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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Francis Michael Quinn
  • Born 18 December 1915 Gort, Co Galway
  • Died 30 May 1996 Dublin
  • Educated Belvedere College, Dublin; University College, Dublin
  • Occupation Chartered Accountant
  • Debut 20 June 1936 v Scotland at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh
  • Cap Number 402
  • Style Right-hand bat, right arm medium pace
  • Teams Phoenix.

Frank Quinn -one of four brothers to represent Ireland - being the first to do so though the second in age - was, at club level, a very good batsman and a useful enough medium pacer to count as a batting all rounder. At international level, however, he played one magnificent innings, but otherwise did not really reveal his potential.

As a boy in Gort he played, as did his brothers, Gaelic football and Hurling, before the family moved to Dublin. On entering Belvedere, he became hooked on cricket and rugby, though he did not reach his brothers' level in the latter game. Playing for Phoenix for twenty three years from 1933, he scored 7232 runs in competitive cricket at a respectable 27.60, with seven 100s and twenty six 50s. His highest score was 125, but one of his most memorable innings was 123* v Leinster at Rathmines in 1951. Fourteen runs were needed off the last four balls, and Frank put the issue beyond doubt by hitting each for four to square leg. Another Frank was on the field, Frank Reddy, the Leinster captain. He waved square leg fieldsman, Jack Sweetman, further and further back after each boundary, until the last ball of the match saw Jack, obeying his captain's commands, over the wall of a garden that backed on to the ground. Frank One hit another boundary, Frank Two was extremely displeased! Frank Quinn held two records during his time with Phoenix. One was his seven centuries in senior cricket. Now long surpassed this stood for some considerable time as a club record. He also held six catches in an innings v YMCA in 1945.

He played a significant part in two successive Cup Final victories for Phoenix in 1947 and 1948. In the former year, Clontarf were the opponents at Sydney Parade. Noel Mahony batted well for 69, but no one else could make much of Jimmy Boucher who had 7-51. However Phoenix faltered against the medium pace seamers of Ernie Bodell who took 4-31. However Phoenix got home by two wickets, Shane Jameson, son of Hampshire and Ireland batsman TO Jameson, being undefeated on 51. He was well supported by Frank who made 43. The following season at Castle Avenue - then on the old ground which lay between the current pavilion and Castle Avenue (the road), Merrion were the opposition, being bowled out for 92 with Boucher and Frank each taking four wickets at 20 and 31 respectively. Phoenix had a few alarms, before recording a six wicket win, with Frank holding the innings together with 33.

His debut for Ireland came against Scotland at Raeburn Place in 1936. This was a disastrous match for the visitors who went down by 214 runs. Scotland made a moderate 292 in their first innings, but then bowled Ireland out for 64, with Frank, at 6, being bowled for 0 by the fast medium bowling of JS Farquhar. In the second innings he did rather better. Ireland faced an improbable target of 383 to win, Frank was second top scorer of the innings - and match - for Ireland making a solid 27, he put on 43 for the 5th wicket with Eddie Ingram, top scorer in both innings, who made 54. Their stand was the best of the match for Ireland.

His only other pre war score of note came against New Zealand at Rathmines in 1937. This was the second of two matches played, the first, scheduled for three days, having finished in one, with Ireland having little answer to the pace of the visitors' opening bowler Jack Cowie, though Boucher also bowled splendidly for Ireland. Frank's contribution was a pair. In the additionally arranged match, the visitors again won with some ease but Frank, "put up a stubborn defence in making 20" (Derek Scott) in the first innings. He was eventually caught off leg spinner DAR Maloney, who failed to take a wicket in any of the three Tests on the tour.

His best innings for Ireland came in the first match after the War against Scotland at Greenock. Scotland were dismissed for 259, then Stuart Pollock, opening Ireland's innings with Paddy Waldron, was out with the score on 42. Enter Frank to play an astonishing innings. His 140, made in just under three hours, came out of 216 made while he was at the wicket and included twenty one fours. "He hit splendidly all round the wicket and delighted the crowd with his graceful driving," according to Derek Scott's report. He made only 12 in the second innings as Ireland chased 107. However Pollock, with 64*, made sure of an eight wicket victory.

Frank was to have only two other double figure innings for Ireland. He batted at No 3 against South Africa in College Park in 1947. Put in on a drying wicket, Ireland were rolled over for 102, with Athol Rowan, undoubtedly the best off spinner in the World at the time, taking 9-39 in 22 overs. Frank's 18 was second top score. Rain prevented a second innings.

His other double figure score came in his last match v MCC at Lord's in 1949, which ended in a draw, with Frank, at 6, falling for 0 and 15 to the leg spin of RJO Meyer. Meyer, who captained Somerset in 1947, was an interesting character. He was the Founder/Headmaster of Millfield School. Though now world famous, the School had its problems in its early days. It was said that on interviewing prospective new boys, Meyer would throw a ball to the boy and a pen to his father. If the boy could catch the ball and the father the pen - to write a cheque - a new pupil was secured. Francis Michael Quinn continued to play for Phoenix until 1956 but was not seen again in Irish colours.