Review of The Story of The Hills Cricket Club by James Bennett

In modern times, there has been a significant increase in the number of books and articles about cricket at local level in Ireland, and The Story of The Hills Cricket Club by James Bennett is the most recent addition to that genre.

The affable Bennett, a past President of The Hills CC and of Cricket Leinster commences by acknowledging his indebtedness to Joe Curtis for the use of photographs from the Curtis Archive; to Mary, and Michael Sharp (RIP) for access to minute books, score cards and miscellaneous other material from the Cricket Leinster Archive, and to Bobby Swarbrigg, President of The Hills CC for writing a very elegant foreword.

In the first chapter, context is provided by explaining the origin of the name for the ground (The Vineyard), some genealogical details about the Woods/ Wentges Families who were the owners of the Milverton estate and benefactors of The Hills CC, and some background information about the Black Hills CC which was the precursor to The Hills CC.

Using a decade-by-decade approach, we see The Hills winning all around it at junior cricket level in the 1970s, becoming a senior club in the 1980s culminating in the double year in 1989, building a new clubhouse in 1995, winning a double again in 1996, and players from the club gaining belated international recognition during that decade as well.

The early years of the Noughties were somewhat fallow, but from 2005, we see continued successes for the club in cup and league competitions. For The Hills CC, the Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup was the Holy Grail, and the club won it in 2012 and again in 2014.

While cricket provides the context for the book, Bennett is at pains to emphasise that he is writing about people who played cricket, not just about cricket and we see why a knowledge of A (Archer), B (Byrne), C (Clinton), D (Dwyer) is such an important factor in the history of the club.

In addition to the above families, we are introduced to wonderful characters such as Richard (The Flash) Dunne whose love for the club was unconditional. For The Hills, its social commitment was always hugely significant, and there are references to birthday parties, tea-dances, the launch of a cd, a prize-winning song, book launches, nostalgia evenings, cake and produce sales, scones with jam and cream etc.

From 1983 onwards, there are summaries of every game which The Hills played in senior cricket, and for that reason, the book will serve as a valuable source of reference in years to come.

Lavishly embellished with lots of photographs and extensive appendices, this book goes a long way towards  explaining why there is such a passion for cricket in the Fingal area.

Issues regarding Brexit have caused some distribution difficulties, but copies may be obtained by making direct contact with James Bennett at