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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Ciaran O'Maille
  • Born 14 June 1925, Dublin
  • Died 4 March 1977, Dublin
  • Educated Blackrock College
  • Occupation
  • Debut 20 June 1953 v MCC at Lord's
  • Cap Number 460
  • Style Right-hand bat.
  • Teams Pembroke

Ciaran O'Maille was a sound opening batsman who was a mainstay of the Pembroke side for almost twenty years. His performances for the Sydney Parade team were consistent rather than outstanding; in all Leinster League and Cup matches at senior level, he made 213 appearances totalling 4652 runs from 163 completed innings, thus averaging 26.89.

Unluckily he never hit a competitive century, his highest score being the nearest of misses 99. He was a regular opening partner for Stanley Bergin, which may explain why he did not always see much of the strike. This pairing was extended to Interprovincials, in pre Guinness Cup days, and for the South in the annual Trial with the North, a fixture often seen as having been of questionable value. Captain of his club in 1954, he played an important role in their Cup Final success over Dublin University at Rathmines. Batting first Pembroke made a record score of 442-7 before O'Maille declared. He had been second top scorer with 79, there were three other half centuries, including 62 from Bergin. The University replied with 253, which would on many occasions have been a winning total, but saw them go down by 189 runs. In the 1957 Cup Final his 59 helped Pembroke to a total of 321 against Leinster, the Observatory Lane men then folding for 91.

He played five times for Ireland over a seven year spell from 1953, but managed only 76 runs at 10.60. In his defence, it should be stated that he twice faced full county attacks, Lancashire in 1954, when he was yorked by Brian Statham for 7 in his first knock, as Ireland went down by an innings. Statham was on the verge of his Ashes triumph in Australia as he swept Australia aside in combination with Frank Tyson. Further against Scotland at Ormeau in 1953, Ciaran had reached 1* in his first innings, batting at 3, when rain allowed no further cricket. Nevertheless it is disappointing that he had only one respectable innings, 32 on debut v MCC at Lord's in 1953. He added 82 for the second wicket with Stuart Pollock after Louis Jacobson had gone in the first over. Ireland lost by 36 runs, destroyed by the pace of a young member of the MCC groundstaff, whose name, Michael Patrick Dowling, suggests that he might well have been bowling for the visitors. He removed O'Maille in both innings. Dowling played a few matches for Middlesex 2nd XI but never appeared in a first class match.

Ciaran O'Maille, also a hockey international, was only 51 at the time of his death. His obituary is in Wisden 1979.