The Later Years

Senior Cricket - The Middle History Years - 1926 - 1999
Merrion was promoted to the Senior League in 1926 and have played every year since. The total number of league and cup matches to the end of 1999 is 1222. 
The total results for all matches played is: 
 

  Played Won Tied Lost Draw/NR Ave Pos
Teams League 920 273 3 364 284 6.37 9.35
Cup [1935]   111 48   63      
L Cup [1974]  191 64 2 119 6 6.3 8.76
Total 1222 385 5 546 290    


In the early days the number of teams competing in the senior league was quite small. Up until the beginning of the 1950s the maximum number of teams in any one year was eight and in 1929 was as low as four. The Leinster Senior Cup was run for the first time in 1935 and in 1974 a third competition was added, the Wiggins Teape League [now the Lewis Traub League] on a League/Cup basis. 

The performances of the Merrion 1st XI can be easily broken into distinct periods. In the early period [1926 - 39] the team maintained a mid table position. They were second in the league in 1931 and 1934 and were the defeated cup finalists in 1936. The early period was dominated by players like Cecil Little, Jack O'Donnell and Rollie Shortt with Chris Mara and Simon Curley playing an increasingly  important role from the mid 1930s on. In all 168 matches were played with 61 matches won against 62 lost. 

Undoubtably Merrion's golden period was from 1940 to 1963. A number of Irish internationals played for Merrion during this period, including Simon Curley, Paddy Waldron, Paul Warren and Rodney Berstein. Vinnie Holloway, Brendan Curley, the Burke and Hayden brothers and Chris Mara were also regular performers. Merrion won the league and cup double in 1940 (first team to achieve this feat; no games lost) and the league in 1945, 1952 and 1958. The Leinster Cup was won again in 1960. Merrion also lost five cup finals and were runners up in the league three times. With the Senior League increasing to nine teams in 1953 and to ten teams in 1957 the number of matches played also increased with 362 matches played with Merrion winning 145 and losing 113. 

When the team built mainly around S Curley was finally broken up in the early 1960s, through retirement and emigration, Merrion went through an extended period of poor to moderate performance until the mid 1990s. From 1964 to 1977 Merrion lost in the first round of the cup each year. Merrion were last in the league no fewer than seven times. A short period of reasonable performance from 1976 to 1981 proved a false dawn and in the 1980s Merrion suffered the worst times in its history culminating in demotion from the senior league in 1994. Fortunately, on a vote of the other teams in the Leinster league, Merrion was reinstated and competed again in the Senior league in 1995. 

Threatened demotion in 1994 proved the tonic the club needed and performances improved almost immediately. In 1993 the Senior League had been divided into two divisions with Merrion participating in the 'B' Division. In 1997 promotion was achieved through winning the 'B' league. Just to prove you cannot have too much of a good thing, Merrion decided to repeat the exercise by again winning the 'B' league in 1999 following relegation in 1998. In 1995 Merrion got to the final of the Leinster Cup  and for the first time started to put in good performances in the League/Cup. A semi final place in 1997, was followed by a final in 1998 and victory in 1999. During this period Merrion became the dominant '20 Overs' team - winning the competition a record four times in a row from 1996 - 99. Wins over two Northern sides in the Beckett Cup in 1996 and 1998 and a highest ever semi-final place in the All Ireland cup were the final elements in a very promising end to the millenium. 

Leinster Senior Records [by period] - Senior League

Period Played Won Drawn Tied Lost Place Teams
1926-39 168 61 48 1 62 4.15 7.4
1940-63 362 145 103 1 113 4.58 8.71
1964-75 209 20 58 0 131 9.5 10.3
1976-81 124 45 18 1 60 6.5 11.2
1982-94 247 44 52 2 149 10.3 11.8
1995 >  112 70 10 0 32 2.8 7

 

Trophy Winning Teams

1940 L & C 1945 L 1952 L 1958 L 1960 C  1999 L/C
J O'Donnell C Mara S Curley T Burke S Curley A Joyce
S Curley J Burke J Burke M Boyle R Bernstein A Fleming
J Darcy  T Burke J Clifford J Burke T Burke Dom Joyce
K Dempsey S Curley R Craig B Curley B Curley D Joyce
W Lindsey W Lindsey G Doyle S Curley D Dorgan B Spanner
C Little C Little N Flood G Doyle D Hayden S King
C Mara D McCourt W Lindsey E Hayden J Hopkins R Stanton
J O'Connor D McEvoy E MacCarville J Hopkins G Murdock J Morrissey
R Shortt J O'Connor P McGilligan C Mara D Parkinson D Poder
P Waldron R Shortt C Mara P Meade D Williams P Quinlan
P Warren  P Waldron P Waldron R Bernstein P Willis R Dowse
  P Warren       I O'Herlihy


The total number of 1st XI players currently stands at 360. Simon Curley holds the record for highest number of appearances, closely followed by Robbie Stanton. In all five players have played more than 300 matches with the list being completed by Brendan Curley, Chris Mara, and Eddie Lewis. Chris Mara holds the record for the most consecutive matches played for Merrion [147] between 1935 and 1945 followed by Eddie Lewis [100] from 1976 - 1980 and W Lindsey [84] between 1939 and 1945. 

There were a number of special individual performances worth noting. The fastest recorded century was that of Cecil Little in 1928 against Civil Service - in 55 minutes with 96 in boundaries including 12 '4s' off consecutive balls. The highest score and the highest aggregate for the season were both achieved in 1999 - Gus Joyce 191* against Rush and Brad Spanner 1014. The most wickets in a season [70] was achieved by Patrick O'Herlihy in 1995 and the best individual bowling figures were Chris Mara's 9/52 against Phoenix in 1940

Best Provincial Performances:
 

Batting
[Marchants Cup]

Bowling
[O’Grady Cup]

All Rounders 
[Samuels Cup]

Wicket Keeping 
[Hopkins Cup]

P Waldron

1943

T Kiely

1929

C Little

1937,40

W Lindsey

1940

S Curley

1951, 58

D Poder

1997, 99

S Curley

1952

A Joyce

1999

 

 

A Fleming

1998

J Burke

1958

 

 

 

 

 

 

D Robinson

1981

 

 

The most catches in a season was won by C Little [1929], S Curley [1949 and 1950] and J O’Hagan [1983]

 

500 Runs in a season   50 Wickets in season
S Curley 6   C Mara 2
P Waldron 2   R Bernstein 2
E Lewis 2   R Shortt 1
D Robinson 2   P O'Herlihy 1
A Joyce 2      
S Uddin 2      
R Stanton 1      
B Spanner 1      
 

 

 

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