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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Dominic Cronin
  • Born 23 September 1863 Monkstown, Co Cork
  • Died 26 December 1948 Cork
  • Educated Beaumont College, Dublin University
  • Occupation Solicitor
  • Debut 4 June 1884 v Philadelphia at College Park
  • Cap Number 168
  • Style Right-hand bat
  • Teams Cork County, Dublin University Phoenix

Dominic Cronin was a fluent, stylish batsman, certainly one of the best in Ireland during the 1880s.He was a consistently heavy scorer for the University, and, on less frequent appearances Cork County and Phoenix. At national level, however, he must be accounted a disappointment, his highest score in an 11-a-side match being only 45 v Canada at Rathmines in 1887.

He was seven years at Beaumont College, the now defunct Jesuit Public School in Berkshire, where he was three years in both the 1st XV and 1st XI, spending his last two seasons, 1880 and 1881, as captain of the latter. Injury prevented him from playing for the University in 1882, though later in the summer he turned out for Cork County, a side with several members of his family were associated, with some degree of success. From 1883 he was an ever present figure in the University XI over the next four seasons, hitting 5 hundreds in the process. The highest of these was 165* v Dublin Garrison in College Park in 1886. He clearly favoured military bowling that year; also, again on his home ground, he destroyed the Curragh Brigade attack with 126 out of a score of 236/1. Another favourite opponent was NICC. He sealed his growing reputation against the Ormeau side in College Park in 1884 with 50 and 102, following this on the Northerners next visit two years later, with a brilliant 73. He also found time to be University rackets champion and to prove himself a fine runner, the mile and half mile being his specialities. On leaving University, he joined Phoenix, beginning with 67 against his old team mates in 1887. He also played for the Vice Regal XI, that summer, hitting a chanceless 122 v Co Meath.

The following season also saw what many regarded as the highlight of his career. Playing for the University Past and Present XI V the All England XI, composed largely of professionals from the Northern Counties of Yorkshire, Lancashire and Nottinghamshire, he struck a highly regarded 95. Profiling him the following Spring, the periodical "Cricket", in a front page feature commented, "His innings was quite enough to stamp him as batsman very much above the average." He was also a consistent performer for Cork County, taking part in a club record 3rd wicket stand in 1884 of 154 for the 3rd wicket v Na Shuler. His share was 39, his partner, prolific Army bat John Dunn made 197. Against the same opposition three years late, Cronin made 20 and 78. He was, incidentally, no bowler. One of the few occasions that he took the ball, he caused health and safety issues for the square leg umpire!

Yet for Ireland he was, by and large, a failure. In 11-a-side matches this talented batsman managed only 179 runs from 12 innings at 14.92. If his scores from two cap matches in the USA, which as they were 12-a-side are not included in his figures on this site, are included his record creeps up to 242 runs at just over 15. As with two other highly regarded batsmen and Irish captains Jack Meldon and Larry Warke, there seems no logical reason for his unexpected performances. He began well enough with 27 and 18 v Philadelphia in 1884, falling in the second innings to quality left armer WS Lowry scourge of Canada in their annual match v USA, and in only his third match hit a "delightful" 45 v Canada at Rathmines, his highest score for Ireland in 11 a side matches. Thereafter he achieved little.

In 1888 he was one of 13 players to take part in the second Irish Tour of North America. Fellow DUCC man JW Hynes had organised the trip, but on the voyage on SS City of Rome where he again demonstrated his athletic prowess, Dominic was elected Captain. This may have been an implied criticism of Hynes' leadership. Ten of the team were current or recent University men and Hynes had just completed two seasons as captain. As it was he was the all round success of the tour, while Cronin knew almost unrelieved failure. In all matches he managed only 174 runs from 14 innings, though he began well with 35 v XVof Ottawa, an innings which the local press praised highly, and at the tours end scored 48 in the 12 a side match v Philadelphia, falling again to Lowry in both innings. Perhaps his tour was epitomised by being run out for 0 v Longwood XII at Boston! However his captaincy was highly praised and was seen as one of the main reasons for the venture's success. On returning to Ireland his legal practice took up most of his time and he was not seen in major cricket again, though he continued to play for Cork County for some years.

He is profiled in Siggins and Fitzgerald "Ireland's 100 Cricket Greats" and his biography is in Volume 15 of Scores and Biographies.