- Born 15 August 1892 Blackrock, Co Cork
- Died 4 January 1947 Virginia Water, Surrey
- Educated Dover College Private Tutor Dublin University
- Occupation Solicitor
- Debut 15 August 1924 v MCC at College Park
- Cap Number 329
- Style Right hand bat, leg break bowler
- Teams Dublin University, Cork County, Na Shuler
Derrick Hall, a member of a prominent Cork family with long connections with the area's cricket, was a fine all round games player. As a cricketer, he was an upstanding batsman, usually at the top of the order, though he went in surprisingly low down on some of his Irish appearances, and an occasional leg spinner. He was also a hockey international, gaining a solitary Irish cap, at the age of 41. Longevity was his watchword in cricket also, he played at senior level over 30 years, being a member of the Munster side which played Leinster in 1944, when he was in his fifty second year. He entered Dublin University in 1909, and gained a place in the strong sides of 1912 and 1913. Eight of the 1912 side, had played for Ireland or were to do so. Two of them, Dickie Lloyd (Lancashire) and Pat Quinlan (Western Australia) were to play first class cricket elsewhere, as was a ninth member of the team Adderley Wilkinson, who played for Europeans v Indians in the Madras Presidency match of 1920-21. Derrick gained his colours in both seasons, without being spectacularly successful. He totalled 396 runs at 15.23 with a highest score of 56.
Leaving the University in 1912, he became a well regarded solicitor in Cork, playing for Cork County until 1945, though he did make a brief reappearance for the University in 1924. Only once did the law interfere with cricket. Chosen as Secretary of the club in 1927, he soon resigned because of pressure of work. He often did well against touring sides, being seen to good advantage against Na Shuler. Thus in 1912, he struck a quick 51 at No 4, after Wilfred Bourchier and Willie Harman had posted a big first wicket partnership. The County eventually won a two innings game by 6 wickets.
In 1913 having suffered the not unusual experience, for batsmen in such matches either side of the Irish Sea, of being bowled by Bob Fowler for 0 in the first innings, he redeemed himself, when, Bob having taken a "7 for", the hosts followed on. Derrick's 46 helped the County reach 336 and save the match. One of his best matches, when play resumed full time after the War was against a strong Cambridge Crusaders side in 1925. As his colleagues struggled with the leg spin of the 20 year old KS Duleepsinhji, Derrick batted brilliantly to make 92. The next highest score was JM Sullivan's 36! Duleep, however, continued to steal the show, hitting a glorious 168*, which lived long in the memories of those who saw it. Crusaders won by an innings with some ease. Derrick failed in the second knock, Duleep increasing his bag to 11 wickets.
The following season, Derrick shone against his former club in College Park. In the first innings he was bowled by Achey Kelly for 26 as the visitors conceded a 34 run lead, Kelly taking 7 wickets. Set 194 to win, County reached 178 for the first wicket. Derrick was then bowled by Kelly for a brilliant 122 leaving Bourchier on 46*, as stumps were then drawn. As war again drew near in the late 1930s, The Shulers were revived and resumed their Cork tour. In 1938, batting at 4 Derrick, now 46, made the game's top score with a first innings 87, though his side went down by 27 runs. In the second innings he was second top score, getting 17 before falling lbw to the leg spin of Tom Jameson. A year later, just 12 days before Hitler's troops stormed into Poland, Na Shuler played the County for the last time. Derrick again topscored, getting a second innings 69 to give the hosts a 121 runs victory.
In 1924, he had taken part in the University's tour of England, playing in three of the four matches including the first class game against Northamptonshire, in which the visitors were easily defeated by an innings. Batting down the order in the first innings but opening in the second, Derrick's contributions were 16 and 18 In his first knock, he fell to leading all rounder, county captain and intriguing character Vallance Jupp, an off spinning former fast medium bowler, who played in eight Tests. In the other matches Derrick had one good score, 46 v Hampstead in a match lost by 69 runs though Arthur Robinson and Jacko Heaslip also made good scores. Their side lost by 69 runs.
He was a regular member of the Munster side for more than 20 years. One of his best matches was in 1925, a historic fixture as it was the first time that Ulster visited The Mardyke. A good innings by former Warwickshire player MC Parry kept the hosts in touch and they were left needing 165. Wickets fell but Derrick played superbly, victory being in sight until he was dismissed for 69. The shutters were then put up with Munster finishing on 109-7.
Derrick played five times for Ireland between 1924 and 1930 scoring only 43 runs at 5.83 with a highest score of 34 against Scotland in 1925. His figures are no reflection of his ability and it may well be that he suffered from having to bat in some unaccustomed positions in the order. That having been said, his 34 was made at No 9 with AC Douglas, also somewhat low, at 10. In fact their 9th wicket stand of 70 was the key to Ireland getting a good score on the board. Both men hit freely before Douglas was out. They helped Ireland gain an ascendancy that resulted in a win by 179 runs. He had begun with 0 and 6 v MCC in his 1924 debut match at College Park in the previous season. His 6 was to be his second highest for Ireland. Retained in 1926 he made 2 in a rain ruined draw against Oxford University, neither side batting twice, but was in the team against MCC at College Park. Here he recorded a rather bizarre "pair." At 11 in the first innings he was dismissed by medium paced Surrey amateur Desmond Morris, who was better known as an actor than a cricketer, but was promoted to 3 in the second knock only to fail to score again, caught off triple Oxford Blue George Newman, after an opening stand of 83 between Robinson and Louis Bookman. It may have been some consolation that Ireland won by 183 runs.
Four years later he was back in the side against the same opponents. He probably owed his selection to the match being played at the Mardyke. Certainly the team selected seemed to suggest this with Sir George Colthurst an otherwise odd choice not only as player but also as captain, and Derrick's cousin Robert Hall keeping wicket. Alas, batting at 4, Derrick recorded his fourth duck for Ireland. Rain brought the game to a premature conclusion. As we have seen Frederick Harrison Hall's club and interprovincial career still had a long time to run, but, perhaps unsurprisingly, he was not chosen for his country again.
Edward Liddle, November 2008