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Edward Liddle's International Profiles
Deryck Andrew Vincent
  • Born 16 September 1964 Dublin
  • Educated The High School, Dublin
  • Occupation Insurance Company Executive; Sports' Photographer; Primary School Special Needs Assistant.
  • Debut 4 January 1986 v Matebeleland at Bulawayo Athletic Club
  • Cap Number 560
  • Style Left hand bat; right arm medium pace / occasional wicket keeper.
  • Teams Clontarf

Deryck Vincent was, for almost twenty years, one of the most feared and respected batsmen in Leinster senior cricket. Somewhat small in stature - like many of the best left handers - he was, as befitted one who was also a high class scrum half, very quick on his feet, using this attribute to dominate the best attacks. Opening the innings and rarely beaten for pace, he was also adept in countering the wiles of spinners.

His medium pace bowling could also be useful, though his rather laboured run up gained him the nickname of "Trundler", bestowed on him by his club mate Peter Prendergast. A brilliant fieldsman, he was also a capable reserve wicket keeper, never letting club or country down in this role.

A dedicated schoolboy member at Clontarf, he developed his game at Dublin's High School also, being in the same School XI as fellow future Irish international Jonathan Garth. He first came to a wider notice in the Esso Cup (Under 19 Interprovincials) of 1981. The ICU Yearbook singled him out as one of North Leinster's "good batsmen." His batting had much to do with his side finishing joint second in the table that season. At Ormeau in mid August, playing against an attack some of whom were two years older than he was, Deryck steered his team to an 8 wicket win, after the hosts had been bowled out for 94. He finished unbeaten on 47. He scored 47 again at the end of the month, helping Paul O'Riordan (45), take the score past 200 against local rivals South Leinster at Rush. A victory by 138 runs resulted.

He passed the fifty mark twice in the following year's competition, reaching exactly the half century against Munster on his home turf of Castle Avenue, helping to set up a 32 run win, before making 53 in a drawn encounter with South Leinster at Terenure. The following year, much to his surprise, he was chosen - ahead of the expected selection, Keith Bailey - as wicket keeper for the U19 International Tournament in the Netherlands. He did not make many runs until the last match Ireland played when his 25, which supported a 57* from Munster all rounder John Wolfe, brought victory over Canada.

He made his senior debut for Clontarf in 1981, playing his first full season in 1984. That summer he scored 389 runs at 21.61, finishing third in the averages, though second place was won by Gerry Kirwan, who batted only seven times and totalled 24 runs with six not outs. Deryck's aggregate was second only to fellow left hander Noel Grier's 524. However this probably did not prepare Deryck or anyone else at Castle Avenue for what was to come the following season. That remarkable summer he scored 951 runs for Clontarf in competitive matches with a highest of 107 against The Hills- when he and Grier established a club second wicket record of 218* - taking them to the brink of two League titles - and eclipsing the Club's previous best for a season by Enda McDermott. He needed 49 in the last match - the Wiggins Tape final v Malahide - but fell for 3, his disappointment was more at failing to secure his team a trophy than in failing to pass four figures. He claimed that he owed much of his success to former Lancashire wicket keeper John Lyon, then the Clontarf coach.

1986 Matabeleland v Ireland: Deryck Vincent drives through the covers

Though critics claimed that he played across the line too much, he continued to dominate the Leinster scene. With Prendergast as his partner, he established a first wicket record of 201 against Old Belvedere in 1990. Among his 13 centuries in Leinster cricket, his 161 in the Cup Final v YMCA in Phoenix in 1991 is often seen as the best. He helped Clontarf to a match winning total of 338-6, which the Claremont Road side, despite 101 from Angus Dunlop, failed to reach, being dismissed for 294 in an epic encounter. Belying his nickname, Deryck also intervened with the ball, taking 5-72 to be an undisputed man of the match. It was in some ways a mirror image of the 1990 Final when YM, thanks to a brilliant 129* from Alan Lewis reached a formidable 305-5. Lewis then took 6-36 as Clontarf went down by 59 runs, though Deryck made a memorable 123. Another stirring knock was his undefeated 108 v Railway Union in 1998, which came in 65 minutes off 76 balls and included two 6s and fifteen 4s.

In all Leinster senior cricket he scored 9508 runs for Clontarf at 35.21, adding 49 half centuries to his hundreds and taking 141 wickets at 21.36. He also scored 724 runs in the All Ireland Cup at 26.81 with one 100 and four 50s, besides taking 22 wickets at 26.54. His approach to the game in general was recognised by the Leinster Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association who presented him with the "Dickie Spence Fair Play Award" in 1995, given to the player who most embodies Fair Play and the Spirit of Cricket. When he finally retired from senior cricket in 2001, he maintained very close contact with the club. He became much involved in youth coaching and administration, currently running both boys' and girls' U 11 teams.

Deryck first came into the North Leinster Interprovincial side in 1984, as substitute for McDermott who was injured. After a slightly shaky start, he hardly looked back. Playing until his retirement from representative cricket in 1991, he scored 1361 runs at 41.24 with three 100s and seven 50s.

Shaking hands with Irish President Mary Robinson before the 1990 Leinster Cup Final

His highest score in the competition was also his best innings, which is not always the case. This was against Ulster Town at Deramore on 10 July 1988. Town had won the toss and, with Adrian Semple leading the way with a stylish 53, must have felt reasonably satisfied with a total of 245-8. Deryck playing what the ICU Yearbook called "a brilliant innings" was soon to show how inadequate the total really was. Aided by Mark Nulty (64) in a first wicket stand of 179, he put the attack to the sword, with only Paul Stafford, who had Nulty's wicket, able to exercise any form of control, going for a mere 4 runs an over. Deryck finished on 145* as North Leinster stormed home by 9 wickets. He aggregated 267 runs in the tournament that summer, at an average of 89.

His first interprovincial hundred had come the previous season against Munster at The Mardyke. The visitors had destroyed the home bowling attack with Deryck making 109 and Alf Masood 76*. Then Mike Halliday, taking advantage of the big total provided by the two star batsmen bowled Munster out for 185, despite a fighting innings from Peter Dineen. Deryck's third and last hundred came in his final representative season of 1991. Appropriately this was at Castle Avenue, the opposition being Ulster Country. The visitors made a good looking 261-6. North Leinster's run chase began badly with Deryck soon loosing his opening partner David Pigot, the Youngest, for a duck. However assisted by Michael Rea (83) he put on 203 for the second wicket, making 116 in fluent style. Garfield Harrison then disposed of both of them, but a 5 wicket victory was achieved.

His form during the 1985 season gained him selection for the Irish tour of Zimbabwe in early 1986. There were many who looked forwards with confidence to his brilliance and consistency being seen "in an Irish jersey" for many years to come. Unfortunately it was not to be. In the next six years, until his retirement from representative cricket, he played only 21 matches out of a possible 59, scoring only 534 runs at an average of 19.07. He passed 20 in 11 of his 31 innings, but reached the half century mark only once.

Opinions abound as to reasons for this. Some thought it psychological. Alan Lewis recalled that, "I always got the feeling that it was almost as if he didn't feel international cricket was his place"(Siggins and Fitzgerald "Ireland's 100 Cricket Greats"). Others thought that selectorial inconsistency was to blame as he could never be sure of his place in the side and often batted down the order, well out of position. Comparisons with those two wonderful players Mark Ramprakash and Graeme Hick spring to mind with both these explanations, particularly the first. He began well enough with 30 against Matabeleland and followed it up shortly afterward with 32 against The Stragglers in a match in which together with Davy Dennison, he had helped to put Ireland in a strong position, until Hick, no inhibitions this time, took control of the match.

Thereafter, however, runs became harder to come by. His highest score, a timely 52* came against Wales at Castle Avenue in 1988. Batting at 6 in the first innings he was caught and bowled for 0 by former Glamorgan off spinner Barry Lloyd. Ireland led by 41 and needed quick runs when they batted again. At 7 this time, as Peter Jackson had come in as night watchman, he helped Lewis add 111 for the 5th wicket before the YMCA man was out for 54. Jackson closed with Deryck on 52*, but Wales just held out for a draw, their last pair batting out the final eight balls.

MCC v Ireland (Lord's, 1991)

The following season saw three useful innings. Against Lancashire at Rathmines, when he had been restored to the side at the expense of Garth, he went in first against a past and future Test Match attack of Paul Allott and Peter Martin. LBW to the embryonic Sky commentator for 3 in the first innings, he did much better in the second, putting on 62 for the first wicket with Mark Cohen before being leg before to another future Test player, medium pacer come off spinner Mike Watkinson for 26. Ireland managed to hold out for a draw but were unable to build on the momentum the openers had provided despite a good innings from Mark Nulty. On the English tour, Deryck fell for a pair against Gloucestershire at Bristol, paceman David "Sid" Lawrence getting him in the first innings, but did much better in the next two matches.

Against MCC at Lord's, he and Cohen put on 89 for the first wicket before he was leg before to Roland Lefebvre, a Dutch medium pacer who played with some success for Somerset and Canterbury (New Zealand), having made 39. The match ended in a draw as these two dayers were inclined to do, Deryck made 15 in the second innings run chase. A one day "declaration" match followed at the picturesque Arundel ground against Lavinia Duchess of Norfolk's XI. At No 1 Deryck made a quick 46, though he had lost Nulty and Lewis with only 27 on the board. He then put on 70 for the third wicket with Garfield Harrison (53), before, falling again to a Test player, he was caught off former Yorkshire and England left armer Don Wilson.

He also showed some consistency in his final season 1991, when, now at No 3, he passed 30 against the Free Foresters in a one day match at Lancing College in Sussex and MCC in the two day encounter at Lord's before finishing with 43 and 12* against Wales in the border town of Usk.

At the end of the 1991 season, he retired from representative cricket, though, as we have seen, he continued to be an essential part of the Clontarf line up for several years. This writer would be the first to admit that he was far from the scenes of most of Deryck's Irish matches and that he lacks the details of the reasoning which governed the selectors' thinking. However it is surely at least possible that a decision to back class over form might have produced the desired results. It has often paid dividends.

When he retired from representative cricket it has generally been assumed that he did so to concentrate on his Rugby career with Old Wesley, but his reasoning was more complex. He was more concerned with what he saw as his "ability to make a worthwhile contribution at international level" than with progressing in the winter game. Away from cricket and rugby, he is married to the hockey international Fiona Manning. Having worked in insurance for many years, he resigned his post, a few years after he quit senior cricket, to become a Special Needs Assistant at a primary school and to concentrate more on parenting. He has also recently developed his sports photography including many hockey action pictures.

Deryck Andrew Vincent will be remembered as a brilliant batsman and true sportsman long after recollections of his disappointments at international level have been forgotten. He is profiled in Siggins and Fitzgerald "Ireland's 100 Cricket Greats."