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Clontarf Ladies’ Cricket Club
Past and Present
It is with gratitude that we acknowledge the sterling work done by the ladies of the Club over the years. We know that we are very lucky to have a willing band of workers on hand to provide the catering, whatever the occasion. There never seems to be a fuss or delay in providing lunches or teas - however trying circumstances may be. The current ‘team’, ably led by Jill O’Neill do a superb job and maintain the high standards set by Gladys Smith, Frankie O’Carroll and Phyllis Vincent (to name but a few).
By the early 1940’s the women had decided that they had watched enough cricket to give the game a go. The Leinster Ladies’ Cricket League had been set up in 1941 and the first Clontarf Ladies’ team was successful in that competition in 1942, captained by E. Feeney. The Ladies’ team was given great support and encouragement in Clontarf but this was not the case in many other senior clubs. The Ladies’ Club flourished for 20 years, but a waning of interest in the game saw the Club disbanded.
During the twenty years the Leinster League had teams from Dartry, Leinster, Civil Service, Trinity, Bellshire, Railway Union, Ling and Clontarf. There were also interprovincial matches against Ulster and games against visiting sides fromthe North and from Britain. There were also representative games between Irish and British teams and ‘caps’ were awarded. Clontarf had probably the best Irish lady cricketer of that era in Marie Coffey. In one season she scored 276 runs at an average of 30.6 while taking 48 wickets at an average of 2.3. She recorded two hat tricks in that one season.
Clontarf Ladies’ Cricket Club re-formed towards the end of the 1975 season and has been going strong ever since. The first trophies of the modern era were the Division 1 League and Senior Cup in 1977. From then until the mid 90’s Clontarf were to dominate ladies’ cricket in Leinster. In the 22 seasons from 1977 to 1998 Clontarf won 16 Senior League titles, the Senior Cup 14 times and the 40 Overs League 10 times. This is an incredible record and one that will be difficult to beat. For five years on the trot in the 1980’s they swept the board winning the treble each year. The 2nd and 3rd XI’s also played their part winning the Division 2 League three times, the Division 3 League twice and the Junior Cup five times. During this period Clontarf players also made up much of the Senior and Junior North Leinster interprovincial sides.
Over the years Clontarf has been well represented on the Ireland Team with players such as Anne Murray, Lily Owens, Stella Owens and Susan Bray as regular representatives on the National side. Anne was renowned for her stylish strokeplay and superb fielding, Lily and Stella were both all-rounders and the pace of Susan Bray’s bowling struck fear into the hearts of many opponents! In recent years Grainne Leahy, Marguerite Burke and Tracey Skoyles have also joined the elite band of Clontarf players on the Irish team. A number of players have also represented Clontarf on Irish U19 sides.
In 2005 the Clontarf Ladies Cricket Club ceased to exist as a separate entity when both clubs voted to amalgamate.