What have been up to for the last one hundred years or so?
Railway Union CC opened on Valentine Whelan’s dairy farm, Park Avenue, Sandymount, in 1904 and played Leinster Senior League from introduction in 1919.
Stars of the 1920s included the Bookmans and the Hools. Relegation to junior ranks in 1930 was followed by return to senior in 1945 through the work of Kyrie Tanham, Louis Sumerling, Leonard Amoroso Snr and Billy Whelan. Violet Tanham started the women’s team in the 1940s and it is making a fresh revival in 2019.
Derek Scott captained the first Senior League winners in 1960, and Edgar Pigot repeated the success in 1962. Brendan (Ginger) O’Brien captained the first Cup winners in 1967. Junior teams won several trophies but major success again eluded the 1st XI until Kenny Carroll’s team of 2006 won the Irish Senior Cup, Dublin Grass Machinery League, Alan Murray T20 Cup and Section B of the Senior League. Australian-born Irish captain, Trent Johnston, joined in 2007 and captained the 2010 Cup-winners. Tom Fisher captained the 2011 League-winners
Frank Miller was Irish wicket-keeper from 1949 to 1955 (16 caps), Joey O’Meara capped as a teenager in 1963 and Brendan O’Brien in 1966. O’Brien gained 52 caps finishing as Irish captain in 1981. Niall O’Brien, 2002, retired in 2018 with 216 caps/6097 runs/263 wicket-keeping dismissals. Kevin O’Brien, 2006, has a record 319 caps and 7304 runs to date. Kenny Carroll’s 11 caps were in 2006/2007 and Roger Whelan’s three in 2007. Niall’s 72 in victory over Pakistan in the 2007 World Cup finals, Kevin’s 113 in victory England in 2011 and 118 on his Test debut against Pakistan in 2018, are landmarks. Youth coaching through the 1990s, led by Brian Donnelly, with David P Carroll, bore fruit in the recent successes.
Capped women internationals at Railway include: Heather Whelan 54 caps, Jill Whelan 51, Catherine O’Neill 42, Clare O’Leary 38, Nikki Squire 37 and Lara Molins 7. Brendan O’Brien leads the all-time Leinster batting statistics with 21,765 runs/705 games 43 seasons from 1959.
Niall McConnell had 1033 wickets/459 games; Joey O’Meara 7769 runs/379 wickets/411 games; Dessie Byrne 6814 runs/478 wicket-keeping dismissals/493 games. Kenny Carroll (1996-2018) has 7689 runs/194 wickets/279 games.
The 410 Railway senior men players since 1919 reflect loyal families – 10 Tanhams, 8 O’Briens, 4 Whelans, 4 O’Mearas, 4 Grehans and Carrolls, Behans, Byrnes, Donnellys, Mackenzies and Guthries. Derek Scott, Irish Cricket Union honorary secretary from 1973 to 1997, bequeathed his monumental hand-written statistics to CricketLeinster on his death in 2015.