In normal circumstances we would all have been looking forward to another cricket season and Derriaghy CC celebrating their centenary year. Nothing is normal at the moment and cricket, like all sport is on hold as are Derriaghy's celebrations.
However, it didn't stop the Ulster Cricketer catching up with Matty Jennings, 1st XI regular, who told us of the Club's plans and also about their fantastic association with Emerge Counselling Services.
Matty takes up the story:-
Derriaghy Cricket Club are one of the region’s most popular and hospitable clubs and in 2020 we are celebrating a landmark in our history; we turn 100 years old. The club today is unrecognisable from its humble beginnings but our values of friendship, honesty and integrity will always remain.
To celebrate our centenary, we had a huge calendar of events planned, all in association with our Centenary charity partner, Emerge Counselling Services. Emerge are a suicide and self-harm prevention centre based in Lisburn that offer a drop-in service to those suffering with their mental health. This is an issue very close to the Club and its members and Emerge are a charity that Derriaghy are delighted and excited to help.
The club have already hosted one of their planned events, a charity table quiz that saw over 60 people in 14 teams fight it out to be the “Brains of Queensway”. The winning prize of six complimentary tickets to a race meeting were very kindly donated by Down Royal racecourse and they were won by a team including Club chairman, David Mack and his wife Kate, one of our great tea ladies. The rumours of a fix can be categorically denied!!! The evening was a huge success and the Club would like to thank all who took part and all who donated.
The rest of the year is full of huge events:
Saturday 2nd May - Hog Roast and Sh1t Shirt Night.
Friday 4th July - DCC XI v Irish Select XI, captained by our former player Albert van der Merwe. Kevin O'Brien has indicated a desire to play (probably hoping for a repeat of the fantastic day he enjoyed at the club in 2019 with his Railway Union side in the National cup!!) Robinson Services have kindly agreed to sponsor this glamour fixture.
Saturday 15th August - Centenary Grand Prize Draw. Prizes already confirmed include an overnight stay at the La Mon Hotel, a signed Ireland rugby shirt and tickets to an Ireland 2021 fixture along with many more. The draw is due to take place during a music evening featuring Mid Life Crisis (featuring Andrew McCullough of CIYMS fame!).
Saturday 3rd October- Centenary Gala Dinner, our flagship event to be held in Lisburn Civic Centre. The evening includes a drinks reception, four course meal, guest speaker Liam Beckett and music by the Jukebox Jurors.
With the current Coronavirus pandemic and the government advice of social distancing and staying at home, the Club’s plans have had to be changed and monitored. The Hog Roast evening has already been cancelled and is unlikely to be rearranged. In its place the Club would hope to host a BBQ during/after a 1st XI game later in the season, that's if cricket can get the go ahead to be played. At the time of writing, the Club hope that their glamour fixture against the Irish Select XI will go ahead but they will follow Cricket Ireland advice regarding this. The Gala Dinner is fully organised and tickets are selling well. The Club are very hopeful that by October restrictions will be lifted on council facilities and we can host the dinner, something for the club to look forward to.
The Club remain confident that their centenary can still be a success in these most difficult of times but are very mindful that the health and safety of its members and the cricketing public is its priority and wish to make it clear that plans may change. They also want to take this opportunity to thank all their members for their support at this time and wish to reinforce the message #StayHomeStaySafe