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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
St John Considine
  • Born 1862 Dublin
  • Died 12 May 1925 St Stephen's Green, Dublin
  • Educated Stonyhurst College, Lancashire Dublin University
  • Occupation Local Government Auditor
  • Debut 15 July 1887 v Canada at Rathmines
  • Cap Number 193
  • Style Right-hand bat, slow right arm bowler
  • Teams Dublin University

St John Considine came from a well known Co Limerick landed family, the eldest son of his father's second marriage. His elder half brother Heffernan Considine, knighted in 1908, represented Ireland in an odds match against the United South of England XI in 1869. Two of St John's younger brothers were also cricketers, one, Thomas, touring North America with Jack Meldon's Irish side in 1892.

St John was a useful but not outstanding player. After developing his skills at Stonyhurst, where he just overlapped with fellow cricketer Arthur Conan Doyle three years his senior, he entered Dublin University in 1883, winning a regular place in the XI in 1887, which he held until he left in 1889, gaining his colours in all three years. He had been awarded 2nd XI colours in 1884 and 1885, besides playing for XV of the University against the All England XI in 1886. His final season was by far his best; he scored 234 runs at 13.67 and took 23 wickets at 20.

One of his best matches for the XI was in that first season against a side styled "An England XI", which was, in fact, a Combined Lancashire/Yorkshire team, led by former England captain AN "Monkey" Hornby. This was one of the best performances given by the University against first class opposition, the visitors just getting home by one wicket. That the hosts were able to keep on terms for so long was, in no small way, due to St John's first innings. Batting at 6, and quite lacking experience against bowling of this standard, he made a hard fought 50, before being bowled by Yorkshire leg spinner Joe Preston, who was, still a young man, to die of a chill three years later. In the second innings, St John made 16, falling this time to Yorkshire legend "Happy Jack "Ulyett, whose real first name was George. He was a fast round good opening batsman who played 25 Tests scoring almost 1000 runs besides taking 50 wickets.

Two further three day matches came in 1889, the year of St John's captaincy. Lancashire visited College Park in mid June to play a University side reinforced by a former member, JH Nunn, masquerading as JH Williams, less his absence from Dublin's courts should be remarked upon. The County won by an innings with little difficulty, St John going cheaply twice, on each occasion to the slow left armer Johnny Briggs. A leading all rounder who scored over 1400 first class runs and took 2221 wickets, 118 of which were in Tests, Johnny is one of the tragic figures of cricket history, dying of a violent form of epilepsy, aged only 39.

Later in the summer the Philadelphians played a three day match against the University Long Vacation XI. Though the Americans were forced to follow on, they had little difficulty in saving the game. St John's contribution, alas, was a duck. He was, at least, caught off the visitors' most successful bowler, HP "Parson" Baily, who headed the bowling averages on the tour, taking 13 in the match v Cambridge LVC, including a hat trick to finish the game. He was known as "Parson", because of a cheerful rubicund expression rather than for theological reasons.

St John played little more serious cricket after leaving University, thus denying himself the chance, however unlikely, of adding to the solitary Irish cap he had gained in 1887. This had been attained, almost by accident, against the touring Canadian side at Rathmines. There was originally only one fixture scheduled but Ireland overcame their hosts by an innings and 102 runs early on the second afternoon. Another match was begun at once, with Ireland batting. When play resumed the following day, three of the side which had played in the first game, had dropped out, namely David Trotter, never one to over exert himself unduly, William Blacker, and the fast bowler Thomas Tobin, whose known fondness for the "hard stuff", may have been the reason. Into the side, batting at 9 10 and 11 came St John and JP Maxwell, both University men, and the stylish Leinster batsman SC Smith, who was to have a useful, if spasmodic international career. The two University men, at least, probably owed their places to being "there." Ireland were well placed at one stage on 124-3 but collapsed to 166 all out. St John failed to score being bowled by the Canadian captain Dr Edward Ogden, who, having made a pair in the first match, went on to top score in this one.

Ogden was in fact, one of the successes of the tour, heading the bowling and scoring over 700 runs including a century v The Gentlemen of Hampshire. Canada won by 5 wickets at Rathmines, it would appear that the Irish did not take the match too seriously.

From 1889 onwards work and family responsibilities kept St John Considine away from the cricket field.