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Jeff Maguire

great see rain help the grass seed on boundary extensions.

29th Apr 2020

Editor i think its fantastic work the NCU done producing the document for the way forward well done everyone involved. Only my opinion but id add 2 up 2 down and no league fixtures in April allowing for chance of proper pre season friendlies and possible away tours involving North west or Dublin or UK .
Was speaking to our unpaid groundsman who is working at the meadow over 56 years he is now a sprightly 82 year old and still fit cut the square and prepare wickets Tommy Curlett . Tom told me about the local trades league in county down Dundrum played Minerstown over three saturdays 2 innings Downshire cup final at Ballykinler Army camp which Dundrum won and still hold the cup.
We update on our club with such a superb march and spring we got the new fantastic electric scorebox built just waiting on plaster coming to finish as the whole building was done voluntary by two young Curlett brothers bricklayer Jim 76 and joiner Bobby 74 and Jack another 81year old is assistant groundman and the club is indebted to this family who all played and are still paying membership fees as they proper stalwarts of a great village club .The scorebox will have free full wifi as the meadow has full wifi coverage from the gate entrance and kettle for tea and coffee for the scorers and hopefully a mini fridge .The treasurer a younger stalwart at only 58 Stephen Calvert is the brains and driving force of all our plans from Wifi to boundary extensions and scorebox to the next phase 2021/22 a new 2 bay fully enclosed net facility and most will be amazed at the changes as they turned the square around and boundary extensions and drainage completed new trees replanted .
The club is proud that they held their first NCU Minor Lindsay cup final last year and got great feedback from Ncu & NIACUS and both finalists Woodvale and Instonians as the club have much improved facilities with covers and double sight screens at both ends and look forward to holding more in future .


Thanks Jeff. You are doing great at Dundrum especially with the Curlett family , Stephen Calvert and of course, yourself! All we need!
On the Trades Cricket League, I've heard about it, but we need more details to publish in UC. Especially when you won it!
My Grandfather was Jimmy Calvert born and bred in Derryboye close to Killyleagh. He survived the Battle of the Somme. There are other Calverts in Derryboye. Has Stephen any connections?



23rd Apr 2020

Forgetting about cup competitions below senior and junior cup is a disgrace they can be played if we get any cricket at all if each team is playing each other only once and they should be the only trophies available no league trophies should be given out but when does the ncu give a toss about the lower teams


I don't agree with your NCU opinion. The lower leagues start as grassroots and only fools would neglect them. The NCU are not fools. Setting this aside, the NCU are in a difficult predictament. They want cricket asap, but are dependent on circumstances beyond their control and provisionally planning for events that may or may not happen, dependent on Covid-19 being resolved. Dave, I'm sure you share with the frustrations too, and I'm also sure clubs will be able to air their opinions prior to events and tournamants. As for my humble opinion, I think the cups should take place in the lower leagues and teams will decide whether to play or not. If indeed there is cricket. These are unprecented times.

Aaron Kernohan


20th Apr 2020

Very interested to read some of the info that's appeared lately on the site regarding the various Ulster Leagues as it happens to link in with a bit of a mystery that has cropped up. I recently found some trophies in my late grandfather Roy Braidner's stash from 1953 (league and cup winners) and 1954 (Cup winners).
Having done some research on Twitter it appears they relate to Albert Foundry Recreation Association. This ties in well as my grandfather was an employee of Mackies. It was suggested (by Ian Johnston) that perhaps they were part of an industrial league from that time?

If anyone can shed any further light on this it would be much appreciated, and I'd like to thank the many who replied via twitter and got me this far!

(Photos of the trophies are available here: )


Aaron, Very interesting and you have a number of good 'leads.' With the Woodvale connections, Davy Scott has a number of photos and if his name is in the match against St Mary's that would greatly help. There are a lot of photos in that era. It could be Belfast Cricket League or perhaps the Larne League with the same name? If he lived overseas for a time I suspect the little shields may be somewhere else? You'll need more investigation. Good luck.

Robin Walsh

UC Headquarters

19th Apr 2020

Basil McNamee
Most saddened to learn of Basil McNamee’s death: such an admirable servant of the game at local and national level.
I had the pleasure of playing on the same Foyle College side with Basil and elder brother Derek back in the ‘50s and, without doubt, it was the best school team in the country - for two obvious reasons. A few years later I was to experience the brothers’ talent in opposition when they distinguished the North side of the ‘60s. No doubt whose side I’d rather be on. I rekindled my friendship with Basil in more recent times when he became president of the NCU and then Irish cricket: always a pleasure to enjoy his company and his insights into the game. Alas, the current crisis facing the community will no doubt rob us of sharing our memories at a public tribute. This will obviously add to the pain of members of Basil’s family to whom I extend my sincere sympathy.
Robin Walsh


Yes, very sad indeed. Basil was a lovely person and distinguished himself in many different roles particularly in cricket and golf and as a doctor. He played cricket for Queen's University, North of Ireland and Dungannon, when he worked in the hospital. He and his three sons played for Dungannon CC, and that was a big asset at the time. He was a great Ambassador of the NCU and Irish cricket.
Rest in Peace, Basil.

David Skelton

Queensway, Derriaghy

14th Apr 2020

Many thanks for including article on our club's Centenary year on your Features page. Not only us but everyone will remember the year 2020 for the rest of our lives. Stay safe.


Ed - No problem David, pleasure to do it for your Club. #Stay safe & well

Michael Kennedy


26th Mar 2020

Stuart, there was a press release by the ECB giving some guidelines.

Bryan Milford, Sec NCU


26th Mar 2020

In consultation with Cricket Ireland and the other Provincial Unions, the NCU have decided to extend the suspension of all activities under our auspices until at least 28 May 2020.
The postponement of the start of the season will allow us to observe government directives and public health protocols, and ensure the welfare and safety of our volunteers, players, staff, coaches, and families within the cricket community, and we will take all necessary actions to do our part in limiting the spread of the Coronavirus.
This decision also includes suspension of, or the ongoing suspension of, our school and holiday programmes and camps.
While the situation remains somewhat fluid, we are already developing scenarios for how a revised cricket season may look after we can resume operations. These scenarios, of course, will be kept under constant review and we will update clubs as soon as we have more clarity on a likely start date.
As you would expect, our offices will continue to remain closed during this time with staff working from home whilst all meetings (including committees) will be fulfilled by video/teleconferences.
Club support
Cricket Ireland and the Provincial Unions have also been liaising with sporting and government bodies on what funding and support opportunities are, or will be, available to clubs. In the coming week we will communicate further details about relevant programmes and initiatives that may be relevant to your club, and we will keep you as informed as possible about the evolving nature of these as they are announced.We are currently reviewing the Rates Relief and Small Business Grants in particular, and once eligibility is confirmed we will update clubs.
Angela Platt
General Manager

Stuart Catterson

Cregagh CC

25th Mar 2020

At this time of the year all clubs are usually in the middle of their pre-season ground preparations. The square in particular takes up many hours via rolling etc. Outfields often need contractors brought in for rolling, sanding etc. Teams of volunteers are mobilised to get covers, screens, score huts etc out of hibernation.
Also as all groundsmen know you need the square rolled by end April/early May otherwise it gets too firm.
I am interested to know how clubs (particularly those with volunteer ground staff) are planning to manage all these activities against the current government directive about non-essential travel, non essential activities and no groups of more than 2 people. In addition all club treasurers are keeping what cash they have to cover essential bills and wages with little available for grounds or general cricket expenditure.
As the NCU deliberate about what type of season (if any) can be salvaged they also need to factor the above into their discussions.

Abert Ward

Working from home

24th Mar 2020

In an effort to lift the boredom how about all the NCU clubs picking their best team of all time ?
Most importantly follow the government guidelines and stay safe .


Interesting for certain. Might be best to deal with the post-2000 era as not a lot of people cannot compare with the early days. For example, Osacar Andrews might be included in best team of all time, but nobody knows him or his records. The timing may be a challenge, but after all it is fantasy. Different eras could be included say post-war era etc. Any comments folks?

Simon Burrowes


24th Mar 2020

So very sorry to hear the news about Iain. Condolence to his kith and kin and, of course, the Woodvale family. He was a thoroughly decent guy.

Clarence Hiles

UC Headquarters

23rd Mar 2020

Iain Warke
It is with great sadness that cricket lovers throughout the Province have heard of the sad passing of Iain Warke, a stalwart at Woodvale Cricket Club. We knew for some time that he was ill, but he bore his illness with great courage. A former Captain at the club, he inherited a rich pedigree from his father Larry, the former Ireland all-rounder, and of course from his brother Stephen, the former Ireland Captain, who brought further distinction worldwide. Iain mixed cricket and rugby and often said combining both was challenging when in conflict. He was a popular man at Woodvale and a great friend of the Northern Cricket Union through his sponsorship from Gardiner Bros, aided by his son Michael.
The Warke name is synonymous with Woodvale Cricket Club, but the passing of Iain is a sad blow for everyone.
Our sincere condolences to the family.
Rest in Peace, Iain.


Bryan Milford, NCU


18th Mar 2020

As you know the NCU suspended all cricket activity until 29 March at the earliest based on advice from Cricket Ireland.
This is a complex and novel situation both for the Union and our clubs. I want to assure you that we are closely monitoring the situation and planning for a number of eventualities.
NCU Action
The health and wellbeing of staff, coaches, volunteers and players is a key priority and the Union has taken the following actions:
• Staff are working remotely from home and conducting meetings via conferencing or telephone;
• All training sessions, coaching courses and schools’ programmes are suspended until at least 29 March;
• Cancellation of non-essential travel for staff.
We know clubs and players are anxious about the impact on domestic cricket and the season ahead and here is the up-to-date situation.
Domestic and Inter-provincial Cricket
At this stage we cannot provide any certain information on a possible change to the start date for competitions. However, we are closely monitoring the situation and looking at contingency plans for various scenarios, including different start dates. We will of course look at the impact on clubs and the integrity of our competitions as part of these contingency plans and consult with clubs before any action or plans are agreed
Club Training
Based on advice from Cricket Ireland, the Union suspended all cricket activity until 29 March 2020 at the earliest. We recommend clubs also adhere to these guidelines and suspend all club training for both youths and seniors until this date. We will issue a further update closer to 29 March.
Registration of players should be submitted by 15 April. The General Secretary will be issuing the necessary forms to clubs shortly. However, there is no need to submit starring lists until we have a start date for the season, and we will keep in touch with clubs on this.
Club Fees
At this time of year clubs are invoiced for affiliation fees, advance of registration fees and umpire costs.
It is recognised that this will be a difficult time financially for clubs, therefore the initial invoice will only be for affiliation fee of £25.
Collection of advance on registration fees and umpires’ costs will be dependant on the start of the season.
Overseas Players
We are unable to provide any guarantees or assurances regarding the entry into the country of overseas players or the potential quarantine period they may face on arrival. Clubs will want to check what contractual arrangements they may have entered into with overseas players.
We would advise clubs to monitor UK Government advice on travel both in and out of the country. This is a situation that is changing rapidly and clubs should monitor Government advice.
Ongoing Updates
We appreciate how close we are to the start of the season and that clubs are eager to put plans in place. The Union will continue to monitor developments and update clubs as appropriate.
Angela Platt (General Manager)
and Bryan Milford (General Secretary) are available to answer queries from clubs.
Our priority just now should be one another’s wellbeing. So please concentrate on keeping well and hopefully we will be playing cricket soon.
Sam Beckett



14th Mar 2020

Coronavirus Update
Following our statement yesterday in respect of Covid 19 (Coronavirus) we wish to update you. Having considered the advice from Cricket Ireland and the relevant public authorities, NCU has undertaken the following actions:
The NCU Office has now been closed to staff and visitors from 5pm this evening – working from home procedures have been established, and staff are contactable by phone or email during normal business hours (except Tuesday 17th March, which is a public holiday for the NCU Office and recognised as a statutory holiday for NCU staff);
We will endeavour to fulfil external business meetings during the period when the office is closed by phone or video conferencing, as appropriate;
We will cancel any non-essential travel by staff during this period;
All cricket activity led by NCU staff has been postponed and we have been advising the relevant organisations and individuals involved;
There is a vast amount of information available regarding COVID-19, but the following websites contain regularly updated information both in the UK and ROI.
Anyone with suspected symptoms of Coronavirus should follow Government health advice and:
Isolate themselves from other people – this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone.
Dial 111 in the UK or 112 in ROI to report your symptoms and seek advice.
In a medical emergency (if you have severe symptoms) dial 999.
If you have any concerns regarding a potential Coronavirus case at your club, dial 111 in the UK and 112 in ROI
At this stage the steps that we have taken also relate to NCU planned activities up to 9th April 2020. We will continue to actively monitor developments on a day-to-day basis, and provide further updates as appropriate.
Sam Beckett
Chairman, Northern Cricket Union



13th Mar 2020

Due to ongoing concerns and developments regarding COVID 19, the NCU has decided to postpone this event (NCU Golf Day), but with plans to reschedule in the autumn, following guidelines from both Cricket and Golfing National Governing Bodies.
Whilst we are disappointed to convey this message, we believe in doing so early is the correct course of action.
The NCU have been liaising with Royal Belfast Golf Club and we hope to be able to confirm a revised date in early April, and we will convey this as soon as we possibly can.
We hope that you will understand why we have taken this course of action and look forward to your involvement at the rescheduled event.
Sam Beckett
Chairman, Northern Cricket Union



13th Mar 2020

NCU has agreed to follow the Cricket Ireland protocol & all cricket activity is to be postponed until 29th March.
As a result there will be no further Regional Development Squad sessions until further notice.
NCU will continue to monitor the situation & will update in due course.