Robert Bruce Bowers

Born1 March 1897, Lambeg, Co Antrim
Died26 November 1956, Belfast
EducatedMasonic Boys' School, Dublin
Debut26 June 1926 Wales at Ormeau
Cap Number340
StyleRight-hand bat, right-arm medium fast
History Robert Bowers was a successful opening bowler at senior club level, who was, perhaps unfortunate in the conditions that his only match for Ireland was played under. He was also a tail end batsman, who made some useful scores in tight circumstances. For Cliftonville two performances stand out. In the NCU Challenge Cup Final at Ormeau in 1922, Cliftonville collapsed in the second innings of a low scoring match, leaving Waringstown only 100 to win. Bowers (5-13), aided by fellow opening bowler Lawrence Walker, routed the Villagers for 32. He showed his worth as a useful tail ender in 1937 against Instonians in the first round of the NCU Cup. Leading the side for the fourth consecutive season, he shared in a last wicket stand of 43, to win the match by 1 wicket.

His only match for Ireland was v Wales, a high scoring draw on a rare batsman's paradise, at Ormeau in 1926, when the Irish second innings lasted just long enough to avoid defeat. Bowling he had 0-52 as Wales passed 400. Batting at 10, he was out for 5 in both innings, falling in the first to NVM Riches, who had an outstanding match, scoring a double hundred and taking 4-23 in Ireland's first innings. Bowers did not play for Ireland again though he remained prominent in Ulster Cricket for over 10 years.

Edward Liddle, May 2007

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