2000s >

Modern Times

Since the nadir of 1993 Merrion has had probably its best sustained period of success since it went senior in 1926. The facts are well known by now. Champions in 2001 and runners up in 2000 and 2002. Winners of the league cup in 2000, but probably more significant, qualifiers from the league sections for six successive years. Twice cup finalists in 1995 and 2000, semi-finalists in the Irish Cup in 2001 and of course winners of the Alan Murray Cup for six out of seven years starting in 1995.

The first decade of the new millennium was a period of resurgence for Merrion. From 2004 the club fielded eight Open Competitions League teams the most of any club in Leinster at the time. There was also successful on the field with five senior titles as well as eight leagues, eleven cups and four T20 competitions.

There was also a revival in the womens game – two senior league titles [the first in 20 years], and three wins in the Pilkington 40 Over competition. The Womens 2nd XI manger a brace of cup and league titles.

But for the future of the club perhaps most memorable was the success at youth levels. The schoolboys brought home the Under-11 All-Ireland Cup in 2005; the Under-13 Jeyes Cup in 2001 and 2007; the Under-15 Yates Hale Cup in 2002 and 2009; the Under-15 Robertson Cup in 2001 and 2002; the Under-17 Amoroso Cup in 2003, 2004, 2005; and the Under-19 Sean McGrath Cup in 2002 and 2005. The U19 Girls shared the league in 2002.

It was a busy time for the club off the field, with the Philip Quinlan Trust Fund set up in 2001 and a successful Invitation Match held between a President’s XI and Middlesex, including Ed Joyce, in 2002. An ICC World Cup Qualifying match took place on the ground in 2005. There was a gradual improvement in the facilities of the clubhouse and the practice and playing areas throughout this period, together with new security gates and an electronic scoreboard. A 3-year investment programme was initiated in 2003 to prepare for the club’s centenary in 2006. A larger membership and more sponsorship were actively sought and a growing number of functions were held to help finance the growth of the club. The Merrion Cricket Club centenary year passed off with a successful Summer Ball.

Sky cameras invaded the club in 2009 for their ‘clublife’ series, and there was no end to the showing off. Members of the 1sts were filmed doing physical training, which must have been a new experience for some of them, as well as illustrating how manifestly unfit they really were. The decade ended with the complete replacement of the square and plans for a new pavilion that was better suited to a more active social club and capable of hosting corporate events.