Famous Irish cricketers: Ted Williamson
Terence Edward John Williamson
Ted Williamson was one of the outstanding Munster cricketers of his generation. Perhaps the past tense should not be used.
In 2010 he showed not only in Munster but also for Phoenix that he is still a very good batsman. He is, of course, also a genuine all rounder in the fullest sense of the word.
His under used medium pace has often picked up vital wickets when needed with a certain " golden arm" quality while he has also shown himself an extremely capable wicket keeper.
For all these attributes, however, he must be counted unlucky. He won only a single Irish cap and, as we shall see below, had a good match. He had, unfortunately to miss the next through injury and was not recalled.
His school, North Monastery - which has an impressive list of past students headed by the former Taoiseach, Jack Lynch - has a proud sporting reputation, but - though it numbers Olympic athlete Mark Carroll among its alumni - is best known as a stronghold of Gaelic Football and Hurling.
Nevertheless Ted was a prominent Cork cricketer from his late teens and has thus been in the game at senior level for more than two decades. In Munster cricket his time has been, apart from Munster Reds' foray into the Leinster senior competitions, been divided between Cork County and, more recently, Harlequins, generally, though not invaribly, opening the batting.
His combined appearances for both clubs in the Irish Senior Cup have brought him 161 runs at an average of 27. Ironically, his two best performances have been in a losing cause. In 2003 in the Second Round against CYM at Terenure, Cork County restricted the hosts to 196-8 but struggled themselves against accurate bowling. Eventually they reached 160-9 with Ted, the only one to get on top of a varied attack, making 63 before being caught off Fergal Hoey, younger brother of Irish leg spinner, Conor.
In the preliminary round County defeated Ardmore, but Ted with 0-32 and 13 had not contributed much to the 8 wicket victory. His other noteworthy performance came in 2010 for Harlequins against Terenure, the born again CYM.
The visitors were never really in the hunt being dismissed for 144 but which had it not been for Ted's 44 would have been a greater deal less. He batted 61 minutes and faced 46 balls. Among his other performances in Cork we might note the County's match against an Essex XI, led by Graham Gooch, in September 1994. Essex reached 321, with their guest player James Whittaker of Leicestershire and - once - England making 111.
The hosts responded with 181-7, Ted topscoring with 39. The cricket may not have been too serious, but he had shown his ability to hold his own against first class bowling.
Among several excellent performances for Harlequins was a superb 144 against Wexford Institute of Technology (WIT) in the Senior league in 2008. Harlequins totalled 258-9, a scoreline which shows how Ted dominated the innings, then bowled WIT out for a paltry 82.
Between 2001 and 2008, he was unquestionably the outstanding player for Munster Reds in the Leinster competitions, captaining the side for three seasons. The Reds faced the difficulties of long travel for away matches and were more successful at The Mardyke than in Dublin. Ted, however, usually looked equally at home in either city.
A few highlights indicate his worth in victory or defeat. Thus at Cabra in 2001 Old Belvedere were bowled out for 132. Reds struggled to pass the total, with the leg spin of Conor Hoey causing them considerable problems. Conor got Ted in the end but not before he had made a topscore 42 - the next highest being 26 - and seen his side on the way to a closely fought 3 wicket victory.
The following season Reds had a notable 8 wicket win over Rush at home with Ted topscoring with 79, being dismissed just before the end of a successful pursuit of a 179 runs target. Against Railway Union at Park Avenue in August 2003, he opened the batting, topscoring with 61. Then, keeping wicket, he held four catches, to play a major part in a 3 run victory.
His best score in these matches came against Leinster at The Mardyke in 2006. Reds scored 199-8 off their 50 overs with Ted batting through the innings for a dominant 107*. Unfortunately for the hosts, the Rathmines side found conditions to their liking passing their target with 9 wickets in hand.
Reds also competed in the early season 45 over League reaching the Semi Finals in the first year 2005. They had been helped there by a fine all round performance from Ted against Old Belvedere. Batting first Reds totalled a useful 168-7, with Ted leading the way on an undefeated 74. OB could only total 79 in reply, Ted, gauntlets put aside, having the figures of 9 - 1 - 21 - 1. The semi, against Clontarf at Castle Avenue, was lost by 9 wickets but not before Ted had struck a superb 109 before being run out. However the hosts had little trouble passing their target with Messrs Cusack and Bray in fine form.
Early in his career Ted had spent some time with Pembroke and in more recent times has been seen with Phoenix. In 2010, in Division 2 of the Leinster Senior league, he batted 7 times scoring 225 runs at 37.50. He played major innings on two successive Saturdays in May. The first - ironically against Cork County. - was a topscore 76 seeing Phoenix to a commanding 240-7 and eventual victory by 108 runs. The following weekend Dublin University, surprising Phoenix and, probably, themselves ran up a challenging 264-3 then took 3 of their rivals' wickets for 120. Any thoughts of a rare victory for the once great club were quickly dispelled when Dave Langford - Smith joined Ted. Putting on an unbroken 147, they saw Phoenix home by 7 wickets. Ted on 94 at the end and Dave 83.
When his performances for Munster Reds are also considered he has aggregated 5978 runs in Leinster Senior Cricket at 25.76. His performances in the Irish Senior Cup take his total runs at he end of the 2010 season to 6139 runs.
From 1992 to 2003 he was an automatic choice for Munster or the Southern XI in the Interprovincial or Regional Challenge Matches. He hit two centuries both against Ulster Town. At Phoenix's ground in 1991 Munster batted first, scoring 277-7 declared, Ted making 113, putting on 162 for the second wicket with Peter Dineen (96*). However thanks to a fine innings from Robin Haire the Ulster men successfully chased the daunting target to win by 3 wickets.
The two sides had a similar encounter at Eglinton the following summer. With Ted in belligerent mood Munster posted an impressive 269, Ted making 121 before he was caught at the wicket by Paul Moore off Ian Carser. The next highest score was 32. However UT were again successful in a tough chase winning by the same margin as in the previous season. Ted hit four fifties in the competition, the highest in a narrow defeat by the NCU at Castle Avenue in 1997. Good bowling by the pace and spin combination of Paul McCrum and Neil Doak restricted Munster to 168-6. Ted batted through the innings for 96. NCU also found batting difficult but eventually won by 4 wickets.
Ted was also instrumental in bringing Munster a rare win over a northern side at The Mardyke in 1999. NCU totalled 258-8 and would certainly have won had it not been for Ted. Staying until near the end he hit a fine 86 before being caught behind by Peter Shields off Neil Carson. It was enough to bring a 3 wickets victory.
In all interprovincials he made 1068 runs at 26.50. Though he played for Ireland U21 in 1991 and the U23 side the following year Ted made little impression, which is possibly why, despite his impressive interprovincial performances, his Irish debut was delayed until 1998.
It came against MCC in early June in a two day match, the first time Ireland had played at Pollock Park, Lurgan. Ireland narrowly failed to win a drawn match, mostly remembered for a glorious hundred from Stephen Smyth. However Ted had a very satisfactory debut. One of three new caps, the others being Neil Anderson and Paul Mooney, he opened the batting with Kyle McCallan and made a well received 38 before falling to swing bowler Lees off the last ball of an over from which he had already taken 10 runs. He made 17 in the second innings, losing his wicket to force the pace.
Unfortunately he picked up a minor injury and unable to play in the match against Bangladesh at Waringstown the following day, but he was in the Ireland A team which took on the tourists at The Mardyke ten days later. Bangladesh won with some ease but, restored to open with McCallan who was leading the side, he made a second topscore 34, putting on 50 for the second wicket with topscorer Ed Joyce.
Notwithstanding this good start - and other performances some of which are shown above - Terence Edward John Williamson was not to be seen again in Irish colours. It is at least arguable that he deserved better at the hands of the selectors .
However he has carved himself a niche in Munster cricket which is unlikely to be forgotten.
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