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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
John Victor Thomas Power
  • Born 17 July 1971 Cork
  • Educated CBC Cork
  • Occupation Official in Anglo Irish Bank
  • Debut 25 June 1994 v MCC at Castle Avenue
  • Cap Number 594
  • Style Left hand bat, left arm medium pace
  • Teams Cork County, Munster Reds

John Power, the first Munster cricketer - apart from Belvedere educated John McDevitt, to represent Ireland since the early days of Jack Short's career, was a good left arm medium pacer, usually very effective at club level. As a batsman, having started very much a tail ender, he developed into a reliable lower middle order player and - indeed- had some success as an opener for Munster Reds in the Leinster Senior League.

He was probably seen at his best in Munster Cup and League matches where he often proved a formidable opponent for other teams. Between 1991 and 1994, for example, he took 140 wickets in these competitions at an average of around 10, with a best bowling of 8-10 achieved in 1992. He had several useful performances in the Cup Final. Against Church of Ireland in 1993 he was economical but not very penetrative with the ball, taking 1-18 in his 12 overs. Church of Ireland posted a useful 154-6 and seemed on their way to glory when the favourites were reduced to 25-4. Then in the words of Frank Lynch in The Irish Cricket Annual , "Skipper Peter Dineen and John Power rescued them from a perilous position." John made 42 as County won by 4 wickets, Dineen topscoring with 47. A bag of 4-17 helped County to the Cup in 1995 with John bowling with both hostility and economy playing a major role in 106 run victory over Harlequins. He was again prominent in the following year's Final when Waterford Vikings were crushed by 188 runs, taking 5-25 in their innings of 71.

He was a member of the Munster interprovincial side for some ten years, but in company with many of his team-mates often found the going hard. He had, however, two memorable matches in 1994 to go with several useful ones in which he took two or three wickets. Against Ulster Town at The Hills, he had his best bowling in the Tournament 6-41 to dismiss Ulster Town for 166. Unfortunately for the Munster men, the wicket was also to Paul McCrum's liking, his 8-32 winning the match for the Northerners. Against Ulster Country at The Mardyke in 1994, he had figures of 27 - 11 - 76 - 5, including Neil Doak and Shane Harrison in his haul. His figures suffered, as those of the other Munster bowlers from a remarkable innings by Derek Heasley who coming in at 7, rescued the visitors from impending disaster, with a brilliant - and typical - 100. Eventually Munster just held out for a draw.

John Power (right) with Graham Gooch

John also had several good performances for Munster Reds in their first years in the Leinster Senior League. Two victories over Old Belvedere at Cabra in successive years are cases in point. In 2002 his 3-31 was largely responsible for seeing the north Dubliners bowled out for 132. The visitors experienced a few qualms when they batted but won by three wickets. The following year, John and a run out reduced OB to 25-3, before a recovery, of sorts, was staged. However the Reds still won by 9 wickets in one of their most memorable victories. John's previously rather undervalued batting began to emerge that year also as he a regular opening partner for Ted Williamson. Having scored 25 against The Hills at The Vineyard, he had an excellent all round away match against Rush. Batting first the visitors made 240-7 off their 55 overs, with John hitting 42. They then bowled their hosts out for 197, John taking 3-63 including the crucial wicket of Naseer Shoukat. His most economical performance of the campaign also brought victory. Against Phoenix at The Mardyke, Reds were restricted to 200-8.a very gettable target. However the visitors went down by 14 runs with John having the noteworthy figures of 10 - 4 - 17 - 3.

However possibly the most valued wicket of his career had been taken in an end of season friendly, some years previously. In 1994, as part of the celebrations of Essex and England batsman John Stephenson's wedding, Graham Gooch had brought the Essex side, with a few guest players to The Mardyke. The star attraction failed as did the bridegroom, both falling in successive balls to John's fellow paceman John McDevitt. John Power had two wickets, one being James Whittaker, like Stephenson a "one cap wonder" at Test level. He was, however, a very good county player, and had made an excellent hundred when John had him stumped. The match had been organised by Pat Dineen as was a rematch the following year, this time styled PJ Dineen's XI v GA Gooch's XI. The master batsman failed again, this time John finding his outside edge before he was set.

His sole appearance for Ireland had come against MCC at Castle Avenue in June 1994. MCC had led off with 331-8. John having the figures of 33 - 3 - 95 - 1. After MCC lost early wickets, they settled with an aggressive partnership between the Oxford Blue and Warwickshire batsman David Thorne and former Essex player Michael McEvoy. All the Irish bowlers suffered, with John's first 5 overs costing 39 runs. However he returned to bowl a maiden before lunch, having the ill luck to see McEvoy missed twice by the wicket keeper, a stumping and a catch both going astray. He bowled a further 11 overs in this spell, conceding only 24 runs. His solitary wicket was that of former Hampshire wicket keeper Bobby Parks caught at mid on off a skier. In the second innings John had Thorne caught at long on as MCC chased runs. The visitors were to emerge victorious, their first victory over Ireland for 20 years.