said, now that they had made an entree into Leinster cricket, Civil Service
made themselves at home straight away, playing at least one match a week
throughout the summer. They began to win matches too, their first victory
coming on 13th June against the Fourth Huzzars, and one J.Doran scored
the Club's first fifty. with 62 against Merrion on June 18th, 1864.
Doran was easily the club's best player in their
opening couple of seasons, with nine wickets in two matches at the end
of 1863, an innings of 86 against Bray, 44 against the Fourth Huzzars,
and 41 for a combined English/Irish Civil Service eleven against the Military.These
were all fine scores, given the conditions then prevailing.
However Civil Service Cricket Club did raise a few hackles
with their timekeeping. The Freeman's Journal's report of
the Wicklow match noted that Civil Service played much of it with eight
men, "perilling both the name and the prestige of the Club".
The report added that "it is much regretted that members should
disappoint at the last moment without giving time to procure substitutes".
So some of the organisational problems of Irish cricket clubs, it seems,
are at least as old as the game itself.
CSCC's members performed even worse against Navan
that year, with none of the Civil Service members being on the ground
at the start of play. Civil Service took the field an hour later with
four fielders and ended up with nine players on the field, one of whom
was not a Civil Service member.
In an 1864 match against Co.Westmeath in the Park, we
get an early description of the state of the pitch - a good wicket, stated
the Irish Times, "the copious use of the watering cart assisted
greatly in obtaining this desideratum while the action of the scythe secured
the full value of his hits to the batsman, not a blade of grass intervening
to retard the progress of the ball."
One long hit, we are told, finished "in the pond,
giving the fieldsman an opportunity of cooling his heated extremities
by damping them well in his exertions to fish out the ball." The
match itself finished inconclusively.
Throughout the summer of 1864 the newspapers were full
of allusions to the Earl of Carlisle's rude good health, and it
is sad to relate that he later resigned from the Lord Lieutenant's
Post and died in England soon afterwards, genuinely missed and greatly
mourned. The Gentlemen Vs I Zingari fixture continued to be played in
the Vice-Regal's Lodge for some years afterwards, but the Earl's
demise marked the beginning of the temporary decline in importance of
the Vice-Regal's as Dublin's prime cricketing venue.
Carlisle's faithful servant, Captain Arkwright,
survived him only by a couple of years, dying with his sister in an avalanche
which took place when they were making an ill advised attempt to climb
Mount Blanc. Arkwright's body was found thirty years later, perfectly
preserved in the ice and snow.
From the mid 1860's to the early 1880's
the progress of Civil Service Cricket Club, and indeed of all of the other
Irish cricket clubs was charted and detailed in cricket Annuals published
and prepared by John Lawrence, "Cricketing and Archery Outfitter,
39, Grafton Street". Lawrence also had the gall to describe himself
as a "Pyrotechnic Artist". (He arranged fireworks displays
for regattas and the like.)
In the 1860s the aristocracy were the only people to
have the time and the money to play team games. After all, it was only
fifteen years since the Great Famine, and most of the country was dragged
down in abject poverty. Cricket, imbued as it was with old world traditions
and essentially Victorian values, was virtually unchallenged as the team
game of the ruling class.