What We Do
NIACUS Umpires are currently involved in Ireland exchanges with Leinster Umpires and North West Umpires and in two exchange programmes with English Associations – Merseyside and Bristol.
In the 2000 season, for the first time, two NIACUS umpires (Peter White and Bob Kane) umpired matches in the Liverpool area, thanks to our Vice President, Mike Dixon, and his involvement with the Merseyside ACU&S. In 2001, Mike Fletcher and Maurice Rylatt travelled from Merseyside to spend the weekend of August 10th - 13th umpiring in the NCU and attending the Ireland v Australia international at Ormeau. This exchange has gone from strength, with Trevor Magee and Alan Neill travelling to Merseyside in 2006.
It was back in the late '70s that Liam A. Keegan of Leinster CUA first mooted the possibility of umpiring exchanges between Leinster and the Northern Cricket Union. Liam had 'northern' contacts because of his involvement with the Irish Rugby Football Union and also the Junior Chamber of Commerce. At this time the 'troubles' were at their worst and his aspirations were met with suspicion and hostility by a minority in both Associations. Indeed, I believe that it all led to a couple of resignations!
Although all this happened only two decades ago, information is sketchy and I have to rely upon individual recollections. Sadly, a fair proportion of the personnel involved have gone to the great pavilion in the sky, but I am greatly indebted to the 'Secret Diaries of Mella Keegan aged forty-seven and three-quarters', wife of legend, L.A.K.
Eventually, the first exchange was arranged. Described as a 'private visit', four NICUA (as we then were called) officials travelled to Dublin on Sunday 14th June 1981- George Archer, Harry Chamberlain, Dai Jones and Fred McMurray. Two Guinness Cup Inter-Provincials were being played and Dai stood with Leinster's Sean Moore at Kimmage for South Leinster v Munster, while George Archer and Robert MacClancy took charge at Cabra for North Leinster v North West, Harry and Fred acted in the role now described as 3rd umpires.
Saturday 8th August 1981 saw the first visit in the opposite direction, when George Archer and Liam Keegan officiated at Newforge, with Dai Jones and Sean Moore at Civil Service. The following day, Sunday 9th August, five NICUA umpires were back in Dublin. This time Dai, George and Fred were joined by Billy Taylor and Joe Vaughan. They all 'stood' in club games with Leinster colleagues. A fortnight later at Ormeau, Belfast, and Liam Keegan was the first Leinster CUA umpire to officiate in a Guinness Cup Inter-Provincial in the North - Ulster Town v North Leinster.
Thus the pattern was established and exchanges have continued on an annual basis ever since. 1982 saw the first instance of a Leinster club league match with TWO Northern officials in charge - Dai Jones and Joe Vaughan standing together at Railway Union v Malahide on Sunday 29th August 1982.
For the first few years of these 'private' exchanges, excellent lunches were provided at the home of the Keegans and the Moores in Dublin and at the Jones's in Belfast. A feature of the drive home from Dublin was late night/early morning car picnics outside Dunleer - south of the border!
As our umpiring developed, these exchanges became official and later, when the ICU held Inter-Provincial weekends, umpires of an approved standard were brought in from all four Umpires' Associations - Leinster, Munster, Northern and North West, to take charge of all these tournament fixtures.
It was 1988 before the first exchange took place between NICUA and NWCUA (North West Cricket Umpires Association). With umpires being a little scarce in the North West at that time, it was agreed that the exchanges would be two-way. Four umpires went up to Londonderry, while four North West men came down to Belfast the same day. The four NICUA umpires for that inaugural trip to the North West were Paddy O'Hara, Stan Perry, Arthur Thompson and Joe Vaughan. Again the hospitality was first class, especially the evening at Bready CC resulting in a very late return trip!
In 2000 we were delighted that two Irish umpires, Trevor Henry (from our Association) and Stu Daultrey (from Leinster CUA), were selected to stand in 2nd XI County matches. Peter White also umpired a 4 day match at Bristol involving Gloucester CCC 2nd XI. We now have our second English exchange programme underway with Peter White and Keith Smith visiting Bristol and Bath in 2005 and two Bristol visitors making the return trip in 2006.
2000 – LIVERPOOL (First Visit)
Bob Kane and Peter White
2002 – LIVERPOOL
Jimmy McCall and Paddy O’Hara
2004 – LIVERPOOL
Mark Hawthorne and Walter Montgomery
2005 – BRISTOL (First Visit)
Keith Smith and Peter White
2006 – LIVERPOOL
Trevor Magee and Alan Neill
2007 – BRISTOL
Sam Alexander and Alan Waugh
2008 – LIVERPOOL
Paul Boreland and Walter Montgomery
2009 – BRISTOL
Alex Adams and Brian Blakely
2010 - LIVERPOOL
Alan Waugh and Andy Kennedy
In June 2002, Joy Muir was invited to score for Bank of England CC in the Surrey Championship, and returned for a second match in July. Scoring exchanges are rather more difficult to arrange, as scorers are closely involved with club sides for which they score each week. However, we are prepared to consider any scorer exchanges should they become available.
We would be pleased to hear from any umpiring or scoring association, home or abroad, who would like to develop links and exchanges with us.