Gary Kidd Biography
01-25-2017

Gary Edward Kidd

Gary Kidd, younger brother of Stuart, is another in the impressive chain of slow left armers who have graced NCU cricket, tantalising their opponents over the years. He is a worthy successor to Jack Bowden, Dublin import "Sonny" Hool, and - of course- "Monty" himself.

Having honed his skills at Lurgan College, neither the first or last fine cricketer to emerge from its portals, he first came to general prominence in the U15 Interprovincial tournament of 2001,held in the Dublin area.

Having lost heavily to the North West, the NCU side made short work at Merrion's Anglesea Road ground, dismissing the South Easterners for a mere 30. Prominent among the causes of the debacle was Gary, whose figures of 5-6 clearly showed his dominance. They then faced Leinster in a low scoring match at Rathmines which the hosts, facing a score of 102, got home by 4 wickets, owing much to the improvising stroke play of a young left hander called Eoin Morgan. Gary had 2-15 in a typically testing and accurate spell.

Two years later, in the Schools Interprovincial, he again almost bowled his side to victory, in a well contested match at Osborne Park. A two day game saw the visitors chase 166 for victory. They finished on131-7, Gary having denied them victory with figures of 4-34 .

That season also saw the beginning of his Irish career in the U17 and U19 tournaments in Denmark. On debut he had 3-11 in six overs against the Netherlands. two coming from stumpings by his captain Gary Wilson, thus playing a leading part in an 8 wickets victory.

He also bowled impressively in the U19 matches, particularly against a weak German side when he had figures of 5-3-2-4. However he was scarcely less formidable against Denmark (3-13) and France (3-4). Ireland thus owed much to him and to wicket keeper Wilson who continued to remove batsmen lured from their creases by Gary's flight and spin.

He remained in the U19 side for the World Cups of 2004 and 2006. In the former tournament, held in Bangladesh, he took 8 wicket at 26.38, only Greg Thompson (12) taking more. Gary's best return 3-36 came against Papua New Guinea as Ireland, by 70 runs, recorded the first of their three victories.

He also bowled impressively - and with great economy - in the other two victories for William Porterfield's side, against Uganda and Canada. Two years later, allowed by the qualification rules to play as "a somewhat elderly 19 Year old" he took a further 8 wickets - this time at 24.26, for an Irish side led by Morgan. He had two three wicket hauls, helping Ireland to their two victories, with 10-3-26-3 against Namibia, his best figures.

Much of his cricket over that and the following two seasons, was played for MCC Young Cricketers in the County 2nd XI Championship and 50 overs Trophy matches. He also appeared for both Susses and Gloucestershire 2nd XIs. His best match for Gloucestershire saw him take 3-67 in the Championship against local rivals Somerset, two coming from stumpings by Steve Snell, a man of several counties, both major and minor.

His best performance for MCCYC came in a 50 over Trophy match against a strong Surrey side when he took 3-25. Here he had considerable Irish assistance, an inevitable stumping by Wilson and a catch by Porterfield, as a substitute.

He also played - as did Porterfield - for the London club Millhillians in the Home Counties League. Both played important parts in a big win over Hertford in 2007. Batting first Millhillians racked up a challenging 323-3, with the Donemana man contributing a hard hitting 60. Gary then joined his captain Shaun O' Brien in bowling the opposition out, finishing with 3-66.

In all competitive matches for Waringstown since his debut in 2000 - when he did not bowl - Gary has taken 377 wickets at 20.04 at an economy rate of 3.61. In the Irish Senior Cup ( this designation is used here rather than Royal Liver and Bob Kerr) he has taken 56 wickets at 19.57.

His best figures came in a First Round match against Pembroke at their Sydney Parade stronghold in 2008. Batting first the hosts never got going being dismissed for 102 with Gary having an analysis of 8.2-0-21-5. Two of his wickets came from catches by Jonathan Bushe who made four dismissals in the innings including a stumping off Kyle McCallan, who also made a catch off Gary's bowling. Gary himself made sure of the fourth with a return catch. Waringstown had few problems in knocking off the runs to win by 8 wickets.

In the NCU Challenge Cup Gary has disposed of 56 wickets at 22.16. His best figures came last (2016) season at Wallace :Park, a venue where they already know a bit about slow left arm bowling! In this match the visitors batted first and with James Hall and Greg Thompson in prime form rattled up 266-8. Gary contributing a belligerent 22. Lisburn reached 35-1 before collapsing to Gary who finished with the outstanding figures of 9.1-3-12-6.

In the Premier League/Senior 1, he has taken 242 wickets at 19.57. His best bowling figures came in 2013 - his most productive season with the ball - against Instonians at Shaw's Bridge, a match played shortly after Waringstown had beaten "The Old Boys" in the Challenge Cup Final. They began well with a total of 249-5, Hall and Thompson leading the charge. The hosts began their reply soundly reaching 68-2 before Gary opened the floodgates by trapping Chris Brome LBW. They then collapsed to 98 all out, Gary's dismissal of James Shannon not only ending any chance of a recovery but also being the seventh time he had taken that much valued wicket.

In the Ulster Cup he has taken 23 wickets at 20.04. His best match so far has come against Fox Lodge at The Lawn in May 2004. In a one-sided encounter Waringstown began by posting 241-4 in their 40 overs with Hall hitting an unbeaten hundred. The visitors then collapsed for 53, undone by spin. Gary had figures of 7.4-2-22-3 but was surpassed by McCallan 8-3-7-4. The Ulster Cup has also seen Gary's highest score in competitive cricket, 45 against Donemana at The Holm Field in 2013, helping Waringstown to 240-9. He then rounded off a good day's work with 3-28 as The Villagers progressed to a 53 runs victory.

Having played two Regional Challenge matches for the NCU in 2004 and appeared for the North in the second 50 over match in 2012, taking the wickets of the Poynter brothers, Gary was a "shoe in" for the Northern Knights from 2013.

His best performance to date has come in the 50 over competition against North West Warriors at Stormont in May 2015. The Knights batted first and were dismissed for 208, by no means an impregnable position. They would have fared worse had it not been for a stalwart 46 from Shannon. However the Warriors were never in the hunt as the Waringstown pairing of Gary (9-2-26-4) and Phil Eaglestone (3-20) demolished them. Gary's haul included top scorer Stuart Thompson (21). This rounded off a good day's work for Gary as he had contributed an undefeated 17 to the Knights' total.

Between 2003 and 2012 Gary played 30 matches for Ireland A, Ireland U23 or for Ireland in uncapped matches His best performance, by far, came for Ireland A in the European A Championships in the Netherlands in2009. Facing the host country at Rotterdam, Ireland found themselves fielding first with the match reduced to 25 overs. Though they lost both openers to Andy Britton with only 6 on the board, the Dutch progressed to 54-2 before Gary. the fifth bowler to be used, wrought havoc. He proceeded to take all the remaining wickets finishing with 4.5-1-18-8, the Netherlands being all out for 80.

Though Andy Balbirnie fell for 0, Reinhardt Strydom ad Paul Stirling had little trouble in taking Ireland to a 9 wickets victory. Gary made his debut for the full Irish side against MCC at Limavady in 2004, but went wicketless as Ireland suffered an unexpected defeat.

Though highly rated by Adi Birrell it was not until 2008 and 2010 - under the coaching guidance of Phil Simmons - that he played with any regularity. The former season was his best "in the green jersey" bringing him 11 wickets at 36.45.

His best performance came against Norway at Milverton in the European Championships. Making their first appearance in the competition - in the first international at The Hills - Norway began well, reaching 91-3 with some aggressive stroke play. Gary had been, unsuccessfully, introduced into the attack. Then he changed ends and chaos ensued in the Norwegian ranks. Four wickets - three to Gary and one run out - fell in four overs. He began by taking a running return catch, then took a wicket next ball with a Kevin O'Brien slip catch. The hat trick was averted but O'Brien and Ant Botha promptly held 2 further catches to leave Gary with figures of 9-3-25-4 and Ireland well on the way to victory.

It could be argued that Gary Edward Kidd has never fully realised his potential for Ireland, though he might, perhaps have had more opportunities.

However that opponents of Waringstown and the Northern Knights will have plenty to contend with for several seasons to come.

Edward Liddle, January 2017