- Born 3 November 1975 Londonderry
- Educated Limavady High School
- Occupation Joiner
- Debut 13 July 1999 v South African Academy at Castle Avenue
- Cap Number 623
- Style Right hand bat, right arm medium pace
- Teams Crindle, Limavady, Ballyspallen, Drummond
Ricky McDaid, like many another player from the North West, or elsewhere in the country, is a member of a highly regarded cricketing family. He is also a first rate all round cricketer. A bowler good enough to have won 12 caps using the new ball for Ireland, he is also a forcing middle to upper order batsman whose powerful stroke play has often changed or dictated the course of a match.
It was as a batsman that he first came to notice on the national scene for the North West in the U15 Interprovincial Championships held in Cork in 1990. For once the sun shone on this often rain ruined tournament and batsmen flourished, none more it may be added than Leinster's Gus Joyce. Ricky topscored for his side in their surprise defeat at the hands of Munster, making 41 as his side failed narrowly to chase down a 117 runs target, future senior Munster and Cork County star Ken Banks having 6-49.
It did not take Ricky long to establish himself as an essential part of the Crindle side, taking 58 wickets in the 1995 season, a year in which the club reached the NW Cup Final for the first time. Unfortunately they were outclassed by Eglinton, for whom Hendy Wallace and Stephen Smyth both scored hundreds. Ricky who took the only two wickets to fall to bowlers in the Eglinton second innings, besides running out Wallace.
The bulk of Ricky's career, however, has been spent with Limavady, though he was temporarily lured away from the John Hunter ground to Ballyspallen, for whom he had an outstanding bowling performance in the 2005, Irish Senior Cup against Carrickfergus. Batting first Ballyspallen were dismissed for 173, a by no means impregnable total. However in reply the Co Antrim side could only muster 79, their batting destroyed by Ricky whose final figures read 9.5-2-25-7.
He has, of course, many fine performances for Limavady. He, along with the inevitable Decker Curry, was one of those mainly responsible for their victorious season in 1999, ironically however doing particularly well in propelling them to the ISC Final, where they went down to North West neighbours Brigade. The following summer he was one of the leading allrounders in the Union with 506 runs, including a near miss at three figures with 91*, average 31.62 and 49 wickets at15.46. No prizes are offered for naming the leading allrounder, who did not have near misses at three figures!
However his most spectacular performance for Limavady must be his astonishing innings away to Phoenix in the ISC Quarter Final in 2003. Then Jeremy Bray (141) and David Ford (96*) saw them to 323-2. Limavady lost Decker at 45 but the great man was hardly missed as Ricky took charge in what The Irish Independent called "one of the greatest innings ever played in Irish Cricket." Facing 129 balls he hit 12 fours and 9 sixes in a devastating assault on the Phoenix attack. He finished with 168* as the visitors reached their target with 8 balls to spare.
Another ton came for the against Killymallaght in 2008 when his 114 saw them to a score of 281-7 before Decker and Dean Curry, with three wickets apiece, finished the job. To pick but one more fine game for Limavady we may turn to a 40 over Ulster Cup contest against Carrick in 2010, Ricky made 65 as Limavady reached 242-8 from their allocated overs, then took 4-29 as Carrick, despite also batting fluently, ended on 220-7. When circumstances forced him to seek cricketing pastures new in 2013, he, in company with several other Limavady players, joined Drummond, for whom, in his first season, he showed top class all round form with 677 runs and 42 wickets. Two memorable bowling performances came in successive matches. Against Bready in the Sam Jeffrey Cup in early June. Drummond totalled 180 but with Ricky took 5 of the first wickets to fall while the score only advanced to 17. A rescue act was led by Brian Crumley (45) but Ricky returned to remove him and finish with figures of 7.4-2-19-6, Bready being all out for 103.
Then, playing away against Sion Mills in the Championship he had marginally better figures, sending the hosts reeling with figures of 8-2-18-6. Drummond also found batting far from easy but won by 3 wickets. His highest score 77 came against Creevedonnell who also suffered at his hands the following season when he hit 748 46.25 and 21 wickets. Against Creevedonnell he made 85, out of 110 added while he was at the wicket, then took 3-18 to round off an impressive performance. He did not show quite the same form in 2015, but who knows what 2016 holds for him and his admirers.
His interprovincial debut for North West had come in 1994, he announced his presence with the wicket of Gus Dunlop in his second match. However his best performances with both bat and ball came in the 2003 season. Against North Leinster at Beechgrove he had 4-48, including top scorer Conor Armstrong (66) as the visitors made 218. Later in the season, at Limavady, he made 33 against the NCU but it was not enough to prevent the visitors winning by 7 wickets.
Ricky played 12 matches for Ireland without, it might be argued, fully realising his potential. He made 74 runs at 24.76 and took 10 wickets at 47.20 His first six matches in 1999 were a 16* against the South African Academy, powerful opposition to meet on debut or at any other time. His debut match, a three day first class game at Castle Avenue, brought him the wicket of James Bryant later to play ODIs for the Proteas and to have two seasons with Derbyshire.
However he stamped his name on the match with a superb outfield catch to send back the visitors' captain Adolf van der Berg off the bowling of Kyle McCallan. This effort was widely praised, particularly by fellow debutant, South African Test player Jonty Rhodes who thought it a catch he could not have bettered.
Ricky's best bowling for Ireland came later the same season in a 2 day drawn match against MCC at Lords. Batting first the hosts declared on 177-8, Ricky having put them on the back foot by removing 2, 3 and 4 in the order thus doing the paceman's job. Ireland gained a useful lead thanks to a Peter Davy century but MCC then batted out time. Ricky's highest score for Ireland 16* against Italy at The Green in the 2002 European Championships - in what proved to be his final match - came at an opportune moment. He came in at 197-8 and stayed to see Ireland to a competitive 231 all out and an eventual 28 runs victory.
Edward Liddle, April 2016