Former Balbriggan and Malahide pace bowler Ray Kelly has died.

He started his career with Balbriggan playing alongside his father Joe, where he helped the club to success in the 1967 Junior final just six years after Kelly senior had helped found the North Dublin side.

"Ray was very tall for his age and this height was always a great advantage," said a Balbriggan spokesperson. 

"He soon stood out from the rest with his lightning pace. But it wasn't just pace. He was also deadly accurate. He became feared around the area.

"When playing in the old Nevitt Ground against the Man -O-War, at the short end, the slips were nearly on the boundary, with the wicket-keeper just in front of them."

Kelly left Balbriggan in 1970, wishing to test himself in Leinster senior leagues and joined nearby Malahide where he would stay until the end of the 1973 season.

He made an immediate impact, helping the club to the league and cup double in 1971, and it was in that cup decider at Castle Avenue that he was to have his finest hour.

Having been bowled out for just 102, it seemed as if the cup would be Clontarf's as they reached 33 without loss in their reply.

However, Kelly ripped through the top order taking a Man of the Match 5 for 16 in a devastating spell of quick bowling.

Irish international Dougie Goodwin mopped up the tail as the villagers won the cup for the second time in their history in a 29-run win.

1971 Leinster Senior Cup Final
At Castle Avenue, Malahide beat Clontarf by 29 runs
MOM Award: Ray Kelly (Malahide)

MALAHIDE
R Daly b Delaney 15
G O'Brien c Spence b Grief 15
D Connerton c Carroll b Burworth 12
J Caprani c Nolan b Bunworth 6
S O'Brien b Murphy 22
G Ireland c Carroll b Hughes 1
D Goodwin c Carroll b Bunworth 3
R Shaw c&b Hughes 5
B O'Brien not out 5
G Ward c Carroll b Bunworth 1
R Kelly run out 2
Extras 15
Total (all out) 102
FOW: 1-29 2-36 3-54 4-61 5-65 6-78 7-84
8-95 9-98 10-102
Bowling: R Bunworth 4-32; Hughes 2-32; Delaney 1-8;
Grier 1-9; Murphy 1-6.

CLONTARF
JB Bunworth c S O'Brien b Kelly 3
M Carroll c S O'Brien b Kelly 26
P McDermott c Ireland b Kelly 0
M Delaney run out 0
NP Grier c S O'Brien b Goodwin 12
JM Nolan b Goodwin 0
AWD Spence c Shaw b Kelly 0
FJ Carroll b Kelly 5
LP Hughes not out 0
P Murphy c G O'Brien b Goodwin 8
R Bunworth c Caprani b Goodwin 0
Extras 16
Total (all out 73)
FOW: 1-33 2-35 3-35 4-39 5-40
6-50 7-62 8-62 9-73 10-73
Bowling: Goodwin 26-16-26-4; Shaw 11-6-10-0; Ward 2-1-5-0;
Kelly 13-6-16-5.

He was also to the fore as they reached the 1972 decider, but Malahide just missed out to Pembroke in a tense contest.

In total, Kelly played 40 times for the club, taking 92 wickets at 13.60, with two five-wicket hauls.

He returned to Balbriggan where he remained a member for many years and the club paid the following tribute to him.

"Ray may be gone from us, but his memory and myth will always be around Jack Harper Memorial Park.

"The Club Members wish to express our sincere condolences to all Ray's family in this most difficult time and may Ray rest in eternal peace."

Funeral Notice on rip.ie

The death has occurred of Raymond (Ray) Kelly, Woodlands, Navan and formerly of Balbriggan. April 10th 2020, peacefully at the Mater Hospital.

Ray, beloved husband to his late wife Anne and loving father of David and Sarah. Sadly missed by his family, grandchildren, brother Brendan; sisters Linda, Maureen and Iris; brothers-in-law, sister-in-law, nephews, nieces, relatives and friends.

May Ray Rest in Peace

In accordance with government guidelines and HSE recommendations, a private cremation service will take place on Monday.