Obituary

Tom Horan

HORAN, THOMAS PATRICK, who died at Malvern, Melbourne, on April 16, was in his time the crack batsman of Victoria. He visited this country with the first Australian team in 1878 -- a very wet season -- when he made as his best score in eleven-a-side matches 64 against C. I. Thornton's Eleven at the Orleans Club, Twickenham. Mr. Horan did not come in 1880, but two years later, with an aggregate of 1,175 and an average of 25, he ran second to W. L. Murdoch, for the ever-famous team that beat England by seven runs at the Oval.

His highest innings that summer were 112 against the United Eleven at Chichester and 141 not out against Gloucestershire at Clifton. His career extended from the middle of the seventies to the late eighties. He enjoyed the distinction of being chosen for the memorable match at Melbourne in March, 1887, when, for the first time, an Australian side playing an English team on level terms proved victorious. Like Charles Bannerman he formed his method and earned high distinction as a batsman before enjoying the advantage of a trip to England. He had no special grace of style, but his defence was very strong, and he excelled against fast bowling.

Even after an interval of nearly thirty-five years one recalls the masterly way in which he played Crossland at Liverpool in 1882, getting him away again and again on the leg side. Among his most notable innings at home were 124 for Australia against Alfred Shaw's First Team at Melbourne in 1882 and 117 not out for Victoria against Shaw's Third team at Melbourne in 1886. A splendid judge of the game, Horan wrote on it for a great many years under the signature "Felix" in the columns of the Australasian. It may not be generally known that he was a native of Ireland. He was born in Dublin on March 8, 1855, but emigrated to Australia when quite a small boy.

In Test matches he played 27 innings, twice not out, highest score 124, total runs 471, average 18.84, and took 11 wickets for 143 runs, average 13.00. For Victoria v. New South Wales he played 50 innings, twice not out, highest score 129, total runs 1,295, average 26.97; took 12 wickets for 372 runs, average 31.00.

The highest innings of his career was 250 not out for East Melbourne v. Tasmania at East Melbourne in December, 1879; he batted about 10 hours and gave no chance. It was a two-day match; East Melbourne scored 742, and the Tasmanians had no innings.

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