Paddy Neville was a valued member of the 1971 League and Cup Double winning 3rd XI team for Malahide CC. In the second round of the Cup he routed Clontarf 4th XI with figures of 7 for 32. In the first round v Bray Parish CC he clubbed a couple of enormous sixes in a match winning innings which turned the low scoring game in favour of the Village.
Paddy was a more than useful all rounder who played a lot of cricket for Malahide over three decades from the 1960’s to the 80’s. Mostly he featured for the 3rd XI but also played for the 4ths when it was formed in the mid 1970’s and played for the 2nd XI and a handful of games for the firsts.
He bowled seamers at a brisk pace with a distinctive short skip just before his delivery stride. Batting in the middle to lower order he was a hard hitting batsman who didn’t hang about. Not a stylist he played the ball off the pitch and wristy like a hockey player.
A fine fielder usually in slip or gully. He had a good pair of hands and took many a catch. Paddy also threw the ball in a unique manner with an underarm flick similar in style to Bertie Buttimer of Leinster CC and the road bowlers in west Cork. He could throw the ball a distance with accuracy and speed.
Doug Keegan and Justin Rodgers who captained Paddy on the 3rds and 4ths both commented on his reliability and ever willing to play including away games against opposition such as County Galway CC, Meath County CC and Mount Juliet CC in Kilkenny.
He toured Scotland in the 1970’s with the Village and was an appointed driver of Des Cashell’s car which unfortunately and perhaps inevitably broke down and had to be towed from Stenhousemuir back to Edinburgh!
Sport and cricket ran in the family. His father John likewise was an all rounder who captained Malahide first team in 1955. The great Paddy Neville, all round sportsman and dual international cricket and hockey player was his uncle.
Paddy was a member of the Neville clan who to this day have strong links to Portrane Hockey Club. Paddy himself was a no nonsense centre half who gave the ball a serious puck.
His all round sporting skills saw him join up with his pals Alec, Doc and Roy Smith (who all played in the 1971 3rd XI team) to play as prop for Delvin Rugby Football Club and later with Ashbourne RFC when Delvin folded.
Paddy was hugely popular on the cricketing circuit and featured in many good natured anecdotes.
On one occasion v Pembroke CC he went into bat and was under strict instructions to appeal against the poor light and also because his team were in a precarious position. Paddy tonked the first ball he faced for an enormous six and then proceeded to appeal against the light!
An away match v Mullingar CC. Paddy kept wicket as he occasionally did when his team was short of a stopper. Unfortunately, standing up, a stray bail caught him above the eye giving a nasty injury. After the game both teams retired to the well known Fox’s Covert Pub on the Mullingar Longford Road. A member of the opposition commented that Paddy’s injury required stitches and offered there and then to do the job as he was a member of the profession. Paddy agreed and the Mullingar man went out to his car and brought in his medical bag and went about stitching up Paddy. Paddy was ever thankful and later remarked that it was a stroke of fortune that there was a doctor in the house.
“No Paddy, not a doctor, a Vet!”
Brian Gilmore 2023