LEINSTER GROUND RECORDS
THE 21st century has seen a huge upsurge in high scoring, despite almost all cricket in Ireland being played in limited-overs format.
This weekend’s mammoth 259no by Stephen Doheny is a new high score for Kenure Park, while the Rush total of 569-7 appears to be the first time anyone has scored 500 in an overs match in this country.
I have compiled a list of 131 double (and triple) centuries recorded here, 28 of which were scored in the 19th century, 55 in the 20th, and 48 have come in the sixteen summers so far this century.
Many of the 19th century games – certainly the important club games – were played over two-days, sometimes more. Although the standard of pitches was generally poor, when a good one was produced there were plenty of run-feasts.
Some of the early Leinster league games were two-day affairs, and the Cup was a one-innings unlimited overs affair for a while, so a few big scores came in the 1920s and 1930s, but thereafter scores were lower.
Between 1933 and 1983, only one double century was made in senior cricket, by Gerry Duffy against Phoenix in 1953.
Paradoxically perhaps, the evolution of all competitions to limited overs has coincided with the upswing in big team and individual scores. It has also, of course, coincided with the arrival of professionals and overseas players, and greater attention being paid to pitches, as well as at least two of the highest scores being made on mats.
Below is a list of the known record innings at every senior ground in Leinster. There are some famous names there – Clontarf’s position as host of most internationals means one of those games was likely to produce its record and it is an international legend of the game whose 239* (and a second innings hundred) that has that distinction.
Another visiting Test player set the ground record in Pembroke, aged 48 and 22 years after his second and last game for England.
Other local greats are here too, including Bob Lambert and Ed Joyce, although there are some larger 19th century innings which may have been played on the Phoenix ground.
And our greatest-ever female cricketer also has the distinction of the ground record for her home club, just shading two of her big brothers Gus (191no) and Dom (197), and future husband (185). Her other brother last year scored the first double at Malahide.