Railway Union and The Leprechauns
The connections between Railway and the Leps are long and many.
Our first membership secretary was Derek Scott who while busy leading R.S.P.(S.S.!!)U. to the Leinster Senior league in 1960, did Trojan work to see our membership climb to over 300.
He subsequently took over running the I.C.U to great effect, that role now being filled by many “Leprechauns”, but let’s not go there!
Never was Railway’s input more pronounced than on the tour to London in 1978, lets go there instead. A quick butcher’s hook at the Lep’s web-site shows our side at Lords , no less, with the auld Pav. in the background.
Included therein are FIVE famous “wheeltappers” :- Denzil Tipping, seated middle front, ships captain and also Leps tour captain. It has to be said that in nautical terms Tony Leon filled the roles of navigator and pilot. While Denzil led from the front, his declarations were all at sea. Grahem Guthrie is seen standing (near the HOT SNACKS) next to Robin Waters (now there’s a book waiting to happen!). He was to play a big part in messing with one of (yeer gonna hate this) Denzil’s dec(k)s. ouch!
I note Derek’s successors have finally got Grahem’s beloved Bakery to come On Board. Maurice Whelan is also standing at the back in his street clothes, making a bid for the best turned out award, his prowess as a sire of internationals still well over the horizon.
Niall McConnell & Dessie Byrne are (poignantly) together, standing to the left at the back, Niall in his whites. Have any two other Railway men ever combined to serve the club so well? NIALL of the thousand wickets, so many of which caught(or stumped) by BOPPER.
Conveniently for this writer the tour party assembled in THE YACHT on Clontarf Road, on Saturday evening, after we had all played league matches, to head by car for the Ferry at the North Wall….. none of your old Ryanair sh 1.t.
Things were quiet until we got out three miles, when, because we were now outside “territorial waters” the bars could sell their wares duty free. (One can almost hear Michael O’Leary saying “Now why didn’t I think of that?”) .
Even though cabins had been booked they were not overused as most of the party operated on that old economic theory The more you drink…The more you save! Liverpool at 7ish in the morning is for hurrying through and this is what we did en route to London for our Sunday fixture v. none other than The Ford Motor Company at their works grounds.
They were one short, so one of our “subs”, Dessie, agreed to play for them. He hit the winning runs……and…you’ve guessed it…it came back to haunt him!
The result at Sidcup, for whom Grahame Clinton (Kent at the time, soon to be Surrey) got big joes, escapes me, but Tuesday brought us to Chelmsford for the Essex match. The County batted against 12 Leps (11 fielding), and got 260ish for 5. Milky Hughes & Dougie bowled lovely. Fosh & Pont got for Essex.
As their innings closed Pont (60*) and one David Acfield (2*) made for the Pav. On reaching the gate, Pont led, only for his partner to “hand-brake” him, saying “Where are you going, Sonny?” . Pont duly held the gate for his “better”. A sure case of the epee being mightier than the willow!
As Maurice says (at least Ollie says Maurice says) “The chase is everything”, and that afternoon at Chelmsford it surely was, as Leprechauns went after the Essex total. Tubby Leon had brought along the Carlisle “overseas player”, one Julian Weiner (later to play for Oz), who set about their attack with relish.
He took a big liking to Stuart Turner (Essex’s answer to Frank Cheatle), who could have done with the said Frank’s dog to fetch the ball from adjoining gardens. With Weiner in charge and wickets falling at the other end, we need one to win with one over left…… only problem……Weiner is off strike!!
The bowler was not from Westmeath, but his name was Malone, and he managed a wicket maiden, to leave the game (& 12 Leprechauns!) drawn. Moving hastily on…. Wednesday brought us to Finchley.
As I was being rested ahead of the Lords game, I got a chance to visit White Hart Lane to see Swansea (Toshack et al) stuff my beloved Spurs in the league cup. How things have changed. As I queued at the turnstile, I noticed a bloke I half recognised trying to blag his way in the press gate….El Tel…maybe somethings haven’t changed!!
Earlier the Leps had batted (& batted) (& batted!). To be fair to DENZ they had a bloke called David Hays (later of Aberdeenshire) in their line up who had recently scored 50 in 11 or 12 balls in the league for them. Denz (eat your heart out Nelson) knew this because the press cutting was on the club notice board.
Enter Scuttery (as Liam Keegan insisted on calling him) whom Dz (I’m running low on toner) had posted at long off, from the off (Finchley not enamoured!). At 30 odd for 1 doesn’t Hays hit (say McDevitt) down the (long) ground for what looked like 6 over long on……. and then came Bronson…sorry...Guthrie, round the rope with those baby steps of his, to grab hold of a stunner!
As I left for the Lane the game was petering…slowly…. . Which brings me to …….Lords. D(I’m running low on compliments!) proved what a tosser he was, called correctly again and with the words “I’ll bat”, he did.
Some hours later I got a go, making 2, quickly! The Cross(very) Arrows got within 100 of our generous declaration by sundown. Next stop Liverpool for a game with Sefton in their beautiful Park ground.
Again memories are sketchy, clouded in a Double Diamond haze. We left their clubhouse at 10 for the 11 sailing (& midnight bar opening!).
For the Railway boys, a hop down the quays (no Ryanair, no toll-bridge!) for a Saturday league fixture……of which I’m sure Derek has the result!
Railway & The Leps should tour more often.