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Local umpires in the forefront at Malahide
As we all know by now Ireland face Pakistan in the inaugural Test match on 11 May, but we now learn further honours have followed from local Officials.
Umpires Alan Neill and Mark Hawthorne are both included, which is a huge boost for the NIACUS. The other Officials are Englishmen Nigel Llong and Richard Illingworth, who were embroiled in the turbulent series between Australia and South Africa. Beware of ball tampering!
Former England Test match player Chris Broad is the match referee.
Support Ireland on this memorable occasion.
NCU to Host Festival of Under 16 Cricket
The Northern Cricket Union (NCU) is to host a prestigious Under 16 Cricket Festival from August 13th-15th, in Belfast.
Following on from successful tours to festivals at St Alban's (U17) and Taunton (U11/U14) in the past two seasons, the NCU considered hosting their own inaugural event, with Campbell College Belfast as base.
Campbell College has agreed to host players and officials, with CSNI (Stormont) and CIYMS (Belmont) hosting the games over the three days. Teams from Yorkshire Schools Cricket Association, Cornwall Cricket Board and St Joseph's College will join the NCU in a round robin tournament.
Chairman of the NCU Alan Waite speaking about the forthcoming festival said, 'the NCU will warmly welcome our visitors from Cornwall, Yorkshire and St Joseph's School, Ipswich to our inaugural cricket festival. Our young cricketers, coaches and administrators have been hugely impressed by participating in similar festivals in England and Scotland over the past four years. With the support of Campbell College, to whom we are grateful for hosting the players and officials and also some grant funding from Belfast City Council, NCU staff have worked expediently to co-ordinate this exciting new chapter as part of our commitment to youth development within our region.
St Joseph’s College in Ipswich is where Mark Patterson (former Cliftonville Cricket Club and Ireland International) taught, and he was instrumental in the NCU U17 participation in the St Albans Cricket Tournament, in the last two years. Mark also encouraged their school rugby team to tour Northern Ireland, which they have done for the past few years. Ben Clements, who teaches at St Joseph’s, is a former Belfast Royal Academy (BRA) pupil, adding to the NCU connection.
Brian Walsh, Director of NCU Representative Cricket said, ‘it is great to see the development of Youth Cricket in the NCU over the past five years. A lot of credit must go to the Representative Directorate who are responsible. Full support to the development has been given by NCU chairman Alan Waite and our thanks go to a tremendous group of coaches and parents. The new venture this year of our Under 16’s Festival at Campbell College is an extension of our development where, instead of our young cricketers having to travel to England or Scotland, English counties are coming to Northern Ireland to play in our Festival. Great credit has to go to General Manager Angela Platt and Uel Graham for the organisation of the tournament. It is also a welcome development to work with Campbell College and to be able to use their excellent facilities’.
Robert Robinson MBE, Headmaster of Campbell College said, ‘we are delighted that the NCU has decided to hold its first ever residential festival at Campbell College this summer and look forward to welcoming the three teams from England to our campus. We are grateful for the strong partnership we enjoy with both the NCU and Cricket Ireland and look forward to watching some superb talent on display in East Belfast’.
It is with sadness throughout Ulster and Ireland cricket that we learned Wilson Scott has died at 90. He will be missed around Ballygomartin Road and further afield. Wilson was an integral part of a great Woodvale era, which included Ken Kirkpatrick, Larry Warke, Adrian Erskine, George Upritchard, Dennis Tunnah and Ronnie Berryman. He was also capped by Ireland several times and took great pride in playing down the teams after his prowess later declined. He loved Woodvale, and played a big part in its development within the administration. Edward Liddle has written an excellent Biography in Cricket Europe, which cannot be bettered and is worthy to recall his distinguished career.
To David and the family circle, we extend our sincerest Condolences.
Rest in Peace.
that border regiment cup is still being contested. It's a big event with the intermediate football leagues.
Re Alan Chambers - with reference to the ‘border tournament’ I remember an old football tournament called the Border Regiment Cup - if that is still in existence you could claim the trophy! My old umpiring colleague Reggie McNally might recall it!!
Ed: Border league is really well done to Roy Nicholl. When Clogher had no opposition and Monaghan were 'toe dippin' local cricket, they played a 7 match series and the border league began from there.
North Down Cricket Club (NDCC) are bowled over to receive funding from the Housing Executive for a sports project this summer, providing cricket coaching sessions to youths from Comber and Newtownards.
Aimed at children aged 7-17, the coaching sessions will give young people the opportunity to try cricket under expert instruction and become part of the thriving youth section at NDCC. Open sessions at the club will be running from the first Wednesday in May. As well as this, coaching sessions will also be available in local estates and community locations, promoting good relations among youths across Comber and Newtownards.
Project Co-ordinator, Ryan Haire is delighted the project is going ahead next month. He said:
“We are extremely grateful for the Housing Executive’s Community Cohesion funding to allow us to bring cricket to the next generation. If your school or community group is interested in bringing sport to your community please contact me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org Come along and have fun!”
Please note these dates could change at a moments notice,
and do frequently.
Dungannon V (Portadown)Taverners
Monaghan V Clogher
Taverners V Monaghan
Clogher V Dungannon
Clogher V Taverners
Monaghan V Dungannon
Taverners V Dungannon
Clogher V Monaghan
Monaghan V Taverners
Dungannon V Clogher
Taverners V Clogher
Dungannon V Monaghan
Final and 3rd 4th playoff.
Very impressive itinerary and best wishes for the season. Give us an update in due course and use the website as a Noticeboard. Great to see this development in your region. Well done Alan.
Cecil Kirkwood O.B.E.
The cricket fraternity will be sadden by the passing of Lisburn stalwart Cecil Kirkwood. He was a lovely man in every way and he gave Trojan work at Wallace Park. He never lost his cricket roots and always supported the club in difficult times. Sadly, he will be missing on the boundary and I'm sure the members and others throughout the grounds will miss him.
To the family and circle we extend our deepest sympathy.
Rest in Peace Cecil.
NCU South Africa Tour 2018
Visit the Township of Khayelitsha
The last day of the NCU Development Tour in Cape Town was probably one of the most humbling and rewarding. The entire tour party travelled to the township of Khayelitsha to coach at the Chris Hani school and the Siphamandla school which have been working with the Gary Kirsten Cricket Foundation to promote cricket opportunities to young township people.
The Khayelitsha township in the Cape Town suburbs has a massive 400,000 plus population and covers over 40 square kilometres which means that this one township is larger both in population and area than Belfast!
A city within a city, it is the largest of the many townships in Cape Town and Gary Kirsten through his Cricket Foundation has been working to offer sporting opportunities to as many young people as possible.
The NCU Northern Knights young players rose to the challenge of providing further cricket coaching to the young people of the area who had come in to school on their holiday day off. A range of cricket drills and skills where offered to children of the area from 10 years to 18 years old.
This was a humbling experience for the NCU coaches and players as they witnessed the poor training and practice conditions that the young township players operate in, yet their passion and commitment for the game is outstanding and makes us realise how fortunate we are with what we have back home. Also, everyone was greatly impressed with excellent skill levels on show.
The visit ended with the entire NCU touring party and the Township players and coaches joining together to clear rocks, boulders and broken glass from the area of the Chris Hani school which is used as the cricket outfield. A small gesture in the grand scheme of things, but it was great to see everyone joining together to offer more enjoyable conditions for young cricketers’.
Prior to the tour the NCU had asked for NCU clubs to donate clothing and equipment that could be passed on to the Township schools. These had been delivered to the Gary Kirsten Foundations and passed on to the young township cricketers earlier in the tour and it was great to see young townships cricketers proudly wearing shirts from Saintfield, Instonians, Civil Service North of Ireland, and Templepatrick Cricket Clubs as well as the Northern Knights.
Northern Cricket Union 2018 South Africa Tour
Andrew White NCU Academy Suffer First Defeat by Boland Invitation XI
Andrew White NCU Academy v Boland Invitation XI, at Scorpions CC, Oude Libertas, Stellenbosch, 2nd April
It may have been so different!
If only the off-bail had decided to fall rather than balance on top of the stump from that first delivery of the match by Matthew Foster, who knows what might have happened.
As it was Hendrik Brink took full advantage of his good fortune to smash his way to 86, albeit with another couple of lives generously given by some below average NCU fielding.
The NCU bowling toiled way manfully in the oppressive heat but with Foster leaving the field with a knee twinge at the end of that eventful first over, resources were always going to be stretched.
Luke Allison, Alex Haggan and Aaron Wright all claimed two wickets but with Juan Radenan scoring a century batting at number seven the home side looked set to post a total in excess of 300.
In the end the NCU did well to bowl them out in the 49th over and a total of 281 was not ‘out of sight’ as far as the tourists were concerned.
Any thoughts of an NCU victory were quickly banished as the top six were quickly dispatched - Oliver Metcalfe (11), Harry Warke (0), Jack Burton (5), Aaron Wright (7), Max Burton (8), and Jamie Magowan (0), leaving the innings faltering at 30 runs for 6 wickets.
For the second match in a row it was captain Alex Haggan who pitched in with a run-a-ball 60, firstly in partnership with Archie Johnston (17) and then as further wickets fell, with number eleven Luke Allison (18), Haggan finishing not out in a game where the NCU were very much second best on the day. Boland Invitation XI were comprehensive winners by 121 runs.
Andrew White NCU Academy v Boland Invitation XI, at Oude Libertas, Stellenbosch, 2nd April
Boland Invitation XI - 281 (48.1 overs: J Radenan 100, H Brink 86; L Allison 2-23, A Haggan 2-24, A Wright 2-53)
Andrew White NCU Academy - 160 (36.2 overs: A Haggan 60*, L Allison 18, A Johnston17; M Papenfoes 3-12, J Wilson 3-32, M Hull 2-11)
Boland XI win by 121 runs.
Northern Cricket Union 2018 South Africa Tour
NCU South Africa Tour 2018
Andrew White NCU Academy and NCU Under 15’s take on District North 31st March 2018
A captain’s innings from Alex Haggan and another spell of magic with the ball from Aaron Wright was enough to see the Andrew White NCU Academy side to victory on the hottest day of the tour to date.
The early starts to games in this part of the world favours the side bowling first and this was very much the case as the NCU subsided to 65 for 5 wickets in fourteen overs. With James Hunter joining Alex Haggan the scene was set for a revival of fortune and this pair put together a 61 run partnership that took the total to 126 and with 25 runs from Jack Burton batting down the order The Academy side posted a final total of 195.
An ‘interesting’ total according to the locals that promised a tight match and although the NCU left almost 8 overs unused their 195 was satisfying given the precarious position they found themselves in early on.
The District North reply started with a first ball dismissal for the dangerous Simon Schultz, James Magee with the unplayable ‘pitched middle, hit top of off!’ delivery.
Once again the off-spin of Aaron Wright tore the heart out of the opposition as he claimed a five wicket haul in consecutive days.
Only 15 year old Kai Curran provided any resistance for the home side and his 47 was by far best contribution.
With James Magee returning to claim further two wickets and Matthew Foster doing likewise the win was wrapped up inside thirty overs which brought welcome relief from the gruelling conditions.
Andrew White NCU Academy v District North at Durbanville CC, 31st March.
NCU 195 (42.1 overs: A Haggan 55, J Burton 25, O Metcalfe 24; T Wright 2-16, S Schultz 2-18, K Curran 2-20)
District North 84 (28.5 overs: K Curran 47; A Wright 5-10, J Magee 3-12, M Foster 2-13)
NCU win by 111 runs.
NCU Under 15’s v District North XI
Uel Graham Reports
The NCU Under 15 squad were warmly welcomed at Durbanville CC for a 09.30am start against a Select XI which would prove to be tough opposition for the day. NCU lost the toss and we were invited to bat first to make use of the firm, green wicket.
The tourists were in early trouble at 32 for 3 with Adam Kennedy, Ben Beattie and Matthew Humphreys the early wickets. Sam Topping followed at 47 for 4 having weathered the impressive early quick spell from the District North opening bowlers. The NCU Under 15’s were reeling when Matthew Daly fell soon after with the total on 53.
Firstly James Lambert (35 runs off 36 balls) and James Rose (31 runs off 46 balls) shared a stand of 63 off 50 balls, and after both were out in consecutive overs, Michael Waite (38 runs off 42 balls) and Adam Ly, recovering from a groin strain (24 not out off 41 balls), saw the NCU Juniors to a respectable 202 all out.
Best bowlers for Northern Districts were the impressive Ross Martin with 2wickets for 10 runs from his 7.3 overs and Ethan Africa who had 3 wickets for 12 runs from 5 overs.
The Northern District innings began cautiously with Michael Waite and Matthew Daly also bowling well on a bouncy track. Bowlers were rotated to try to make a breakthrough but to no avail and the home side retired both openers, John Johnston on 33 runs and Win van Reenan on 51 runs.
The seam bowlers: Waite, Daly, Lambert, Burke and Ellerby toiled way in the hot Durbanville sun, with Shane Burke the most impressive with 7 overs one wicket for 22 runs. The spin options also bowled well in parts, with the left arm spin of Carson McCullough and Ethan Hanna complemented by Matthew Humphreys who took one wicket. District North achieved their target in 39th over with NCU claiming only three wickets.
Despite the defeat there was valuable learning experience for the junior squad against a tough opposition.
Easter Sunday will be spent in the hotel complex with some strategic and tactical morning sessions followed by the use of the hotel facilities (pool/beach volleyball/boules) to further add to the growing camaraderie that has built on the tour.
Encouraging indeed to read our NCU 15's touring side currently blazing a trail of glory far off in sunny climes, keep up the excellent standards lads!
And I too would like to add my hearty congratulations to Mr Paddy O'Hara on his lofty elevation to full MCC membership, none more deserving and worthy of such esteemed company!!
And just while I'm here and on the subject of umpire's,
in the lower leagues we officiate and stand during are own matches, by and large when all's said and done, generally most are fair or at least try to be, which is all we ask and hope for so everyone enjoys the game.
And to the more impressionable amongst us, please don't be influenced by certain Australian cricketers who have not only broughtshame on themselves, their teammates, their country but worst of all, tarished the high moral principals and spirit of the great game itself!
To quote the last line from that iconic sportmanship poem, by Grantland Rice, Alumunus Football,
' For when the one Great Scorer comes to write against your name, he writes, not that you won or lost, but how you play the game '
Eight Wicket haul by Aaron Wright bowls out the Gary Kirsten Foundation
Andrew White NCU Academy and NCU Under 15’s take on Gary Kirsten Foundation 29th March 2018
Both the NCU Under 15’s and Andrew White NCU Academy matches today were scheduled to be played against XI’s representing the Gary Kirsten Foundation, in the townships of Langa and Khayelitsha.
The current drought in the Western Cape has however laid waste those grounds dependent on public water supply and made pitch preparation in the townships impossible.
A switch to Western Province Cricket Club for both games was arranged by our South African host and the games proceeded on lush green outfields, watered from the club’s two private bore-holes.
The Andrew White NCU Academy side were asked to field and in the opening overs there was little to suggest we would see anything out of the ordinary.
What followed however was a spell of bowling from CSNI’s Aaron Wright whose 7.2 overs of off-spin returned the remarkable figures of eight wickets for only nine runs!
The Foundation XI were hustled out for 79 and the Academy side wasted no time in chasing that down for the loss of only two wickets, Jamie Magowan 28 not out when the winning total was reached.
Gary Kirsten Foundation (Langa) v Andrew White NCU Academy, at Western Province CC, 29th March
GKF XI - 79 (28.2 overs: S Ntulwane 22; A Wright 8-9)
Andrew White NCU Academy - 80/2 (13.1 overs: J Magowan 28*)
Andrew White NCU Academy won by 8 wickets.
To take advantage of the wonderful facilities on offer a T20 game was played in the afternoon in which the NCU recorded a 106 run win.
Their total of 154 for 6 wickets was made up of contributions from Max Burton (38), Jack Burton (30) and Archie Johnston (28) while with the ball - Matthew Foster 2 wickets for 3 runs, Alex Haggan (2 for 6) and Aaron Wright (2 for 10) ensured a second win of the day for the Andrew White NCU Academy side.
NCU Under 15’s Suffer First Loss in South Africa
Meanwhile the NCU Under 15 squad suffered their first defeat on the tour when they went down to a three wicket defeat at the hands of a side from the Khayelitsha township representing the Gary Kirsten Foundation.
Batting first in the usual format of a 12-a-side game the NCU were all out 150 failing to bat the allotted 40 overs against a pacy attack.
Michael Waite continued his fine batting form with an unbeaten 43 runs, while Carson McCullough made 25.
In reply the Foundation team batted steadily and Nkonzombi added 34 to his two wickets to challenge for title of Man of the Match. He was ably supported by Mfunelwa (32) and Masumpa (30 not out) who paced his batting and shielded the lower order to see his side home with overs to spare and three wickets in hand.
Skipper Michael Humphreys was the leading wicket-taker for the tourists with 4 for 27, while Rory Ellerby chipped in with a more than useful 3 for 15.
Gary Kirsten Foundation (Khyalitsha) v NCU Under 15’s at Western Province CC, 29th March
NCU Under 15’s - 150 all out (37.1 overs: M Waite 43*, C McCullough 25; A Mafanga 3-18, S Nkonzombi 2-23, J Qubuda 2-31)
GKF - 151/8 (31.2 overs: S Nkonzombi 34, B Mfunelwa 32, B Masumpa 30*; M Humphreys 4-27, R Ellerby 3-15)
Gary Kirsten Foundation won by 3 wickets.
It is with absolute delight that I have learned of the elevation of my mentor Patrick Lamont O'Hara to full membership of the MCC. His service on the "Rules" committee together with his service to cricket, both on the field, fully merits this recognition.