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Welcome aboard Mr Ford and thanks you for the pleasant compliments.
Yes indeed, by and large we're a decent breed of folk here and doubtless you'll be made very welcome wherever you go.
Just one thing though, if your tenure at the very pinnacle of our national sport is to be a successful one, and I've no reason to think not, please bear in mind the grassroots end of our game! Don't be a stranger to our lower leagues, as it's here that the majority of our younger players 'fledge their wings and cut their teeth.'
You certainly won't be disappointed or feel it's a waste of your valuable time, quite the contrary, you'll be highly impressed by the standards, the skill and competitive play on view, which should encourage and reinforce your ambitions, long term plans and overall, bode well for the future of the game here on the Emerald Isle.
Ps. You'll also get a decent cuppa, to be sure, to be sure.
GRAHAM FORD has been named as the new National Head Coach of Cricket Ireland. The 56 year-old South African has signed a three-year deal and will take over the reins from John Bracewell when his current contract ends in December.
A former first-class player with Natal, Ford has 25 years coaching experience including roles as Test coach with South Africa and Sri Lanka (twice). He also enjoyed successful spells with Natal/Dolphins, Surrey and Kent.
"I am really excited to be a part of this new era in Irish cricket. I have always enjoyed working with decent people and, in their attitude, character and camaraderie, the Irish cricketers have always come across as such," said Ford.
"With my knowledge and experience I believe I can genuinely make a difference. All my efforts will be dedicated to assisting the players to improve and achieve their full potential while playing an enjoyable brand of cricket."
Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom welcomed the appointment of Ford, who comes with an impressive reputation and track record at international level.
"We are delighted to have a person of Graham's calibre as Ireland's next Head Coach and we are all looking forward to working with him," said Deutrom. "Graham has a strong reputation for man-management, of improving individual and team performances at all levels, and has shown how to build winning teams in all three formats
"He is well respected throughout the cricketing world, and we believe his coaching CV sends out a strong signal of our intention to try and hit the ground running as quickly as possible as a competitive force among the Full Member nations.”
Cricket Ireland Performance Director Richard Holdsworth outlined why Ford had been chosen from a strong field of candidates.
“Graham’s reputation for improving young players, his work ethic and huge knowledge were among the key factors for his appointment," said Holdsworth. "The panel was strongly persuaded by Graham’s clear understanding of what the Ireland team and Irish cricket in general needs right now, while he is already familiar with some of our players through his coaching spells at Kent and Surrey.
"In the short term, his expertise in the shorter forms of the game will also be vital as we build towards two major ICC events over the next three years – including the ICC World Cup Qualifier in the first half of 2018 – while longer term he is aiming to strengthen the national team in its rebuilding process from a core of long-established players to a younger less experienced team
"John Bracewell and his support staff continue to plan the next few months, while a hand-over with Graham during the tour to UAE in late November and early December has been mutually agreed, after which Graham will take charge."
Cricket Press Release
Northern Knights to play Leinster Lightning (September 10th) in the Inter-Provincial 50 Over Championship
The Northern Cricket Union has announced the Northern Knights squad, captained by James Shannon, for the final 2017 Hanley Energy Inter-Provincial 50 Over Championship fixture against Leinster Lightning, at Rathmines, Leinster Cricket Club (Dublin), on Sunday September 10th.
Gary Kidd, Lee Nelson and Greg Thompson return to the squad after missing the Inter-Provincial Championship fixture at Castle Avenue.
Leinster Lightning secured their fourth successive 50 Over Championship title with a fixture to spare.
Sunday September 10th: IP 50 Over Championship - v Leinster Lightning, at Rathmines, Leinster Cricket Club, Dublin - 10:15am Start
• James Shannon (Captain)
• Chris Dougherty (Wicket Keeper)
• Shane Getkate
• Gary Kidd
• Graeme McCarter
• James McCollum
• Robert McKinley
• James Magee
• Jacob Mulder
• Lee Nelson
• Nathan Smith
• Nikolai Smith
• Greg Thompson
All requests for interviews should be made through Angela Platt, NCU General Manager (028 90 522664 / 07713512315) or Northern Knights Manager Andrew Rose (07967580122).
Massive congratulations to all involved at Cregagh gaining promotion to Section One - a great club full of fantastic players and also volunteers working behind the scenes !
From what I have seen there are numerous players capable of playing at the very highest level ! Onwards and upwards ! To name a few players that NCU should be watching - Aaron Johnston,Adam Skelton and Adam McCormick !
Also on behalf of Max a massive thanks to the fantastic youth coaches who have helped the young players develop throughout the season - credit to yourselves and the fantastic youth structure in place !Ian Kerr,Davy Harris,Jonny Simpson,BobMoore,Adam McCormick,John Kelly and most importantly David McCormick you are a credit to your club !
If our local weather could be likened to the proverbial motorcar, I'd do a Basil Faulty, break a branch of a nearby tree and give the thing a dam good flogging?
August must have been one of the wettest on record, but of course now that the schools are back and the cricket season is almost complete, we get fine, sunny weather, typical?
Ah well, still, it was enjoyable and great fun, good stuff N.C.U. and lets hope Waringstown can put the icing on the cake by bringing the cup home, 'come on the lads ' !!
The Twelfth Man (by Aussie poet Max Fatchen)
I'm ALWAYS twelfth man
though I do what I can
But somehow they never can see
That my spinners have turn
And I'm willing to learn.
It's strange that they never choose me.
I've taken a catch
In a very hard match.
I'm loudest when making appeals.
I think it a shame
As the hope of the game
I'm simply left kicking my heels.
You can always rely
That I'll save the leg bye.
I'm a player as cool as a cat.
Do you know what they DID,
Picked another daft kid,
Because of his quality bat?
So when I'm a star
Where the Test matches are,
The bowlers will tremble and pray,
WHAT, someone has mumps?
Oh bring out the stumps.
Hurray, I'll be playing today!
Well done to Lurgan Ladies on their win v North Down Ladies on Sunday at Pollock Park in Lurgan, a great advert for the Ladies game seeing a Final as tight as it was. Lurgan are now 1 match away from the clean sweep in 2017 and irony of ironys it is v North Down again.
I followed the match online via tweets from David Holmes and some good pictures to of the match on twitter and the Cricket Europe Northern Section
Thanks to the Northern Cricket Union in particular to Wylie McKinty on the updates on the Womens Div 1 matches, it is a shame to see Armagh being removed from the table and fixtures and amount of walkovers is probably down to rain refixes rather than unavailabilty of players on this date.
Please be advised that the date for he Minor (Lindsay) Cup Final is now Sunday 27th August and not Saturday 26th August as stated on the earlier Press Release.
CSNI v Carrickfergus AWAY WIN
Muckamore v Instonians AWAY WIN
North Down v CIYMS AWAY WIN
Waringstown v Lisburn HOME WIN
League Section 1
Academy v Downpatrick AWAY WIN
Bangor v Cliftonville HOME WIN
Derriaghy v Donacloney AWAY WIN
Holywood v Armagh AWAY WIN
Lurgan v Woodvale AWAY WIN
Thanks to Wylie McKinty for the info re Womens Cup Final and news about 1st Division will be looking forward to it. Lurgan will be favs but North Down will be cock a hoop after 2 league wins. To all involved on Sunday have a good match and safe travels to all.
Editior I'm not a bookie but like to tip up matches to have a bit of interest
The NCU Minor (Lindsay) Cup Final, sponsored by Cleaver Black, postponed last Saturday takes place between Muckamore Fourths and Laurelvale Seconds, at Ballygomartin Road, Belfast, Woodvale Cricket Club, on Saturday 26th August (12 noon start). This competition is open to teams playing in Junior Leagues 4, 5 and 6 of the Northern Cricket Union.
Philip Black of the cup sponsors said, ‘Cleaver Black are delighted to be involved with this cup, and wish both sides every success in the Final.’
The trophy and ‘Man of the Match’ award will be presented by a Northern Cricket Union official and the sponsor at the conclusion of the game.
The Road to the Minor (Lindsay) Cup Final
Muckamore Fourths, of Junior League 5, had comprehensive victories in the first two rounds of the competition, defeating Lurgan Seconds by 8 wickets and Ballymena Thirds by 9 wickets. In the Third Round Muckamore overcame Instonians Fourth's, before a tense three run victory against North Down Thirds in the semi-final.
After receiving a bye in the First Round Laurelvale Seconds, of Junior League 4, progressed to the final losing only four wickets. They defeated Derriaghy Thirds by 8 wickets in the Second Round, Newforge Seconds by 10 wickets in the Third Round, and Cliftonville Seconds by 8 wickets in the semi-final.
Supporters from the participating clubs, and all other cricket followers from across the Northern Cricket Union and beyond will be warmly welcomed to Woodvale Cricket Club.
Dundrum and Cooke Collegians attain The Northern Cricket Union Emerging Accreditation Scheme
On the back of the Cricket Ireland (CI) Clubmark Accrediation Scheme that all sporting clubs seek to achieve around Northern Ireland, the Northern Cricket Union (NCU) have designed an Emerging Accreditation Scheme which enables cricket clubs within the NCU to have a clear plan in achieving the CI Clubmark Accreditation Scheme. The Emerging Accreditation Scheme ensures that cricket clubs create and live by the appropriate documents (such as Club Constitution, Safeguarding, Risk Assessment etc) necessary to function as a progressive cricket club.
Dundrum Cricket Club and Cooke Collegians Cricket Club are inspiring examples of clubs in the NCU who have attained the Emerging Accreditation Scheme and are now aspiring to achieve the Cricket Ireland Clubmark Accrediation Scheme.
Dundrum Cricket Club is doing great work around the South Down area promoting the game in primary schools and working alongside the NCU staff in making their club safer and more attractive to new junior and senior members. Stephen Calvert and his committee have worked hard during the spring months to complete the Emerging Accreditation Scheme. Stephen said,’The biggest challenge in completing the Emerging Accreditation was taking the first step. We formed a small sub group of three from our committee with each person taking responsibility for a number of the set criteria. We had two preparation meetings at which we reviewed our progress and then met with one of the NCU Development Staff, our very helpful nominated NCU contact, to get feedback on our application. This proved to be very useful along with the templates available from the NCU website. We kept our main committee informed throughout the process and now look forward to embarking on the Cricket Ireland Clubmark Accreditation Scheme. The plan is to work on this during the long winter months’.
Another club that have faced challenges during the past winter is Cooke Collegians, however they have reacted in a positive fashion and harbour greater ambitions to continue to improve their club. Cooke Collegians have recently moved from Shaw’s Bridge to Fullerton Park in Dunmurry. Cooke Collegians Chairman, Trevor Lennon said, ‘Having found ourselves without a 'home base' last winter the opportunity to undertake the 'Emerging' Accreditation Scheme came at a perfect time for us. It has helped us to re-evaluate and refocus who we are as a club and where we want to go and, at the same time, put correct structures, policies and systems in place. In doing so, it has re-energised our committee and demonstrated to us the importance of collective responsibly. We are extremely proud to have achieved this.’
Any cricket clubs interested in Emerging Accreditation Scheme, are invited to contact:
Nigel Jones, Cricket Ireland’s Regional Development Officer in the Northern Cricket Union on (M) 078 7941 6121 (e)
AJG Women's Challenge Cup Final between Lurgan and North Down takes place this Sunday 27th August at Pollock Park, Lurgan starting at 12noon.
Not much information sent to me about Division 1 of the Women's league.
Wylie, perhaps you could add they are a great bunch of ladies and certain to provide plenty of entertainment! Best wishes for both of them.
CIYMS v Lisburn Home Win
CSNI v Muckamore Away Win
Instonians v North Down Away Win
Waringstown v Carrickfergus Home Win
CIYMS v North Down and CSNI v Instonians will predict matches after Saturdays encounters
League Section 1
Academy v Derriaghy Away Win
Armagh v Donacloney Mill Home Win
Downpatrick v Woodvale Away Win
Holywood v Bangor Home Win
Lurgan v Cliftonville Home Win
My commiserations to Carrickfergus 2nds on the losing of the Cup Final due to a player iregularity therfore handing the Cup to Donacloney Mill 2nds, a hard pill to swallow. 2 good sides in the region and praise to both on how the situation was handled.
Also does anyone know when the Ladies Cup Final between Lurgan and North Down will be played and looking at Ladies Lge Div 1 Armagh still has not played a match will they or have they withdrawn thanks
Very cautious Keith!
You sound like a Bookie!
There's an odd ground here where the trees or foliage overhang the boundary, Lurgan Park an example, though none comparable to Kent C.C. and their ground St. Lawrence. As there until recently, a two hundred year old lime tree grew in which the playing are was originally built around.
It has since in recent times been removed as it developed 'heart rot' a fungal disease that caused it eventual demise, point is though, they never cut it down or attempted to remove it in all that time previous!
I wonder why not?
The Fairy Tree
Alone it stood in midst of field
legend goes, since days of yore,
a hawthorne tree, where fairies,
dance in symphony,
according to local folklore
But there came a day, sad to say
the old Squire passed away,
and with his demise,
town council's advise,
the tree must be go, it's in the way
As John DeLorean had factory plans
to build upon the land,
but against such folly, O' by golly
in life, the Squire had fought,
to stall and scupper his master plan
The wheels of industry plundered on
as is oft the case,
and heavy plant, did supplant
the airy fairy's hawthorne tree,
despatched without trace
But what Mr DeLorean didn't know
unlike the Squire himself,
bad luck for life, trouble and strife
to uproot the Fairy's sacred tree,
and so they summoned up a vengeful elf
Who cast a nasty spell upon tycoon and car
their future it went back,
no hurry in Dunmurry, ten years passed
before production, aoon bankruptcy
and later arrest for trafficking 'crack'
So, if e'er you come across the hawthorne
be mindful of its mystical aura,
cut yourself a stick, careful, don't get a prick
then please, leave well alone,
for it is sacrosanct and sacred to fauna and flora!
Interested to see that a premier league club has announced recruitment of a player and that it will provide a "hugh moral boost to the club"!
Let's limit the damage to a Whistle Blower!
We know what is fair and not fair and Donaghcloney Mill has already said it has little merit in the circumstances as Carrick won in a fair and sporting game. Why don't they return the trophy to Carrick and shame the whistle blower?
OK, rules are there, but in this instance they are pedantic and serve to real purpose. There have been similar examples in the past, but each has to be carefully assessed. The NCU rules make this difficult, but it is not impossible if all the parties agree.