The White Stick Trophy
The White Stick Trophy has been played for annually between the LCU&SA and its Northern equivalent, the NIACUS, since 1989. It is a most vigorously contested match which is played one year in the NCU area and the next in the Leinster area.
The Story of 'The Stick' by Paddy O'Hara (NIACUS)
It was in 1981, when umpiring exchanges between NICUA and LCUA were in their infancy, that the idea of a cricket match was first mooted. Leinster's Liam Keegan broached the subject during a Dublin visit and the suggestion was reported back to a subsequent NICUA meeting. The idea was received enthusiastically, of course - the chance for 'golden oldies' to re-live their past glories was quite appealing. However, not 'striking while the iron was hot' meant that things were put on the long finger and nothing ever happened - but the seed had been sown.
Each time we got together over a few pints the topic would re-emerge and enthusiasm would be rekindled, only to fade away in the cold light of the next day. Liam Keegan, however, was not to be denied and in 1989 an official challenge was issued to the then Chairman of NICUA, Dai Jones - and was accepted. Dai asked his Vice-Chairman, Paddy O'Hara, to select a team to travel to Clontarf CC in Dublin on 23rd September 1989 for this first 'Umpires International'.
The preparations were in full flow when, walking through a shopping mall, Paddy spotted a walking stick with a gold duck's head - the perfect trophy! He bought it there and then, took it home, painted the stick white, mounted it on a mahogany stand and had it suitsuitably inscribed. The 'White Stick Trophy' had been born.
Since then there has been an almost annual match, with the series lead changing hands regularly. Every year the match is keenly anticipated, sides are chosen carefully, and groundsmen given all the right instructions (usually to no avail).