Phoenix Time Machine: #1 – DB Ensor on tour in 1968

This month sees three Phoenix youngsters represent Leinster Under 16’s on their tour of South Africa. We are sure that Rory, Marc and Ben will do themselves and the club proud while on tour. The club have been very proud to report on the success of our continuously expanding Youth Section in recent years and this is another sign of progress at that level.

However, for a change, in this article we’ll take a look backwards instead of focusing on the future. Phoenix has a rich history and that is something we will delve into over the coming months.

So the first tale from our archives will be that of a touring player from the dim and distant past. Back when the sixties were still swinging, and his fashion sense was still en vogue, the prodigious talent that was DB Ensor first left these shores as part of a touring party.

DB had taken his bow in Senior cricket for Phoenix in 1964. A product of Gonzaga College he quickly pinned down a place as a top order batsman. He was called to colours for the Irish Schools to take on their Welsh counterparts in 1965 and 1966. A year later he made his debut for North Leinster against North West at The Village in the Guinness Cup alongside Phoenix contemporaries David Pigot Jnr and Mike Halliday. He notched an invaluable unbeaten 24 as North Leinster got home by 27 runs.

1968 began with a bang as, batting from his favoured number three position, he notched 63 for North Leinster against Munster on his home ground in an emphatic 93 run win. He was then asked by Phoenix team mate, Mike Halliday, to guest for Dublin University on their upcoming tour of England. And so DB packed his best paisley shirts, drainpipe trousers and Beatle boots (probably) and set off on tour.

The tour kicked off against the Combined Services in Portsmouth and DB quickly put down a marker notching 46* from number three, a position he would retain for the entire tour, in an 8 wicket win. This was quickly followed up with 42* against the Trojans in a 7 wicket win a little further along the cost in Southampton.

DB scored his first half century of the tour in the next game against the Public School Wanderers before, presumably, losing his bearings and being stumped for 59.

Next he posted 70 & 71 in back to back games that end drawn before his only failure of the tour came in the penultimate game as he perished for a duck against Indian Gymkhana in DU’s only defeat of the tour.

DB was poised for another half century in the final game but the rain came when he was 34* and play was abandoned. However, despite this minor setback, he finished the tour with 322 runs at 80.50 so the tour was, for DB, an unqualified success.

So there you have it. Our three young representatives will do well to return home with batting averages to match DB’s 1968 effort. They should outdo him with the ball, though, as no records can be found of DB ever being allowed bowl! EVER!

If anyone has any photos of DB from around this time, the more embarrassing the better, please forward them on to us and we’ll add them to this article. He’ll never know as he still thinks the internet is what you keep in your tent to keep flies out of your pink gin while you’re off hunting the big 5.

We will have more trips back in time over the course of the coming season. If anyone has any suggestions on what to revisit we’d be more than glad to hear from them!!!