What We Do
The White Stick Trophy - The White Stick Epic
By Don Ssavage
They came from all the Northern parts, from Belfast and Bangor's shore
Waringstown, County Down, Armagh and Muckamore.
They travelled south to foreign soil, to a city that's far famed
For to battle o-er a big white stick, a trophy aptly named.
Waving goodbyes to opticians, they left their wives on their own
And went and viewed the statues of O'Connell and Malone
But to prove they were ambassadors, they went to Grafton Street
And laid a wreath of glasses dark, at the Unknown Umpire's feet.
Awaiting them at Clontarf ground, was a letter from the Queen
Beside a bunch of telegrams, the biggest ever seen
The N.C.U.'s was to the point "Do well, or face the sack"
But a well known politician wired "Either win or don't come back"!
The sky was clear that September day, the weather was divine
With Liam Keegan's compliments they settled down to dine
John Heavey took the trophy, Paddy O'Hara's work of art
Joe Connolly won the toss and told the 'Red Hand Boys' to start.
Team manager, Dai Jones, then mustered up his merry men
"We've got seventeen, boys, and the opposition ten -
So we'll lend them Derek Adams to even up the race"
But before the match was over, that rebounded in his face!
Jack McCullough walked to open with 'Jock' Russell by his side
But disaster struck the Ulster lads, they got an awful ride
Alan Tuffery was too good for them, his bowling straight and true
They were soon united at the bar and the score read five for two.
Peter Lunney was more stubborn, he played an innings plucky
But once again that famous 'thirteen' proved to be unlucky
He was aided and abetted by Stanley (Boycott) Long
Whose anchor role amazed his critics, as he did nothing wrong.
Dave McCullough and O'Hara then paired up at the wicket
The Leinster men soon realised that they were playing cricket
Paddy's knock of fifty-three was a captain's, full of tricks
And Davy, too, got in the act by scoring twenty-six.
Lloyd McKee and Peter White then carried on the work
And Peter Reith, that 'X' year old, his duty didn't shirk
It is very strongly rumoured, but may not be true I fear
That he is signing for the first's at Waringstown next year.
One forty-four for seven was Ulster's final score
Dai Jones complained - "In thirty-five they should have scored some more"
Arthur Thompson and George Archer who added comments too
Were told on this occasion "Umpires told umpires what to do".
So after tea we carry on this thriller of a story
Of how the boys from N.C.U. fought hard for Ulster's glory
Beattie Arlow and Jack McCullough started bowling very tight
And a couple of spins and lifters gave the enemy a fright.
Pete Reith was wicket-keeper, Joe Vaughan with camera stood
Dai Jones and Billy Taylor were helping all they could
Their sound advice and knowledge, they bandied all about
Then promptly claimed the credit, when Sean Pender was run out.
The next two men from Leinster were proving hard to shift
Slowly and steadily the scores began to lift
Between them they scored thirty-four without any further loss
Then McCullough bowled out Neville; Behan fell to Billy Ross.
Enter Derek Adams who battled with some might
The substitute from Ulster brought victory into sight
His brilliant score of thirty-five didn't please some Ulster men
Next season you might well see him umpire at Crossmaglen !!
Tuffery bowled by Billy Ross only put one on the board
Condon was caught by Peter White before he'd even scored
Brennan caught 'Jock' Russell could manage only four
So at ninety-eight for eight, our boys were favoured by the score.
Geraghty had made eleven, but was already out
But Connolly and McCready, were about to stop the rout
Despite Billy Ross's efforts - he took five for fifty-three
McCready, especially, had a glorious batting spree.
When that famous match had ended, some were more dead than alive
The crowd which numbered two or three had swollen now to five
As players staggered from the pitch they honoured the occasion
By cheering and applauding in a true stand-up ovation.
That how history will record it; the above events are true
The’ White Stick’ rests at Leinster, by the score of wickets two
But still out lads are young enough and in the years to come
They’ll live to fight another day with the aid of gin and rum.
When the doctors had revived them, they had a night of marvellous fun
Billy Taylor was ‘drinks waiter’ when festivities begun
But he soon got relegated, without a trophy on his shelf
When everybody realised he was waiting on himself !
Bruised and blattered they returned, but no matter what you think
Those scars were earned on the battlefield, not by falling down in drink
And so my story has to end, that’s all there is to tell
There’s a replay at ‘The Mall’ next year and one at ‘The Boyne’ as well.