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Edward Liddle's International Profiles
Augustine Joyce
  • Born 10 August 1974 Dublin
  • Educated Presentation College, Bray; Nottingham, Trent University; Dublin University
  • Occupation Computer Programmer
  • Debut 25 July 2000 v Italy at New Cambudsoon, Ayr
  • Cap Number 632
  • Style Right-hand bat, wicket keeper
  • Teams Merrion, Dublin University, Brondesbury, Hertford

Gus Joyce, a stylish opening batsman and capable reserve wicket keeper, is a member of that well-known quintet of siblings, all of whom have achieved international honours. Though cricket was not played at Presentation College, Gus made his senior debut for Merrion aged 15 and it was no surprise when he gained his first Irish cap six years later. Had it not been for injury and his decision to deploy his IT talents "across the water" he would probably have been capped considerably more than three times.

It was during his year in the Dublin University XI that he first appeared in representative cricket, being selected initially for Ireland U21 against the Irish Universities in the annual two day match in College Park. After the Universities had posted a useful 205, Gus and Neil Carson put on 142 for the first wicket before, Gus, who had been in total command, was stumped for 83. Eventually the U21s were set 220 to win. Gus and Neil added a further 51 for the first wicket but Gus was dismissed for 24. His side finished with 4 wickets down but the scores level. However Neil and Gus both gained selection for the Universities side in the British Universities tournament in Liverpool later in the summer. Gus made an undefeated 36 in a rain ruined match with English Universities South and also had 26 against English Universities North, a match lost by 7 wickets.

His season with Dublin University saw Gus make a fine 82 in a Cup Match with CYM, but his best performances in Leinster cricket were, of course for Merrion. Between 1990 and 2010, missing several seasons when he emigrated, Gus scored 4498 runs at 26.15 with 4 hundreds and 24 fifties. As a wicket keeper he took 51 catches and made 12 stumpings, winning the Hopkins Cup for the leading Leinster wicket keeper in 1999, becoming the first Merrion gloveman to receive this award. He also made 56 catches in the field.

The highest of his centuries an undefeated 191 against Rush at the end of the 1999 season was, at the time a Merrion senior record, beating the 48 year old 175 made by Simon Curley. Merrion totalled 315-6 before bowling Rush out for 127. It was his second century in successive matches, as he had made 100* against Old Belvedere in the previous match. That season he scored 848 runs at 49.88. Gus' record was not to last for quite as long as Curley's, Australian Brad Spanner making 204* against Railway Union the following summer. Gus already had another hundred against Rush to his credit 111 in 1995, which led to a 15 runs win.

This was the last match of a season in which he had already hit 3 fifties, including a polished 89 against The Hills. His fourth ton came in the Cup Semi Final against North County in in 2002. North County batted first and put a total of 201-7 on the board. With Gus and his opening partner wicket keeper Kade Beasley in fine form, the result never seemed in doubt. Beasley was out at 138 but Gus ensured there would be no upset finishing on an undefeated 103. He was an obvious choice for Man of The Match.

Gus led Merrion for three seasons 1999, 2000 and 2003, winning 20 Leinster competitive matches and losing 19, besides bringing the Club four senior trophies. Additionally, he was closely involved in coaching the youth sides for several years and, concentrating on the technical and strategic side of the game, also helped greatly to improve the 1st XI's performances.

Besides spending an Australian summer playing grade cricket in Melbourne, he has appeared in both the Middlesex and Home Counties Leagues, his work having twice taken him to the London area. His appearances at senior level in the former competition were limited but in 2011 he played a full season for Hertford in Section 2 (East) of the Home Counties Premier League, where his consistent batting achieved considerable success. On debut he scored 53 in a home game with Hoddedson at No 3 and, besides hitting an undefeated 47 at 4 in a 5 wicket win over Hemel Hempstead, hit two other half centuries, one of which, 65*, was in the return match with Hoddedson. However his highest score of the season came in an 89 runs win over North Mymm. Hertford posted a formidable total, largely thanks to Gus whose undefeated 75 came from 117 balls, including 5 fours and 2 sixes.

Gus' performances at Interprovincial level in Ireland were adequate rather than outstanding. Thus in 1999, he and his brother Ed put on 64 for the first wicket for Leinster against The North West at Malahide, leading to a total sufficient for a 67 runs victory. Though he also made 25 v NCU and 30 against North West in 2000, his best match at this level came in the same season against Munster in College Park. The visitors were bowled out for 83 with Gus, keeping wicket, holding 4 catches, all off the Fingal triumvirate of Paul Mooney, Barry Archer and Matt Dwyer. He then led the way to an 8 wicket victory with an elegant 46*.

His three matches for Ireland all came in that season. Unfortunately he only gave glimpses of the form which made him such a force in Leinster cricket. Against Italy at Ayr in the European Championships, he opened the innings with Ireland needing only 75 thanks to Kyle McCallan having bowled the Italians out for 74. Ireland won comfortably enough by 6 wickets but Gus had gone early for 5 bowled by Andrea Cerebella a South African of Italian descent. In the next match against Scotland at Linlithgow, which Ireland lost he was leg before for 13 to medium pacer John Williamson. His only other match was the three-day game with Scotland at Ayr which Ireland again lost despite a superb 150 from Angus Dunlop. Gus had opened the batting with Peter Shields but lost both him and Ryan Haire quickly before adding 73 for the third wicket with Angus Dunlop. Gus had reached 29 before being bowled by Pakistani first class cricketer Asim Butt. In the second innings he fell to the former Worcestershire paceman James Brinkley, a Scottish born Australian, for 2.

Augustine Joyce - who is also a useful footballer and an interprovincial chess player, was not, possibly for reasons we have already noted, to play for Ireland again. However he will, in company with all of his siblings, be always remembered in the annals of Merrion and Leinster cricket.