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Darren Oldroyd

The Village Ground

10th Jul 2017

Continuing on from the decline of cricket in South Down, we at Drumaness know only too well about this with the club folding for the 2016 season.

But on a more positive note, we've come back this year and despite a couple of key players not returning, we've been getting good numbers at practice and for the first time in years our skipper had to drop 2 players on Saturday!

In a bid to raise more playing interest, we also recently held our 6 a side fun day where teams from the local soccer and GAA clubs battled it out for local bragging rights. These fellas thoroughly enjoyed the 10 over games but are still a long way from committing to 40 or 50 over matches on a Saturday. They are however keen on a 20/20 friendly against an NCU team at Drumaness. Any junior 7-8 or mid-week league teams interested for some Sunday in August let us know. We can guarantee a good crowd, a BBQ (weather permitting) and live commentary and music. Email


Good thinking Darren.

Chris Gilmore


10th Jul 2017

Ronnie, to say I'm disappointed that you felt the need to "rant" about my club is an understatement. Calling myself and my 9 team mates pathetic (that's right we had 10 until one went home ill after the 1st innings) is an insult I wouldn't expect from you, and to think I got you a drink between innings. I won't be doing that again maybe the quality of the Jamesons contributed to this post!

You may also remember that your 2nd XI contained a few "senior" players and we were well and truly in the game until your leg spinner took us apart. You even mentioned an old friend of mine was nearly having to come out of retirement in his mid/late 60s as your 3rds could only get 8 players for their game. The quality of leg spin on display was something you'd expect in the Premier League. I see the same player took wickets for your 1sts the following day, can't see him being back in the 2nds for a while!

Your statement about having used 2 pitches all season is incorrect, maybe some of our players gave you "fake news". Anyone who has played at Downpatrick will know how good our pitches can be thanks to the dedication of our groundsman who is world class in his trade. Unfortunately he has been unavailable this season and we now rely on volunteers and amateur groundsmen to prepare wickets, not easy to master in a few weeks. Saturdays wicket wasn't ideal, I doubt it would have made any difference to the outcome if we'd played at Lords though

Cricket in South Down is a minority sport which (in my opinion) is in decline. As a club we are doing everything we can to maintain the tradition of our sport in the area for the local community. How many clubs would fulfil a fixture with 7 men at North Down or 8 at Donemana? Most would take the easy way out and not turn up, who gets anything out of that? We have a flourishing youth set up which is producing some quality for the future, like many clubs we just need to get through a tough time and return to our successes of the not so distant past. Last season our 1sts were on the verge of winning section 1 and made 2 cup finals, season before that our 2nds won the intermediate cup. I won't go on as I'm starting to sound like a Liverpool fan talking about past glories.

For anyone who wants to discuss cricket in the Downpatrick area or in general my email address is available, my phone number can be too. I'm not a fan of rants on public forums

Ronnie- before responding maybe read the 2nd paragraph here:

C Boomer

enjoying a half full tin of Fanta, or perhaps half empty?

10th Jul 2017

Can feel the anguish in your post Ronnie, the optimist in me would say these things are cyclical, such is the way of modern trends and fashions, while some decline, troughs and peaks if you like, others are more in vogue and prospering?

A few of my own personal views come to mind though, some we can encourage, others, well, perhaps out of our power...

Losing live televised, terrestrial cricket some years ago was a telling blow to our local domestic game. I grew up watching my heros, live Joel Garner, Ian Botham, Bob Willis, Viv Richards, the 1981 Ashes etc on BBC and of course, as a perceptive teenager, I wanted to be all those guys rolled into one. point being, not all youngsters have ready access to satellite television, mostly not all, I'd readily purport?

Secondly, while the advent of test cricket for Ireland must be welcomed and should in theory, be good for the game. If the authorities are going to laud it up at the top dinning table with England, India, Australia etc at the 'expense' of our grassroots game, then the whole thing will fall into disarray, become a farce and once more, it will be 'us' who suffer, the foundation that every successful and competitive national side are built upon!

I also note with some concern, the last time I looked on the Ireland cricket website, there were coaches, assistant coaches, deputy assistant coaches to help assist the assistant, assistant coaches, directors, deputy directors, executive directors, commercial directors, performance directors, marketing managers, operations manager, assistant operations managers, tea ladies and standby tea ladies in case the former rings in sick or needs a hand and the list just goes on & on!
And this was even before Ireland were awarded Test status....Really? Reminds me of the NHS, try waiting for a hip op. Not that I need one ( yet) but pity those that do!

Too many chiefs spring to mind, how many of them are down at the nets, three or four times a week, id love to know? Not counting cheering on their team on a Saturday afternoon?

Finally on a more positive note, lovely game against Newforge 2nds on Saturday, yes we got we'll beat but that's irrelevant. These guys of Asian persuasion I think, love and are passionate about cricket, and not only do they form their own sides here but just look how many are involved with local clubs throughout the land, I take my hat off to them and long may they stay, raise their families and continue to popularise our game, after all, could we survive without them?



Caleb, what does this mean?

Clarence Hiles


10th Jul 2017

Ronnie, sad to hear about Downpatrick, but you can't blame Cricket Ireland losing the 25 players. They should be asking themselves and see what's happening. There's a lot of activity in Dundrum just a few miles down the road.
Interesting test status. I assume the big bucks will filter into grassroots? Or maybe perhaps not?

Ronnie McAlpine


8th Jul 2017

so, if you don't have a ground for your home fixture because it's double booked then it's not points for the visiting side but, postponed??? president set

Ronnie McAlpine


8th Jul 2017

Time for a rant, and if anyone disagrees then let me know. at the age of 56 i had the privilege of playing for Woodvales 2nd XI at the x international ground of Strangford Rd in Downpatrick. Beautiful ground. great clubhouse.
We won the toss and batted first on a pitch that was 'used' they have only used two strips on the square this season....WHY? it was a dust bowl and the lines painted on it where silly at least two inches broad. not that it mattered caused after a few overs they disappeared. Look we won the game easily but that is not the point. A 9 man 2nd XI at Downpatrick were pathetic , a former shadow of the great club they used to be. When i spoke to a few of their players they told me they had lost......wait for this....25 players from last season. Cricket Ireland really need to wake up. They are so for far stuck their own arses about being a test playing nation (JOKE) that they are missing what;s happening in the real world. Cricket is dying at grass roots, WAKE UP!!!!!!


Woodvale C.C.

30th Jun 2017

Ref: Wally Shannon

Well said Clarence, Wally was indeed a true gent who never had a bad word to say about anyone.

He's yet another of the Woodvale stalwarts to have left us. But no doubt he, Gourley, Storey and Tunnah will be discussing all things cricket.

Our thoughts are with Wilma, Kevin and Louise.

Rest well my friend.

Gareth Evans
Woodvale C.C.

Ryan Haire


30th Jun 2017

Jeff ......many happy returns! Hope like an MCC opener you get to bat time and not have to field on your big day lol Can see you in an MCC tie ;)

Andy Kennedy


30th Jun 2017

A fitting tribute to Wally Shannon. You have expressed sentiments that many can echo.

Jeff Maguire

wet but good to see as dampens the pollen

29th Jun 2017

Anyone that knows me im CRICKET MAD true sportsman = hate the Aussies unless we WIN = 30 years torment but now we have them as equals the URN is ours for next few years , but back to my appeal i love Dundrum cricket club and its my 60th birthday on Sunday 16th July starts1pm 25 overs game and barbecue/refreshments and a hard soft ball cricket challenge between my over 30/60 age group ( lots subs on standbye) and Terry Hutley young guns .The game will be over 5pm then onto the Dundrum Inn and then to music in The Anchor Bar were ill let my hair down .We have 79 year old groundsman Tommy Curlett that has worked UNPAID for 55 years so i want to try help him as a proper set covers would prevent all his hard work from being wasted = massive respect so instead of turning up at my funeral (im not going away you no )and saying silly things im asking all my friends too donate a few £ to something that makes me happy. Cricket like every great sport soccer rugby gaelic and hockey and loads more gives us a great opportunity to compete but more importantly meeting LIFE LONG FRIENDS that i hope and pray can help in this worthy cause anyone that brings presents rest assured i will donate to the homeless who are more deserving and i hope that there might be surprise PREMIER players in both teams. PLEASE EVERYONE TICK THE GIFT AID as we can earn more £.
Jeff's 60th Birthday Fundraising for Dundrum CC Wicket Covers |

Jeff Maguire is coming a young 60 on 16th of July and is running an over 30s/60s against and under 30s hard/soft ball cricket match, with BBQ and refreshments at 1:00pm on Sunday 16th July. Cricket has brought Jeff many lifelong friends and he wants to put something back for Dundrum CC. Instead of presents ...

Anyone interested can contact myself on Facebook .

Andy Kennedy


28th Jun 2017

I was sadden to learn of the passing of one of the true gentlemen that I have met through cricket. Wally Shannon was an unsung stalwart of RUC cricket 'back in the day' and was in later years a regular at Woodvale dinners as well as the matches. My sincere sympathy goes to his wife & family.


Yes indeed Andy, Wally was a wonderful man and I'll send a tribute later.

Sam Packer


27th Jun 2017

Dear All,
I'm the skipper of a side from Oxford touring Belfast this week. Sadly we've had 2 of our 4 opponents pull out in the last month and haven't been able to get replacements. If anyone could point us in any direction to find a last-minute fixture on any of Friday, Saturday or Monday we would be so grateful.
We're a touring standard- some good and some not so good players. Friendly bunch of lads who know each other from when we were at Uni together.
My apologies for what may be a slightly off topic post.
All best,


Good luck Sam!



26th Jun 2017

I’ve been having a brainstorm in how to improve cricket locally as I think it’s fair to say it could be better in terms of not only quality but more importantly participation. From personal opinion, I think it’s fair to say that T20 Cricket is on the rise and probably within 5 years time will overtake other forms of the game due to its massive popularity. So, I’ve been thinking how we can incorporate more T20 cricket into the Summer while also not compromising the League games as well across most of the senior leagues. I will base this idea mainly on Section 1 & 2 leagues as this is probably what it is best suited to.

So, for League games I propose that in a 10 team league each team will play each other once whether it be Home or Away. That would equate to 9 games and each team in the leagues would be designated a local rival where they would play both Home & Away (5 games at Home & Away for each team). For example, in Section 1, it could be Cliftonville & Academy, Lurgan & Donaghcloney Mill and Bangor & Holywood etc... Each team would then be guaranteed 10 league games a season. Once each team has played 10 games then the bottom 2 teams in Section 1 are relegated to Section 2 and the remaining 8 teams move towards a quarter final stage where based on league position 1st plays 8th, 2nd plays 7th, 3rd plays 6th & 4th plays 5th. Teams who finish in the Top 4 would be at home. Semi Final draw could then be a random draw or be based of the league positions. For Section 2 this would be the same format and for which team gets relegated then the bottom 2 teams would play each other in a play-off match potentially (I’m not 100% sure how it works in Section 2 & 3 but with 7 teams in Section 3, maybe this would be best). If a team goes the whole way then its 13 league games, a reduction of 5 games currently and each game would be of huge importance to make sure you get a good league position and then move towards a knock-out scenario where every game matters.

To incorporate more T20 cricket for teams in Section 1 & 2 we could have a similar format to that of the league whereby each team plays each other once (Maybe a reverse of fixtures to that of the league to keep things fair). Each team would also have the same local rival again as explained above where they play each other Home & Away. So, 10 games guaranteed in a league format with then quarters, semi’s & a final to follow (same format as the 50 over league), so potentially again 13 games to play. With there being a reduction in league games by between 5-8. Then some of these free weekends could be used to play a T20 match on say a Saturday afternoon/evening and with the growing popularity of this form of the game then clubs could promote these games heavily and have different events on such as BBQ’s, music playing, events for the kids etc… and larger numbers turning out for these games compared to some league games would bring some much needed revenue for some clubs behind the bar. This could allow clubs to draw back some players who maybe can’t play a full 50 over league game nowadays which can take 10 hours out of your day due to other commitments as is with the way of the world today. To incorporate the rest of the games in the T20 league then games can also be played on a midweek evening as is the case at the moment. To also maximise the popularity of T20 the NCU could potentially organise a finals weekend at one of the premier league grounds whereby you could have the Section 1 & 2 finals on a Saturday followed by on the Sunday by the Premier League T20 final.

Looking at it as a whole, teams in Section 1 & 2 would play a minimum of 20 games and a maximum of 26 in these leagues across the year (not including challenge cups etc). Potentially this would be a small increase of games but with more T20 games played both on a weekend & midweek then I don’t think this would put a strain on clubs and if anything actually improve the health of clubs across the NCU. Also, to make sure then that the 50 over League remains the most important, teams’ promotion & relegation between Premier League, Sections 1, 2 & 3 will be based on what happens in the 50 over league, not the T20 League/cup.


Chambers Park

24th Jun 2017

Thanks Caleb, that match was heart stopper all the way to the last ball. Thanks to the Victorians for visiting and making the game one to remember.
I can't see us playing in the senior league anytime soon, but there is an open invitation to any team to visit Chambers park and play us.
T20 Friday evening or Sunday afternoon. Just give us a weeks notice to get a pitch prepared.

C Boomer

Portadown on the march ..

23rd Jun 2017

Hats off to Alan Chambers, Geordie Hamill and their Taveners cricket team!

A fine pool of cricketers who hosted a friendly and very competitive T20 match against a Victoria select this evening, winning the game of the very last ball.

Here's hoping with the elevation of Ireland to test status and all the lucrative trappings associated with same, an influx of this revenue will filter down to grassroots level so enthusiast cricket men like Alan & George are fully supported and encouraged by our Union and perhaps in the very near future, Portadown C.C. can once again be a major force in the NCU leagues?

Good luck guys!