Edward Liddle, March 2009
Dickie Lloyd (1891-1950, left) and Harry Read (1888-1972, right) were probably the most famous pair of half backs ever to represent Dublin University. In College Park, and later at Lansdowne Road and further afield, they developed modern half back play. Harry is credited with being the first specialist scrum half, Dickie the first stand off. They played 13 matches for Ireland together, Dickie appearing in a further six with different partners. A superb kicker of the ball, he kicked 10 conversions, 3 penalties and 7 drop goals, besides scoring 2 tries. His drop goal tally was to remain an Irish record until surpassed by Mike Gibson. He captained the University, Liverpool, with the captains of England and Scotland playing under him and Ireland. He later became a referee. Harry gave up the game after 1913, whereas Dickie played two matches after the War, in which both men served with distinction. They were also a formidable pairing on the cricket field, forming a devastating opening partnership which destroyed most of the University's opponents. Dickie was the more correct player, later appearing for Lancashire, whereas Harry was basically a hitter, with a magnificent eye and strong forearms, Regrettably, they never played in the same Irish side. Dickie gained two caps in 1912, scoring 47 against Scotland and a brace of 20s against South Africa. Harry played four times, including three matches on the North American tour of 1909 in which he was a late substitute, but was unable to repeat his club form. He played little cricket after the War, concentrating on tennis, though in middle and old age he returned to the game, taking a side annually to his old school, St Columba's, where this writer had the pleasure of seeing him play.
Finlay Jackson (1901-1941) was a centre or stand off, who played for NICC for several years in the 1920s, normally in the former position, in which he gained his sole Irish cap v England at Leicester in 1923. A modern scoreline would show a 32-7 England win, and Finlay was one of several who did not play again. He was better known as a cricketer, being a very good middle order batsman, who captained both the Ulster Club and NICC. He gained 8 Irish caps having a highest score of 74 v Scotland in 1923, His brother Harold won two caps and was an elegant left hander whose style was compared to Frank Woolley
Arthur Douglas (1902-1937) was a tragic figure. A school master who was educated at "Inst" but taught at "Methody", he played his rugby for Queen's University and Instonians, winning five Irish caps between 1923 and 1928, scoring 2 tries , one on his debut as wing v France at Stades Colombes in 1923. Three of his other caps were won on the wing and one - v New South Wales in 1927 - at full back. As a cricketer he gained 13 caps between 1925 and 1935. A middle order batsman and fast medium bowler he scored 343 runs and took 17 wickets. His captains might, perhaps, have made more of his batting. He captained Ireland twice, the second occasion being at Lord's in 1935. An apparent minor fielding injury in this match developed complications and forced him to retire from the game. More than that it gave rise to septicaemia from which he never recovered.
Sharing some of Arthur's matches in both sports was Jim Ganly (1904-1976). Playing club rugby for Dublin University, Jim- later a cattle salesman and auctioneer - won 12 caps at wing or centre. Noted for his exceptional speed and sidestep, he scored 6 tries and kicked one penalty. His best season was 1928-29 , when he scored 4 of his tries. Ireland would have won the Triple Crown under modern scoring values, the 4 point drop goal proving fatal. As a cricketer, Jim was a big hitting batsman, known for his massive lofted drives. He made 11 hundreds in Leinster Senior Cricket, with a highest score of 232. He gained 25 Irish caps and, though he had several good scores, with a best of 83, is most remembered for leading Ireland to victory over the West Indies in 1928.
Mark Sugden was a University contemporary and Irish team-mate of Jim's. One of Ireland's best known scrum halves, he won 28 caps, his final 4 being as captain. Famed for his audacious selling of dummies, he established a telling half back liaison with Eugene Davy, they played together not only for Ireland but for Ireland/Scotland v England/ Wales at Twickenham in 1929. A converted centre, Mark also played for Wanderers, and, when teaching in Scotland, for Edinburgh Wanderers and Perth. As a cricketer, he won 6 Irish caps. A hard hitting lower middle order batsman and fast medium bowler, he was rarely at his best for Ireland, though he did score 51 v Scotland in 1926 and take 4-27 v Wales the following season. Most of his working life was spent teaching at Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth for which he was awarded the MBE. In the 1930s he co-authored a rugby coaching book, horribly dated now to read.
Two fine centre three quarters whose careers were cut short by injury, but who found ample compensation in cricket and work now engage us. Bobby Barnes (1911-1987) played rugby for Armagh and Dublin University as a strong running centre. He scored a try on debut v Wales at Ravenhill in 1933, but injury prevented him from playing again. His cricket career, however, lasted for 20 years. An attacking left hander, the best bat in Dublin University in the 1930s, he was also a very good left arm spinner. Partly because of his vocation as a Church of Ireland clergyman, he gained only 14 caps, though his career overlapped with those of other good spinners. His brother John, killed in a war time flying accident, was capped v New Zealand as a paceman in 1937, while another brother, Stanley, also a quick bowler, was probably deprived of a cap by the conflict.
Ham Lambert(1910-2006) was the son of the great cricketer Bob Lambert. As a centre Ham first played for Lansdowne aged 17, a member of a brilliant back division. He gained two caps in 1933 and seemed on the brink of greatness when injury forced him out. He became a highly respected referee later training others in the art. As a cricketer, Ham played for Leinster CC for over 30 years, making 17 Irish appearances between 1931 and 1947. He had a magnificent hundred against Sir Julian Cahn's XI in 1938, but possibly did not score as heavily for Ireland as he should have. He took over and developed his father's vetinary practice, becoming vet to Dublin Zoo while continuing his normal work. He was, he said, the only vet in Dublin, to treat an elephant in the morning and a gerbil in the afternoon.