History of Cork County Cricket Club


The club was founded in 1874 but cricket was first played on the Mardyke in 1850. During the next 40 years which preceded the outbreak of the First World War the club gradually prospered.

In 1903 the most famous cricketer of the Victorian era, W.G. Grace, played at the Mardyke for London County against Gentlemen of Ireland as part of the international exhibition. Grace was out for one in the first over of the match, but attempted to bully his way to staying in, until the local cricket grandee, Sir George Colthurst of Blarney intervened and told Grace to leave the field. The following season South Africa visited Cork and were beaten by Ireland. During the years in the run up to the First World War the club played regularly against some of the famous English Touring Teams.


The War changed everything. Touring teams did not come but there was plenty of cricketing activity as there were large numbers of naval and military personnel based in the area.

In 1922 when Ireland became Independent the military departed and the club became more dependent on local leagues, annual inter-provincial against Leinster and visits from teams such as Trinity College and Na Shulers (an Irish Touring Club).

The Cork District League was founded during the 1920’s but Cork County participated only for a limited period and the league was made up of the ‘tenant’ clubs such as Bohemians, Constitution, Church of Ireland and Wanderers.


The Second World War enforced a virtually closed cricket society. The only regular fixture involving a team from outside cork was the annual inter-provincial between Munster and Leinster but cricket survived. The league continued and there were also mid-week junior fixtures. Any gaps at weekends were filled by Cork County playing one of the tenant clubs and the County side would have comprised a selection from the other local clubs. Usually cricket matches were well attended as lack of transport prevented people from travelling any great distance and the Mardyke, as always, was an attractive location on a summer’s day.

1950’s TO 1980’s

The post war years brought about a return of visiting teams. Regulars were Royal Engineers, Peterhouse College (Cambridge) and Leprechauns. An English Counties side made up of County cricketers visited the Mardyke on three occasions in the immediate Post War years. In the late 1960’s Glamorgan brought their full team on two occasions and Wa