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Not too sure about North Down...know that is South Down movements are being muted ! A D Ptrick exodus on the cards as money talks...Saintfield strengthen as do Dundrum ! NDCC stronger ? maybe some forumites know better ?
Stevo, you have your ear to the ground so what's the story at North Down? Rumour has it there may be other players on the move. If so there might be an opening for Staffy without him having to go to Muckamore, Ballymena and Larne!
Mind you North Down will still have a good team in 2008 but how good?
Ivan, I don't think your suggestion that clubs should make public their 'development officer' coaching schedules will get anywhere as you are entering into the realms of employment law and I'm not even sure that you believe it would lead to transparency. At the end of the day the smart clubs are already policing their coaching programs and those that aren't won't get any short or long term benefits. I agree with recent correspondents who say it is their own business and every club has the right to make their own call.
Interesting question - How many trophies won since 1979 (the return of the pros) can be identified as hired gun successes? I assume the success of hired guns is measured in trophies?
Well said Michael. I think you have hit the nail on the head with your comment as most of the anti-pro brigade are only looking out for themselves. Wayne Horwood laid it out very clearly and very fairly on the other channel. Let's get down to cricket and stop telling other clubs how to run their business!
Too much mystery and innuendo in there for me Stevo.
What about everybody looking after their own affairs and putting their best team on the field without a bunch of "interferers' telling them what's best for cricket when what they're really saying is what's best for them?
It will be good to see a wide open title race this year..I feel that as most clubs have at least two "hired guns" there may be a few disgruntled locals around ! Will the big clubs decide to spend like the "pretenders" in the league in '08?
Mark you are starting to talk like a North Wester. Sign a few players and months before the season starts you are beating everybody. CSN and CI will have to earn their spurs on the field before they can earn the right to be up there with the Big Two. Another couple of challengers would be good for NCU cricket but haven't we heard all this before on the forum?
I think the relegation dogfight will make the season much better with two teams going down. Also think section two will be much better with Lurgan and Downpatrick in there fighting to get back up.
Waringstown players on the move? Dalzell gone from North Down and David Kennedy yet to commit for 2008 gives hope for the East Belfast Phoenix but will it be CSNZ or CIYMS that emerges as the star from the East? One thing that is certain it's not going to be the same old two-team talk that we've had for the past few years.
You're right Nile. It has a lot of potential but even in Dublin we're getting bored with all Leinster finals. I visited Muckamore once and it is a lovely wee ground. I'm sure players would never play at some grounds if it wasn't for the Irish Senior Cup so there's a lot of good outside winning and losing.
Just read some of the articles in the Ulster Cricketer archive. In particular, the "other McBrine" article written in 1994 made me laugh. Roy McBrine mentions a decline in sportmanship, lack of North West players in the Ireland team, professionals having too big an influence, and setting up an Ulster or all Ireland league. Change, what change!
Paul, I hope the 2008 Irish Cup is dominated by teams from the north. We've listened to plenty of bumming and blowing from you guys over the past five years but if you go back to 1982 when it started you'll see who has really dominated the competition. Watch out for Glendermott and big Dazzler and maybe come September you won't have to ask who he is!
Although I never got further than the Quarter Finals I always regarded the ISC as a special competition and it would be neglectful if it was allowed to disappear. Firstly it is an important benchmark for development of cricketers. In the absence of any inter-pros, these matches give the club players (who may have missed out on the excellent ICU youth systems) a great chance to gauge their abilities against pros or international players.
Secondly, the crack was mighty and it was always a great day out. The first round draw always stood out in the fixture list. Passing/meeting other NCU teams on the way down, visiting new grounds and accepting fantastic hospitality gratefully in Dublin or NW.
Let's not hear any more nonsensical talk about ending this competition.
Stevo we want the competition. And as for a 'day in the sun' it's years since we had an NCU winner. I'd love to see more north v south finals as that's what the Irish Cup is really all about but outside North Down and Waringstown there's not much on offer. As for the North-West they talk a better game than they play and they seem to spend the winter on the internet spreading gossip and making ridiculous predictions. I'm not expecting much from them unless the pro is allowed to bat at both ends.
Re Paul Hatton
..or should we call you Ricky with those knock-out punches of yours regarding the dominance of the south in the ISC ! By the way Paul enjoy your "dayin the sun" as history would tell us the homegrown strentgth of Irish cricket lies in the "North". What goes around comes around!
Mighty big wish list Clarence but it might be easier to get a dry summer than the other nine wishes. Like the pros in the senior cup and agree the cup is turning into a non event with only a few teams in contention. But will the NCU Agm vote them in?
I doubt it.