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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.
Happy New Year
Seems like all your correspondents have gone AWOL over Christmas. Not much happening here either but Happy New Year to all the cricketers in the north and maybe now with the pros back in the Irish Sernior Cup you'll put up a better show. At least there shouldn't be any excuses in 2008!
Yes Ivan I certainly missed Adrian and the Goodrich family as they were very talented, especially Adrian. Our generation too! I agree with everything you say about him. Both Mark Gleghorne and Timmy Cockram are in Chile right now with the Ireland hockey team and since Steven my son is manager I'm kept up to date with their hockey achievements more so than their cricket prowess.
But the question remains why have the dual sportsmen gone?
Happy Christmas big man.
Come on Stevo Inst did OK last year. They beat the 'Big Two" and won the Ulster Cup. What's all this about age anyway, does it matter to anyone what age a cricketer is if he's good enough? Was Billy Dale keeping a young player out of the team or was he simply better than them?
On your NCU question it will help because we'll have another team that might beat Waringstown and North Down and that's got to be good for everyone.
One notable ommission by Clarence in his article on dual sportsman was Adrian Goodrich. A talented outhalf who played and captained Ulster and sat on the bench for Ireland. Many feel that at any time other than that Ward / Campbell era and he would have been an Ireland regular. He was also a regular on the Ulster Country team as a hard hitting left handed bat and superb fielder . That side featured Dermont Monteith, Ivan Anderson and Michael Reith among others. I think he may have been 12th man for Ireland. I think he would make the "best uncapped XI ". He captained Irish and Ulster schools at both sports as well as Ballymena. A true sporting giant and a great bloke as well. His brothers Alex and John also played senior rugby for Ulster as well as senior cricket. Alex at Ballymena and John at Ballymena and Muckamore.
Of the younger generation Mark Gleghorne who has about 75 senior hockey caps despite being only 23 year old played as a wicketkeeper/batsman for Ireland Under 17's .As a 16 year old he scored 85 in a Senior One game for Muckamore v Harlequins.
Thanks for these Ivan, keep them coming.
Your right on one point ..if he does bat and bowl like he can CSNZ will indeed have a great season..not so sure how their youth will also prosper (watching brief only) in his presence. And for the NCU ? what has that got to do with it ? Ask the INST youngsters !