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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
William Jordan McGonigle
  • Born28 October 1981 Londonderry
  • Educated Strabane Grammar School
  • Occupation Hospital Sterilisation and Decontamination Unit worker also Joint Landlord of public house
  • Debut 14 August 2001 v Wales at Horsham
  • Cap Number 635
  • Style Left hand batsman, slow right arm bowler
  • Teams Donemana, Ireland U15, Ireland U17, Ireland U19, North West

Jordy McGonigle is a long serving and much valued cricketer. An orthodox slow left armer of nagging length and accuracy, he is also a far from negligible batsman. Though he is, these days, usually to be found in the lower batting order he has, in his time, occupied - with success, most positions, rivalling perhaps another left armer - of somewhat earlier days - the great Wilfred Rhodes who batted everywhere from 1 to 11 in a Test career which spanned thirty years.

A member of yet another of the North West's cricket families, Jordy first attracted wider notice as a member of the North West side in the U13 Interprovincial held in Cork in August 1994. They were heavily defeated by Leinster and narrowly by NCU but overcame the hosts by 65 runs with Jordy playing a prominent part. He began by making 31, top score in the NW innings then, weaving a web of destruction around the Munster batting, took 4-7 as the NW bowled their opponents out for 50 to record victory by 50 runs.

The following year saw him selected for Ireland U15 against Wales for 2 matches in Dublin. By 1996 he was the captain, leading the side in two matches in South Wales, one against an XI of 16 year olds, before the game against Wales U15. In the former match, at Swansea, Jordy with an undefeated 22 and Jonathan Thompson, his Donemana team-mate, rescued the side after a poor start. The 2-day International also found Ireland trailing and needing the batting of John Mooney and Niall O'Brien to ensure their safety.

In 1999 he was a member of the Ireland U17 team, led by Mooney, which took part in the European Championships at Deventer in the Netherlands. Ireland, unfortunately, lost to both Scotland and the Netherlands despite some testing and very economical bowling from Jordy. However the match against Denmark was won largely thanks to a hundred and four wickets from the captain. Jordy had helped keep the Danish batting in check with a highly valuable spell of 9-6-3-0.

His performances during the season gained him a place in Ireland's U19 World Cup squad for the tournament in Sri Lanka in January 2000, captained by Peter Shields . Jordy played in two matches having figures of 2-64 from his 10 overs against Australia, when his first wicket was that of a slimly built, fair haired batsman and was recorded, prophetically, by team manager Ian Johnston in the Irish Cricket Annual, "Jordan McGonigle will remember his first wicket that of the Australian captain Michael Clarke... one to watch for."

In the summer Jordy was in the U19 team for the European Championships held at Oundle School in the English East Midlands. Led again by Mooney, Ireland won all 3 matches, Jordy playing a key role in two of them. Against Denmark, Ireland posted a by no means impregnable 214 and saw the Danes reach 48-0 before Jordy struck. He removed numbers 2, 3 and 4 in the order which, with one more falling, reduced them to 78-4 from which they never recovered, being all out for 132, Jordy finishing with figures of 10-4-26-5. He also got among the top order against Scotland taking 2-20 from his 10 overs. Scotland, all out for 173, lost by 4 wickets.

Jordy has always been loyal to Donemana, never a peripatetic cricketer as so many in the North West have. From his long career it is only possible to pick out "snapshots" here to show his value to the Club which he captained for four seasons from 2003, winning the League twice and Senior Cup once.

The 1999 season saw his first really significant contribution at this level in the Cup Quarter Final against North Fermanagh who restricted Donemana to 160, a most gettable score. However they could only mamage157-9 partly because, as Billy Platt has recorded, "Young J McGonigle bowled well for Donemana with 4 for 27." The previous year he had taken 2-3 in an extraordinary match against Coleraine who collapsed for 26 to lose by 10 wickets.

Over the years at The Holm he has formed an often devastating left arm spin combination with Junior McBrine. Thus in the League against Coleraine in 2011, after Donemana had struggled to 148/9, Jordy with figures of 6.3-1-18-4 and Junior (3-18) bowled Coleraine out. They were at it again in the Cup Semi Final against Bready at Magheramason the following year, Jordy played a key role dismissing the home side for 148, taking 4-30 and Junior 3-26. The off spin of Junior's son Andy accounted for the rest.

The shortest form of the game has often surprised critics and spectators by being a fertile ground for slow bowlers. Jordy has been no exception to this playing, for example a vital part in the defeat of Bready in the Fleming-Agri T20 Cup in 2014. Donemana had been restricted to 112-6, hardly enough in this instant cricket, but Bready were then tumbled out for 34, Jordy's figures being 2.4-1-6-4.

As mentioned he is also a very useful batsman, sometimes more than that. In a First Round Cup tie against Limavady in 2006, he proved the point with an innings of 74 as Donemana reached 202-9 before going on to win by 24 runs. He has, of course, also turned in some fine all round performances - witness, for example, his contribution to an Ulster Cup First Round win over Lisburn in 2015. Donemana batted first and were in trouble at 132-8 when Jordy joined Ricky-Lee Dougherty. They took the score to 189 before the overs ran out, Dougherty finishing on 54 and Jordy on 22. He then had figures of 6-3-5-2.combining with Andy McBrine (3-19) to bowl the Wallace Park side out for 62.

At the time of writing he has taken 37 wickets in the Irish Senior Cup at 25.49. Among several good performances we may pick out two against the Dublin club CYM, now, of course, Terenure. In a Second Round match at The Holm in 2008, the visitors were bowled out for 143 with Jordy taking 3-16 in 4.1 overs. Donemana reached their target with 5 wickets standing. Jordy had also helped in a massive victory five years earlier when the Dubliners were again the visitors. Facing a commanding score of 338-6, they lost by 243 runs, Jordy having 2-13 in 5 overs.

He played 13 Interprovincials for the North West between 1999 and 2004 taking 9 wickets at 25.22. His best figures came against the Southern XI at Beechgrove in 2004. In a tight match which the North West won by 8 runs, having owed much to the batting of Peter Gillespie that they were able to post a reasonable total, Jordy with 2-15 in 4 overs and a catch, made a useful contribution to the victory.

He played three matches for Ireland Development XI in the 2001 European Championships, a rain affected tournament in which Ireland lost two of their three matches. Ironically his best performance came in a somewhat farcical game against the Netherlands, reduced to a "slogathon" of 10 overs a side. The Dutch raced to 103-6 with Jordy taking 2-23 in 2 overs. Ireland fell 2 runs short of their target with 5 wickets still standing. Jordy played 9 times for Ireland in 2001 and 2002, making his debut against Wales in the Triple Crown tournament at the attractive Horsham ground in Sussex.

He bowled well in this match, having figures of 10-1-17-2, deceiving the game's top scored Andrew Jones in flight to have him caught at cover for 45. Jones who played regularly for Wales Minor Counties and in List A matches for Glamorgan is the son of the Glamorgan opener Alan Jones who was denied a Test cap for his appearance against the Rest of the World XI in 1970. Back at Horsham, Wales went on to a narrow 10 wickets win. Jordy's best bowling for Ireland came in another losing cause in the same tournament against Scotland, who won by 8 wickets at East Grinstead. The defeat could hardly be laid at Jordy's door as his figures of 10-2-22-3 testify.

His final match for Ireland came against MCC at the Mardyke in August 2002. A rain affected match saw both sides forfeit an innings before Ireland won by 5 wickets, thanks to a splendid 111 by Niall O'Brien. Jordy had 2-37, Ireland's best figures that day.