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Richard White

NCU Headquarters

20th Feb 2018

Northern Cricket Union - Winter Youth Programme
Since last October the Northern Cricket Union (NCU) have been busier than ever, with their programme for youth coaching (boys and girls), sponsored by PwC. Every Sunday at the Ulster University, Jordanstown Campus, there are six sessions for all age groups from Under 9’s upwards, utilising both the Sports Hall and the excellent 3G surface.
NCU Representative Cricket Director Brian Walsh says, ‘we are delighted that each year we are seeing more clubs nominating boys and girls to our winter coaching programme’.
Tremendous investment is being put into youth cricket in the NCU area, with lead coaches Peter Bates, Andy McCrea, Callum Atkinson, Uel Graham, and Nigel Jones (Under 9, 11, 13, 15 and 17 respectively), and a lot of other excellent coaches assisting. This year a new dimension has been added with Eugene Moleon taking all age groups for Functional Movement Skills, including agility, which is an impressive addition to the cricket coaching.
Eugene says, ‘cricket has evolved so much recently as cricketers are also athletes. We witness balls being hit further and harder, bowlers bowling quicker, and fielders becoming quicker at moving and reacting. Movement skills in cricket allows cricketers to run faster, change direction effectively, and have the ability to react to various aspects of the game either whilst fielding or batting. We focus on individuals and how they can move effectively’.
In conjunction with the Under 9s, 10s, 11s, 13s and 15s, this year the NCU have formed a Development Group for cricketers who have not made the main squads at Under 13’s and 15’s. This provides coaching to an even wider range of children who still have an opportunity to impress and make the squads. As well as the aforementioned groups, the Andrew White Academy is also being coached, as are the Boys Under 17’s and Girls underage squads.
Lead Coach Uel Graham says, ‘the strategic view of involving more players deeper into our programme has worked extremely well with development groups at Under 11/13 and Under 15 ensuring that more players than ever from more clubs are getting more intense and concentrated coaching. Club coaches have also been welcomed at many sessions with sharing of best practice a key element as part of our regional and club coach development. One of the big benefits is the number of coaches from a variety of clubs who are assisting the lead coaches, up to twenty, and who are then able to use the experience back at their own club’s youth schemes’.

Richard White

NCU Headquarters

16th Feb 2018

Northern Cricket Union - Upcoming Courses
The Northern Cricket Union (NCU) Development Team are delighted to announce that they will be delivering the following three courses in advance of the 2018 season:
• Safeguarding (Child Protection)
• First Aid Training
• Designated Officer Training
These courses follow the recent Emerging Accreditation Workshops and act as further support to the clubs, ensuring that all the relevant club members and necessary coaches are skilled and qualified in the respective courses.
The NCU will be offering these courses FREE of charge which will hopefully support clubs further in accessing the relevant resources as part of the Emerging Accreditation Scheme and in general best practice standards.
Course Details:
Safeguarding (Child Protection)
6th March (Tuesday)
Lagan Valley Civic Centre (Oak Room)
1800 - 2100.
First Aid Course
13th March (Tuesday)
Lagan Valley Civic Centre (Oak Room)
1800 - 2100.
Designated Officer Training
20th March (Tuesday)
Lagan Valley Civic Centre (Oak Room)
1800 - 2100.
Due to expected high demand clubs are limited to TWO places per course. Please email your NCU Clubs representative asap to register your places on these courses. We will be working on a first come first served basis.



15th Feb 2018

Downpatrick 1st XI

Anyone available for a pre season friendly on Saturday 14th April. We are willing to host or travel.

If anyone is interested, please contact me on or call me on 07702085138.

Many Thanks,

C Boomer

the devil's always in the detail..

12th Feb 2018

The match that never was..

The sun shone bright on cup final day
spectators numbered many,
when came the call to play
none flinched nor spent a penny

First ball bowled a half volley
and duly thumped for six,
as it rose high, the crowd jolly
almost caused a solar eclipse

What goes up must come down
thus the ball fell into a tree,
players gathered all around
who would fetch it from tall canopy?

The captain scratched his head
and called the coach for inspiration,
who joined and promptly said,
"Get the groundsman with leaf-gun!"

But it was beyond his jurisdiction
in breach of health & safety rules,
so the chairman made a prediction
"get this sorted or we'll look like fools!"

He thought long, then had a plan
phoned the assistant executive for advice,
but his secretary said, "no Mr Chairman,
he's busy raising salaries thrice"

She put him on hold, he waited
then spoke with a financial controller,
who was counting his pay inflated
no interest in game, crowd, batsman nor bowler

The chairman became quite cross
"how can we retrieve the ball"
this guru replied, "speak to my boss,
the chief executive, you must call!"

And so continued an awful melee
while Sarah a tomboy, shinned up bark,
like a foraging squirrel, climbed easily
and threw the ball down by the bowler's mark

But no one noticed such was the cackle
the crowd had invaded the ground,
the match never concluded, a debacle
and still today, the chief executive can't be found?

Neil Gill


12th Feb 2018

Muckamore 1sts are looking two friendlies on Sat 21st and Sunday 22nd April at Muckamore.

Any takers please email me on or call me on 07802705101.


Bryan Milford

Personal capacity

12th Feb 2018


All eight clubs who applied in 2017 shared a total payout of £12k.

2018 process is underway.

Andy Kennedy

Snowy Buckna

11th Feb 2018

Re the grant that is available from the NCU, is there any figure for the amount that was distributed last year and also how many clubs benefitted?


NCU Headquarters

11th Feb 2018

Premier and Senior Leagues 2019 - Club Meeting
Clubs will be aware that following an amalgamation and two withdrawals the Management Board felt that there was no alternative to combining Senior Leagues 2 and 3 for the 2018 season.
In order to come to an arrangement for 2019 that would have the support of as many clubs as possible the Board has arranged a meeting of clubs on 13th March 2018. The venue has still to be confirmed.
Clubs may send two representatives to the meeting.
Anything agreed at a meeting other than the status quo would have to go before the 2018 AGM.
Based on the same number of entrants in 2019 options for discussion would be:
Option A
Premier League-8
Senior League 1-10
Senior League 2-8
Senior League 3-7
Option B
Premier League-8
Senior League 1-8 (poss extended T20)
Senior League 2-8
Senior League 3-9
Option C
Premier League-8
Senior League 1-10
Senior League 2-15
(This is the structure for 2018)
Clubs will undoubtedly have other ideas and if so please write to me about them by 4 March so that they can be worked into a paper for the meeting.
Bryan Milford
General Secretary


NCU Headquarters

11th Feb 2018

Welcome to Coaching Course
The Northern Cricket Union (NCU) in conjunction with Cricket Ireland Coaches Association are delighted to announce they are running a Welcome to Coaching Course (old level 1) over two evenings in the NCU area this February.
This will be the only Welcome to Coaching Course we will be hosting this year within the NCU area. Clubs interested are invited to register a maximum of two people (per club) via the Google document link below. Places are limited on this course so please register ASAP to avoid disappointment.
The Cricket Ireland Welcome to Coaching Course is a starting point for people to get into Coaching. This course is held over two evenings and is ideal for Primary/Secondary School Teachers, volunteers, and assistant coaches within junior club teams. Most Head Coaches for teams in clubs would be UKCC Level 2 qualified (which is the next step from a Welcome to Coaching course).
• Participants would be expected to develop their own coaching practices, principles and philosophies on coaching
• Further development of small-sided games and drills specific to cricket
• Offers options on the ‘type of practice’ that can be done e.g. fixed, variable, game-based learning
• Develops understanding to the needs of the players
• Raises awareness of dealing with poor behaviour
• Shows coaches how to deliver 60 minute long sessions
• Introduces coaches to the “Coach’s Toolbox” e.g. Instruct, Explain, Demonstrate, Analyse, Evaluate, Feedback, Questions, Praise
• Resources and follow up notes emailed to the participants following the course
• A Cricket Ireland Certificate on completion of the course
Ahead of the 2018 season, the NCU are keen to give as many cricket clubs in the area a chance to up-skill people and prospective coaches who might be getting involved with junior club coaching. Here are the course details:
Course Details
Venue: Wallace High School, 12A Clonevin Park, Lisburn BT28 3AD
Dates: Tuesday 20th February and Tuesday 27th February 2018
Time: Times TBC but likely to be a 6:15pm arrival for a 6:30pm start and a 9:30pm finish each evening.
Cost: FREE for all participants. The course costs are kindly subsidised by the Sport NI Active Clubs programme.
How to apply: Please click on the following link and complete the online registration form:
Equipment required: Sportswear and trainers as you’ll be taking part in cricket drills, games and exercises (injury / health permitting) - Cricket Ireland will provide all the cricket specific equipment that is needed on the course. Bring a pen and a notepad as well if you would like to take down some notes on the day.
Further queries: Please contact your club development contact as per the NCU website.

Brian O'Hara

North Down (Area!)

11th Feb 2018

NCU Senior Leagues meeting:
No real change on offer from the Union.
1. Drop Section 1 to 8 teams OR
2. Drop Section 2 to 8 teams OR
3. What we decided for this year already.
What are the chances of an agreement round anything that involves Section 1 clubs?
They were split 7/3 on Pros and the talk is that that will be 6/4 before the season starts.
Anything that involves promotion/relegation will bring out the worst in all concerned. There will be more 'red lines' than at Stormont.



11th Feb 2018

Ref: Bryan

Is this grant available for anything cricket related, not just blue plastic stumps and an orange ball?

Both Caleb and Andy have gone right to the heart of the problem. Club cricket outside of the Premier League is on its knees.

Regardless of the reasons for Sections 2/3 amalgamating it will inevitably lead to numerous games of Mickey Mouse cricket.

Section 1 is already a feeder ground for the Premier League.

I can't see how club/grassroots cricket is benefiting from the new dispensation.

For those that have wanted test status it's great. But Ireland will forever be hammered because it's not a national sport.

Andy has mentioned the various salaries being paid whilst in reality club cricket is dying.

C Boomer

A friend in need is a friend indeed..

10th Feb 2018

Bryan, Clarence,

Thank you for your prompt replies and yes indeed, I appreciate those at the very top tier must always dine first, though it's encouraging to know that able representatives like yourselves are fighting tooth and nail in order that all below will get a share of the spoils, whatever that maybe and that none will go hungry whatever way the windfall is eventually spread.

Looking forward to seeing you both at some point this season and for the record, our president Gerald Johnston in his 81st year and still hoping to play the odd game or two will also be delighted to meet you both!

Keep up the great work!!


Looking forward to it and Gerald is certainly someone special.

Bryan Milford

Personal Capacity

10th Feb 2018


Cricket Ireland has for the past two years made a sum of money available to provincial unions to assist clubs with the development of their facilities.

Has your club applied for a grant from the fund?

C Boomer

don't look a gift horse in the mouth

10th Feb 2018

That's excellent news, how much of the $40 million will my club get or indeed and any other in need of a financial bolster to shore up flagging morale?


Caleb, $5million a year will be quickly absorbed with the Cricket Ireland schedule. It will need additional sponsorship to sustain it. What are your plans for Victoria this season as I'm always interested in boosting flagging morale and I was very disappointed about Dungannon's loss. I'm certain the NCU would welcome any initiative and help support. There are a lot of good people involved doing great work, mostly voluntary, and it's very important that it reaches grassroots and everyone share growth and development. I plan to visit Victoria this season!



9th Feb 2018

ICC Funding
The ICC Board agreed a revised financial model incorporating increased allocations for Ireland and Afghanistan as the newest Full Members of the ICC.
The new model will see Ireland and Afghanistan each receiving a percentage of the projected surplus, amounting under current projections to approximately $40m each over the course of the current eight year commercial rights cycle.
In other matters, the Board expressed their concern around the absence of a tax exemption from the Indian Government for ICC events held in India despite ongoing efforts from both the ICC and BCCI to secure the exemption which is standard practice for major sporting events around the world.
The Board agreed that ICC management, supported by the BCCI will continue the dialogue with the Indian Government but in the meantime directed ICC management to explore alternative host countries in a similar time zone for the ICC Champions Trophy 2021.