Cricket was first introduced to Ireland in the towns of Kilkenny and Ballinasloe in the early 1800’s. Despite initially being regarded with suspicion as a “garrison game”, the game’s popularity exploded amongst the native Irish population in the next century, eventually reaching Cork by the 1860’s with regular games taking place at the Mardyke Cricket Pitch
Alan Brodrick, the 2nd Viscount Midleton
Midleton had already played its part in the birth of the game. Alan Brodrick, the 2nd Viscount Midleton, whose paternal grandfather was born in Ballyannan, was a well-known cricket patron credited with co-writing the very first formalised rules for a cricket game back in 1727. Midleton was also the birthplace of Tom Horan. After emigrating to Australia, he became the first of only two Irish born players to play internationally for Australia, playing against England in March 1877, a game that was subsequently designated as the first Test match. Cricket flourished in the town, with one of the most eagerly awaited sporting events in Midleton being the annual game between the “Town” and Midleton College at the Cricket Field.
In 1902, the GAA passed Rule 27 of their constitution. It read "any member of the association who plays or encourages in any way rugby, football, hockey or any imported game which is calculated or injuriously affect our national pastimes, is suspended from the association." It was a rule that was to be kept in place for the next 69 years, and a move that decimated cricket in the town, as residents reverted to football and hurling.
Midleton Cricket Club are proud to carry on the tradition of cricket in East Cork. Please feel free to explore this section to learn more about the game and its (partly Midleton invented) rules, and visit the sites of our local rivals and fellow members of Munster's cricket fraternity.