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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Stuart Malcolm Taylor
  • Born 6 January 1972 Dublin
  • Educated Sandford Park School,Dublin
  • Occupation Financial Services
  • Debut 19 July 1991 v Duchess of Norfolk's XI at Arundel
  • Cap Number 582
  • Style Right hand batsman, slow left arm
  • Teams YMCA, Glamorgan 2nd XI

Stuart Taylor - usually known as Stu - was a very useful cricketer. His primary suit was as an orthodox slow left armer. He would not rank among the greatest spinners of the ball, but he had great control of length and direction, flighting the ball skilfully. He was also a more than useful batsman, generally in the lower middle order, but he did not look out of place when he moved further up for his club.

He first attracted wider notice in the summer of 1987 when he was in the Leinster side which took part in the U15 Interprovincial Tournament. This was won by the NCU side but Stu showed to good advantage in the victory over North West. Batting first Leinster had their work cut out to reach a moderate 129. However the North Westerners also found the going difficult succumbing for 97, with Stu having taken 3-14. The following year he was part of the South Leinster side in the Ulster Bank U19 competition. Against Ulster Country at Rathmines he bowled them into a winning position taking 3-11 as the visitors were dismissed for 103. However rain intervened before South Leinster could begin their reply. The following year against Munster in Cork the combination of speed and spin proved too much for the hosts as Stu (3-5) and Eddie Moore (3-24) bowled them out for a paltry 43 leading to a 10 wickets win.

By this time he was a senior cricketer with YMCA, had appeared for South Leinster at senior level and had played a two day non cap match for An Ireland XI against Mashonaland at Phoenix. He was thus, unsurprisingly, a member of the Irish Schools XI, making his debut against Wales at Malahide in the match which marked the Silver Jubilee of this fixture. Ireland led off with 24-8 declared, Moore playing a captain's innings of 34*. Then Stu turned on a performance to match the occasion. With figures of 31-8-89-5 he troubled all the batsmen including the future Glamorgan and Warwickshire batsman - to say nothing of Bermuda captain - David Hemp in his bag. Wales totalled 292 but the rains came with Ireland on 229-7.

The following year at Ynyswergerwyn he had 3-87 in the hosts first innings, including future Glamorgan keeper Adrian Shaw. This time, however, he was unable to defeat Hemp who made 120 as Wales piled up an impressive 367. They were eventually to win by 202 runs. Stu had 0-58 in the second innings and - tell it not in Claremont Road - recorded a pair with the bat. He was then to go wicketless against England Schools at Winchester. However, in a drawn match, he was impressed with the bat. Coming in at the fall of the 5th wicket, he topscored in each innings with 53 (138 minutes, 7 fours) and 38 as Ireland followed on. Batting 66 minutes and hitting 5 fours he had played an important role in avoiding defeat. He played again in 1991, the year of his solitary match for the full Ireland side. He was also a member of the Ireland U19 side but took only three wickets in the international tournament in the Oxford area.

Strangely he had already represented Ireland at U23 level doing so on the tour of Scotland in 1990 in a side which included eight current or future internationals. He bowled well throughout the tour taking at least three wickets in each innings he bowled in. His best performance came against West of Scotland at Greenock taking 5-42 in 28 overs as West made 182-9 declared. One of his wickets was that of Dominic d Rigby, later, of course, of Scotland and Clontarf. The tour ended with a match against Scotland U23 scheduled for three days. Rain prevented any play on the last two, but not before Stu had the creditworthy figures of 32-13-51-4. The following summer he played an Ireland U 21 side which included 7 Irish caps. He had 3-74 in a drawn match.

1991 Duchess of Norfolk's XI v Ireland: his debut innings for Ireland
Also in 1992 he had an extended trial with Glamorgan, playing in 2nd XI championship matches and also for Glamorgan Colts and Glamorgan Young Cricketers whom he captained in one match. For the 2nd XI, a side which included several of those whom he had played against in the Schools' matches, he appeared in 10 matches taking 11 wickets at 43.09. His best bowling came against Leicestershire 2nds when he was the county's best bowler with an analysis of 31-6-106-3, including the wicket of Darren Maddy later to open the batting for England. This was not, however, enough to stave off an innings defeat. He was not always so successful against future Test men, going wicketless against Yorkshire for whom a certain Michael Vaughan made 120. Stu's best performance in Glamorgan colours came for the Young Cricketers against Warwickshire Cricket Association U19s when he took 3-41 in a 65 runs win.

HIs long career with YMCA which was to last until 2007 began in 1988 and was to bring him 3014 runs with 4 fifties at an average of 15.07 and a highest score of 89 which came against CYM as late as 2004. Bowling he had 443 wickets at 22.88 including eleven "5 fors" and a best bowling of 7-31. He captained the side for three seasons 1997, 1998 and 2003.

Some of his most valuable performances came in Leinster Senior Cup Finals. Thus in 2001 he had figures of 12-3-23-3 as a 46 run victory was recorded over CYM. The following season he was Man of the Match in the Final against Merrion. YM batted first but were bowled out for 173 owing much to a solid 40 from their Karachi professional Shahid Iqbal. In reply Merrion made 114. Their last 4 wickets fell for 3 runs with Stu finishing with figures of 9.4-2-25-4.

His highest score, 89, came in the 50 over League against CYM in 2004. CYM had posted a useful 212-9 and soon had YM in trouble at 52-4. At this point Stu, who was enjoying something of a purple patch as a batsman that season, joined Alan Lewis. They added 125 for the 5th wicket before Alan was out for 66. Stu went on to his career best as YM got home by 2 wickets.

His best performance at Senior Interprovincial level had come in 1993 in the local derby against North Leinster at Castle Avenue. In a rain affected match SL made 172-5 off 34 overs to which the hosts had replied with 143-7 when rain intervened. Stu's figures were 10-1-45-4. The elements may well have prevented an even more impressive return. As we have already seen his one cap for Ireland came in July 1991, he went straight from the U 19 tournament at Oxford to play against the Duchess of Norfolk's XI at the attractive Arundel ground dominated by the old Norman Castle. Batting first in a one day - but unrestricted - match Ireland made 191-7 declared, Norfolk's XI replying with 183-8. Stu who had been out for 1 caught by John Barclay off the medium pace bowling of Roger Knight, whose varied career included a county captaincy, Headmastership and the position of MCC Secretary, came on first change and bowled well enough to finish with figures of 9-1-29-2. He claimed Knight's wicket, thanks to a catch by Stephen Smyth for 3. Knight was a good player who scored almost 20000 first class runs including 31 centuries. Stu's other wicket, that of middle order batsman J Martin, came thanks to a stumping by Keith Bailey. In this match Stu was more effective than fellow spinner Conor Hoey whose one wicket cost 83 runs from 15 overs.

Stuart Malcolm Taylor had done nothing wrong on his first appearance for Ireland but was to remain a "one cap wonder." It might be thought that, having performed in a far from disastrous manner, he was worth at least one more chance.