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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Douglas Edward Goodwin
  • Born 2 May 1938 Clontarf, Dublin
  • Educated King's Hospital School, Dublin
  • Occupation Bank Official
  • Debut 9 June 1965 v MCC at Lord's
  • Cap Number 501
  • Style Right hand batsman, right arm medium fast
  • Teams Malahide.

Dougie Goodwin will forever be remembered in the annals of Irish Cricket for one day in his cricketing life, 2 July 1969. On that never to be forgotten occasion at Sion Mills, he not only led Ireland to a crushing and historic victory over the West Indies, but, by returning the remarkable bowling figures of 12.5 - 8 - 6 - 5, was, together with new ball partner Alec O'Riordan, responsible for humiliating the tourists, shooting them out for a paltry 25 on a Co Tyrone green top.

However, as most followers of Irish Cricket will be well aware, it would be vastly understating Dougie's contribution to the Irish cricket, to see him as a "one match wonder." He was, as his figures for Malahide, North Leinster and Ireland reveal, a very fine bowler of just above medium pace. Exceptionally accurate, he could move the ball both ways off the wicket and through the air, this movement becoming alarming to the batsman in conditions that gave him the slightest help. In unhelpful ones, his accuracy and hostility still made him a formidable opponent. He was also a useful tail end batsman and a captain, more successful for Ireland than most of his era, who gained the praise of that stern critic Dermot Monteith.

His cricketing skills were developed at King's Hospital School, then still situated in its historic surroundings, just north of the Liffey. That guru of Blackhall Place, Noel Mahony, must have been well pleased with his protégé, who made his debut for Malahide in 1956, going on to play senior cricket for 30 years, appearing in 337 competitive matches. For the seaside club, Dougie took 828 wickets at 11.77, winning the O'Grady Cup, for the leading bowler in Leinster Cricket, on three occasions, with 61 wickets in 1972 his best return. Two of his most outstanding performances came in the Leinster Senior Cup. In 1971, in a second round match at Phoenix, he took a cup record 9-37.

This was the last season of unrestricted, play to a finish cup cricket, so the record will stand. In the first limited overs Cup Final, played against Pembroke at Sydney Parade the following summer, he almost won a match that seemed all, over after Malahide's innings. On a seam friendly wicket, they were bowled out for 79 with medium pacer Alan Parker taking 4-31. However Dougie bowled his 12 overs (it being a 60 over match) to take 6 wickets for 9 runs. Then Parker, not for the first time in a cup Final, stood firm, making the match top score of 23 as the hosts scrambled home by one wicket.

Dougie was an established Irish player by the time the Guinness Cup was inaugurated in 1966 and he was to be an automatic choice for North Leinster, often part of a formidable three prong pace attack with O'Riordan and "Podge" Hughes, for ten years taking 92 wickets in 43 matches at 12.66. By way of comparison with his contemporaries among the faster bowlers, statistics reveal that O'Riordan took 57 wickets in 39 matches, Hughes 56 in 25, and, for North West, Roy Torrens 94 in 48 . Dougie had four "5 fors" with a best of 6-49 v North West at Sion Mills in 1968, a great help to his side as they won the Cup that season. He tore out the heart of the hosts' batting, removing key men, Brendan Donaghey, John Cochrane, surely the only man to play for Ireland as a grandfather, and Tommy Harpur, all of whom were capable of winning the match off their own bats. The following season, leading North Leinster in the local derby at Rathmines, he (5-30) and O'Riordan (3-22) sent their hosts packing for a meagre 82, only to see their own batting crumble as the Southsiders won by 6 runs.

There was frustration again for him at The Mardyke in 1974. His 5-22, on an unhelpful wicket, sent Munster reeling for 63, but rain set in before the visitors could win. At Malahide the following year he joined centurion GP O'Brien, and off spinner Mike Halliday in being responsible for the heavy defeat of the visiting and fancied Ulster Country. Thanks to O'Brien, the hosts made 210, then Dougie with 5-40 bowled unchanged sharing the wickets with Halliday to see his side to a 106 run victory. Only Mike Reith (42) could keep them at bay. His wickets included danger men in opener Roy Harrison and potentially devastating hitter, Alfie Linehan.

Making his first appearance for Ireland at Lord's in June 1965, along with fellow debutant Dermot Monteith, who was played for his batting, he had 3-64 in the hosts first innings of 222-5 declared. His first wicket was that of former South African batsman Russell Endean, his third Saeed Ahmed, scorer of 2991 runs for Pakistan at 40.41. It was an auspicious start, confirmed by dismissing Endean again in the second innings. "Monty", of course, was not to be left out either, scoring a breezy half century. In all, Dougie played 43 times for Ireland taking 115 wickets at 22.18. He had six "5 fors" and, at Shane Park in 1969 against the Combined Services had 11-52 in the match.

1968, a successful season in the Guinness Cup as we have already seen, was also a good year for him in Irish colours. The Services match was in late August and was won by 46 runs. A superb hundred by Ivan Anderson, captaining the side, made light of what were far from ideal batting conditions and Dougie's bowling did the rest. Earlier in the season he had taken 5-68 against the Australians at Ormeau. This was not a vintage Australian side, though they held on to the Ashes though England, thanks to a thunderstorm and Derek Underwood squared the series at The Oval. However the visitors had some good players, two of whom in Ian Redpath and John Inverarity were included in Dougie's "5 for."

At the end of the season, v MCC, in a rain ruined draw at Castle Avenue, Dougie had another "5 for", including long serving Middlesex all rounder Don Bennett, that county's batsman Ted Clark, and former Cambridge Blue and Kent batsman Jack Pretlove in his haul.

1969 was, of course, the year of Sion Mills. It was also the start of Dougie's 19 match stint as Ireland's captain, in which he won 7 and lost 4 of his games in charge, a more successful record than many before him. That day at Sion Mills has been well documented elsewhere, but perhaps it bears repeating that, contrary to legend, the Windies, were not suffering from hangovers induced by scheming hosts, but fell to superb bowling by Dougie and O'Riordan backed up by some brilliant catching. Basil Butcher, captaining the visitors, did not take the trouble of inspecting the wicket, and his men were caught on a seamers' paradise. This writer, hearing the news, teaching far away in the Scottish borders, could not believe it. Nor, it seems could Monteith, trapped in his Bangor workplace. Dougie's five included opening bat Steve Comacho and, then feeling his way into Test Cricket, a very tall young left hander called Clive Lloyd.

Dougie also had 5-37 in the second innings against the Combined Services at Beechgrove in 1970, the last time this match was played. His wickets included the visitors' best bat, Major Jack Deverell, a very good left hander, later to be a Major-General. Ireland won by an innings with some ease.

The North American tour of 1973, for which he was no longer captain, saw his final five wicket haul for Ireland. This tour is probably best remembered for Ivan Anderson's then record 198* v Canada, this rather dwarfing Dougie's 5-30 in the same match. He also had some good returns in the non cap matches on that tour. In two one day matches in Chicago, he had combined figures of 12-49, though Ireland's opponents in the second match, US Central Zone, just held out for a draw. Moving across the States to San Francisco, he had figures of 10 - 4 - 10 - 4, but again the hosts just held out.

One more bowling feat, again in a non cap match, should be recorded. This was against the International Cavaliers, a 40 over match at Ormeau in 1969. Dougie had 3-33 in 9 overs, removing the top three in the order. Starting with former Essex left hander Mike Bear, he then removed young West Indian hopeful Lawrence Rowe. Two years later Rowe scored 214 and 100* on his Test debut v New Zealand, and two years after that 302 against England. Dougie's third wicket that day was Saeed Ahmed once more. Not a bad afternoon's work. p>

As tailend batsman, he made several useful scores for Ireland, two of which were in his first season, 1965. Against New Zealand, on a gloomy morning at Ormeau, Ireland collapsed to 68-7 against the seam attack of Fred Cameron and Bruce Taylor. Then Dougie joined his captain Donald Pratt in a partnership of 55 to raise the score to semi respectability, before he fell to the slow left armer Brian Yulie. At the end of that season, against almost the full Hampshire attack, he made a brisk 23*, dominating a last wicket stand with Scott Huey and enabling Pratt to declare in a match which rain had reduced to two days.

Four years later, when captaining Ireland against Wilfred Isaac's XI at Rathmines, he came in to join Gerry Duffy at 168-8. They added 50 before the Leinster all rounder was out. Dougie then put on a futher 22 for the 10th wicket with Ossie Colhoun, before being out for 42, having seen his side to the relative safety of 240 all out.

Douglas Edward Goodwin is rightly featured in Siggins and Fitzgerald "Ireland's 100 Cricket Greats." His place in Irish Cricket History would be assured, even if "The Miracle of Sion Mills" had never happened.