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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Brian J Gilmore
  • Born 29 April 1960 Dublin
  • Educated Chanel College, Dublin; Dublin University
  • Occupation Bank Official, Cricket Development Officer, Teacher
  • Debut 13 August 1993 v Duchess of Norfolk's XI at Arundel Castle, Sussex
  • Cap Number 589
  • Style Right hand bat, right arm off spin
  • Teams Malahide, Dublin University

Brian Gilmore was a very good upper order batsman, generally to be found opening the innings. Possessed of a sound defence, he had an attractive range of shots when set and was also a highly capable off spinner. He was a consistent and heavy scorer for Malahide for almost 20 seasons, that timescale also including a brief sojourn with Dublin University, when - seeking a career change - he studied for a Higher Diploma in Education. He also scored over 1000 runs in Interprovincial cricket, but, to the surprise of many, was awarded only one Irish cap.

His Malahide career began in 1975, the same season in which he made the first of his three appearances for the Irish Schools XI against Wales. Though he was captain in his last two matches, leading a side which included players of the calibre of Stephen Warke and Garfield Harrison, his debut match was easily his best with the bat. Having been out for 3 in the first innings, he shared a remarkable partnership with Michael Brown of Campbell College in the second, which almost brought Ireland an unlikely victory. Chasing 202 for victory Ireland were 71-5 when Michael and Brian came together. They added 119 for the 6th wicket and, though they eventually fell behind the clock, the match was saved long before Brian was out for a well made 44. In the next two matches, he achieved little with the bat, but his leadership was highly praised.

He was seen to advantage in the U 19 Interprovincial Esso Cup. Thus in 1978 he shone, though the sun did not, in a rain affected draw at Downpatrick. Opening the innings, he dominated the North Leinster score of 216, hitting a superb 121. However rain intervened when the Ulster Country score stood at 26-0. He was also in good from, this time as an all rounder, later in the season when Ulster Town gained a narrow two wicket victory at Rush. After scoring 78 out of the hosts 176-9, he had 4-18 as the Northerners scrambled home.

The following year he led a strong Ireland U 19 side to the International Youth Tournament in Bermuda. Ireland reached the final, before going down to the host nation by three wickets. The 1980 Irish Cricket Union Year Book reported that, "A particular tribute was paid to skipper Brian Gilmore for his leadership and tactics and a general one to the quite remarkable spirit of the touring squad as a whole."Team spirit surely developed from his stewardship. Though he had the misfortune in one match to pull a ball into his mouth, he had a good tournament personally, with useful innings against the Netherlands and - in the final - Bermuda, besides bowling with great economy, his best figures being 3-20 in the Netherlands match.

These performances and his early successes for Malahide gained him selection for the Irish side to tour India in 1979. Unfortunately the tour was called off and Brian had to wait many years for a return to Irish colours.

In Leinster Senior Cricket, his 19 year career, saw him score 12939 runs, almost all of which were for Malahide with 12 hundreds - highest 145 - and 74 fifties. His consistency was spread over a long period. Thus, for example, in 1984, he scored 798 runs, then a Malahide record, at 61.38 with two centuries, the higher of which was 112* v YMCA. Ironically, it was YM who provided the only home grown player to surpass his aggregate and average, Alan Lewis who amassed 1009 runs at 77.61 and, for good measure, carried off the Samuels (all rounder) Cup in addition to the Marchant! Incidentally Brian's off spin also qualified him for consideration for the Samuels. That summer also saw Malahide reach the quarter finals of the Irish Senior Cup, then under Schweppes sponsorship. Brian did enough to have won most matches. His 130 enabled his side to post a total of 268. He then took four wickets to reduce opponents North Down to 202-8. However Malahide had reckoned without a certain Mr Lamba who struck a magnificent 166* to see his side to victory. Brian's consistency was always to be relied on. Well into the 1990s, he was still among the leading batsmen, aggregating, for example 672 runs at 42 in 1993 and, again, being pipped at the post by Lewis for the Marchant the following season.

In Interprovincial cricket he hit 1267 runs at 26.39 with two hundreds. His highest - 110 against Munster at The Mardyke - came in 1995 as North Leinster scored 228, preparing the way for Matt Dwyer to bowl them to a convincing victory. His other hundred had come three years earlier against Ulster Town, who had posted a useful 236/8. However the result was never in doubt as Brian took command with 108* to bring about an 8 wickets victory. Amongst a clutch of other notable performances, one high quality all round feat stands out. In his fine season of 1984, North Leinster were away at Fox Lodge against North West. He topscored in the visitors' 199-6, then took 3-46 including key dangerman Tommy Harpur, but was unable to prevent a home win by 4 wickets.

His one match for Ireland came against the Duchess of Norfolk's XI at the picture postcard Arundel ground nestling underneath the famous castle. In a one day - but not limited overs match - the hosts scored 202-4 declared. Opening with Michael Rea in Ireland's reply, Brian made 20 out of a first wicket stand of 46 before being leg before to Simon Weale an Oxford blue and slow left armer whose 15 first class wickets - an indication of the weakness of Oxford cricket at the time - cost 97.26. Ireland finished on 173-7. Brian's single appearance must be seen as inconclusive.

He returned to Malahide where he played until 2003 and still has a key role in the club. As Gerard Siggins commented to this writer, "He is an excellent youth coach. He runs the show at Malahide where some excellent youth talent is coming on."

Why did Brian Gilmore gain only a solitary Irish cap? He was unlucky to miss the Indian tour and to have experienced a - for him - comparatively lean season in 1985 when he seemed assured of selection. Some thought his technique would let him down at the highest level, though his batting showed scant sign of such flaws. He must be ranked with cricketers such as Sion Mills all rounder Ray Moan as being among the unluckiest of those to remain "One Cap Wonders."