Please click here to leave a message.
The Ulster Cricketer reserves the right not to publish submissions written under pseudonyms or which make gratuitous personal attacks.
Yep, sure was a hot and fiery summer..
Stick or twist
To hit, block or leave, that is the question
first ball dilemma, nagging quandary
that must be resolved, less calamity befall?
Throw kitchen sink, cow corner, clear rope
fortune favours the bold, don't they say?
after all, not lead, just a leather, cricket ball
Yet if missed, dreaded, death rattle, lbw, caught
or mix up, run out? 'Tis fool's folly to
endure skipper's wrath, let side, supporters down
Nope! Steady as she goes, forward defensive
play straight, Rome not built in a day
be a rock, resolute, assured, Boycott, no clown
But what if it's short, what if it's juicy half-tracker
pull, drive, fav shots, guaranteed 4 maybe 6
''what if, what if?' indeterminate, real or illusion?
A fitful sleep, hear morning lark, cockerel's crow
mind made, make mark, leave first delivery
awareness, noble traits, a foregone conclusion!
Alas, woe is me, split hairs, fine lines, fine margins
one more straw, broke the camel's back
swing or seam deviation, tiny edge, back in pavilion
Will there be mind's release from this tumult, disarray
just two hours before bell rings, face executioner..
Mercy me! A pardoned, ping, text from the skipper;
'Sorry lads, match is off ' ... Oh Lord, thx a million!!!
An old man once told me that if you live long enough you’ll see everything! I saw an incredible performance by Cameron Doak today taking 9 wkts for Lisburn 2s v Carrickfergus 2s including a 5 for 0 in 5 balls. Carrick 73/4 - 73 all out!!
Hi Ed how are you and all on the Ulster Cricketer Forum, I said that I would give my comments on the ODIs vs South Africa and here it goes
The overall judgement from this series compared to that of the Netherlands is a massive improvement and that we seemed to manage the power plays well with wickets in hand for the final 10 overs of the matches bar the last one where I think we went a small bit gung ho but to be expected after the 2nd ODI. No player misfired in the the series and excited that we won a match vs South Africa after all the thumpings they have given us since 2007.
Match One saw Ireland doing what they failed to do in the Netherlands and keep ticking the score over and having plenty in the tank for the final 10 overs but rain ruined what I seen as a 320+ target to defend but we will never know.
Match Two like match One seen the same and this time a score of 290 to defend was I thought some 20-30 runs light but Ireland after 2 early scalps, I thought South Africa with a big partnership would win this they did and subsequently 5/42 plus the squeezing of the boundries left the Proteas with to much to do and led to an historic Irish win
Match Three saw the South Africans pile on the runs and led to a 346/4 as they sought revenge for what happened 2 days earlier and then they ripped our top 4 who excelled in the 2 previous matches but Curtis Campher and Simi Singh did show resistance and to add 174 for the last 4 wickets I was consoled that the side did not wilt and with a bit more luck could have gotten even closer but overall happy
The T20s in a T20 World Cup Year was an embarresment with only 3 players scoring over 30 runs the benchmark for T20s at no time did we even threaten to even challenge South Africa in them and they were justified in winning 3-0. A change of eleven is needed lets hope for change when Zimbabwe come over to get a boost before Oman/UAE.
The hope after the ODIs blown away due to the T20s but I was impressed and give an A for the ODIs and D- for the T20s
The Womens matches vs Netherlands seen Ireland win the 4 match series 2-1 with 1 abandonment and I was happy with the ODI 1 and 2 matches with many of the big name players stepping up to the plate and seeing the interaction between players and supporters at Malahide via photos from various Cricket sites was pleasing after 15 long months. The 3rd ODI was abandoned and I would like to congratulate the groundsmen at Malahide for their trojan work to get the 4th ODI on after the rains that hit the Dublin region. The 4th ODI when on a winning run you dont change a side barring some player welfare even though Babette deLeede played well to guide Netherlands to their win.
I still fully expect Ireland to win the upcoming qualifier in Spain with Netherlands, Scotland, Germany, France and Turkey in that order, but the timing could be bad because of the Scottish Women still involved in English competitions and the Turkish Women unable to train because of fresh lockdowns and the horrible fires at the moment.
Ed I have been looking at some pictures of the NCU grounds on social media and others recently I have come up with my top 5 do you agree
1 Stormont CSNI
2 The Mall Armagh
3 Upritchard Park Bangor
4 The Lawn Waringstown
5 Comber North Down
Stay safe Ed post soon
Not sure how you rate NCU grounds. It would also be interesting how players and spectators rate them. Obviously, the players rate the pitch and facilities, while spectators rate the ambience and the amenities. I rate everything, but I'm sure I'll be accused of bias. 1 North Down-most players rate them tops. 2 Stormont 3 Waringstown. Armagh has a lovely setting, same as Lisburn, Muckamore, Sion Mills, Donemana etc and then comes Bangor. Nice place for a holiday!
The Ireland v Zimbabwe Men’s series
27 August: Ireland Men v Zimbabwe Men - 1st T20I (Clontarf, start 12pm)
29 August: Ireland Men v Zimbabwe Men – 2nd T20I (Clontarf, start 12pm)
1 September: Ireland Men v Zimbabwe Men – 3rd T20I (Bready, start 3pm)
2 September: Ireland Men v Zimbabwe Men – 4th T20I (Bready, start 3pm)
4 September: Ireland Men v Zimbabwe Men – 5th T20I (Bready, start 3pm)
6 September: Ireland Wolves v Zimbabwe XI – ODM (Venue TBC, start 10.30am)
World Cup Super League series:
8 September: Ireland Men v Zimbabwe Men – 1st ODI (Stormont, start 10.30am)
10 September: Ireland Men v Zimbabwe Men – 2nd ODI (Stormont, start 10.30am)
13 September: Ireland Men v Zimbabwe Men – 3rd ODI (Stormont, start 10.30am)
Watching and attending the series
The World Cup Super League matches will be broadcast live, with a list of channels carrying the matches released closer to the series.
The T20I series will be livestreamed free through Cricket Ireland Live on Youtube.
Spectator capacity limits will be in place to ensure compliance with local jurisdictional COVID regulations. Tickets will go on sale shortly, with separate communications relating to ticketing to be sent out next week.
Hi Ed how are you doing. I am well and double jabbed so that particular worry is over.
On to a few things that I would like to comment on
1 The Roy Torrens tribute match that has been called off should be played at the end of September or early October if the weather is good and when we know where we stand re the new virus strain but this should have been dealt with by both sides of the border which brings me on to point 2
2 The new virus is affecting the young who have not been vaccinated and this is a worry not only in life but the sport field. Sports clubs should have been pressing for the vaccine to be given to them so that sport could continue not only cricket but all sport
3 I feel sorry for the Roy Torrens organisation re the match being called off but I hope someone in Cricket Ireland name a Trophy after him, like the T20 Competition contested by all 4 winners from the Unions on the island and maybe an award for long service contributions to the sport. Roy Torrens will be missed and condolences to his family and friends. Rest In Peace
4 The issue the registration of players needs to be looked into and not just cricket as I have seen over the years and again it reared its head with Waringstown been removed from the cup. It needs to be looked into and I am sure it should be priority one at the AGM later in the year
5 May I congratulate the Muckamore II ladies on their win vs. Holywood in the Challenge Plate and nice to see them take their place now in the Challenge Cup proper and nice to see some nice photos on various sites and that the weather played ball.
6 I just noticed a competition called the midweek league on the Northern Cricket website and just wondered is this a sort of taverners team with some ex professionals in the sides and just wondering why the PSNI if in this comp couldn't play on Saturdays in a league?
Stay safe Ed will comment on the Ireland Men v South Africa Men when the ODIs and T20s are over to give my account
A few points from here...
1 Vaccinations should be available for everyone. Some people feel it should be compulsory and it is difficult to argue against. It reduces the risk, although we know people could still be victims.
2 Great idea to name a Roy Torrens Trophy.
3 Registrations exist in the NCU. It is very clear. Remember the Connellgate?
HISTORIC WIN FOR IRELAND
Andrew Balbirnie delivered a captain’s knock as Ireland Men pulled off their first-ever victory over South Africa in the second game of the DafaNews Cup ODI series at Malahide..
The 30-year-old’s knock of 102 was followed by a fine 79 from Harry Tector as Ireland set the Proteas an imposing target of 291. The visitors responded strongly through a third-wicket stand of 108 between Janneman Malan and Rassie van der Dussen, but Ireland’s bowling attack fought back to help secure a historic 43-run win
After Temba Bavuma won the toss and chose to bowl, Balbirnie – opening the batting after William Porterfield was ruled out of the match with an injured finger - and Paul Stirling got the Ireland innings off to a solid start, putting on 64 for the first wicket. While Stirling enjoyed some luck – he was dropped twice in his innings of 27 - Balbirnie looked in fine touch from the get-go, reeling off five boundaries as he moved to 23.
Keshav Maharaj was the man to break through for South Africa, bouncing back from a Stirling boundary to bowl the big-hitting right-hander in the 14th over. Andrew McBrine was the next man in for Ireland, batting above No.6 for the first time in his international career. While Balbirnie advanced to fifty off 51 deliveries, the left-hander at the other end was watchful in the early stages of his innings, reaching 22 off 44 deliveries. Then came the attack as McBrine deposited Tabraiz Shamsi for back-to-back fours. But the left-arm wrist-spinner had his revenge immediately, with McBrine failing to connect with a reverse sweep to be trapped LBW and depart for 30.
Tector arrived next at the crease and was in some trouble straight away – Shamsi managed to find the 21-year-old’s outside edge but Kyle Verreynne was unable to hold on behind the stumps. Tector’s difficult start continued as Anrich Nortje launched a short-ball barrage and managed to strike the helmet with one particularly vicious delivery.
But Tector eventually found his flow, hitting Maharaj for six in the 36th over before delivering another maximum in the 37th off Andile Phehlukwayo. Balbirnie, dropped by Kagiso Rabada on 74, continued to nurdle at the other end and a seventh ODI century was his reward, with three figures reached from 114 deliveries.
In a bid to up the ante, Balbirnie fell for 102 as he tried to loft one down the ground, but then came a sparkling partnership between Tector and George Dockrell. After facing just three deliveries, Dockrell smashed Rabada for six to set the tone for his innings – when he departed from the final ball of the innings, he had 45 runs to his name after facing just 23 deliveries. The introduction of Dockrell appeared to lift Tector too as he joined in on the fun, launching a full toss from Rabada for a huge six over midwicket. Their partnership was worth 90, despite lasting just 46 deliveries.
Malan provided an explosive start to South Africa in their chase, racing to 20 from 14 deliveries, but his partner Aiden Markram fell for 5 to Craig Young before Bavuma pulled Josh Little to Dockrell for 10 to leave South Africa 51-2. From there Malan and van der Dussen went to work – while the former finished with seven fours and four sixes in his impressive 84, the latter made sure to run hard, collecting just two boundaries on his way to 49.
Dockrell made the key breakthrough, getting Malan to find Mark Adair at deep midwicket, and van der Dussen fell just seven deliveries later as McBrine trapped him in front of his stumps. Regular breakthroughs followed as every member of Ireland’s attack claimed at least one scalp each. Rabada threatened to cause disruption after smashing two sixes, but he was dismissed in dramatic fashion: after Keshav Maharaj found Curtis Campher’s hands from a waist-high no-ball, the Ireland fielder remained alert to run out Rabada, who was out of his ground at the wicketkeeper’s end, with the help of Lorcan Tucker.
Mark Adair, who took two in two in the 49th over, wrapped things up and the celebrations followed – Ireland could rejoice in a momentous win.
Ireland Men v South Africa Men, 2nd ODI DafaNews Cup, Malahide Cricket Club, 13 July 2021
Ireland 290-5 (50 overs; A Balbirnie 102, H Tector 79, G Dockrell 45; A Phehlukwayo 2-73)
South Africa 247 (48.3 overs; J Malan 84, R van der Dussen 49; A McBrine 2-34)
Ireland won by 43 runs
Balbirnie welcomes the return of men’s home internationals, as tickets go on public sale for Ireland v South Africa series
DUBLIN – Ireland Men’s captain Andrew Balbirnie welcomed the return of men’s international cricket in Ireland – the first such matches since September 2019 – as tickets go on general sale for the upcoming One-Day International and T20 International matches against South Africa at Malahide and Stormont.
Speaking following today’s training session, Balbirnie said:
“It feels great to finally be playing a home international again as a team. It’s been a trying year playing in front of no fans away from home, so to get the opportunity to play in front of friends, family and supporters is very exciting for all of us.”
“Having spectators certainly makes a difference - creating an atmosphere at a ground that will hopefully bring out the best in some of our players. Just the buzz around the ground is something I personally have missed and I hope over the next while we all feel that again.”
“We know how tough this upcoming series is going to be against an in-form South African side, but these are the opportunities and series that as a player you want to play in. So, hopefully over the next month we see some big performances in green.”
The series schedule is:
World Cup Super League ODI series
• 11 July: Ireland v South Africa, 1st ODI (Malahide)
• 13 July: Ireland v South Africa, 2nd ODI (Malahide)
• 16 July: Ireland v South Africa, 3rd ODI (Malahide)
• 19 July: Ireland v South Africa, 1st T20I (Malahide)
• 22 July: Ireland v South Africa, 2nd T20I (Stormont)
• 24 July: Ireland v South Africa, 3rd T20I (Stormont)
Tickets pricing and purchase are available online via: https://bit.ly/IrishCricketTix
While tickets are expected to sell out quickly, fans who miss out may still get an opportunity to attend as Cricket Ireland expects a number of tickets allocated to stakeholders will be returned and will then be placed on sale. These will be announced via Cricket Ireland’s social media channels.
IRELAND MEN’S SQUADS
Andrew Balbirnie (captain), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, George Dockrell, Graham Kennedy, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Graeme McCarter, Barry McCarthy, William Porterfield, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young.
Andrew Balbirnie (captain), Mark Adair, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Josh Little, Barry McCarthy, William McClintock, Kevin O’Brien, Neil Rock, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Ben White, Craig Young.
Ireland v South Africa serie
11 July: Ireland v South Africa, 1st ODI (Malahide)*
13 July: Ireland v South Africa, 2nd ODI (Malahide)*
16 July: Ireland v South Africa, 3rd ODI (Malahide)*
19 July: Ireland v South Africa, 1st T20I (Malahide)
22 July: Ireland v South Africa, 2nd T20I (Stormont)
24 July: Ireland v South Africa, 3rd T20I (Stormont)
Ireland v Zimbabwe series
6 August: Ireland v Zimbabwe, 1st ODI (Stormont)*
8 August: Ireland v Zimbabwe, 2nd ODI (Stormont)*
11 August: Ireland v Zimbabwe, 3rd ODI (Stormont)*
15 August: Ireland v Zimbabwe, 1st T20I (Bready)
17 August: Ireland v Zimbabwe, 2nd T20I (Bready)
20 August: Ireland v Zimbabwe, 3rd T20I (Bready)
22 August: Ireland v Zimbabwe, 4th T20I (Stormont)
24 August: Ireland v Zimbabwe, 5th T20I (Stormont)
Although I’m laid up at present I’m hearing a wee whisper that there could be a sensetation in the Senior Cup
NEWS RELEASE: MATCH OFF (AMENDED)
The unique cricket match to celebrate the centenary of Brigade’s ground in Londonderry and pay tribute to the club’s former chairman Roy Torrens has been called off because of the COVID pandemic and the increasing risks posed by the new variant.
Six current Ireland players were to have lined up in the T20 challenge at Beechgrove between an Ireland XI and Brigade Select on Sunday (July 4) and are in the squad for the forthcoming series against South Africa.
Former Ireland captain William Porterfield was to have led the Ireland X1 which consisted entirely of players who had each played at least 100 internationals. Other players in the squad against South Africa are current captain Andrew Balbirnie, Paul Stirling and George Dockrell. Fellow squad members Andy McBrine and Craig Young were to have played for Brigade Select.
Warren Deutrom, Chief Executive of Cricket Ireland, said:
“We are greatly disappointed by having to reluctantly make this decision, but an unavoidable one which we have done in consultation with the Brigade Cricket Club and event organisers. Our hearts go out to all in Brigade and to Roy's family but we will work with the Club and the Irish Cricketers Association on alternative plans, and continue to provide our support where we can.
“With less than two weeks until a major international series, and the combination of players not fully vaccinated and a major spike in COVID infection numbers in the region driven by the Delta variant, the risk was considered too high for players, volunteers and attendees. We all remained hopeful about the match being able to proceed and had looked at additional measures to keep the national players as safe as possible within the club environment but Tuesday's infection numbers showing the highest rate since January meant we had to make this difficult call.
"We are all aware of the heightened
emotions around the occasion and desire to properly celebrate Brigade’s ground centenary and the life of Roy Torrens, but we all want to do so in safe and healthy circumstances without the need to put a cordon around our players
“We look forward to helping celebrate these occasions at a later date, and would like to thank the Club and event organisers for acting so quickly and cooperatively.”
The Brigade club committee will meet tonight (Wednesday) to consider alternative plans later in the season.
Inquiries: Robin Walsh (07733100821)
MTB Northern Knights Head Coach Simon Johnston has named a 13-man squad for the final Inter-Provincial Cup match of the summer against Munster Reds at Stormont on Wednesday.
Ross Adair has been brought into the squad following his impressive performances in the recent Inter-Provincial Trophy festivals.
Paul Stirling will also be available for selection having played in last weekend’s Inter-Provincial Trophy festival at Bready. His best score of the weekend (46) came against Munster Reds in the final match on Sunday as MTB Northern Knights ran out winners by 23 runs.
Ahead of the Wednesday’s match, Johnston said: “It’s the final 50-over match of the summer and we want to end the competition on a high.
“We’ve played some good cricket this year and there are positives to take away that we can build on moving through the winter months. This is a young group who are keen to learn and develop as cricketers and I have been pleased with the progress made during 2021.
“Munster have a number of good players in their squad and we mustn’t underestimate them. We saw on Sunday at Bready in the T20 match that they can be a real threat with the bat. We must be wary of this and take nothing for granted.”
MTB NORTHERN KNIGHTS SQUAD TO FACE MUNSTER REDS:
Harry Tector (c), Mark Adair, Ross Adair, Luke Georgeson, Matthew Humphreys, Jeremy Lawlor, John Matchett, Graeme McCarter, James McCollum, Ruhan Pretorius, Neil Rock, Paul Stirling, Ben White
UPDATE ON NEWS RELEASE
Brigade have named five internationals in the North West team to play a special Ireland lineup in the unique match to mark the centenary of their Beechgrove ground and pay tribute to their late chairman Roy Torrens.
The Irish squad of 12 is made up entirely of current and former players who have each played at least 100 times for the country.
The North West have now added to the international flavour with the selection of Andy Britton, Andy McBrine, David Rankin, Stuart Thompson and Craig Young.
The T20 match will be ticket only on Sunday, July 4. Before the 2.30 pm start a pavilion clock donated by the Cricket Writers of Ireland will be unveiled in memory of Roy Torrens who had the idea of the match of centuries before falling victim of COVID 19 in January.
All the internationals in action except David Rankin played during his 12 years as Ireland team manager.
Tickets are being restricted because of the pandemic and applications should be made to:
by Tuesday, June 29.
The North West team includes five Brigade players under club captain Andy Britton and the Irish
side will be led by former captain William Porterfield.
Andy Britton, Ross Allen, David Barr, Kyle Magee, Ryan McBeth (all Brigade),
Andy McBrine and William McClintock (Donemana), David Rankin (Bready), Jonny Robinson (Fox Lodge), Stuart Thompson
(CSNI), Craig Young (North Down)
William Porterfield, Andrew Balbirnie, Andre Botha, George Dockrell, Peter Gillespie, Ed Joyce, John Mooney, Kyle McCallan, Niall O’Brien, Paul Stirling, Andrew White, Gary Wilson.
Even the men in white coats can claim international status: the umpires are Roly Black and Alan Neill.
Inquiries: Robin Walsh
(077 33 100 821)
An unique match to celebrate the centenary of Brigade Cricket Club’s Beechgrove ground and pay tribute to the Londonderry club’s late chairman Roy Torrens is to be ticket only.
COVID restrictions will reduce the number of spectators able to watch a team comprised entirely of Irish internationals who have each played at least 100 times for the country.
The big hitting T20 game of the centuries will be staged against a Brigade North West X1 on Sunday, July 4.
Ticket applications should be made by email to:
by Tuesday, June 29 and will be answered by email. Names of people requesting tickets will be required along with one contact number
for a group.
Tickets will be free and there will be a charity collection at the gate.
Brigade’s events manager Bertie Faulkner said: “We expect a big demand for tickets and will try to accommodate as many as possible for this very special occasion while adhering to the strict safety guidelines.”
Before the 2.30 pm start a clock in memory of Roy Torrens donated by the Cricket Writers of Ireland will be unveiled by his widow Joan.
It was Roy Torrens who had the idea of the game before he fell victim of COVID 19 at the turn of the year.
All the Ireland X1 taking the field played
for Ireland during the 12 year period he was team manager and will be led by William Porterfield who has a total of 303 caps.
The team includes the present captain Andrew Balbirnie and current internationals Paul Stirling and George Dockrell and among the former internationals will be Kyle McCallan and Ed Joyce.
Inquiries: Robin Walsh (email or mobile 07733100821)
Sent from my iPhone
The late Roy Torrens had no doubt how his beloved Brigade Cricket Club should celebrate the centenary of its famous Beechgrove ground on Londonderry’s Waterside.
It would be a match like no other with one of the sides totally comprised of players who have each represented Ireland at least 100 times.
The day of many centuries has now been organised for Sunday July 4 - six months after the legendary chairman of the club had fallen victim to the coronavirus.
The internationals paying tribute to the man who managed them for more than a decade will be led by former captain William Porterfield who has played 303 times for Ireland. The team will include the present captain Andrew Balbirnie (143) and current internationals Paul Stirling (292) and George Dockrell (227). Former centurions include Ed Joyce (151), Kyle McCallan (227) and Gary Wilson (292).
John Mooney (182), Andre Botha (142), Niall O’Brien (216) and Peter Gillespie (124) complete a line-up that includes seven of the 10 most capped players in the history of Irish cricket.
The big hitting T20 match will be against a Brigade Select X1 side featuring North West players. Before the 2pm start a pavilion clock will be unveiled in Roy Torrens’ memory on behalf of the Cricket Writers of Ireland.
The Irish players will turn out in specially adapted international shirts donated by O’Neills. “Team Torrens”will be on the front and 507 on the back - Roy’s number on his 30 appearances for Ireland.
Brigade’s events manager and former chairman Bertie Faulkner said it was fitting the match would be one of the most intriguing ever to be staged at Beechgrove.
He said: “The players on parade will make it an unforgettable occasion in the history of the club. It’s wonderful that so many icons of Irish cricket have made themselves available to honour not only Roy but also the club he loved.”
William Porterfield said there was no problem in assembling the team.
He said: “Everyone accepted straightaway. They want to celebrate the life of a true friend they respected and loved as well as play again at one of Ireland’s finest grounds.”
Roy Torrens managed Ireland’s men’s team from 2005 to 2015 and included the final stages of three ODI World Cups and four T20 World Cups. On his retirement he returned to his lifelong Brigade club and was chairman for his last five years.
The Brigade club was founded as Church Lads Brigade in 1906 playing its first games at Brandywell. There was to be a second ground for a year in 1920 on the Waterside area of the city before the club settled in the nearby Beechgrove. The name Brigade was adopted in 1923 and back in 1954 the club bought Beechgrove for just £800.
Down the years Brigade have won the North West Senior League 15 times and the Senior Cup 11 times.
The double came to Beechgrove twice and Roy Torrens was at the centre of both. He played in the side of 1973 and when the two trophies were again won in 2019 he was chairman of the club.
INQUIRIES: Robin Walsh:
Inter-Provincial Cup fixture date change
The upcoming Inter-Provincial Cup fixture between Northern Knights and Munster Reds has been moved to 30 June 2021.
The match was originally scheduled to be played on Thursday 10 June 2021, however due to the mandatory five-day self-isolation period for the Ireland Men’s squad returning from the Netherlands, it was agreed that the fixture should be rescheduled rather than played without these international players available to play.
The venue for the match will be advised in due course, but will be within the Northern Cricket Union.