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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Anthony Francis George Philip Hollick
  • Born 15 March 1842 Glencolmcille, Co Clare
  • Died 6 February 1991 Charing Cross, Westminster, London
  • Educated Royal Belfast Academical Institution, Armagh Royal School
  • Occupation
  • Debut 25 August 1956 v Sussex at Rathmines
  • Cap Number 476
  • Style Right-hand batsman; wicket keeper.
  • Teams Instonians, Southgate CC, Club Cricket Conference, Staten Island, Philadelphia, United States

Philip Hollick was a forcing upper order batsman and capable wicket keeper. Unfortunately, though he scored heavily in club cricket in three countries and two continents, he never achieved his full potential at representative level. Good performances for Instonians saw him in the Irish side at the age of 20 to play Sussex at Observatory Lane in late August 1956. He played as a batsman, Walter Fawcett keeping wicket.

That summer was mostly, cold, wet and gloomy, and, the Rathmines match was no exception, Rain came to the hosts' rescue after they had been bundled out by the County for 82. Two Sussex wickets had fallen for 27, before the heavens opened. Philip, batting at 6, was bowled by leg spinner Gordon Potter for 1, which was to prove his highest score for Ireland! Potter was never a regular in the County XI, playing 55 first class matches over an 8 year period, but taking only 19 wickets.

Philip had mixed fortunes in not being retained for the Worcestershire match in College Park the following week. It was a somewhat harsh selectorial judgement to drop him after one match, but, though the sun shone on the historic ground, the wicket was poor and the visitors' spinners Martin Horton and Bob Berry ran through Ireland twice, with only Ray Hunter and Larry Warke showing much resistance.

Philip was, however, back in the side for the Scots match in College Park., the following season. Ireland winning a low scoring game by 38 runs. Philip, batting at 7, with Fawcett again wearing the gloves, made a pair in what was to be his last match for Ireland. Off spinner David Livingstone bowled him in the first innings and paceman Jim Roberts had him caught in the second.

Philip was now to spend several seasons in London club cricket, where he turned out regularly for the historic Southgate side, doing well enough to be selected for the Club Cricket Conference on occasions. He was certainly now a better player, than when he had played for Ireland, and, might with advantage, have been tried again. In 1960 he made 150* for Southgate against United Services, Portsmouth, usually fairly tough opposition. Emigrating to the USA, he played for the well known Staten Island club, which has a proud history and has always attracted the best players.

In September 1967, he was selected to play in the annual match v Canada, at Montreal, on the ground of Lower Canada College. This match is the oldest International cricket contest in the World, dating back to 1844. Just before the game, Philip had played for Philadelphia v the MCC touring side. John Marder in "The International Series. The Story of USA v Canada at Cricket", suggests that this meant that Philip and others who took part in both matches, were in no real condition to take on Canada because of the amount of travel involved. However he agrees that they were right to play in both games. Canada won, largely due to the pace of Bajan fast bowler Hugh Hart who had 10-51 in the match. The wicket assisted him and the visitors lacked the bowling needed to make use of conditions.

Philip batted first wicket down and fell to Hart in the first innings for 1. He was caught by off spinner Marshall De Souza, who had played first class cricket in Pakistan and was the brother of the Pakistan medium pacer Antao De Souza who toured England and Ireland in 1962, taking 5-51 against Ireland in College Park. In the second innings Philip did rather better. He topscored with 22 before again being dismissed by a Caribbean and Pakistani combination. This time De Souza got him, thanks to a catch by Windward Islander Carl Glasgow.

Philip did not appear v Canada again, but the following summer he was one of the US team which toured England, under the captaincy of former Dublin University, NICC and Ireland opening bowler, Alf Cooper. However he was badly affected by illness and injury and played only 6 matches on the tour, finishing bottom of the averages at just over 6. Back home in the early 1970s, he did enough to be selected for Ulster Town in the Guinness Cup. He was, at 34, still young enough to gain selection for the national side, but it was not to be. Between 1970 and 1972, he played 9 times, but made 120 runs at 13.33, including three ducks. His best match was his penultimate one, against North Leinster in 1972. Opening the batting, he topscored with 40, before being bowled by the off spin of stylish left hand bat, Noel Grier. Well set, Philip should surely have been able to go on to make a large score. His only other innings of note was 38 v Munster, second top score, at The Mardyke in 1970, which helped the visitors gain a rather easy victory.

Philip Hollick, undoubtedly a fine batsman, was highly regarded by those who played with him. It is to be greatly regretted that the form, which, for example, saw him destroy attacks such as the United Services in 1960, deserted him, when it mattered, on the playing fields of Ireland.