Andy McFarlane of the famous Sion Mills club thrilled the crowds with his tremendous batting power over a long number of years. He first came to prominence after the First World War and in his first season, 1919, he set the pattern that was to follow in his long spell with Sion when, in a league Test Match between City of Derry and Sion Mills, he scored 75 not out to win the title for his club when it appeared as if they would lose the match. He was to become the finest all-rounder in North West cricket.
McFarlane played a tremendously significant part in his club's dominance in local cricket particularly from 1919 to 1930 when Sion Mills won the League Championship on nine occasions. A fantastic run indeed and only recently somewhat surpassed by the famous Donemana club that won the League Championship for nine consecutive seasons between 1985 and 1993.
From 1931 to his retirement in the late nineteen forties, the league trophy returned to Sion Mills a further three times while the Senior Cup competition was won seven times in ten attempts. His own personal achievements also seem unlikely to be equalled although Dessie Curry, presently of the Limavady club, would seem to be close to emulating McFarlane's prominence in the local game.
McFarlane headed the North West batting averages on at least nine occasions, he scored twenty-two centuries, including a brilliant 117 in Sion's victory over Armagh in the 1947 Northern Cricket Union Cup final.
Capped for Ireland in 1934, he won a further seven caps, scoring 73 runs in eight innings - not a very successful spell but his scoring ability in local cricket was so consistent that he on many occasions outshone all the other local players.
His best seasons were in 1927 when he took 77 wickets for 518 runs, 1928 when he compiled 661 runs, 1930 when he totalled 744 runs and took 57 wickets, 1931 when he hit 645 runs and captured 53 wickets and 1932 when he scored 547 runs. In 1933, helped by his highest score, 227 against Strabane, he totalled 795 runs and finished the season with a batting average of 61.30. In 1934 he hit 598 runs, while in 1936 he scored 520 runs, being four times not out in eleven innings, to record an average of 74.28. At the end of the 1937 season his average in seven innings, thanks to three brilliant centuries and three not outs, was 115.25. In 1939 he averaged 81.71 runs to indicate that after twenty seasons he still remained a truly remarkable cricketer.