Graeme’s star hand

Another boundary as Graeme Hunter makes his way to a century in the cup final.
Another boundary as Graeme Hunter makes his way to a century in the cup final.

Graeme Hunter was the tender age of just 19 when he struck a century in the 1988 Irish Senior Cup cricket final in Dublin.

Twenty-five years on and the memories of that September day in Rathmines, when he received the man-of-the-match award, remain arguably the most cherished of his career.

“Rathmines will always be one of my favourite grounds. I always seemed to do well there,” said Graeme.

“The wicket was good and the outfield was like lightning. Subash (Kshirasgar) and myself came together after Charlie McCrum was out early, he got 60 and we were going well.

“It was a case of keeping your head because you got full value for your shots. I do remember hitting Angus Fergie for six over mid-wicket, that was not like me!

“I got to 100 with a late cut down to wide third-man for two and obviously. It was a very special moment to reach three figures in an Irish Cup final.”

One of Graeme’s abiding memories was the dismissal of North Down professional, the late Raman Lamba.

“We got 249 for six and once we got Lamba caught down the leg side we knew that North Down would not score 250 to beat us. We could relax and enjoy the game in the outfield. We had a very good bowling attack with the likes of Paul McCrum, Paul Lyness and Subash.”

Following on from Lurgan’s previous Irish Cup win in 1984, this was a golden period in the club’s history.

Graeme said, “In my career that day has to be right up there, from the point of view that I got a hundred and I was man-of-the-match.

“It was a brilliant time for the club. We had won the trophy in 1984 and then after the 1988 win we went on to win it again in 1990, when we beat Clontarf.

“We won the Irish Senior Cup three times in a short space of time and that day in 1988 has to be one of the best days in the club’s history.”