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Andy Kennedy


27th Oct 2018

For many seasons I have been posting about the machinations of CI vis-a-vis what happened when rugby ‘went professional’. To take a jaundiced view of the present scenario and looking at the highly paid CEOs and their minions I see people being involved in basic admin duties - for instance - is it really the role of a CEO to be drinks waiter at an under-age game or handing out the paperwork at an AGM? It’s all about added value.. Having heard assurances that ‘we have’ learned and taken on board the lessons from Rugby Ireland’ I really do have to ask the question. The real problem is that there are so many now involved at the top Level. who are loathe to complain because they are ‘in the system’.As someone who has been involved for more years than I care to remember I am concerned about the continual decline in the Union in which I am mostly involved I really have to ask ‘did anyone take notice of my comments a few seasons ago about the emperor’s new clothes.? This is not a rhetorical question. When I look at my grandson I do wonder will there be cricket for him to enjoy in the 2020s. The ‘vibs’ that I get from the hierarchy says ‘no’ But hey - we are a Teat Nation and those at the top will have the attainment of such status on their CVs should they move on


Our Union is thriving at many clubs and I have plenty of evidence during the past season.Yes, a couple of clubs have challenges and we need to help them, but overall the clubscene is strong and I admire the hard work of coaches throughout our Union. I assume your comments are more directed at CI and yes, I find in strange that the work of the Interprovincial Development Officers has been dismissed as it sends a different message from CI. The passage to improve and develop comes from grassroots, and everyone would be stupid to think otherwise. We are not dealing stupid people so perhaps more transparency is needed to share the reasons or a strategic plan to advance at this level. We can't advance without grassroots thriving in the Provinces.
On the question of professionalism we live in this era and whether we like it or not, we have to live in the current. The Ireland rugby team has never been better and Ulster rugby thrives with lucrative revenue and heavy sponsorship. The grassroots have certainly suffered in Ulster, but I'm not sure we are comparing apples with apples? Best for cricket to get their own act together irrespective and it starts with grassroots, in much the same as rugby too.

Gilbert Alexander


16th Oct 2018

Thanks for follow up.after enquiry at donacloney c c was able to get a copy . sorry for not letting you know sooner . thanks again


Great! Hope you enjoy it.

Keith Montague

Clogherhead Co Louth

8th Oct 2018

Thanks Ed, I've been catching up on scorecards missing from my 2018 score-books and writing scores from my other love which is snooker, pool and billards games from all leagues and international events. Both of the sports are enjoyable and lasts for hours which is a good and keeps the mind ticking over all year round. Ed is their any cricket clubs in the Northern region with snooker or pool associations that are aligned with each other.
One thing you failed to respond with was "I told you so" with Waringstown winning the Irish Senior Cup you said that the cup would end up North so true you were or were you being diplomatic


Keith, I'm always a diplomat. LOL
Not sure about the snooker connection with cricket, but I know North Down has a pool table but not aligned.

Gilbert Alexander


8th Oct 2018

Thanks and congrats to Clarence Hiles after reading his comments regarding.2018 where can I purchase history of N C U book


Are any of your friends at the AGM tomorrow night? I could deliver it. (No Charge)

Keith Montague

Clogherhead Co Louth

8th Oct 2018

Hi Ed it has been a while since my last posting and congrats to CIYMS in the Premier, Lisburn in Section 1 and Templepatrick in Section 2 and in the cups well done to Waringstown in winning both of the regional Finals and also in the Irish Senior Cup (you got your wish saying the cup could head north and it did just that) and to every one else who won well done, and those relegated in Leagues and runners up in Cups hard luck and bounce back next year (like Lisburn did this year).
In the Womens area congrats to Muckamore on the League success and to Lurgan on the Cup win.
2018 season has passed now and to all those men and women who have retired from playing and umpiring a good and happy retirement to all and to the new kids starting it is all ahead of you and for all those who passed on during the season we will remember them
For any one out there without a Sky or BT television there will be live commentaries on all of Ireland Womens matches in the T20 World Cup and all others on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Xtra and 4 Long Wave on certain ones on BBC Radio and all of the Aussie domestic T20 comps men and women and Internationals aswell.
Also a TMS Social will be done during the Sri Lanka tour by England as Talksport has the rights, only on their digital station of Talksport 2 so can not be gotten in the Republic but can do in the North (someting akin to the defunct Test Match Sofa) but gurellia cricket will provide alt commentary online


Thanks Keith. You have been quiet!

Richard white, NCU PRO

NCU Headquarters

8th Oct 2018

Northern Cricket Union Autumn/Winter Regional Development Sessions

This week 350 junior cricketers from more than 28 clubs and schools will receive invitations to attend regional coaching sessions, to be undertaken by over 20 Northern Cricket Union coaches. Ranging from Under 9's to Under 17's (boys and girls) and undertaken in 3 locations: Antrim Forum, Ulster University Jordanstown Sports Centre and Wallace High School, these regional development sessions which started in 2012 have gone from strength to strength.
Commenting on the programme, NCU Cricket Operations Manager, Uel Graham, said ‘this is the foundation of our winter programme where clubs and schools can nominate players, across all age groups who they believe have potential, to attend coaching sessions from our dedicated coaching team. The NCU also welcomes club coaches to attend and observe these sessions so that we can share some best practices on a wider scale. We have increased and strengthened our coaching pool, with Knights players, James Cameron Dow and Rob McKinley, and current Premier League player, Andrew Cowden, who all undertake coaching duties at their clubs, adding their expertise at a regional level. Michael Clark, from New Zealand, who was a professional at Carrick, Woodvale, Lisburn and North Down in the 1990's, and is a Level 2 coach, has relocated to Northern Ireland, and has also joined our team.
Within the girls coaching team, senior NCU women players, Staci Maxwell and Becky Hall will be formally involved for the first time, bringing their player experience to the junior girls programmes.

Callum Atkinson who was Lead Coach at Under 13 level has moved up to Under 15's, and Stephen Dyer, who has worked across the junior age groups as volunteer and coach, has stepped up to lead the Under 13's, whilst Peter Bates (Under 9), Andy McCrea (Under 11) and Nigel Jones (Under 17) continue their good work as Lead coaches.

The commitment of coaches, parents and administrators at club and school level are all fundamental to the success of this programme and hopefully it will have a positive impact on club participation levels, and also to the ability levels of the players who attend these sessions as part of their cricketing journey, which can be undertaken in a safe and fun environment.’
NCU Chairman, Alan Waite, said, 'the NCU has continued to develop and enhance the development program over the last five years and we are delighted that this winter will see record numbers of nominations from the clubs. The expanded nature of the winter schedule has required the introduction of a number of new coaches all of whom already contribute massively to their respective clubs and who will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to help support those who have done so much to establish the coaching program'.

Richard White, NCU PRO

NCU Headquarters

1st Oct 2018

The Annual General Meeting, taking place at the Civic Centre, Lagan Valley Island, Lisburn, on Tuesday 9 October 2018, commencing at 7.30pm.

Any further queries should be directed to Bryan Milford, General Secretary of the Northern Cricket Union. Mobile: 07828 182090

Ryan Haire

North Down CC

27th Sep 2018

North Down Coach Craig Yelverton leads the Futura Sports Agency Academy and would like to invite any prospective cricketer over the ages of 17 who is looking take their pre season to a new level to join our program based in Durban South Africa. Have a look at our video from this year's program and get in touch.
Craig can be contacted via email -
YouTube video -

Ivan Mc Combe

Sunny Carrickfergus

24th Sep 2018

I was reading at the weekend that there is a growing demand from the IFA towards playing Irish League games from February to October .
What effect do readers of the Forum think this could have on local cricket?


Two different breeds Ivan. The IFA wants to cash in on the terrific summer this year, but it only happens every 25 years. Summer football has been brandied about for many years, and I wonder will the footballers be in reverse and play winter football? Also, where will the footies get a tan on their holidays with their wives and kids?
Few footballers watch cricket and vice-versa. In fact, few cricket supporters watch cricket. Look at Stormont when the Afghans visited.

Cricket Ireland


21st Sep 2018

Board confirms Malahide to host England ODI in 2019 and other outcomes from recent Board Meeting
CORK – The Board of Cricket Ireland has confirmed that Malahide Cricket Club in Dublin has been designated as the venue to host a one-day international against England in May 2019, as part of a wider-ranging endorsement of a plan to overhaul venue allocation policies and procedures for marquee fixtures, at its recent Board Meeting held at Cork County Cricket Club on 12 September 2018.
The one-day international (ODI), to be held on Friday 3 May 2019, was initially announced in June 2018 as part of the release of the ICC Future Tours Programme (FTP), with the Board now confirming that Malahide will be the host venue (subject to finalisation of terms with the host club).
The allocation of the fixture was part of the Board’s broader consideration of venue allocation policies, with an overhaul of procedures now underway ahead of the first full year as part of the FTP, with further announcements in due course for the remainder of the 2019 programme
Warren Deutrom, Chief Executive of Cricket Ireland, said:
“We are, of course, looking forward to our first Test match against England at Lord’s Cricket Ground in July 2019, but we are equally eagerly anticipating hosting England in an ODI here in Ireland ahead of the Test.
“We expect there will be immense interest in the match, as it will be seen by England as a key part of their preparations ahead of the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England. We look forward to working with, and continuing to enjoy the generous support of, Malahide Cricket Club, Fingal County Council and other local stakeholders for what should be another great cricket event.”
“Planning is underway for this encounter and we would anticipate tickets going on sale before the end of 2018.
“As it stands, in 2019 we will have four Full Member national men’s teams visiting our shores, playing in different formats. The importance of venue allocation for these fixtures is crucial in providing the best conditions we can for our national side, while trying to manage the usual wear-and-tear that pitches endure over a season for the inter-provincial sides and clubs that also use those grounds.
“The Board considered this issue in detail and has endorsed the development of a new Match Allocation Policy for international and Inter-Provincial matches in Ireland. This move recognises the increased demand on our international-rated grounds given our entrance into the FTP.”
“We currently have just four international-rated grounds in Ireland – Malahide, Clontarf, Stormont and Bready. The challenge of using club grounds for international matches is that when it comes to access, infrastructure and pitch quality there are competing demands and expectations between users of those grounds.”
“As part of the discussions, the Board raised the matter of recent comment on the standard of pitches at Stormont. I said the day after we became a Full Member last year that our biggest deficit in infrastructure and human resource was in facilities, and it would take years to change. We have invested thousands in new ground covers, people and transportation of equipment / experienced ground-staff this year to offset the impact of poor weather, but we know being on a par with the older Test nations in the whole area of playing facility development, preparation and management is a much longer-term project.”
“Managing pitch conditions and facilities in general, and taking a strategic approach to where we host matches – taking into consideration pitches, home advantage, revenue generation, cost and geographical spread – will become ever more important with increased international matches over coming years. This is also why we are also exploring the construction of a new cricket stadium – not to take international matches away from existing venues, but rather to provide dedicated, durable cricket facilities and to spread the fixture load across our already busy grounds.”
Next year will be the first full year that Ireland is part of the FTP, but Deutrom sees the programme as an opportunity for Ireland to ensure its policies and facilities are fit-for-purpose.
“One of the operational frustrations of having been outside of the FTP was this very constraint on our ability to plan forward in terms of allocating venues. This had the knock-on impact for domestic fixture scheduling and short-to-medium term financial modelling. Now, with our entrance into the FTP, we are in a position to know our marquee fixtures for the foreseeable future, and allocate matches to venues accordingly. We see this providing benefits in relation to venue planning, building a case for venues to engage with funding authorities to seek infrastructure development funding, and enabling us to market/promote our sport with greater certainty,” said Mr Deutrom.
“The Board has recognised that our existing Match Allocation Policy was drawn up five years ago when the Irish cricket landscape was very different to now – in particular the quantity of major matches to allocate, our ICC status, the hosting of Test cricket, and developments in ICC venue standards.”
“The Board’s decision will enable Cricket Ireland to work closer with Provincial Unions and clubs to create a sustainable network of cricket venues across this island.”

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)