Tomorrow evening (Friday September 2nd) the first Logan Cup in 37 years between Clontarf and Old Belvedere takes place.
This is significant for a number of reasons, not least because Old Belvedere had to sadly close its gates for the final time a few years ago. So it is thanks in whole to Evans Dexter and Del this match will again take place.
Clontarf and Old Belvo were more than just rivals on the cricket pitch, they were brothers in arms and shared a lot of history. Many great players who lived in the Clontarf/Raheny area played for Old Belvo. This was not so much out of choice but loyalty. Most would have been schooled in Belvo and therefore simply played in Cabra, after all their moto was “Per Vias Rectas” – “By Straight Paths”. Although this trend was bucked in later years, it served not just the club well, but Leinster Cricket as a whole.
The sad closing of Belvo had an undoubted boost to our own club with Emmett Bowes, Bailey Boland, Robbie Patterson, Peter Flanagan, Derek McGeehan and Sammer Dutt. The manner in which these guys have fitted in to the club shows the level of both Belvo and Clontarf in how they go about player welfare. On the non-playing side there is Surf. Surf has worked tirelessly as manager of the 2nds and more recently as Club Chairman and our rep on the OCC where he also holds the chair. He has also had the honour of receiving the Clontarf Club Person of the year award.
For a long time Belvo were a powerhouse in cricket. They won the Leinster Senior Cup 3 years in a row, 64,65 and 66 and then again in 1970 by defeating Clontarf in the Final as well as many league titles. If they weren’t wining things they were almost always to be found at the business end. They constantly produced outstanding cricketers such as Alec O’Riordan who was widely regarded and one of the greatest players Ireland ever had. The great Fintan Synnott who took 850 senior wickets and many others too numerous to mention. Old Belvo made a significant contribution as reards supplying great administrators for Cricket Ireland in David Williams and Kevin O’Riordan among others.
From my own personal point of view I loved and hated Old Belvo in equal measure, and I mean that in the best possible way I even played a season(ish) in Belvo. As a schoolboy if we wanted to win something we had to go through Belvo to get there. Players like Eddie Kavanagh, Paul Ridgeway, Owen Buttler, Colm Donlon (and others) were always not just a thorn in our sides but a whole tree. From under 11’s onwards we lost more than we won against these lads. In fact I think it took until I was captain of Clontarfs under 18’s that we finally beat them in a final. We had some spicy encounters over the years (Ger Buttler) we had draws back then.
This was always added to by the mixture of respect and dislike the two club coaches had for each other. Robin Waters, a former Clontarf player was by all accounts an excellent player and his stats from a time where pitches were simply uncovered would back that up. As a coach he probably surpassed his achievements as a player, the young men he brought through the age groups, what they won and how they went about it were a credit to himself, Belvedere and the many North Leinster, Lenister and Irish teams they excelled in.
This really is a game to be welcomed back to the fixture list and I hope it can remain for many a year
Again Thanks very much to Evans for opening this back up to us