DUCC's relationship with the Leinster Senior Cup had been a somewhat erratic affair! As mentioned before the early 60s had seen Trinity win the Cup 3 years on the trot; this was an outstanding achievement for there were many England based players in these sides. Apparently the organisation within College (DU Central Athletic Council or DUCAC) which "bankrolled" the main Sports Clubs funded the necessary travel, but it was still quite an undertaking. Even then Mike Halliday reports that some "interesting names" turned up as players in those Finals.

Although the League was won in 1966 and a runners-up place secured in 1968 the Cup matches were not a success. By this time DUCC also went to England (largely Hampshire and London) for an extensive tour in mid to late June and this often meant they were "overseas" when/if they had progressed to Round 2. In 1968 although I was not in the "Colours XI" I was frequently called-up so arrived at Park Avenue to play Railway in the 1st Round.

These were timeless Cup ties - and Trinity were due to go on tour a few days later. Was there a "toss"? I can't recall but the home side batted first. There were 2 or 3 other "fill-ins" in the DUCC team and we were, shall we be charitable, a bit light on bowling. Nevertheless GF Murphy's 1 for 96 seemed a bit "generous" whereas Michael Bryce, brought on with the score 250ish for not too many, bagged 6 for 26! Railway's 300+ proved far too much and we were all out for 93. The game was done and dusted on the Saturday evening.

I suspect that Derek Scott was in attendance. To cut a long story short DUCC were not included in the draw for the 1969 Cup! Mercifully a one year hiatus was deemed a sufficient reprimand. When the Cup draw came out for the 1970 season guess what - we're off to Railway again (and in 1971 we played … Railway, albeit in College Park). On Saturday 30th May nine of the "regular" XI took the field with DUCC batting first - presumably another toss won by Mr Halliday as the weather was very pleasant.

Because of exams Maggie Bryce and Simon Hewson were not available with John Kirby, following his excellent innings v TT West's XI, slotting in at three and Duncan Parkes occupying Hewson's number seven role. Trinity soon lost McKenna and Kirby to Frank Cheatle who after 7 overs had 2 for 6 (4 maidens). In 2 spells Cheatle got through 30.3 overs, which was a phenomenal stint.

Johnny Silverstone led a counter attack, his 34 including 6 boundaries; he and Hart Cox put on 33 for the 3rd wicket but they fell to Donnelly and Brian Grehan respectively and at 61 for 4 the DUCC innings was in the balance. Philip Nixon and Chris Harte dug in in the face of very persistent bowling. Railway were eventually to dismiss Trinity in 94.3 overs of which 31 were maidens. However the batsmen's patience was rewarded and the running between the wickets, especially as the fielders tired in the sun, kept the scoreboard moving.

After a stand of 47 Nixon (32) was caught and bowled by Grehan; thereafter with Harte opening up more he and Parkes (16) added 64 for the 6th wicket. Chris Harte reached his first DUCC fifty with a "slog-sweep" six into the Tennis Courts off Niall McConnell, whose second spell of 4 overs went for 20 runs and he was then taken out of the attack. Harte and Halliday found another 28 for the next wicket before the former fell for 72 which included 4 fours in addition to his six. Halliday (27*) batted right to the end with John Frankland's 12 being all boundaries!

The innings had lasted well into the evening which left Railway just over half an hour before "stumps". It was something of a surprise that Grehan joined Des Byrne in the opening partnership. Half of the first 8 overs were maidens and hardly a shot was "fired in anger" so the home team finished the day 21 for no wicket - Byrne 9 and Grehan 10.

On a bright Sunday afternoon Byrne padded up and warmed up but there was no sign of Grehan? When the fielders took to the ground the home side kept looking to the entrance but to no avail. Grehan had, it turned out, gone on holiday (it was a Bank Holiday weekend). It made sense for him to have a bash on Saturday evening - but he hadn't. Ginger O'Brien joined Byrne but 21 for 1 became 21 for 2 just 4 balls later when Frankland bowled Byrne. Tony Amoroso only lasted 5 overs before he became Frankland's 3rd victim McKenna taking a smart catch.

O'Brien was now in partnership with Crawford Tipping and he showed some of his best form. They put on 40 for the 4th wicket until O'Brien was the first of 3 catches behind for Harte. His 36 included 4 boundaries a feat equalled by Joey O'Meara in his 18. By the time Frankland removed Frank Whelan (bowled) and Jimmy McKenzie (lbw) both for ducks Railway had sunk to 86 for 7-six for Frankland plus a "retired"! Although skipper Halliday bowled 7 overs for 10 runs it was basically the "old firm" who wrapped it up, Ronnie McCarey taking the last 3 wickets. DUCC had thus secured a date with Old Belvedere in Cabra on 13th June just before heading on tour on 15th.

  • DUCC 232 all out; C Harte 72, J Silverstone 34, P Nixon 32, M Halliday 27*; Cheatle 30.3-11-63 -5 Donnelly 16-5-36-3; Grehan 16-4-42-2.
  • Railway Union 109 all out. B O'Brien 36; J Frankland 23-10-36-6; R McCarey 20.5-4-52-3.

On Bank Holiday Monday DUCC ventured to Kimmage for the first time to play Carlisle newly promoted to Senior Cricket this season. Maggie Bryce was back in the team for the "exam -tied" McKenna. This match was to be the only one which suffered from rain delays; in total there were 86 overs bowled whereas Trinity's 2 earlier draws had both featured just in excess of 100.

Naturally DUCC batted first and Harte was soon bowled by Rodney Bernstein whose first 7 overs were most impressive. However his 8th went for 19 runs including Bryce hooking a beamer for 6! He then removed himself from the attack as Silverstone and Bryce formed a stand of 73. Hart Cox did not last long but Bryce went on to a fine 50 and added 49 with Nixon until the second rain break.

Tea having been taken, Halliday declared leaving Carlisle just under 140 minutes (which turned out to be 45 overs) to reach their target of 140. Dennis Jacobson, who had earlier caught Silverstone, now befell the reverse fate. Frankland soon secured the further wickets of Woolfe, Stephen Molins and Elliott and the skipper had White caught by Cox. Elliott's departure reduced the innings to 41 for 5 but Rodney Molins, who had come in at 34 for 4, defied all that was fired at him. He notched 6 boundaries in his 44 not out and although Frankland changed ends to remove Keye, John Simon's 0* in 22 minutes enabled Carlisle to secure a draw.

  • DUCC 139 for 3 wkts dec. M Bryce 57*, J Silverstone 36, P Nixon 24*; R Bernstein 13-3-57-2.
  • Carlisle 85 for 6 wkts R Molins 44*; J Frankland 22-10-35-5. M Halliday 11-4-16-1.

So now just one league game to go, away to Merrion. But how many of the DUCC XI would be selected for North Leinster v South Leinster on the very same day?