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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Peter Joseph Davy
  • Born 1 July 1974 Dublin
  • Educated Blackrock College, Dublin. University College, Dublin
  • Occupation Banker
  • Debut 13 May 1996 v Scotland Rathmines
  • Cap Number 600
  • Style Right hand bat
  • Teams Pembroke

Peter Davy, twin brother of left arm paceman John, was an upper order batsman of rare talent. On his day, possessed of boundless self-confidence, he had the range and power of stroke play to dominate and destroy the best attacks, though he sometimes became over ambitious, a flaw which, it has been said, could be - and was - exposed on the international scene.

He represented Ireland U19 against the Welsh Schools at Rathmines in 1993 without startling success, but in the same season was a member of the U21 side which played the Irish Universities in a two day match in College Park. Coming in at No 3 in the first innings he made an elegant 32 from 47 balls, four of which he hit to the boundary. He helped Johnny Byrne (114) add 75 for the second wicket, Byrne having already shared in a century opening stand with Gordon Cooke.

Two years later Peter was in the Universities' side against the U21 XI topscoring with 41 as the students found themselves reduced to 157 all out. When they batted again they faced a deficit 72 thanks to a brilliant hundred by the South African born future Ireland, Northants and Yorkshire wicket keeper/batsman Gerry Brophy, but with Peter again batting well to make 42, they reached a position of safety from which they almost pulled off a surprising victory.

However there is no doubt that his finest hour for the Universities' XI came against their Scottish counterparts in the British Universities tournament later the same summer. Neither Ireland nor Peter had done particularly up to this point but now, at Hayes Cricket club in the London area, he came in at No 3 to dominate the rest of the innings, scoring a brilliant 132*, enabling Ireland to post 258-6. Good bowling by Kyle McCallan (4-30) then put the issue beyond doubt, with Ireland winning by 132 runs.

The previous summer had seen him in the U21 side for its tour of the West of England. The Irish Cricket Annual commented "Davy is a very promising stroke maker and timer of the ball, but he needs to eliminate some of his more extravagant shots." He and Neil Carson both aggregated 118 runs in the 3 one-day matches played, Peter having a highest score of 65, which was only exceeded by Jason Molins' 69* an innings cut short by injury.

In 1995 Peter was one of the successes of the Ireland Development XI tour of England and The Netherlands, finishing 4th in the batting with 250 runs at 37.00. He and Molins both batted brilliantly against the Ducks CC at The Hague, Peter making 82 and Jason 72. The ICA report thought they should both have scored hundreds but with an Irish score of 312-7 and a 133 runs victory, few were complaining. Peter also made a half century against the sterner opposition of Sussex 2nd XI at Eastbourne, Gus Joyce topscored with 87, but Peter's run out for 53, was probably crucial as the match was lost by only 16 runs.

For Pembroke in Leinster Senior Cricket he scored 6263 runs at 26.555, with 7 centuries and 10 fifties. His best season was 1997 when he aggregated 734 runs at 45.88 with a highest score of 132, which remained his best for the club. Among a number of spectacular and dominating knocks, we might pick out his century against Leinster in the first round of the Senior Cup at Observatory Lane in 2001. Batting as low as No 6, he came in at 91/4, with the match in the balance and proceeded to take the hosts bowling apart. When the innings closed on 285/8, he was 128*, having scored 65.97% of the runs made while he was at the wicket. Pembroke went on to win by 93 runs.

His 7th and final hundred came in 2005, his last full season and is also worth recalling. Merrion, against whom he had scored 103 the previous year, were the opponents and put a decidedly useful 251 on the board. However Peter was in fine form from the start and finished in 106* as Pembroke cruised to a 9 wickets victory. He added an unbroken 166 for the second wicket with South African professional Alan Northcote, who contrived to play for Italy in the 2012 World Cup qualifiers. In general in Leinster cricket, Peter's dismissal was a cause for unconfined joy amongst the opposition, half a dozen overs of Peter in full flow could take a match far out of reach. He also had some useful innings in the Irish Senior Cup, twice making 81, though the second such score - against North Down in 2000, was in a losing cause.

In interprovincial matches, in which several changes of format saw him represent a variety of teams, he scored 823 runs at 28.37 with 2 hundreds and 2 fifties, his highest innings in the competition was a magnificent one. Opening the innings for South Leinster against the nearest neighbours at Phoenix in 1995, he saw a disaster unfold at the other end as Angus Dunlop went for 4, and Brian O'Rourke and Alan Lewis for ducks, the future TMS summariser being run out to compound the seeming catastrophe. Peter was then joined by Johnny Byrne and North Leinster had no further successes as Peter and Johnny took the score to 282 before the innings was closed, Byrne making exactly three figures and Peter, destroying the attack, finished with 159. The match was eventually won by 78 runs.

Peter's batting also set up a good win for Leinster against the North West at Malahide in 1999. Coming in at No 3 he was immediately in form and, helped by Barry Archer in a 3rd wicket stand of 113, and some good batting from Ed and Gus Joyce, saw Leinster post 261-6, having himself reached 106 before being caught off Richard McDaid. The visitors were 145-9 when their overs ran out.

For Ireland Peter scored exactly 1000 runs at 23.26 with 2 hundreds and 4 fifties. His tremendous ability suggests that he might have made more runs, being held back by the reasons already suggested. However it is also the fact that, early in his international career, he suffered from an inconsistent selection policy. Further, it was the very characteristic of exuberant stroke play that enabled him to play his best innings for Ireland.

Prime among these must be his superb 97 against the South African Academy side that toured Ireland and Scotland in 1999. Ireland drew their two first class matches and were 2-1 down in the one day games when the final one took place at Eglinton. Needing 259, Ireland made the worst possible start, losing Jason Molins without a run on the bard. Then Peter joined Archer and they took control of the game. In the words of the ICA they put on, "a superb 184 for the second wicket." Peter made a brilliant 97 from 112 balls with 11 fours and 4 sixes. He fell three short of his century, a victim, perhaps, of the "nervous 90s", giving a rather tame catch on the off side. Archer and Jonty Rhodes, Ireland's professional, soon followed him but some big hitting by Angus Dunlop saw them to a memorable victory.

The following month Ireland were at an almost empty Lord's facing a rather weak MCC side, who were bowled out for 177. Ireland replied with a century stand between Molins and Archer before Peter came in at 104-1 to take full advantage of the bowling. Facing 150 balls he hit - yet another - 132 with 9 fours and an Irish record 8 sixes. Ireland made 343/5 but MCC played out time with some ease.

Peter's other hundred came in the ill-fated ICC Trophy in Canada when Ireland, having crossed the Atlantic with expectations of World Cup qualification, finished in eighth place, though Peter was one of the few who had some reasons for overall satisfaction with 202 runs at 40.40. Ireland's last match was against Canada. Both teams already knew their respective fates, Ireland were doomed while their hosts had qualified. Chasing 218, Ireland lost their first wicket at 28 which brought Peter to the crease. He proceeded to bat as though it were a Saturday afternoon at Sydney Parade. Facing 119 balls, he hit 3 sixes and 9 fours in making 104, putting on a match winning 138 for the 3rd wicket with the stylish Ed Joyce. Thanks to them Ireland ended a disastrous tournament on a high note.

Peter Joseph Davy did not play for Ireland after 2002, his last season being far from successful. It is easy to criticise him for what some saw as over ambitious stroke play but it is best to remember him as a wonderful striker and timer of the ball who could light up a whole day by the glory of his stroke play.

He is featured in Siggins and Fitzgerald Ireland's 100 Cricket Greats.