and power waned and has never been recaptured.

The coming of competitive cricket in 1919 was to prove successful for a while, and Trinity won the Leinster Senior League in 1927, 1947, 1948, 1966 and 1970. The Leinster Senior Cup was instituted in the late 1930s and Trinity brought it back to College Park in 1942, 1952, 1961, 1962 and 1963. The trophy cabinet, bar ten intervarsities wins and a couple of 2nd XI leagues and cups, has been bare for more than three decades.

Elsewhere in this website you can trace the records of the great names and their incredible feats. Almost 200 DUCC men have played international or first-class cricket, and two of them - Clem Johnson (South Africa) and Leland Hone (England) have played test matches. We have had several men who went on to play county or state cricket in England, Australia, South Africa and India, from the 1850s up to Ed Joyce, the 2001 graduate currently contracted to Middlesex. It is a long, often glorious history, and while the current club may seem a pale shadow of those that, for example, bowled Warwickshire out for 15 (in 1894), the game is played as hard and with as much passion for club and team-mates as it ever was.

Gerard Siggins's greatest ever DUCC XI
1 Lucius Gwynn Best of legendary Trinity family, he scored 80 for the Gentlemen of England against the Players in the de facto test trial of 1895. Had to turn down the test because of fellowship exams in Trinity! In 106 games for DU he scored 3,195 runs and took 311 wickets.
2 Dan Comyn Doughty little batsman who scored 117 not out against Leicestershire in 1893 when Trinity won by an innings and 136 runs, and 76 against WG Grace's Gloucestershire.
3 Ed Joyce Recent graduate is a stylish left hander with an enormous future in the game. Scored two championship centuries in the four games he played for Middlesex in 2001.
4 George McVeagh Batting No.8, he scored a century for Ireland v West Indies in 1928 that helped win the match. Scored 3,282 runs for Trinity, including nine centuries. Four of those came in 1927 when he won the Marchant Cup.
5 David Trotter Scored five of the first eight centuries scored for the club - including one against the All England XI - back in the 1870s when the wickets would have dire by modern standards. Impressed WG Grace enough to win selection for the North of England in the annual match against the South.
6 Clem Johnson Co Kildare born all-rounder who toured England with non-test playing South African tourists in 1894, and played one test against the touring English team in 1895-96.
7 Jacko Heaslip Stylish allrounder who is the only man to score more than 2,000 league runs for DU. Made 3,211 runs in 103 innings - 992 in the summer of 1922, when he also took 44 wickets.
8 Michael Halliday Played a then record 93 times for Ireland and had several match winning performances. The offspinner captained the last Trinity team to win the league in 1970.
9 Tom Dixon Took 339 wickets for club in seven seasons, while also scoring plenty of runs, including two centuries. Had several notable performances for Delhi, and scored 22 off one over at Lord's for Ireland.
10 Nathan 'Sonny' Hool Left-arm spinner took 251 Leinster league and cup wickets, including 80 in 19 games in 1944, at an average of 11.
11 Basil Ward Immensely accurate left-arm fast bowler who came back to Trinity after the Great War and took 112 wickets at 8.33. Took 6-54 in a brilliant display against Cambridge in 1920, a year in which the English university had 16 county players in its squad. Took 9-54 and 9-40 against the Military of Ireland the same year and two hat-tricks in the same innings against Co Meath in 1912.


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