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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Dominick Ignatius Joyce
  • Born 14 June 1981, Dublin
  • Educated Presentation College, Bray; Dublin University
  • Occupation Fund Accountant
  • Debut 21 July 2000 Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow
  • Cap Number 630
  • Style Right-hand bat, right arm medium pace
  • Teams Merrion, Dublin University, Leinster, South, Leinster Lightnings

Dom Joyce, a member of a septet of siblings whose combined achievements in Irish Cricket and beyond can only be rivalled by the Harrisons of Waringstown, is an outstanding cricketer. An elegant upper order batsman, who usually opens the innings, he has a wide range of shots, at his best, perhaps, when driving on the front foot, but is also a fine hooker and cutter. He is also a very useful medium pacer, who swings the ball into the batsman. His bowling has been more used in recent seasons. Like his elder brothers he was educated at Presentation Brothers College, Bray - not a cricket playing school - but excelled for Merrion's School and other youth sides, benefiting from the coaching of the evergreen Gerry Duffy, in exile from a lifetime at Observatory Lane.

He made his senior debut for Merrion in 1996, the season in which he was also prominent for the first time in representative cricket, playing for Leinster in the U15 Interprovincial Championship .He was one of the main reasons for their tournament success, the Irish Cricket Annual recording, "Dominick Joyce, following in the footsteps of his elder brothers, played three fluent innings. His 36* against Munster guided his side to a 10 wickets victory, while he also made a sound 35 at the top of the order as Leinster posted a match winning 215 against the NCU. These performances gained him selection for the Ireland U15 team's one day and two day matches v Wales, but he did not achieve great success in these matches.

He played for Ireland U19 both in the 1999 European Championship and in the World Cup in Sri Lanka the following winter. He topscored with 26 when Ireland suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of a strong England side at Greenisland, the visitors including Matt Prior at No 3, though he was not the wicket keeper, and Ricky Ponting's run out nemesis Gary Pratt. Dom had two good knocks in the World Cup, a top score 43 against Namibia, falling to off spinner Wilbur Slammer, these runs helping Ireland gain a tie under Duckworth Lewis rules.

In a victory over The Netherlands in the Plate competition, he made a highly praised 59 off 101 balls with 5 fours. He was eventually dismissed bowled by medium pacer Frank Nijman, but had helped Ireland to what proved to be a match winning total. Another worthwhile score had come against Australia when he made 22 before being caught off Michael Clarke's slow left arm; Clarke was having an early experience of captaincy in the tournament. The Australian side also include Nathan Hauritz, the now seemingly forgotten off spinner, and Mitchell Johnson, who, the scorecard suggests, was even then finding some difficulties with his bowling radar.

Dom has now scored over 7000 runs in Leinster Senior and Irish Senior Cup cricket. While the bulk of his runs have, of course, been made for Merrion, his contributions for Dublin University in his seasons there should not be forgotten, His highest score for the University came against YMCA at College Park in 2003. He came in at 46-1 after the hosts had won the toss and proceeded to add 165 for the 2nd wicket with Carl Hosford. Carl eventually fell for 93 but Dom, showing his class, went on to reach a fine 135. After posting 322-5, the University recorded a victory by 174 runs.

That season Dom had already hit an undefeated 101 against Queen's University at the same venue in the Irish Universities Championships, a memorable knock containing 13 fours and 2 sixes. Two years later, he was to show his whole range of shots in a T20 match against Old Belvedere at Rathmines, his 105 including 9 fours and 7 sixes. While at University also shone for Ireland in the British Universities competition played on grounds in Dublin in 2000, being chosen as Player of the Tournament. Batting at 3 against the Welsh in College Park, he hit a brilliant 114 off 116 balls with 13 fours, a strike rate of 98.28. This led to Ireland posting an impressive 297-6, before dismissing the visitors for 142. Then at Cabra against English Universities, he topscored again, though in a more sedate fashion, 51 off 108 balls with 5 fours. Again this was enough to put a winning total on the board. Finally against the Scottish Universities at Claremont Road, he saw Ireland to a 3 wicket win in a low scoring match. Dom with a stylish 81*, 118 balls 8 fours, was the only batsman really to get on top of the bowling in the match.

However his best form, with bat and ball, has undoubtedly been in his long career for Merrion. His consistency has resulted in his being the second fastest Merrion batsman to reach 3000 runs in Leinster cricket. Pride of place among his innings for the Anglesea Road side would, of course, go to his 197 in the penultimate League match of 2005. Though he had been in good form for Ireland that summer, he had not been a heavy scorer for the Club in Leinster competitive matches. Now, putting on 193 for the first wicket with Kade Beasley (76) he made the second highest score ever for Merrion in a competitive match. After the innings had closed at 350-3, he then took 4-17 to round off a good day's work. The season also saw an outstanding innings in the Irish Senior Cup with Pembroke again on the receiving end. Batting at 4, his 127 enabled Merrion to post a winning total. He has twice been dismissed for 103.

Against The Hills at Milverton in 2001 he put on 128 for the second wicket with Chris Torrisi (67), before being caught off Matt Dwyer. Merrion 228-6 went on to win by 31 runs. Eight years later, against Leinster at Anglesea Road he made an elegant 103 before being run out, having put on 170 for the second wicket with Ben Ackland. He hit two half centuries before the season ended, the higher 72, being once more against Pembroke. Notable Irish Senior Cup performances included a tight spell of bowling against Old Belvedere in 2005 when his analysis of 8-4-7-4 did much to set up a 10 wicket victory, and a top class all round showing in the 2010 Quarter Final against North County when he followed an 84 balls 65* with 3-56, having much to do with an eventual 5 runs victory. Perhaps his most significant innings ever in that competition came in the same year's final against Railway Union at Balrothery. In uncertain weather, Railway stormed to 317-3 with Kevin O'Brien and Trent Johnston in fine form. Ben Ackland went early but then Dom and professional Greg Clarence matched shot for shot and were well ahead of the Duckworth Lewis target when the light became too bad to continue. Greg finished on 80, Dom, 79 balls 14 fours, was on 72.

The 2011 season saw not only another century but also a fine bowling performance. The latter came in the Cup First Round Match, against Pembroke, this time at Sydney Parade. He took 7-66 in his 12 overs as Pembroke scored freely to reach 281. Despite Dom's best bowling figures, the hosts seemed on their way to the Second Round when they reduced their visitors to 120-7. However Damien Poder and Matt Petrie added 150 for the 8th and eventually Merrion got home by one wicket. A week later the two sides met again in the League at Anglesea Road. Merrion totalled a winning 295-7, Dom anchoring the upper order with a 116 balls 105 with 13 fours. He shared in three worthwhile stands, 111 for the second with John Anderson being the most productive. Dom captained Merrion in 2007 and 2008. No trophies were won at senior level but he does remain one of the Club's more successful captains.

He also led them again in 2013 and 2014 as well as in 2016 when, though his side was relegated in the Leinster Senior League, he had the pleasure of lifting the Bob Kerr ISC after Merrion had reversed the result of the previous year's Final by defeating Waringstown. At the end of 2016 he stood third in the list of all time run scorers in the competition, with only John Anderson and Conor Armstrong ahead of him. His best performance for Merrion that season, however, came in the League against North County even though the Fingal men were victorious. They batted first and notched a commanding 280-7 with Dom taking 4-60. Then coming in at 4, he batted superbly to score 114 from 115 balls, hitting 14 fours and 1 six. He was eighth out at 233 but his Herculean efforts could not prevent a 51 runs defeat.

Interprovincial cricket was in rather a state of flux when Dom appeared for both Leinster and the South in the early years of the decade. His performances may be described as useful rather than outstanding with a highest score of 49* against NCU at Stormont in 2004. He had also taken 2-5 at the end of a disappointing innings from the hosts, so had played a major part in the visitors' 7 wicket victory.

In 2015 and 2016 he appeared in all three formats of the current competition. His best innings came in a 50 over match against North West Warriors at Rathmines in June in the former year. The visitors batted first but were dismissed for 211, despite an aggressive 62 from Gary McClintock. Dom then came in at after Kenny Carroll had fallen cheaply and, facing 71 balls made 86 hitting 12 fours and 2 sixes. He put on 59 for the second with Anderson and 116 for the third with Andrew Poynter (61). That month also saw his highest T20 score 31 against the Warriors at Eglinton.

His best knock in the 3 day championship came in May, at Stormont 2016. He had made his highest 3 day score, making 71 against Northern Knights as the visitors reached 306-3 before declaring. Opening the batting he put on 66 for the first wicket with Sean Terry and 107 for the second with Anderson. he faced 165 balls, batting for 190 minutes.

In 2001 he appeared in 2nd XI cricket in England. Championship matches for Middlesex and Somerset brought little success but playing for the "Cider County" in the 50 over Minor Counties Trophy, he met with some success, his best innings being 33 against Gloucestershire, whose future 1st XI captain Alec Gidman took his wicket.

Dom played 66 matches for Ireland aggregating 1518 runs at 23.00, with a highest score of 67. While these figures stand up well against his contemporaries and others, the fact that while he passed 50 on 11 occasions, he never reached three figures has caused some discussion. Adi Birrell, coach for much of Dom's Irish career, thought his style of play best suited to hard true wickets. However one of his best matches for Ireland came on an Aberdeen green top against Scotland in an Intercontinental Cup match in 2005, by far his best season in Irish colours. Ireland, put in, were 1-2 when Dom came in and battled his way to 31 off 89 balls in a 2 hour stay. Behind on the first innings, Ireland owed much to Dom's second innings 61, made in 136 minutes off 129 balls with 6 fours. They eventually squeezed home by 3 runs.

All told that season, easily his best for Ireland, Dom made 546 runs at 34.12 with 6 fifties. Apart from that against Scotland, one other half century will be remembered as memorable and vital. This was against Denmark in the ICC Trophy match at Upritchard Park, where he had already made a fifty in less taxing circumstances v MCC. Now he came into the side as a late replacement for the injured Eoin Morgan and, batting as low as No 8, arrived at the wicket at 151-6. He proceeded to take charge, racing to 50 from 37 balls 7 fours and 1 six. It gained him the Man of the Match award and ensured Ireland qualified for the 2007 World Cup.

Other good innings that year came in Intercontinental Cup Matches with the Netherlands, UAE and Kenya; the last mentioned being, perhaps, the most important. A brave first innings declaration by Trent Johnston when Ireland were 88 behind, led to Kenya collapsing in face of the off spin of Kyle McCallan and Andrew White, Ireland thus needed 245 in 79 overs. Opening with Jeremy Bray, Dom, who had failed in the first innings, showed the way, getting the innings off to a positive start, before he was bowled by Steve Tikolo, having made 48 with 8 fours off 61 balls, having put on 83 for the first wicket.

In Autumn 2016 Dominick Ignatius Joyce announced his retirement from representative cricket, saying that the time was right for such a move. Even though he was not always consistent for Ireland and he did not follow his brother in breaking through into English county cricket, his all round performances at all levels of the Game - and the promise of what is still to come for Merrion - will ensure that, in company with his illustrious siblings, he will always retain a high place in the annals of Irish cricket.

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

I am indebted to Alan Little and Danny Parkinson Merrion. A History of the Cricket Club. 1892-2010.