Rush Cricket Club was founded in 1931 and has been at its present location in Kenure since 1969. Rush has five adult teams (three men’s and two women’s) and currently field ten youth sides (Boys: Under 11 (x2), Under 13 (x3), Under 15 & Under 17; Girls Under 11, Under 13 and Under 15) and a Taverners’ team, catering for all standards and interests. It you are interested in playing cricket you can contact the club by email at email@example.com.
The first mention of cricket in Fingal is from the diaries of Margaret Taylor 1830 when the Taylors of Ardgillan played the Palmers of Rush. The roots of cricket in Fingal stem from the matches between the big estates – the Talbots in Malahide, Taylors in Ardgillan, Cobbs in Newbridge and Palmers in Rush. Teams were made up from the families, staff and tenant farmers and their sons. The Fingal cricket league started in 1926 but there is no specific mention of Rush in the records.
The early days in Rush are a bit fuzzy around the edges and most of what we know is from Ciaran Clear’s notes from an event similar to this evening 30 years ago. By his account any cricket that was played in the 1920’s was social cricket played on the South Shore, then The Drummonds, Martin’s Field and Carey’s field before moving in 1933 to Kenure when Col Fenwick Palmer offered a ground.
Ciaran Clear has recorded how, when they were still in Martin’s field, the teams from Dublin arrived by train, the team would collect them on their bikes and give them a lift on the bar of the bike, play a match, have tea and listen to the Tests in Martin’s front room and back to the train again.. Many of the records from this time were lost in a fire in Martin’s house.
The club is attributed as being formally founded and registered with the Leinster Cricket Union in 1931 and were the first Fingal club so registered. They very quickly won their first trophy the Junior Cup in 1933 under the captaincy of Simon Hoare, Rush being the first Fingal team to win a Leinster Trophy. Rush went on to win the cup in ’37, 38 and 39.
The Leinster Women’s cricket Union was founded in 1938 and Rush was one of the founder members. Actress Marie Keane and Mildred Carrick were players at the time. They only played for two years - after the outbreak of the war fuel shortages made travel difficult. Before she died, Isolda Howard of Leinster told a story of the time when they came to play in Rush and a player running backwards to take a catch fell in to a cock of hay on the edge of the ground!
The men continued through the 1940’s and 1950’s with wins in the Intermediate league and cup though there is evidence that there was no cricket in 1943 and again in 1960.
In 1961 the current resurrection took place – a delegation to Col Palmer asking to use the ground as a soccer pitch was originally turned down but then agreed that they could play. Once the season was over they decided that they might as well play cricket in the summer. They re-affiliated with the Leinster Cricket Union and promptly won the Minor league in 1962 and tied with Leinster for the Junior League in 1963.
Just as the club had settled in to a happy place they got word that the Kenure estate was going up for sale by public auction and that the Colonel would not be in residence after November 1964. The club asked to hold on to their ground but the land commission said no. It was then decided to ask to buy land from the Land commission to develop a ground and keep the club going. This has to be the single act which decided the future of the club. When you consider that it had only been resurrected in 1961 the passion that drove them must have been fierce. This is made all the more clear when it became obvious that the only site offered was heavily wooded – as Ciaran said beech, ash, oak, sycamore – everything but willow! So in their wisdom or foolhardiness the committee of Paddy Martin, Andy Monks, Michael McGuinness, Ciaran Clear, Ed Scanlan, PJ Doolan, Jim Walls, Mike Joe Butterly and Tony Sourke – made the big decision to turn a wooded area in to what we have today.
Suffice to say after an enormous amount of work the new ground opened on 20th July 1969, the same day as man first set foot on the moon. The minutes record that they had a match, singing and dancing and that they all went out on the pitch, looked at the moon and did the Hokey Pokey!!!
Ciaran Clear was in his alley with this and has recorded all kinds of events from the old ground and the new ground – he was the first to call play – first run was to Alan Caren, first six Alan Caren and the first man out Alan Caren. Ciaran also recorded that the first work on the new ground was on Wednesday 25th May 1966 when R Whelan, PJ Doolan, Ed Scanlan and Ciaran Clear turned up to clear a piece for a practice strip!
We must pay tribute to out cricket friends in Balrothery and in particular to Martin Russell. When Rush were homeless they played their home games in Balrothery for one or two seasons. Several people remembered that Martin always prepared the ground for them. Rush just rocked up with their banana and jam sandwiches and played their matches. We thank Martin for a kindness that has not been forgotten.
The club prospered in their new home and won trophies in 1969, 1971 and 1972. By 1973 we were fielding a third eleven and a fourth team by 1976.
The Leinster women’s cricket union re-formed and the women’s team in Rush were again among the founder clubs and won the Division 2 league in their first year. Ann O’Brien and Angela Murphy became the first club members to win individual Leinster awards when they were awarded the Division 2 bowling and batting cups respectively.
The next milestone was the opening of the new pavilion in September 1980. The firsts were now playing Senior 3 and the steady income from the newly opened bar meant that the committee of the time could plan for the future. The regular income meant that we could also strive for professionalism on and off the field – Winnie became a full time bar staff and was to continue for 14 years, later she was followed by Jemmy, Tony and Brian. We employed coaches to strive for excellence on the pitch and a groundsman to work on the ground. We were also able to buy the lodge and develop the ground with it – making the playing ground larger and making a good practice facility.
The arrival of Alf Masood had a huge effect on the team – he brought discipline to the side and was very effective in bringing out the best in players. He worked on their strengths rather than their weaknesses and when we won the Senior 2 league and cup double we battled hard for Senior Status. We played in the 1991 Senior Cup under the captaincy of Michael Marsh and Michael Donnelly became the first Rush man to score a senior 50. It was to take until 1995 to realise the dream but it did happen and Alan Beggs became the first senior league captain. We are fortunate that Derek Scott kept meticulous records and every senior run, wicket, catch and record has been carefully noted. There are all up here in ring binders behind me and some are copied on the back wall. To give you a flavour, Dara Armstrong’s senior record was from 1991-1997. During this time he did not miss a match and played 63 matches in a row. He also won the Hopkins cup in his first three years at senior level and for many years afterwards. On their debuts for Rush, Michael Donnelly, Alf Masood, Naseer Shoukat, Saadat Gull and Dan Van Zyl all scored 50s.
Although these records all make fascinating reading it is all the teams that make the club. By now Collette McGuinness had become the first Rush member to gain an international Cap – she was later followed by Naseer Shoukat, William Porterfield and Carole McGuire.
The club realised early on that supporting the youth structure is the only way that the club would prosper. The first youth team were harvested from the North beach when Brendan Maypother rounded up a few footballers – Matt Sheridan, Willie Coyle & Gerry Monks included and introduced them to cricket. The youth teams have brought much pleasure and despair (in particular in the memory of those who lost the U13 cup final) to us all. Many of those who completed questionnaires acknowledged the encouragement, enthusiasm and frankly the stamina of Ed Scanlan. Many others followed and gave back their time to the club. In 1998 it was decide to provide coaching in the three primary schools in the parish and this continues today.
Rush has always had the ethos of a family club and still strives to promote this. But it is of course a dynamic club and changes evolve with time. Over the years many of our cricket family have sought cricket elsewhere when they thought that the faraway hills were greener. Some have returned and some have gone on to greater things – Caitriona Beggs, Ciara Metcalfe, Fintan McAllister and of course Eoin Morgan. All full Internationals and all are proud of their Rush roots and acknowledge them regularly.
Address: Rush Cricket Club, Kenure, Skerries Road, Rush, Co. Dublin
Primary Contact: Mark Gough (Honorary Secretary) - firstname.lastname@example.org | 0867824084
Mark Gough Secretary/Fixture Secretary
Niall Mullen Chairman
Jane Butterly Treasurer
Mark Gough Youth Coordinator
Phone: 086 782 4084