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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
John Oliver Davy
  • Born 1 July 1974 Dublin
  • Educated Blackrock College, Dublin. University College, Dublin
  • Occupation Financial Services
  • Debut 22 July 1997 v Scotland at West Bromwich Dartmouth Cc, Birmingham
  • Cap Number 607
  • Style Right hand bat, left arm fast medium
  • Teams Pembroke

John Davy, twin brother of Peter, was a good left arm fast medium bowler who could swing the ball disconcertingly. Though always batting low in the order for Ireland, he was a far from negligible batsman, a hard hitter, who had enough success at club level to be regarded as a bowling all-rounder, besides having taken part in Ireland's record 10th wicket stand.

It was, in fact, as a batsman that he achieved some success for the Irish Universities whom he captained in the BUSF tournament in 1996. Thus against the Scots at Durham, he came in at No 7 to make a powerful 33, which was the second top score. He then completed a good day's work with 2-23 to enable the Irish to win by 65 runs. Then against the English Universities Midlands, he again second topscored with 33 from 44 balls including 2 fours and a six. Otherwise only Ronan O'Reilly (55) made much headway as their team was bowled out for 183 and lost by 7 wickets.

His best cricket was, of course, played for Pembroke, only his decision to emigrate to England when in his prime as a paceman, preventing him from being numbered among Sydney Parade's all-time greats.

A look at four matches in Leinster senior cricket shows how much he was later missed. In the Senior Cup Final of 1996 against The Hills he bowled tightly and with success to return figures of 12-1-28-3 as the opposition posted a score of 200-9. John then topscored with 27 but, despite his efforts, the match was lost by 60 runs. However the following season the result was reversed with Pembroke victorious by 71 runs. They had also made 200-9 with Peter making 45 before John took the lead in bowling the Milverton side out for 129, his figures being 4-39.

The 1998 season saw a good all round performance in a closely fought League match with Rush late in the season. Pembroke, winning the toss, reached 259-7, owing much to a strong arm 63 from John who then took 4-76 to see Rush dismissed for 259, thus giving victory to the Sydney Paraders by virtue of having lost fewer wickets. John with figures of 4-76 had played a leading role in ensuring the result. Lastly we come to the Cup Final of 1999, John having made certain of Pembroke's presence there by a Man of the Match 48 in the local derby Semi Final against Railway Union.

The Hills again provided the opposition for the silverware and must have felt pleased to restrict Pembroke to 150-8. However John then produced his season's best bowling to take 3-19 bringing about a 27 runs victory.

He was also seen to good advantage on several occasions in the Irish Senior Cup. In a third round match against Bready in 1993, when he was still a teenager, he took 5-18 as Bready were dismissed for a gettable 168, a score they would never have reached without a stalwart half century from George McConnell, but five wickets from Andy Doherty saw John's good work come to nothing as Pembroke fell 20 runs short of their target. He again bowled well in an ultimately losing cause against Ballymena in 1998. Thanks to a stylish 70* from David Kennedy the Co Antrim side put 176-8 on the board with all the batsmen worried by John who finished with 3-32. Agonisingly the Dubliners fell one run short though they had only lost 6 wickets.

John also met with success at interprovincial level, though as he played while the competition went through several changes of format, he appeared for a variety of sides. In 1997 for the Development XI against NCU at Greenisland, he was the key bowler in a 19 runs victory. The "Youngsters" had been restricted to 167-9 from their 50 overs but thanks to John the hosts were unable to mount a winning reply. Well supported by Gary Neely, who had 2 wickets, John returned an analysis of 10-1-26-3, rivalling the return of Ryan Eagleson for NCU who had taken 3-31. NCU were dismissed for 150. The 1998 season saw John in the South of Ireland side (i.e. South Leinster and Munster) take a leading part in destroying the Development XI at Malahide. He had figures of 8-3-18-3, his wickets being those of Paul Mooney, Conor Armstrong and - sweetest of all perhaps - brother Peter for 2. The Development XI were rolled over for 72, a score which Southern openers Jason Molins and Ted Williamson knocked off in 7.2 overs. Finally mention may be made of his 3-14 against Munster for Leinster in 2000. Including as it did the wicket of Williamson, this spell saw Munster out for 114 making them the losers by 98 runs.

In his 26 matches for Ireland he took 33 wickets at 34.85. His best performance came in only his second match against Wales at Mosley in the Triple Crown Tournament of July 1997, held in the English Midlands. The match was ruined by rain which forced a bowl out enabling Ireland to win and avoid the wooden spoon. The elements intervention was unfortunate as thanks to fine bowling by John, after Wales had won the toss, Ireland were in a strong position. In a rain interrupted innings Wales were 186-9 when no further play was possible. In two spells, well supported by the wicketless but accurate Paul McCrum. John, who worried all the batsmen he bowled to, finished with figures of 8-2-16-4. Rain prevented him adding a fifth and also the prospect of an Irish victory. He had also bowled well the previous day against England ECB XI at Stourbridge, a day of tremendous heat remembered by this writer - if a slight digression is allowed - for a misadventure featuring a wasp and an ice cream, rather than for John's bowling. However John was hostile and accurate as was the wasp - having figures of 8.2-1-21-3, a very satisfactory debut. Unfortunately the Irish batsmen, after a good start fell too far behind the asking rate.

Perhaps, however, he will be most remembered for his batting rather than his bowling as against Scotland at Malahide in 1997, he took part in Ireland's record 10th wicket partnership. Ireland, having been put in on a wicket drying out under hot sunshine, were 170-9 when John, not long at the wicket was joined by Paul McCrum, surely one of the better No 11s to have batted "one above the roller." Together they added exactly 100 before the declaration came. They faced 33 overs in 107 minutes. Paul was on 44 while John made 51 from 113 balls, hitting 7 fours and revealing his capacity to hit powerfully. Eventually the match was drawn with the visitors on 247-9 having been set 274.

John Oliver Davy did not play for Ireland after April 2000. This was because of his self-imposed exile rather than selectoral decision. It must be as source of regret that this fine cricketer was not seen for longer on the club, interprovincial and international circuits.