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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Richard Wood Power
  • Born 21 February 1896 Dublin
  • Died 3 March 1978 Fownhope, Herefordshire
  • Educated Clongowes Wood College, Dublin
  • Occupation Surgeon
  • Debut 22 July 1920 v Scotland at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh
  • Cap Number 301
  • Style Right-hand batsman
  • Teams Dublin University; Phoenix

Richard Power was a strongly built and stylish upper order batsman, who often opened the innings. Like many others of his generation, his cricket development was interrupted at a crucial stage by war; he played no major matches between the ages of 18 and 22, having proved himself an outstanding batsman at Clongowes. However when cricket resumed in 1919, he was an automatic choice for the University XI and a fixture in the side for the next three seasons. In many ways that first summer was his best.

Batting mostly at 3, in a strong University side, he scored over 600 runs, hitting one century and three fifties in the League, which his club had entered somewhat reluctantly. They finished third, the batting of Richard together with that of the captain AP Kelly and the tragic Herbert Rollins, backed up by the attack of fast left armer Basil Ward and medium pacer Wenty Allen, making them one of the more powerful sides in the competition.

Neither Richard nor his team did so well the following season, when he was captain, though he had seven other old colours to support him. He failed to reach 50 in the League, but did so on two other notable occasions. At the end of May, Derbyshire came to play a two day game in College Park. It must be said that, while at almost full strength, the visitors were, that season, the weakest side in the County Championship, losing 17 matches. They were bowled out twice by Allen and the fast medium JR Wills. The University won by 6 wickets, the key being an 86 run first innings lead. Here the major innings was played by Richard. Batting at 3, he was comfortably top score with highly praised 72, before being dismissed by football international and leg spinner Harry Storer. Richard did not do so well in the other major match of the season, against visitors Cambridge University. Though the first innings was closely fought, the hosts then collapsed. Richard, in company with of many of his colleagues, failing twice against the leg spin of St Columba's educated Charles Marriott. However, on the annual tour, Richard hit a splendid 53 in a high scoring, but ultimately rain ruined match, with the Dover Garrison. The wicket was fast and the bowling likewise, but his innings, peppered with hooks and cuts was well received.

The next summer, 1921, saw him captain again a few weeks into the season. Rollins had been elected by his team mates, but fell ill and died with the summer hardly started. Richard managed only one half century, it is probable that the whole side were affected by their chosen leader's death. The season also included a return match with Derbyshire at the Bass ground at Burton on Trent. Whether or not the visitors had been too well entertained by the proprietors, they were easily defeated, as the County gained revenge. Richard was going well, however, in the first innings, before being run out for 17. Richard's performances had gained him selection for Ireland the previous season. It is very much to be regretted that his international career has to be described as an almost total failure.

In six matches, he managed only 90 runs at 11.25, with three double figure scores, a very poor return for one of his obvious talent. He began well enough, as one of eight new caps, in Ireland's first post war match v Scotland at Edinburgh's Raeburn Place in July 1920. Unsurprisingly, the hosts, a more experienced side, won by 8 wickets. However, Richard made a stylish 30 in Ireland's first innings, putting on 58 for the 6th wicket with fellow debutant Jim Kempster (33), before being bowled by Hull born medium pacer John Intin. He made 9 at the second attempt, being bowled by another English born Scotsman, medium pacer AE Sellers.

He retained his place for the following season, being dismissed for 12 in the first innings v Military of Ireland in College Park in early June. Neither he, nor anyone else on either side had a second innings, the match being brought to a premature conclusion, after it was attacked by gunmen, a young woman spectator being killed. Eight weeks later, however the Scots came to Rathmines and Richard, again making 30, played what was generally regarded as the better of his two worthwhile knocks for Ireland. In a rain affected match, he added 81 for the 4th with EL Kidd (66). The batting of these two and of Sep Lambert in his last match for Ireland, gave the hosts a commanding first innings lead, but time ran out as Bob Lambert and Bill Harrington, also in his last match, just failed to bowl Ireland to victory.

Richard played three more times for Ireland, being almost spectacularly unsuccessful. Against MCC at Lord's in 1925, in his only innings rain allowed, he was one of three wickets in four balls taken by Norfolk and Army cricketer, George Scott - Chad. Ireland then moved on to play Wales at Llandudno. Their cricket did not match the splendid setting with the massive headland the Great Orme towering over the ground. Wales were victorious by an innings and 36, Richard's contribution being 2 and 5. Like most of his team mates he had little answer to the pace of John Mercer (1591 first class wickets) in the first innings and Ken Raikes in the second. His final match for Ireland, again rain affected was against Oxford University in The Parks the following summer. In his only innings, he was caught for 2, off the bowling of slow left armer JW Greenstock. Perhaps Richard reflected in later years that at least the fielder was to become distinguished, later being Sir George Abell, F first Civil Service Commissioner.

Having gained his MB in 1920 and then become a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, he spent much of his life practising in England, also being much involved in the Territorial Army.