|Born||20 December 1888, Ballyscunion Park Bellaghy Co Londonderry|
|Died||5 March 1971|
|Educated||Eton College, Cambridge University|
|Debut||20 July 1911 v Scotland at Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow|
|Style||Right-hand bat, slow right arm|
|Teams||Cambridge University, NICC, Incogniti, Eton Ramblers|
|History||Harry Mulholland, because of the War, politics and the demands of his family's business interests, played only once for Ireland, scoring a century. He had the talent to have done so a great many more times. A powerful opening batsman who excelled in driving the ball straight back at the bowler's head, "curving like a golf slice", according to Pat Hone, he was a prominent bat at Eton, and then won his blue for three consecutive years at Cambridge, being captain in the final one, 1913. He was intending to appear in 1914 also, but was ruled out because to have played would have broken a qualifying rule dating from 1865! In all he scored 1493 runs for Cambridge at 28.10. |
His best season, in which he also appeared for Ireland was 1911, when he averaged over 40, and hit his career best 153 against the Indian touring team. He opened the batting with New Zealander DC Collins. Wisden reported that they "quickly reduced the bowlers to a condition of helplessness by their dashing methods." They put on 259 in less than two and a half hours. Dropped on 87, "Mulholland played sterling cricket, among his figures being one 6 and twenty two fours." The best of his three University Matches was 1912 under the captaincy of future Phoenix and Ireland all rounder EL Kidd. PF Warner and FS Ashley-Cooper in Oxford and Cambridge at the Wicket (1926) record that "Mulholland, though unwell, made 78 in 2 hours without a chance." His solitary match for Ireland was, as a late replacement against Scotland in 1911. He played a typical innings of 149, helping Ireland to 409-4 declared. He shared in century stands for the second and third wickets, striking five 6s and fifteen 4s.
In their Irish summers he and his brother Edward organised cricket weeks at the family's estate at Ballywalter, Co Down, dominated by a mansion that, half a century later, was to bring ectasy to John Betjeman! Here Na Shuler, Free Foresters and similar sides were frequent visitors. Politics, though, was never very far away, Harry being a signatory of the Ulster Covenant. He was, however, well known among the wandering clubs in England. In 1913, he was a member of a strong Incogniti side that toured USA. Six matches were played; he shone in the first two. At Manheim against Germantown CC, he hit a second innings 56* to set up a run chase in a drawn match. Then he played a leading part in an innings win over the famous Merion Club with a typically bellicose 89. Apart from Edward (AES) who was killed in 1914, another brother John (GJAML) was also a useful bat, playing once for Cambridge in 1912, without much success.
After war service, in which he served as a Lieutenant in the RFC and RAF, and was a gunnery instructor, Harry played little more serious cricket. He was a Unionist MP in the Northern Ireland Parliament from 1921 to 1929 and was then Speaker from 1929 to 1945. Honours were heaped upon him. He was a member of the Northern Ireland Privy Council from 1930, and, himself, a younger son of a Baron, was created a baronet in 1945. His final cricket role was as President Of the Northern Cricket Union in 1952 and 1953. Some NCU Presidents of this era were better known for public service, than their cricketing credentials. In Sir Henry George Hill Mulholland the NCU found a President who fulfilled both requirements. His obituary is in Wisden 1972 and he is profiled in Siggins and Fitzpatrick Ireland's 100 Cricket Greats.
Edward Liddle, April 2007
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