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.

John Kerstens

Cartwrights Sports Ireland

20th Sep 2018

The Club Facilities Grant Fund is open now for applications and we at Cartwrights Sports would very much like to help your Club if you are considering making an application for grant funding.
We would be very grateful if you would allow us to provide your Club with a quote for whatever equipment etc. you are interested in purchasing using this grant.
Some of the facilities/equipment we can supply include: -
• Refurbishment of artificial pitches/practice areas;
• Installations of new playing/practice pitches;
• Mobile covers;
• Sight screens;
• Netting;
• Flat sheets &
• Water removal machines
The list is not exhaustive so please contact us about your Clubs requirements.
All Clubs who obtain a quote and finalise business with us will be entered into a draw and the winning Club will receive £100 worth of cricket balls for the 2019 season.
Hope this is of interest to all Clubs and I look forward to hearing from you.
Contact me at or give me a call on 07812203281.

Richard White, NCU PRO

NCU Headquarters

17th Sep 2018

Please find attached an e-mail link from Cricket Ireland detailing The Cricket Ireland Club Facilities Grant. The grant assists cricket clubs to improve grounds, pavilions and equipment, through the Provincial Union support structure to clubs.

Ricky Finlay


15th Sep 2018

Evening all
Just a quick email of thanks on behalf of the NCU Invitational XI to Woodvale CC for hosting a thoroughly enjoyable day (as usual) at Ballygomartin Road in memory of Jackie Gaw.
It really was a gathering of the great and good of Woodvale CC and as Stephen Warke said in his speech of thanks to all, Jackie would have been in his element.
Thanks to Les Irwin who was the organiser, Anton Gaw as skipper, Colin Storey for the excellent food, Ian Johnston for taking the photos, Cecil Robinson and Ronnie McAlpine for umpiring and the rest of the Woodvale lads for making it a great afternoon to renew friendships etc
The Invitational XI certainly enjoyed the occasion and as Les said, if there was the chance to make it an annual game, the consensus was, count us in!
Ricky Finlay

Ronnie McAlpine

Sunny North Belfast (I Hope)

13th Sep 2018

A charity memorial match dedicated to the late Jackie Gaw will be held at Ballygomartin Rd tomorrow Friday 14th September at 2pm between a Woodvale select XI and an NCU XI. All proceeds will go to Jackies chosen charity, Macmillan Cancer Care. everyone is welcome.
Woodvale XI
Anton Gaw
Marty McKeown
Ricky Warnock
Stephen Warke
Alann Rutherford
Thomas Rutherford
Davy Scott
Kyle Fitzsimmons
Les Irwin
Colin Storey
Simon Swaby
Ricky Finlay
Alan Woods
Callum Atkinson
Michael Turkington
Uel Grahame
Johnny Terret
Colin Andrews
Michael Foster
Trevor McKeown
Paul Stafford
Billy Adams

C Boomer

think I need to get out more?

8th Sep 2018

After near 25 years of playing cricket, today I had my first opportunity
to watch a complete game above and beyond my own league,
and yes indeed, what an excellent advertisement it was for local cricket
at the iconic Wallace Park setting. Lisburn entertaining Donacloney in a
thrilling match with the home side too strong on the day, though
the absence of the holidaying Dawson and a bad ankle injury during play
to the 'Cloney skipper, surely hampered their run chase, but take
nothing away from Lisburn, an exciting and very talented all round outfit,
doubtless well worthy of the league championship.
And as it transpired, providence being what it is, Donacloney maintain
league status, they have a fine, eclectic mix of players and in my humble
opinion, certainly did not deserve the dreaded drop.
And what's more, I sure enjoyed myself, despite one minor complaint
that is...
My Big Day Out

I packed my flask and sandwiches, took seat by picket fence
the watching crowd expectant, boy, they got a show,
fine bowling, superb batsmanship, no quarter given nor asked
many dignitaries in attendance, from now and long ago

Though late in the season, rain tried, but did not spoil the day
as after all, Mother Nature appreciates a game of cricket,
two hundred runs accumulated, the batsmen, they dug deep
though bowling, fielding excellent, well earned each wicket

Turn around after splendid tea, home side determined to defend
their bowlers took a stranglehold, backed up in the field,
try as they might, visiting batsmen, could not get a partnership
despite late lusty blows, wickets fell, a home win was sealed

So when all is said and done, someone must win, someone lose
it's why we enjoy the game and I got to meet important folk,
everyone so very cordial and polite, when I introduced myself
told them I'm a cricketer too, alas, they'd never heard of such a bloke?

(Well that's it done & dusted for another season, and if the great umpire in the sky doesn't raise his almighty index finger on my innings to date, hope to see you all again next year... winter well friends)

Charles McCrum


8th Sep 2018

I've grown tired of the, 'Charles McCrum playing for so many clubs and mercenary' jibes over the years.
In more recent years I have played for some clubs and coached fitness and cricket voluntarily. I brought proper hard ball cricket and competitive games back to Edenderry primary school where I coached at one stage for 4 years. It's all non stereotyped coaching.
Why it is necessary to use my name for a recent comment on the forum is beyond me. It says a lot to me about local cricket culture when playing for so many clubs seems to have been my main association with the game.


Charles, you have achieved a lot over the years and is well known as a top class cricketer and now a coach. Ignore the barbs and take the higher ground.


Launching an Appeal

7th Sep 2018

Look on the bright side Andy. Very important relegation fixture this Sunday in Junior 1. At least one side can play their 8 unstarred players.... it should make for a high quality contest.

davy boy

at the airport

7th Sep 2018

It was a joke statement not in any way meant to be taken seriously just a bit if banter as I know the umpire and hopefully most saw it as a bit of fun sorry if anybody thought otherwise and mr ed apologies.

C Boomer

Home hoping for a dry Saturday...

6th Sep 2018

Good luck to those teams preparing for their final, all important league defining games this weekend, but whatever the outcome, I reckon we all owe our president an enormous amount of thanks and gratitude for his sterling service and no small amount of effort he has given during his term in office...

A salute to the President
A former Comber, North Down resident
2018, accepted office of NCU president
a once fine cricketer, this dapper gent
with welcome smile and posh accent
like a meandering, migrating goose brent
at every cricket club, he did frequent

A distinguished General will cement
moral of battalion and thus augment
fair play, bravery, discourage dissent
instil principle, encourage and ferment
that's how he played, so where he went
his badge of honour, proud to represent

Be it illustrious kingpins, crowning advent
or awaiting minnows, chance to ascent
he graced each venue with joyful intent
and if the weather would turn inclement
open his umbrella or stand under a tent
'Carpe diem' .. he knew what that meant

We may not see his like again, our lament
for his seat in throne, just a yearly event
with players and supporters, had consent
made his mark, indelible imprint, his present
autographed books, no payment nor rent..
Thank you Clarence, forever indebted to the highest extent!


Very very kind words. Many thanks Caleb. Lurgan Park was very special after all those years. I have many memories of my experience this year. I was blessed.

Andy Kennedy


6th Sep 2018

And what about JH Cook!! On a separate issue, the jungle drums have been remarkably quiet on the subject of the administration of the self-styled ‘master race’s’ starring process!!

Patrick O'Hara


6th Sep 2018

Ref :- davyboy, How distasteful a comment is this ?
Nearly a "gratuitous personal attack", Mr. Ed. ?
Just think if Charles McCrum had decided to join the umpiring ranks. By this piece of twisted logic, Ian Houston would have struggled to find a game for him to stand in !


I'm sure Ian would sort this out if required!
Albert Ward has not been included in this debate because he has not sent me ID as yet.


sunny climate

5th Sep 2018

Ex Hollywood player umping vital game in section 1 lets hope he is impartial while his club are playing in a vital game themselves lol!!!!


Id nearly vote for all ireland to get into that pot money 40million over all sports

4th Sep 2018

Very annoyed at section 2 that still 8 sat/suns for play off as should not be run rate to decide the last promotion position and i said this three months ago .Just think when everyone knew that be lots miss matches that common sense should been used and set up a play off at start season if was required?
Wish Stormont would apply similar funding for Cricket in north =the 19 October deadline.
The Government has announced that €40 million is available for this popular programme. Last year over 2,300 applications were received from 45 different sports.
Last year there were 13 successful applications made by cricket clubs, with €248,000 committed towards facility improvements at grounds around the country. More specifically Clubs received funding for equipment purchases, upgrade of playing pitches, installation of new LED scoreboards, building safety upgrades and mobile practice facilities and mowers, to name just a few.
To support Clubs, Cricket Ireland has run several masterclasses on developing applications in Munster and Leinster, and two more will be held in Northern Ireland in early October, to which ROI-based clubs are able to attend.
A guide to making an application is now available on the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport website.
Registrations will close at 5pm, Friday 19 October 2018.

C Boomer

my 2018 review..

3rd Sep 2018

I know the season is not quite over yet as a few clubs have still to play again this weekend to decide their respective and final league positions, but for my own club ( Victoria ), we have concluded our fixtures for both the 1st & 2nd sides, and indeed, despite stumbling at the final hurdle in regards to promotion, by and large it was a very successful and enjoyable summer of cricket down in Lurgan Park.
As regards other more distinguished clubs in league status to ourselves, congrats to CIYMS on winning the Premier league, any side that can finish above Waringstown must be very prolific and loaded with talent, and if the competitive standard set by their 4th eleven in Junior 7 is anything to go by, their 1st side must be a cracking outfit, justifying the Premier league championship.
Waringstown themselves, magnificent, almost invincible, another monumental season for them with the prestigious Irish senior cup returning and displayed ornate in their clubhouse trophy cabinet, alongside the other well earned silverware they picked up as the season progressed, superb all round by you gentlemen!
Special mention must also go to Templepatrick, I tipped them a few seasons ago to go from strength to strength, back when we played against them in JL 8, they didn't win every game that year but had a side loaded with talented youngsters who were well marshalled by a few senior players, and boy did they proved me right, just look at what a tremendous season they had with all their numerous sides preforming so admirably in their respective leagues!
Finally, last but by no means least, despite the valiant heroics from all of the above, my much coveted box of duck eggs for club of the year goes to Muckamore C.C.
Six men's teams, two midweek sides and a winning ladies team, and what's even more impressive, apart from one ladies match, they fulfilled every fixture and never scratched or conceded a single game!!
Ivan McCombe & Co take a bow, an absolutely brilliant effort from you guys, long may it continue into next year and onwards.....Bravo!!!

Bryan Milford, General Secretary NCU

NCU Headquarters

2nd Sep 2018

he Annual Dinner will be held on Saturday 6 October 2018 in the Clayton Hotel, Belfast at 7.00pm.
Guest Speaker will be former Essex and England Cricketer Graham Gooch.
Tickets for the Dinner are priced £35 and there will be a maximum of 200 places.
Clubs are requested to consider their requirements now and to book with the appropriate payment as soon as possible.
The main course at the meal will Traditional Antrim turkey and ham.
Alternatives will a vegetable curry (vegetarian) and pan fried chicken supreme.
Please indicate with your booking if any of the two alternative dishes will be required. The alternative dishes must be ordered in advance and will not be available on the evening without pre-ordering.