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28th Sep 2017

Congratulations to the Editor on his forthcoming election to the Presidency of the NCU. I'm sure he's looking forward to the AGM and while in the past he has been critical of the level of debate it will be a night to remember for him.
On the Notices of Motion published: There seems only one of real note with Holywood proposing that no non-resident can play below the Premier league except those 'here for purposes unconnected with cricket'.

Given the bad feeling and recriminations flying around in Section one last year such a proposal would bring clarity and uniformity at least.

But there was talk of Cricket Ireland being able to negotiate a concession to their visa regulations similar to the one the Scotland have enjoyed for many years - one that I believe allowed young overseas 'amateurs' to play.

It seems strange that we send numerous young players to winter in Australia and New Zealand but stop the reciprocal arrangement.

But since this was flagged up last year I'm sure Cricket Ireland have been on the job and perhaps that will be apparent in the debate next week.

Another topic that should be addressed is that of the Interprovincial tournaments.
It was great to see the Northern Knights supporting the local game and players by not using any pros last year. They may not be able to do that next year if the talk about redrawing the borders, rejigging the sides and even franchising comes about. Where exactly are we with all that?

Clarence - maybe there will be a better debate this year after all, here's hoping and Good Luck with your Presidency.


Thanks Brian. I've mellowed over the years!

Ulster Grasshoppers

Bound for Malta

26th Sep 2017

THE Ulster Grasshoppers leave on Thursday for Malta where they will play two matches over a long, hopefully hot, weekend in Sliema.
The opposition will be the Wales national Over 55s side (well, the Grasshoppers are playing 11 hours after landing!) and on Sunday they will face their host club Marsa CC, who include National player Frank Spiteri.Both games hope to last around 35 overs per side.
A party of 17 is travelling, led by Grasshoppers chairman Ricky Finlay and tour organiser Andy Beattie while other ‘big names’ certain to put fear into the opposition include Michael Turkington - the veteran of Grasshoppers tours - Corin Goodall, Stephen Colgan, Callum Atkinson, Glenn Halliday, Brian Anderson and Matthew McCord
There are also plans to watch the Premier League action in a Sports Bar on Saturday while golf and some sightseeing are also on the agenda before the party returns on Monday evening.
Tourists: Alan Harrison, Andrew Beattie, Blair Stewart, Brian Anderson, Callum Atkinson, Colin Storey, Corin Goodall, Glenn Halliday, Les Irwin, Matthew McCord, Michael Turkington, Peter Bates, Rab McClimond, Ricky Finlay, Stephen Colgan, Ian Callender, Dawn Callender.


Great tour. Enjoy!


ICC Headquarters

26th Sep 2017

· Restrictions on bat sizes, player send-offs and changes in DRS are the highlights of new playing conditions effective 28 September
· Video interview of ICC General Manager Cricket – Geoff Allardice, explaining the new regulations available for free download at the Online Media Zone
· Document reflecting major changes to the new playing conditions attached
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has introduced a number of changes to its playing conditions which will be effective in all series starting 28 September or later.
The significant changes include a restriction on the dimensions of the bat, the introduction of player send-offs for misconduct and changes to the Decision Review System, all of which will commence from the two upcoming Test series – when South Africa hosts Bangladesh and the one between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates.
The ICC playing conditions will now incorporate the relevant clauses from the MCC Laws of Cricket (2017 Code), meaning that all the playing regulations will be captured in one document for each format.
ICC General Manager – Cricket, Geoff Allardice: “Most of the changes to the ICC playing conditions are being made as a result of changes to the Laws of Cricket that have been announced by the MCC. We have just completed a workshop with the umpires to ensure they understand all of the changes and we are now ready to introduce the new playing conditions to international matches.”
To maintain the balance between bat and ball, the playing conditions now restrict the size of the edges of the bats as well as their thickness. The restriction on the length and width of bats remain unchanged but the thickness of the edges can’t be more than 40mm and the overall depth can be 67 mm at the most. Umpires will be issued with a new bat gauge, which they can use to check a bat’s legality.
In a new playing condition pertaining to players’ conduct, a player can now be sent off the field for the rest of the match for any serious misconduct, meaning it will apply to Level 4 offences while the Level 1 to 3 offences will continue to be dealt with under the ICC Code of Conduct.
Threatening to assault an umpire, making inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with an umpire, physically assaulting a player or any other person and committing any other act of violence all constitute Level 4 offences.
The above changes will be applicable across all formats, as will be a change in the DRS rules by which a review will now not be lost in case of a decision that remains unchanged, solely as the result of an ‘umpire’s call’.
As for DRS in Test matches, there will be no more top-up reviews after 80 overs of an innings, meaning that there can only be two unsuccessful reviews in each innings, while the DRS will now also be allowed to be used in T20Is.
An important change with respect to run outs is that if a batsman is running or diving towards the crease with forward momentum, and has grounded his/her bat behind the popping crease but subsequently has lost contact with the ground at the time of the wickets being put down, the batsman will not be run out. The same interpretation will also apply for a batsman trying to regain his/her ground to avoid being stumped.
For boundary catches, airborne fielders making their first contact with the ball will need to have taken off from within the boundary, otherwise a boundary will be scored.
Also, a batsman can now be out caught, stumped or run out even if the ball bounces off the helmet worn by a fielder or wicket-keeper.

Ally McCalmont


25th Sep 2017

Andy (K)
Just to respond to your post regarding the ODI at Stormont.
Contrary to your 'rumour' the West Indies were very keen to get a game in and indeed a win as the no result adversely affected their ODi ranking which leads to automatic qualification for the World Cup.

Albeit a moot point now that England have won 2/3 of their ODi series v West Indies a win in Belfast might have given them a chance.

Further to mention that given the damp and cold conditions the West Indies players could have 'hid in the dressing rooms'
Instead they came out, engaged, signed autographs, took selfies and best of all took part in a coaching session on the 3G cricket zone with the children who had made the effort to go the game.
Wanting to play or not, fair play to them.


Well said Ally. The Windies showed good PR.
However, listening to the commentators recently it looked like they didn't want to play anywhere let alone Belfast. Bar Gayle, they were outclassed by England and their fielding was pathetic with dropped catches and misfields. West Indies had it all to lose in Belfast, albeit it didn't matter as the rain followed. We will never know what could have happened. Maybe the new Windies will re-appear next time?

Cricket Ireland


19th Sep 2017

Andrew Balbirnie (Captain) (Pembroke/Lightning), John Anderson (Merrion/Lightning), Peter Chase (Malahide/Lightning), George Dockrell (Leinster/Lightning), Shane Getkate (Instonians/Knights), Andrew McBrine (Donemana/Warriors), Barry McCarthy (Durham), Jacob Mulder (CIYMS/Knights), Stuart Poynter (Durham), James Shannon (Instonians/Knights), Simi Singh (YMCA/Lightning), Nathan Smith (Instonians/Knights), Jack Tector (YMCA/Lightning), Sean Terry (The Hills/Lightning), Stuart Thompson (Eglinton/Warriors), Lorcan Tucker (Pembroke/Lightning).
Chris Siddell (Team Manager), John Bracewell (Head Coach), Rob Cassell (Assistant Coach/Fast Bowling Coach), Ed Joyce (Batting Coach), Brendan Connor (Strength & Conditioning Coach), Scott Irvine (Performance Analyst), Niamh Connolly (Physiotherapist).
October 11-14, Ireland Wolves v Bangladesh A, 4-day game
October 17, Ireland Wolves v Bangladesh A, 1-day game
October 19, Ireland Wolves v Bangladesh A, 1-day game
October 21, Ireland Wolves v Bangladesh A, 1-day game
October 24, Ireland Wolves v Bangladesh A, 1-day game
October 26, Ireland Wolves v Bangladesh A, 1-day game


No shortage of Support Team!


Royal Fullerton

18th Sep 2017

As another season draws to a close, 2017 could be described as one of the more interesting in the history of Cooke Collegians CC. Disappointment in the first XI just failing to stay in section 2 was somewhat tempered by the seconds jointly winning their division.
On field achievements,however, don't tell the full story. There are many people who have helped us this year and I think it is appropriate now to share our thanks.
Firstly to the NCU and in particular Callum Atkinson. Callum successfully guided us through the club accreditation scheme. A key part of our development plan was the installation of an artificial wicket at Fullerton park and as of today work has commenced on this.
Secondly there have been many of our friends and colleagues in the cricket family.
Cregagh and Saintfield supported us by moving fixtures from Saturday to Sunday when it became apparent we had a clash.
Templepatrick, Saintfield (again), North Down,and Derriaghy all offered us the use of their facilities when ours were unavailable.
This generosity is one the things that makes our game great, very many thanks to each of you.
We are a stronger club now than we were at the start of the season and you have all helped in no small way in making that happen.
See you all next season



Well said Graeme.

Andy Kennedy

Sunny Buckna

15th Sep 2017

Far be it from me to 'rise the hare' but I was interested to see that a Section 5 game between Academy 3 and Muckamore 4 due to be played last Sunday has been voided after the ground had been declared 'Unfit' by the home side and I am aware that the home side has the call on that. I find it strange that the same ground - that is not graded for Senior cricket - hosted a Senior game between Academy and Bangor (with the approval of the Competitions Committee) 90 minutes later! I understand, from the social media, that Muckamore offered to switch the game to Moylena but this was turned down on the grounds that Academy had no transport! If that is the case then how did they hope to get to Roughfort and Moylena is only a few miles down the road. I hope that the rule changes that were made last weekend will hold for this weekend should the weather turn!



14th Sep 2017




14th Sep 2017

Still a lot of fun in cricket.
Two incidents in the North Down 2s game v. Downpatrick if recorded on u tube would have had numerous hits.
Firstly as Billy Adams marked out his run up from the Billy Adams end ( he doesn't allow anyone else to bowl from the top end) and the skipper set the field something didn't look quite right. Yes we had an exceptionally tight field but one position was not filled. We had NO wicketkeeper!!!
Second incident as we expected a close finish Burns opened up 6 4 4 and finally a straight 6. Skipper Josh yelped in delight on the boundary jumped in the air but before his feet returned to the turf delight turned to horror as the ball sailed over the fence and smashed into the rear window of his car!!!!
You couldn't write the script.

Andy Kennedy

dreich Buckna

14th Sep 2017

repeat of the England game a few years ago. One has to ask if there really was any appetite to play on the part of the West Indies? A couple of 'whispers' that I heard would indicate not. The whole event puts the gaining of Test status into perspective. The article referred to earlier describes the reality for Cricket Ireland and confirms what a few of us have been saying since Test status was first mooted - the infrastructures weren't in place and still aren't. I recall being criticised for talking about the story of the Emperor's new clothes but Wednesday told a tale!

Keith Montague

Clogherhead Co Louth

14th Sep 2017

Just looking ahead to next year, why not start the season with a few T20 matches in 4 mini leagues format with 5 teams in each, all of the Premier and League 1 and the top 2 sides in League 2 over a 3 year period.

2 sides from the prem in each group with 3 sides from lge one in 3 gps and the rem lge one side with the 2 lge 2 sides. 5 matches per side played on the first 2 Saturdays and Sundays and then the May Bank Holiday, with the top side playing in Semis and then the Final on the Sunday at Stormont or a neutral venue after the Irish and National Cup weekend. This would be the new T20 comp (for the Prem sides)

Then the league programme could then start in Mid May and have leg room for any cancelled matches which then could be played as a T20 refix in midweek or as a normal 50 over encounter the following day.

The League 1+2+3 sides would still have a T20 comp of their own and play the finals of all at the same ground over a weekend.

Does anyone else agree with me.

C Boomer


14th Sep 2017

Why did they not cover the whole field with tarpaulin, canvas sheets or something waterproof the evening before, it's not as if the rain on Tuesday night wasn't forecast?

Seems like an own goal on Cricket Ireland's part, and once again, it's the travelling fans who bear the brunt of this potentially massive 'gaff! '

Michael Kennedy


13th Sep 2017

Clarence, the media sure did get it right.

Clarence Hiles


13th Sep 2017

The media got it right!
Match abandoned at Stormont.
Huge disappointment for everyone.
Still raining in Barbados too!

Keith Montague

Clogherhead Co Louth

13th Sep 2017

Editior in all honesty I thought the relegation scrap would be between Muckamore and CSNI with Carrickfergus and yes Lisburn maybe involved, but the main thing between the 4 of the sides was Lisburn could'nt get any significant scores on the board which led to their relegation.

It will be interesting to see will they (Lisburn) bounce back at the 1st time of asking or will it be someone else.

But that is the beauty of Sport and especially Cricket if were played on paper we the public would not turn up

I have to say I am a neutral when it comes to following the NCU as I think you enjoy matches more so than the biting of nails unlike my LCU side Balbriggian in Div 2 and the local side near to me Dundalk (Div 10 going back up to Div 9 next year). I also take an interest in Knockharley (going well in Div 4) and Ashbourne (Div 11 champs and up to Div 10 in 2018) results being in the same region.

Thanks Ed for your quick response


Very welcome Keith.
Lisburn should have won at The Green, but self destructed. A few other matches may have happened too. However, I'm sure they will rebound.