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I am happy to announce the Christmas Quiz winner was Des McCall from Holywood fame. He scored 19 out of 20. Very impressive! Well done Des. The prize will follow in due course.
And here are the answers..
1 WOODVALE-Who was the dual international cricketer and Linfield footballer in the Thirties?-BILLY McCLEERY
2 BRIGADE-Who was the captain for 30 successive seasons and then Secretary/Treasurer for the North-West Union for 23 years.-WILLIE McGARVEY
3 NORTH OF IRELAND-when was ‘Headquarters’ finally closed?-2001
4 CITY OF DERRY-A former captain of City of Derry later wrote over 15 books on the history of North-West clubs. Name him?-BILLY PLATT
5 LISBURN-A dual international cricketer and hockey that won an Olympic medal. Name him?-JIMMY KIRKWOOD
6 DONEMANA-A former Donemana player, who later played at Phoenix when he was capped by Ireland. Who?-STAN MITCHELL
7 CIYMS-Who was the former New Zealand all-rounder that played for CI against North Down in the NCU Senior Cup final in 2010?-CRAIG McMILLAN
8 EGLINTON-A Legend in Irish cricket who topped the 1st Class county bowling figures in 1953. Name him?-SCOTT HUEY
9 WARINGSTOWN-Another dual Ireland International with a difference. Father and son- One a batsman and the second an Umpire. Who were they?-PETER AND MICHAEL REITH
10 STRABANE-Four brothers played regularly in the 1990s. Which family?-GILLESPIE
11 INSTONIANS-Three members became Irish Cricket Presidents. Who were they?DIXON ROSE/RICHARD JOHNSON/BRIAN WALSH
12 SION MILLS-Which river flows alongside the ground?-MOURNE
13 ARMAGH-Often referred the ‘Doyen of Umpires.’ Name him?-JOE VAUGHAN
14 LIMAVADY-He scored two centuries in the Irish Senior Cup final. Who?-DEKKER CURRY
15 LURGAN-He played for the British Lions in 1962 and was also a dual international player at cricket and rugby. Name him?-RAYMOND HUNTER
16 BREADY-Where is Bready?-MAGHERAMASON
17 DOWNPATRICK-The club play at Strangford Road, but what is the name of the ground?-THE MEADOW
18-ARDMORE-A former player distinguished him as a Lord Justice and was knighted. Who?-SIR MICHAEL NICHOLSON
19 HOLYWOOD-A former player Ricky Adair played at Holywood, but won fame as a goalkeeper in a Belfast football team. Which club-GLENTORAN?
20 ST. JOHNSTON-Which county is in St Johnston?-DONEGAL
When can we expect to see the answers and prize winners of the Christmas Quiz. Or have I already missed it.
I've been waiting for someone to ask! After all, I'm sure lots of people will want to know, but.............there were NO entries!
Did you send anything?
Folks, I’m gradually trying to rationalise a big collection of cricket books and magazines. I have several complete years of The Cricketer magazine running from around 1971 to early 80s. Also, around 20 copies of the Ulster Cricketer magazine 80s/90s. If anyone is interested in some reading to get through lockdown then they’re free to a good home. The only alternative would seem to be the dump, which seems a bit of a sin. Anyway, thought it worth trying on here to see whether any local cricketing buffs might be interested, assuming Hiler/JK allow such messages on here. We’re having a pitch inspection at 3, but it doesn’t look good.............
Let's hope it has a happy home. Thanks Simon
ABU DHABI – A sublime all-round performance from Rashid Khan trumped a second consecutive Paul Stirling hundred as Afghanistan sealed a 3-0 series win over Ireland in Abu Dhabi.
Ireland took wickets at regular intervals after Andrew Balbirnie won the toss and opted to field first - and were it not for Rashid Khan’s second late-innings intervention with the bat this series, they would have been chasing a much more manageable total.
Craig Young set the tone for Ireland and despite Afghanistan openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Javed Ahmadi coming out all guns blazing, Young took three new ball wickets, accounting for both openers and Rahmat Shah – Afghanistan’s centurion in the second ODI of the series.
After Andy McBrine picked up a fourth Afghanistan wicket – that of Hashmatullah Shahidi – with the score on 66, Afghanistan skipper Asghar Afghan underwent a rebuilding job for his team. Afghan’s 41 was well supported by his experienced middle-order partner Mohammad Nabi, who between them and Gulbadin Naib, got Afghanistan up to 162-5.
The excellent Simi Singh, who finished with figures of 3-37, then struck to remove Afghan shortly before Harry Tector claimed his maiden international wicket as Najibullah Zadrarn looked to reverse sweep, but could only glove one to a grateful Stirling at slip.
With their opponents 163-7, Ireland were in the driving seat before Rashid rallied alongside Gulbadin and Mujeeb Ur Rahman to take Afghanistan to a final score of 266-9. Against a bowling attack as strong as Afghanistan’s, chasing anything in excess of 250 was always going to be a tough ask.
Stirling picked up where he left off in the second ODI, taking the attack to Afghanistan as his partners, at times, struggled for similar fluency at the crease. Like Ireland did in the first innings, Afghanistan were able to pick up regular wickets with none of the Irish batsmen – Stirling aside – passing 25.
But with Stirling at the crease, the chase was very much on. Finding the boundary with impressive regularity, the highlight of Stirling’s knock was arguably a pair of sixes struck within three balls of each other off the off-spin of Mohammad Nabi. Such was Stirling’s dominance, he reached his half-century with his team’s total on just 58.
Unflustered by wickets falling at the other end and with ample support via cameos from Harry Tector and Lorcan Tucker, Stirling reached his 12th ODI century – an Ireland record and his fourth in six ODIs. His tally of 12 ODI hundreds drew him level with ODI behemoths Marcus Trescothick, Babar Azam, Faf du Plessis and Rahul Dravid.
When he eventually fell for 118 with the score 187-5, Ireland were still in the game. But unfortunately for Ireland, Tucker fell soon after, succumbing to a Rashid googly while Mark Adair was run out an over later, sucking out the momentum gathered by the Ireland batsmen earlier in the innings. McBrine and Singh batted valiantly for the eighth wicket but the asking rate climbed out of their control with Afghanistan eventually sealing victory by 36 runs as Rashid finished with figures of 4-29 to cap off a world class all-round display.
After the match, captain Andrew Balbirnie said:
“Paul has played superbly in the last couple of games - you run out of words to describe how he's playing, but no one could really back him up and get that big score with him that could potentially won us a game the other day or today. He's played brilliantly and we've just got to be there to support him.”
“Today we just needed someone to stick with him and get a 50 or 60, but it didn't happen and hasn't happened this week - we probably haven't been up to our usual standards. There's a few guys who will go away to Bangladesh with the Wolves shortly, which is a great opportunity - and for the guys at home we have a lot to work on because there's a lot of cricket coming up and we've got to be better than what we've shown in the last few games.”
After the match, Player of the Series Paul Stirling said:
“There were big points up for this series, but we didn't come up where we wanted to be. We felt in good positions today to take advantage of, but we couldn't quite do it.”
Asked about Roy Torrens' passing, he said:
“[Roy Torrens] was an absolute hero to me, it was nice to get a few runs for him. Unfortunately, we couldn't get across the line, but he was a huge hero in Irish cricket and our thoughts go to Joan and the whole family. A lot of people will miss him.”
Afghanistan Men v Ireland Men, 3rd ODI, Abu Dhabi, 26 January
Afghanistan 266-9 (50 overs; R Khan 48, A Afghan 42; S Singh 3-37, C Young 3-61)
Ireland 230 (47.1 overs; P Stirling 118; R Khan 4-29)
Afghanistan won by 36 runs
Just read the john mooney interview.Sad to see political views by this man being aired cricket websites.
Record-breaking Stirling’s splendid century can’t stop Afghanistan sealing ODI series
ABU DHABI – Paul Stirling hit an excellent hundred to push Ireland past 250 in the second ODI against Afghanistan, but an unbeaten ton from Rahmat Shah saw the hosts to a series-sealing victory.
Having fallen just 16 runs short of victory in the opening game of the series, it was another case of nearly but not quite for Ireland at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Having won the toss and elected to bat, captain Andrew Balbirnie saw his side get off to a tricky start, with his the second of two wickets to fall to Mujeeb Ur Rahman inside the first four overs.
From 20-2, Stirling set about repairing the damage, constructing a succession of valuable middle-order stands. Harry Tector made his second start of the series, taking the team score beyond three figures before chipping Naveen-ul-Haq to midwicket, while Curtis Campher contributed another invaluable hand, notching 47 in quick time as part of a century stand.
From 208-3 in the 41st over, with Stirling well past his century, Ireland would have been hoping for a strong finish. But Afghanistan bounced back, taking 6-51 from that point onwards. Naveen claimed three of those, striking with the last two balls of his spell after Stirling had picked out the man in the ring on 128.
That brought to an end a truly special knock, with the opener racing along at close to a run a ball. He plundered 12 fours and four sixes, each four more than his teammates could muster combined, and, in the course of his innings, overtook William Porterfield as Ireland’s leading international run-scorer. With the hundred his 11th in ODIs, he equalled Porterfield for the most tons by an Irishman in the format.
Yesterday, Stirling had been one of the many to pay tribute to Irish cricketing legend Roy Torrens after his passing. “Irish cricket to the very core but an even better man,” Stirling had written, and he signalled to the sky after removing his helmet to celebrate three figures.
The reply started strongly for Afghanistan, with opening pair Javed Ahmadi and Rahmanullah Gurbaz moved swiftly to within one blow of a half-century partnership. But in the eighth over, hope sprung anew as Barry McCarthy removed the former lbw, getting the ball to jag back in from outside off-stump. Then Rahmanullah, fresh off a century on debut in the first ODI and having raced to 31, was dismissed by a full ball from Campher, missing a flick and remaining out despite a review.
It was at this point that Rahmat and Hashmatullah Shahidi combined to put on the game’s defining stand. Runs flowed freely at first, and at the halfway stage the hosts were well over halfway to their target. However, Gareth Delany, Craig Young and Andy McBrine then combined to peg Afghanistan back, and the next eight overs passed by without a boundary. The rate required neared a run a ball.
It was then that the tempo shifted. Rahmat began to use his feet to attack the spinners, striking a four and a six in successive overs, and Shahidi soon got in on the act, striking two consecutive Young short balls for four, and the rate started decreasing again.
By the time Simi Singh broke through, deceiving Shahidi in the flight and enticing him to hole out to long-off, Ireland’s chances were slim. Singh’s next over went for just one run, but Asghar Afghan soon made up for any sluggishness, striking McCarthy for six, six and four to bring his side to within one run of Ireland’s total, and victory was achieved soon after.
The two sides will return on Tuesday to battle it out for the final points towards the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League.
After the match, captain Balbirnie said:
“At the halfway stage we were in the game, but would have liked a few more having batted so well – particularly Paul again playing so beautifully to set us up. We probably lost a bit of momentum there at the back end. With 260 we felt in the game, but we didn’t have enough on a pitch that played a bit slower and deader as the day went on.”
“We definitely expected the pitch to turn a bit more in the second innings, but it probably didn’t turn as much as we would have liked.”
“I still think we can do better with the bat – apart from Paul and Curtis, there weren’t a lot of positives to take. We played well the other day getting 270, and we set ourselves up to mount a good total here today, but we weren’t able to do that, and against this Afghan side that has a lot of power we were up against it.”
“Paul seems to have a fantastic tour every time we go away – he was very close to the late Roy Torrens who we unfortunately lost yesterday, and you could see that that innings today was for him.”
“There are definitely players ready to go in the wings, and that’s the beauty of this squad that there are a number of players knocking on the door. We picked the guys for these two games that we thought could win some games, and they have been trying – particularly the bowlers who have been battling hard on a wicket not conducive to our style of bowling. The lads are hard on themselves, they’ll be really disappointed with the last two games, but as a squad we’ve got to be ready to rebound and ready to go – we’ve only a day between games, and we’ve got to pick ourselves up and get some points towards this World Cup Super League.”
Afghanistan Men v Ireland Men, 2nd ODI, Abu Dhabi, 24 January 2021
Ireland 259-9 (50 overs; P Stirling 128, C Campher 47; Naveen-ul-Haq 4-42)
Afghanistan 260-3 (45.2 overs; R Shah 103, H Shahidi 82; C Campher 1-28, S Singh 1-44)
Afghanistan won by 7 wickets
I would to place my deepest sorrow on the loss of a dear friend of 20 years or so his a long with Mr c walker Mr r Harrison the late Mr a linehanin as an ICC tournament liaison roles at under17 and under19 European tournaments between 2006 to 2013 within the north west and northern cricket union area he like myself loved his cricket as our Ireland team manager and 30 caps and see Ireland do so well in 2007 2011 2015 world cups to Mrs Joan Torrens and family also to my beloved friends at his beloved brigade cricket club as chairman please know of my love thoughts and prayers Jason McCullough life member north down cricket Ireland member Yorkshire country cricket club member MCC associate member
It is with great sorrow for everyone that I have to say Roy Torrens passed away this morning, a victim of Covid-19.
He was a wonderful character throughout his life, and a Legend in every way. Who could forget his cricket exploits when Ireland Team Manager, or his "Roy Tours" traveling around the world with fellow cricketers? All that after an illustrious career in cricket and football. He was President of the Irish Cricket Union and later Chairman at Brigade CC, a homeboy that gave him sterling service. Above all, he was a great friend to many.
Rest in Peace big Man.
ABU DHABI – Career-best ODI performances from Andy McBrine and Lorcan Tucker weren’t enough for Ireland to overcome a strong Afghanistan side in the series opener at Abu Dhabi.
McBrine, who finished with figures of 5-29, ripped through the experienced Afghanistan middle-order, dismissing all of Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi and Gulbadin Naib for single figure scores. The wicket of Gulbadin to claim the five-wicket haul was arguably the pick of the bunch, a beautifully flighted off-break from around the wicket, that dipped on Gulbadin, took an inside edge and was caught well by Kevin O’Brien at leg-slip – the third of three catches the all-rounder took off McBrine’s bowling from that position.
McBrine’s intervention was a timely one for Ireland as Afghanistan got off to a flying start after winning the toss and opting to bat first. The Afghanistan opening pair of Rahmanullah Gurbaz – a 19-year-old on ODI debut – and Javed Ahmadi put on 120 for the first wicket before McBrine accounted for Ahmadi, who found Simi Singh in the deep after a period of sustained pressure.
That breakthrough sparked somewhat of a middle-order collapse at the hands of McBrine, whose wickets reduced Afghanistan from 120-0 to 161-5 in the space of 10 overs. Fortunately for Afghanistan, Rahmanullah displayed a kind of maturity that belied his relative inexperience, as the youngster held firm as wickets fell at the other end. Rahmanullah – who was the player of the series in the three-match T20I series between the two sides in 2020 – eventually brought up his maiden ODI hundred in the 35th over, before accelerating to finish on 127, a knock that came at exactly a run per ball.
Rahmanullah’s effort seemed to inspire the Afghanistan lower-order who rallied after the centurion’s dismissal, to take their side from 198-7 to an imposing final total of 287-9 from their 50 overs with the majority of their late innings run-scoring coming off the blade of Rashid Khan, who blasted a 30-ball 55 from No.9.
Afghanistan kept a tight hold on Ireland’s run chase throughout. Right-arm quick Naveen-ul-Haq took two important early wickets, first trapping O’Brien lbw for one before deceiving Ireland skipper Andrew Balbirnie with a slower ball for 15.
Paul Stirling and Harry Tector brought up a 50-run partnership for the third wicket before both fell in quick succession, as Tector spooned a return catch to Gulbadin off another slower ball before Nabi pinned Stirling in front for 39.
With Ireland 88-4, a rebuilding job was required. Curtis Campher and Lorcan Tucker combined to put on 86 for the fifth wicket before the former eventually fell lbw to Mujeeb Ur Rahman for 39.
Tucker kicked on, though. He soon brought up a second career ODI half-century and raced past his previous career-best ODI score of 56; he eventually fell on 83, stumped trying to use his feet against Rashid as the asking rate climbed. As assured an innings it was, it wasn’t quite enough for Ireland as they eventually fell 16 runs short.
ABU DHABI – A brilliant maiden half-century, followed by a maiden five wicket haul in one-day internationals by Simi Singh led Ireland to a comprehensive 112-run win over UAE today to square the series 1-1.
The off-spinning all-rounder first starred with the bat, striking an unbeaten 57-ball 54 – his first ODI fifty – before running through the hosts’ batting line-up with an exceptional haul of 5-10, his maiden ODI five-for.
Such a monstrous victory seemed unlikely in the early stages of the matches, after Ireland were reduced to 10-3 inside the first five overs; Zahoor Khan’s new-ball burst accounted for skipper Andrew Balbirnie and Paul Stirling, while Kashif Daud removed Kevin O’Brien for 2.
Harry Tector and Lorcan Tucker led a recovery with a vital 72-run partnership, but both fell with Ireland yet to put up three figures on the board.
Nonetheless, Curtis Campher continued his remarkable start to life in international cricket, joining Singh for 91-run partnership and working his way to a third-half century in just his fourth ODI innings.
At the other end Singh made his runs rapidly, bringing up his half-century from 56 balls, with his innings including two sixes and two fours. A handy cameo from Gareth Delany (15 off 8) took Ireland to 228-6 from their 50 overs, a strong total considering the blows they’d encountered at the start of the innings.
At 46-0, inside the opening 10 overs, the UAE got off to a bright start through Zawar Farid and Vriitya Aravind, but Singh burst through, pouncing on the mistakes of the batsmen.
He took out the UAE’s top three in almost identical fashion: on all three occasions, the batsmen looked to go big on the leg-side but holed out, with Singh’s blows leaving them on 50-3. It was soon 51-4 when Basil Hameed’s attempted cut resulted in an edge that Tucker held on to behind the stumps. In the 22nd over, Singh took his and Ireland’s fifth, getting the ball to straighten from around the wicket to leave Muhammad Usman leg before wicket.
From there, the supporting cast went to work, with O’Brien, Andy McBrine and Delany all picking up a wicket each, while a couple of run-outs helped Ireland bowl the UAE out for just 116.
Ireland will now face Afghanistan on Thursday in the first of three World Cup Super League matches.
UAE Men v Ireland Men, 2nd ODI, Abu Dhabi, 18 January 2021
Ireland 228-6 (50 overs; C Campher 56, S Singh 54*; Z Khan 3-35)
UAE 116 (36 overs; Z Farid 28; S Singh 5-10)
Ireland won by 112 runs
ABU DHABI – UAE authorities have given the go-ahead for the UAE squad to resume competitive action, and a second men’s one-day international between UAE and Ireland will be played tomorrow (18 January), after two of the four matches scheduled could not proceed as planned due to COVID-19 health concerns.
Further positive COVID-19 tests sees tomorrow's ODI suspended
ABU DHABI – Emirates Cricket Board has advised Cricket Ireland of a further four players who have tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, it has been agreed that tomorrow’s ODI will be postponed.
ABU DHABI – Emirates Cricket Board has advised Cricket Ireland of a further UAE player has tested positive for COVID-19. Subsequently, the two cricket bodies have agreed to postpone tomorrow’s scheduled match until Saturday 16 January 2021.
UAE beat IRELAND by 6 WICKETS
A Paul Stirling unbeaten century – his second in consecutive ODI innings – positioned Ireland well in the first one-day international today, but a clinical run chase by UAE saw the home side achieve its first-ever ODI win over a Full Member.
Near faultless centuries from Chundangapoyil Rizwan and Muhammad Usman steered UAE to victory – their first win over Ireland in the seven ODI clashes between the two sides
Chasing 270, the hosts got off to a shaky start losing their openers, Vriitya Aravind (14) and Zawar Farid (15), inside the first eight overs, with Barry McCarthy accounting for both the wickets.
UAE lost another wicket, when Curtis Campher had Alishan Sharafu caught behind for one in the 13th over, reducing the hosts to 52-3.
Ireland looked in total control before Rizwan and Usman came together and changed the course of the game. The duo made the visitors' bowlers toil, with both the batsmen smashing maiden hundreds.
The visitors kept hunting for the breakthrough - which came courtesy of a sensational catch by Harry Tector in the 46th over – but it was too late. Rizwan (109) had shared a 184-run stand with Usman – the highest by a UAE pair for any wicket in ODIs. Usman reached his hundred in the penultimate over and hit the winning runs, as he remained unbeaten on 105.
Earlier, Irish skipper Andrew Balbirnie won the toss and elected to have a bat first. Openers Kevin O'Brien and Paul Stirling provided their side a steady start, sharing a 39-run stand before losing O'Brien in the 8th over. He became UAE debutant Kashif Daud's maiden ODI victim, who had the opener clean bowled for 23
The wicket brought Balbirnie to the crease who joined forces with Stirling, and together they stitched a solid century stand, with both the batsmen reaching their fifties along the way. They kept the scoreboard ticking over at a rapid pace en route to a 102-run second-wicket stand, which laid the foundation stone for Ireland’s innings.
Balbirnie, who made his 10th half-century in ODIs, was dismissed for 53. The Ireland captain was looking for a slog sweep but Ahmed Raza managed to turn the ball away, and got the top edge as UAE 'keeper Aravind took an easy catch.
From 141-1, Ireland slipped to 159-4, losing Balbirnie, Harry Tector (6) and Lorcan Tucker (4) in quick succession, with Rohan Mustafa accounting for the last two wickets.
Curtis Campher, the No.6 batsman, contributed with important runs, 24 from 30, before becoming Palaniapan Meiyappan's only victim of the day.
Gareth Delany then joined Stirling in the middle, and together they shifted gears. At the end of the 46th over, Stirling brought up his 10th ODI ton with a single. The duo added 55 runs from the last five overs, lifting their side to a competitive total of 269-5.
Stirling was Ireland's star batsman, smashing a sensational 131* from 148 and also passing 9,000 runs for Ireland across all formats in the process, becoming only the second Irish batsman to reach the landmark after William Porterfield.
We wish you a Happy and Prosperous 2021.
We want Covid-19 ended
We want cricket back to normal