With the weekend (of 23rd and 24th May) free of 1st XI matches and the exam. season now in full flow there was a certain amount of conjecture as to what side would face up to TT West's Invitation XI on the Monday and Tuesday of "Trinity Week". The skipper had had a successful outing in North Leinster's Guinness Cup trip to Belfast (4 for 24 off 15 overs) but Ulster Town had won fairly comfortably.

Incidentally their XI had included 2 current (Graham Crothers and Tim English) and 4 former Queen's University players-Jimmy McKelvey, Mike Crooks, Derek McNamee and Frank Fee. Alas the Queen's Club was toward the end of a couple of productive decades but increasingly thereafter the most talented students were often "retained" by their clubs. Ultimately the University's strength drained away and they stopped playing League Cricket in the 1990s to the detriment, many believe, of all of Ulster Cricket.

Trevor West had assembled a decidedly useful "bunch" for the 2-day game. From the successful DUCC Cup sides of the early 60s there were Chris Lea and ALG (Algie) Rice. David Pigot (alias D Brown) was a current International batsman a status subsequently attained by Gerry Murphy and GP O'Brien (Malahide). Murphy's brother Peter had been a DUCC colour in 1967 and also a fine Hockey player and was now a regular in the DUBLIN YMCA line up . Richard Pook, a colour in the last 2 seasons had travelled from London while Al Conan and Ken Adams (a lecturer who kept wicket) were both Phoenix players. Finally Trevor himself was joined by one of Munster and Irish cricket's biggest characters in IBJ Wilson, often referred to as I Be Jaysus Wilson!

The DUCC team was without McKenna, Silverstone, Bryce and Cox replaced by Stephen Downey, Duncan Parkes, John Kirby and Hector Deane. All the front line bowlers were in action. West's XI batted first and posted a fairly healthy 162 at just under 3 per over. For once Frankland and McCarey were rather sparingly used (10 overs each) whilst Simon Hewson (20 overs) and the Skipper (15) did the bulk of the work. The visitors began well with Lea and Pigot (Brown?) putting on 45 for the first wicket but had dipped to 97 for 5 before IBJ and Peter Murphy added 52 for the 6th. Their last 4 wickets melted quickly as a declaration was anticipated, the return of Frankland putting an end to that notion!

Trinity's reply lasted 5 overs longer, stretched into the morning of day 2 (post festivities and the obligatory trip to Barry's Hotel for Chicken and Chips) but came up 13 runs short. Harte, Parkes, Hewson and "new cap" Stephen Downey all got to double figures but it was thanks to John Kirby batting number 6 that any sort of reasonable total was achieved. He and Downey managed 37 for the 5th wicket and then 95 for 7 improved to 142 for 8 with John Frankland making a spirited 31 (1 six and 3 fours). Kirby was left high and dry when Pook took Ron McCarey's wicket and all 5 Invitation XI bowlers had wickets and bowled, at least, 2 maidens-there were 23 in total.

West's XI set about extending their lead but found the DUCC bowlers un-cooperative. Four wickets were down for 53 when GP O'Brien was joined by his skipper. When West was LBW to Halliday for 38 their partnership had added 87. As in the first knock a flurry of wickets fell as a declaration neared with McCarey and Frankland not easy to score off-their 19 overs yielding 3 for 35. There was time for a first 1st XI wicket for Ramblers Captain Hector Deane and GP O'Brien was "marooned" on 89* (13 boundaries) at the closure. DUCC were set a target of 191 in what turned out to be 48 overs.

This was to prove just beyond their capabilities but not before a 2nd wicket partnership of 73 by Hewson (59) and Harte (33) had given the students hope. Gerry Murphy picked up a couple of victims with his "tempters" but when Halliday struck 5 fours off consecutive balls IBJ Wilson was recalled. At the end DUCC had 8 wickets down and were still 19 short of the requirement but this had been a grand example of 2-Day cricket in lovely weather and with the "buzz" of Trinity WEEK making College Park a very favourable location!

  • TT West's XI 162 all out. D. Pigot 38, P. Murphy 36, IBJ Wilson 20; J. Frankland 10-2-28-3, S. Hewson 20-4-62-3. and
  • 177 for 7 wkts. Dec. G. P. O'Brien 89*, TT West 38; J. Frankland 14-6-24-2, M. Halliday 13-0-58-2.
  • DUCC 149 all out J. Kirby 40*, J. Frankland 31; IBJ Wilson 14-6-29-3, R. C. Pook 17.3-7-31-2,A. Conan 11-5-32-2, A.L.G. Rice 14-3-37-2. and
  • 172 for 8 wkts. S. Hewson 59, C. Harte 33, M. Halliday 25; IBJ Wilson 14-3-32-3, A. Conan 4-2-10-2, G. F. Murphy 9-2-45-2. MATCH DRAWN.

On the Thursday of Trinity Week the DUCC Ramblers faced a strong Leprechauns XI. Six of Trinity's regular XI played along with Stephen Downey and John Kirby plus "guests" Richard Pook, Peter Murphy and R (was it Ricky?) Finlay. Batting first the Ramblers had to thank a fifth wicket stand of 89 between Downey (46) and Murphy (52) for setting any sort of target. In reply a couple of Leprechauns seized the opportunity to correct indignities they had suffered earlier in the season! Leinster skipper Dave Marchant (62) and YMCA's Ian Lewis (66*) with back up from Pat Dineen (16*) ensured a comfortable 7 wicket win for their side. Since John Ridgeway and the Molins brothers were "did not bats" this was a comprehensive defeat.

For DUCC it was time to prepare to go to Park Avenue for the 1st Round Senior Cup tie against Railway Union. Since Cup matches at that time were "timeless" affairs there was no game scheduled for Sunday, the last day of May. On the Bank Holiday Monday Trinity were to travel to Kimmage to face Carlisle, newly promoted to the League this season in what was our penultimate league fixture.