- Born 17 June 1982, Beckenham Kent
- Educated Eltham College, Leeds Metropolitan University
- Occupation Commercial Vehicle Editor
- Debut 27 April 2008 v Nottinghamshire at Castle Avenue
- Cap Number 664
- Style Left hand hatsman, Left arm medium pace bowler
- Teams Bromley Common, Bromley, Bickley Park, Bradford/Leeds University CCE, Kent 2nd XI, Surrey 2nd XI, Strabane, Waringstown
Phil Eaglestone is a front ranking left arm medium fast bowler, who made his name in the far from easy world of League cricket in Kent as well as playing at County 2nd XI level and appearing with distinction for Bradford/Leeds Centre of Cricket Excellence against both other university and county sides. He was, therefore already a seasoned player when he first appeared in Irish cricket, his form for Strabane meaning, as the son of a Newtowstewart mother that he was soon in the national selectors' thoughts. His first appearances in senior cricket were in the Kent League where he played for several sides with varying degrees of success. Turning out first for Bromley Common in 1999 he was soon among the wickets with figures of 5-27 to see his team to a 34 run victory over Lloyd's Bank.
He soon bettered this with a fine performance against Tenterden, returning figures of 15-4-39-6, thus setting up a 7 wickets victory. 2003 saw him with Bromley in the Premier League, taking 4-39 against The Mote, one of the hop county's most iconic clubs, sharing the new ball with Test "one cap wonder" Joey Benjamin.
A 2nd XI match for Bromley against Beckenham is also well worthy of note though, ultimately, Phil finished on the losing side. Batting first Beckenham were put out for 165, mainly thanks to Phil's aggressive attack. He dismissed four of the top five, before returning to clean up the tail. He finished with the fine figures of 15-4-56-6. Unfortunately the Bromley batting failed, leaving Beckenham victorious by 55 runs. In 2005, moving to Bickley Park he had further successes, having found another Test playing partner in Mark Saggers who gained three English caps before turning to umpiring. One fine performance that season came in a first round match in the Evening Standard Trophy against Banstead, a Surrey club perhaps best known for cricket writer the late Robert Mason having played for them for many years in the 1940s and 50s. However his successors had little answer to Phil who, taking 4-22 bowled Bickley Park to a 150 runs victory.
He made several appearances at County 2nd XI level both for Kent, for whom he also played in age group cricket, and Surrey, his championship matches being for the latter side. In a drawn match with Essex 2nds at The Oval in July 2003 he had two good performances on a good batting strip. The visitors batted first and posted a useful looking 326 with a tall dark haired left hander just breaking into the 1st XI contributing 126 before he was caught off Phil for 137. Alastair Cook's remains one of the most distinguished wickets Phil has taken! In all Phil took 4-73 in the innings also accounting for Ryan ten Doeschate who was also to fall to him in the second innings when Phil took 4-118. Despite his efforts, however, and those of the future England captain for the opposition, the match ended in a draw.
So, for that matter, did many of the matches which Phil played for Bradford /Leeds University CCE. A two day match v Durham University in June 2004 at Bradford saw the visitors bowled out for 140 with Phil, too good for many, returning an impressive analysis of 18.1-3-38-5. The hosts replied with 318-6 before rain ended the match. Later in the same month he rattled Oxford CCE amidst the tranquillity of The Parks with figures of 6-62 including Joe Sayers once seen as one of the most promising batsmen in the Yorkshire stable. Phil also impressed against Yorkshire 2nds the following season, his 3-39 including Andrew Gale, a man destined to be much in the cricket news for a variety of reasons a decade or so later.
Phil's career in Irish cricket began In the North West area with Strabane and resulted in many fine performances for the Co Tyrone side which were to earn him International honours. Two examples will show his worth to the side and explain how much he was missed when he sought pastures new at The Lawn. In July 2012 away to Creevedonnell, Strabane recorded an easy victory by 9 wickets. The task having been made easy for his batsmen by Phil who was near enough unplayable, finishing with 6 for 26 in 8.5 overs. Unsurprisingly he was Man of the Match as was also to be the case later in the season against Bond's Glen who found that home advantage counted for nothing as, the visitors having rattled up 220, Phil bowled them out for 89, his figures being 10-2-24-7.
Between 2013 and 2016 Phil has taken 132 wickets for Waringstown at 17.87, recording a 5 wicket haul on three occasions. He had two fine performances in his third and fourth appearances for the Villagers on successive days in late May 2013. On the 25th away to Dundrum in the NCU Challenge Cup the visitors posted 264, with half centuries from Greg Thompson and Lee Nelson, before Phil got to work. Removing Nos 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7 in the order, he reduced the hosts to 27-7. They eventually " recovered to 66 all out. The following day, at The Lawn in the Ulster Cup he faced old foes Fox Lodge. Two seasons back he had taken 5-39 against them in a losing cause, now he tore the heart out of their batting with figures of 8.1-1-29-7, having begun by removing Iftikhar Hussein for a duck with only 2 on the board.
Phil's best Interprovincial season to date was for the Northern Knights in 2013 when he was described as being "in the form of his life." He took 4 wickets in an innings on three occasions in the 3 day matches, his best figures being a second innings 4-51 against North West Warriors at Eglinton, having already taken 3-31 in the first. He also bowled impressively against the Leinster Lightnings with further 4 wicket hauls in both matches. His 4-93 at College Park was not enough to prevent an innings victory for the hosts but, including as it did the wickets of Fintan McAlister, John Mooney and John Anderson, was certainly a good performance.
In the return match at The Lawn when a double hundred by Nick Larkin enabled the Knights to pile up a huge 501-4 declared he had 4-52, including Anderson again and Andrew Poynter among his victims. Further 4 wicket hauls followed against the Warriors at Downpatrick in 2014 and at The Green in 2016 when he had match figures of 23.1-5-83-7. His best one day performance to date was in 2013 when he had the more than useful figures of 10-5-17-3 against the Warriors at The Green.
He made his debut for Ireland A in 2007 and between then and 2013 played 26 matches taking 42 wickets at 31.36. His best figures came against Hampshire 2nd XI in 2011 at the Rose (now Ageas) Bowl when, in a game in which both sides were allowed to make changes to their teams mid match he came into the side for the county's second innings and had figures of 5.2-1-29-4, including leg spinning all rounder Danny Briggs, sometimes seen as potential Test player. Phil's best match, however, was against Scotland away, at Uddington Glasgow in 2012 a 12-a-side match with both teams batting 11. His match figures of 6-107 helped Ireland A to a fine victory though they had conceded a 95 runs first innings deficit.
At the time of writing (November 2016) Phil has won 16 caps for Ireland taking 17 wickets at 32.47. He made his debut against Nottinghamshire in the Friends Provident Trophy in 2008 at Castle Avenue. Having giant opener Will Jefferson caught behind by Gary Wilson, he helped Kevin O'Brien reduce the County to 19-3 before Adam Voges a rescue. Phil later had Graeme Swann caught by Reinhardt Strydom for a typically brisk 21 to finish with figures of 10-2-49-2. The County were restricted to 217-9 but, unfortunately, Ireland fell well short in their reply. Phil's best match was against West Indies A at Stormont in 2010, a 50 over encounter. The Windies were dismissed for 251 from 49.5 overs with Phil having 3-48 from his 10 overs, including Devon Smith who has won 31 Test caps. Whether Philip Steven Eaglestone adds to his number of Irish caps remains to be seen. He will, however, surely remain a thorn in the flesh of batsmen in the NCU area and elsewhere in Ireland for some time to come.
Edward Liddle, November 2016
- Ireland v Nottinghamshire: Friends Provident Trophy, Clontarf, 27 April 2008
- Leicestershire v Ireland: Friends Provident Trophy, Leicester, 4 May 2008
- Ireland v Warwickshire: Friends Provident Trophy, Stormont, 16 May 2008
- Ireland v Bangladesh A: 1 Day, Bangor, 29 June 2008
- Ireland v New Zealand: ODI, Aberdeen, 1 July 2008
- Ireland v Kenya: World Cup Qualifier, Pretoria, 17 April 2009
- Ireland v Nottinghamshire: Friends Provident Trophy, Clontarf, 16 May 2009
- Ireland v West Indies A: 1 Day, Stormont, 25 June 2010
- Ireland v Namibia: Intercontinental Cup, Stormont, 6-9 September 2011
- Ireland v Canada: Intercontinental Cup, Rathmines, 13-16 September 2011