History, Youth

Merrion All Ireland Youth Teams

In a recent article on the Cricket Leinster website there is an account of the history of the three All Ireland Youth Club Competitions [U11 / U13 / U15] going back to 1983. https://www.cricketleinster.ie/news/all-ireland-youth-competitions 

Merrion won All Ireland Youth titles on three occasions. In 1998 the club took the U15 title in a victory at Anglesea Road against a strong Donamana side. It was a tight fought game with Merrion scoring 95 in the first innings but then ‘Merrion did some serious sledging and got them all out for 60’. The picture below is the team that qualified for the final by winning the Leinster U15 Cup. 

With eight players who went on to represent Ireland at youth level in cricket and seven to play Senior Club Cricket [there are also three future full hockey internationals in the picture], this can be counted as one of the strongest youth teams that Merrion ever produced. For a variety of reasons; including a focus on other sports, emigration, work and movement to other clubs, none of this team is currently playing cricket in the club. 

1998 U15 Winners of league, Cup and All Ireland Back row: Eddie Lewis [Manager], D O’Connor, D Dorgan, D O’Donoghue, F Geoghegan, R Flannery, S Morrissey Front Row: P Blakeney, M Willis, D Smythe, I O’Herlihy, J Blakeney, T Lewis,

Seven years later another team of exceptional players emerged. The 2005 U11s team, many of whom were on the U13 team which won the All Ireland title the following year, beat CSNI in the final. Tyrone Kane, second from left standing, went on to play for Ireland in their first ever mens Test Match in Malahide against Pakistan in 2018. Three of the players are still playing for Merrion and six went on to play Senior Club cricket . 

Standing: Ray Shimmons [Manager], Matthew O’Driscoll, David O’Tuama, Andrew Neary, Mark Loughrey, Hugh Kennedy, Stephen Pigot, Jim Walsh [Coach] Front: Kirk Shimmins, Tyrone Kane, Stephen Hanlon, Eoghan McKeever, Rex Walsh, Chris Allwright

There is little recorded / remembered about the U13 Team that won the All Ireland title in 2006 [we will fill in gaps when we have them] against Waringstown. 

In 2023 Merrion had their most successful year ever with the Boys U13 and U17 teams both winning All-Ireland titles. 

In the case of the U17 victory was achieved in rather bizarre circumstances. A remote bowl-out with Merrion winning by one – nil with Cormac Hayden the only players on either side [five selected for the bowl out] to hit the wicket. Read here

The U13s took the title in a more conventional manner with a victory at Anglesea Road. 

Apart from the five All Ireland titles, there were many [probably too many] near-misses. The overall strength of the youth section in Merrion from 1998 and 2010 can be gauged from the count of finals contested – nine in twelve years.  

Year Age Group Outcome
1998 U15 Win
2000 U15 RU
2000 U13 RU
2001 U13 RU
2002 U15 RU
2005 U11 Win
2006 U13 Win
2007 U13 RU
2009 U15 RU

Merrion did not reach an All Ireland final again until 2023. 

Anyone who can fill in further details and/or has a photo of the U13 team of 2006, please send on to Eddie Lewis at sec.merrioncc@gmail.com