Armstrong Cup 1901-02: Booterstown and Blackrock

The 1901-02 Armstrong Cup was contested by five teams: Booterstown and Blackrock, Dublin University, Rathmines, Dawson Street, and Calaroga. The competition was set up as a double-round league over eight boards, with match points counting.

BCM 1902 p180 Armstrong crosstable

We have the crosstable above plus the full list of fixtures, and scorecards for 11 of the 20 matches. The season has been added to the Armstrong Cup page and full season results have been tabulated on a separate page.

The Booterstown and Blackrock club was in the middle of the most successful run in its existence: this win formed the middle of a three-in-a-row, and they also won in 1898-99. Board 1 was A. A. [Albert Augustus] MacDonogh M.A. (ca. 1866-1934), founder and long-time headmaster of the Avoca School in Blackrock, now merged into Newpark Comprehensive. He was followed by T. G. [Thomas George] Cranston (1877/78-1954), later twice Irish champion (1922 and 1931) and R. T. [Ralph Theodore] Varian (ca. 1865-1951), later Leinster champion (1928). At board 5 was “F. S. B.”, or Mrs. F. Sterling Berry, one of the strongest women players of the era.

The Calaroga club played its home matches at 25 Rutland Square North. I wasn’t familiar with that, and on looking it up found that it is now Parnell Square. It’s therefore interesting to note that board 2 of the Dawson Street team during this season was John Howard Parnell (1843-1923), brother of Charles Stuart, and an M.P. in his own right (from 1895 to 1900).

I’m not sure if the Calaroga club ever competed before or since: they’re not listed in David McAlister’s Armstrong Cup page. But is the Nicholas McCluskey who played at boards 2 and 3 in this season—with a plus score in the records available— the same as the N. McCluskey who played in the winning Sackville team in 1925-26?

[Update, April 16, 2015: Many thanks to David McAlister for providing two further scorecards, of matches 11 and 17 (Dawson Street v. Booterstown and Calaroga v. Dublin University respectively); with these we can also infer the final score in match 20 (Dublin University v. Dawson Street). Both pages have now been updated with the new information.]

This entry was posted in Armstrong Cup, Tournaments. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *