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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Samuel Barry
  • Born circa 1835, Buttevant Co Cork
  • Died Unknown
  • Educated
  • Occupation Civil Servant
  • Debut 28 September 1859 v I Zingari at Phoenix CC
  • Cap Number 37
  • Style Right-hand bat, slow right arm round arm.
  • Teams Leinster, Phoenix.

Samuel Barry was a good all round cricketer, though he never achieved the reputation of his younger brother, George. His performances for Ireland - and indeed at club level - may, in this day and age, seem somewhat poor, but it should be remembered that, in most cases, the opposition were very strong, and the wickets often underprepared. The latter point can be seen, at club level, by examining the match between Phoenix and I Zingari in 1861. In a two day match, of four completed innings, the highest total was the visitors' first innings 90 in which George took 8 wickets. The highest individual score of the match was Captain Frederick Marshall's second innings 30 for the tourists. Sam made 7 and 1, by far from being the worst scores for the hosts. He was bowled by former terrifying fast bowler HW "Lightning" Fellows - now more of a brisk medium pacer - in the first innings and fell to the wiles of Joseph McCormick, also of course of Phoenix and Ireland, in the second.

Against IZ the following year, Phoenix did rather better forcing a draw, having gone down by 71 runs in the match described above. However Sam, though he had a brief and economical bowling spell, did little with the bat. Opening in the first innings, he was bowled by Henry Awkright, the Lord Lieutenant's ADC and destroyer of Irish batting in several matches at this time, for 2. In the second innings, when the hosts successfully, batted out time, he was at 9 in the order and did not bat. He played four times for Ireland, though as in two of these Ireland played as XXII against the mighty All England XI, only the two eleven a side matches are shown in his statistics on this site.

His debut for Ireland came against IZ at Phoenix in late September 1859. Though a somewhat unremarkable match, which Ireland lost by an innings and 33 runs, this game deserves its place in Irish cricket history as the first played between the two teams, in a series which was to last, albeit rather spasmodically at times, until 1906. Sam, batting at 9, made little contribution. Nor, in company with most of his team-mates did he do so in his next two matches for Ireland, against the All England XI. At Leinster's Palmerston Estate ground in 1860, he found himself batting against some of the best bowlers currently in the game. In his first innings he was dismissed by the roundarmer Edgar Willsher for 1, stumped by Heathfield Stephenson, shortly to captain the first England side ever to visit Australia, and, in the second, Willsher caught him off Crispin Tinley who, either in his previous fast style, or now with his slow lobs, was seen by many as the outstanding bowler then playing. In September 1861, at Coburg Gardens, (the cricket field now is mostly submerged by Dublin's National Concert Hall), he made a pair against the same opposition. Fast bowler John "Foghorn" Jackson getting him in the first innings and the captain, leading all rounder, George Parr, in the second.

In none of these matches, had Sam been asked to do much bowling. However in his finale v MCC at Lord's later in the summer, his slow round arm deliveries were one of the key reasons for an Irish victory. Opening the bowling with the Nottinghamshire professional "Jemmy" Grundy _ MCC had the services of Grundy's county colleague George Wooton - he took 5 wickets as MCC were dismissed for 131. However Wooton shot Ireland out for 80, dismissing Sam for 5. Fortunately the hosts collapsed for 49 all out to Ireland's tree prong attack, doctrinaire "Lobster" Arthur Samuels, sharing the wickets with Sam and Grundy. Thanks to a fine 33* from Bob Fitzgerald, soon to be MCC Secretary, who was almost certainly playing only because he lived inn London, Ireland won by three wickets. Sam, not inappropriately, was there at the finish on 3*.

Samuel Barry did not play for Ireland again and rather fades from the cricket scene. Like George he was also an excellent chess player, though he did not reach his brothers heights. However, in late September 1862, he did take part in what may have been the first telegraphed chess match, when some Dublin players took on the St James Club of London.