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23rd Sep 2020

First class match at Bready yesterday and players fielding in beanie hats no wonder we get laughed at over here what's next if it's cold players wearing coats and scarfs what a joke yesterday


Yes, it is certainly cold at present. Perhaps hot drinks instead of orange might help or finish the season now?

John Kerstens


23rd Sep 2020

On behalf of Clarence and myself I would like to pass on our condolences to International umpire Mark Hawthorne and his brother Gavin, a former Woodvale player, on the death of their father "Herbie" at the age of 90. A lovely man who will be missed by the family.

RIP "Herbie"


Andy Kennedy

Balmy Buckna

16th Sep 2020

3 days of sunshine and temperatures in the 20+ and no cricket at Bready! Makes one wonder if there has really been any significant improvement in the infrastructure by CI?

Andy Kennedy

balmy Buckna

1st Sep 2020

Been asked by a few people what I meant by the comments about Cregagh celebrations - my reading of the regs “THE RESULT - 22 (b) if the scores are tied, the winner shall be the team losing the fewer wickets”. Saintfield lost fewer wickets & Cregagh win after OOPSE, referred to as a “super over”. Interesting!

Neale Matthews

The Law

1st Sep 2020

Re: Davy - Weather Watching.
The pitches produced at the Lawn got the various games - 2 finals and an inter pro were frankly superb and a credit to ground staff who had gone way beyond the call of duty.
Unfortunately the boundary straight at the Waring end was waterlogged at the bottom of the slope. This allowed for a boundary of approximately 45 meters. Clearly far too short for the men’s final. Of course far too short for today’s interpro.
For the avoidance of doubt this was the problem end that the umpires on Saturday indicated was unplayable and was even then a major concern for Sunday.
North Down stepped in at the last minute for both men’s games which meant they had to put in considerable work.
The women’s game was just about accommodated and with few alternative venues and few spare dates this was to some extent a compromise with the straight boundary.
A later start was considered but a clash of timings for the two finals was not considered a good idea.

Difficult balance was struck and frankly successfully so. Two excellent games of cricket.

Want to sincerely recognise the efforts of all clubs involved in putting on the amount of cricket we have had this year and not just the showpieces.


Thanks Neale. As we all know the weather is normally better at Costa del Comber! Apart from today!!! LOL

David Skelton

Queensway, Derriaghy

30th Aug 2020

On behalf of Derriaghy CC can I say a massive thanks to everyone who donated to our centenary charity partner Emerge Counselling Services via bucket collections at the 2 LVS T20 finals at Saintfield and Comber today. It was great to see large crowds at both grounds.
I also want to thank the NCU Management Board for giving their permission to undertake the collections, the various media sources who promoted the collections and the 2 host clubs for their support.


Ed - Well done Davy and all the best for a very worthy charity - JK

Andy Kennedy


30th Aug 2020

Have Cregagh’s celebrations been a bit premature?


Weather watching

29th Aug 2020

Very strange if a match is called off for a 3pm start for a mens final that the ground is playable for a woman's final at an earlier start yes boundaries are smaller but if not playable then no games take place


Let's hope both are played! The NCU don't control the weather.

jonathan lyttle


19th Aug 2020

Harold McCrory

I was saddened to hear of Harold's death on Saturday. He was a gentleman and true believer both in Laurelvale and cricket in general. It was a pleasure to play cricket with him and to consider myself to be fortunate to share in his passion for the game and also support Portadown FC!! His presence as one of the foundations of the club was quite remarkable. But his work with the NCU was quite a feat. As a club it was amazing to play cricket with a pensioner and his on field presence was enough to spur this teams to want to win and enjoy the game.
Harold was a man who made friends right across the width and breadth of game and his counsel was respected by all. While travelling as a scorer at representative level I was often surprised by people from other parts who spoke highly of him. One cannot record just how much Harold gave and how much he loved both Laurelvale Cricket Club but the game in general. I remember him as a youngster playing for him and as I grew older I got to know him through working on the ground and the committee at the club. I shall cherish the memories of a true gentleman and extend my deepest sympathy to Sally and the family at this very sad time.


Ed - well said Jonathan..... Harold was indeed a true gentleman and will be sadly missed by us all.


David Skelton

Queensway, Derriaghy

17th Aug 2020

As many within the NCU family will know, 2020 is the Centenary year for Derriaghy CC. The club had several events planned to celebrate 100 years since their foundation but due to Covid 19 the majority of these have been postponed until next year when hopefully most things will be back to normal.
To mark our Centenary the club nominated Emerge Counselling Services as their charity partner. The LISBURN based charity provides services to clients with mental health problems including self-harm and suicidal tendencies.
At the start of the year the club approached the Union to seek their support in raising funds for Emerge and were delighted when permission was given to collect funds at the various T20 cup finals in 2020 for this important charity. Derriaghy would appeal to everyone attending games to consider donating something when approached by a 'bucket collector'. Your generosity will be much appreciated by the club and Emerge Counselling Services.


A very worthy charity.

Clarence Hiles

UC Headquarters

17th Aug 2020

Harold McCrory
Local cricket will be saddened by the passing of Harold McCrory, a former NCU Chairman and Hon. Life Member. Most people will remember for his loyal service to Laurelvale Cricket Club where he played his cricket, and then later rose to the ranks as Chairman, and then later at our Union. He was a conscientious administrator with a wry personality, and always cordial. I enjoyed his company and friendship, much like the Laurelvale culture, which enjoyed the after-match as much as the cricket itself. As General Secretary Bryan Milford said earlier today, we have lost one of the 'old brigade.' It is a sad time for both the club and the the NCU, but in particular Sally and the other members of the family.
Rest in Peace Harold.

Andy Kennedy


16th Aug 2020

It is with sadness that I learned of the death of Harold McCrory. An absolute gentleman and Jonny, Michael & I have many happy memories of our games with him. Deepest sympathy to his family.

Bryan Milford, NCU Sec.


14th Aug 2020

The prestige NCU women’s knockout trophy reaches the semi-final stage on Sunday with four Premier league teams aiming to claim their place in the final, scheduled for Sunday 30th August.
The first semi-final of the day sees cup holders CSNI on the road to play former winners Lurgan in what will be a tricky away tie for the holders. CSNI, having defeated North Down in their previous round by 7 wickets, with Healy and Thomas top performers with the bat and Lecky in fine form with the ball (2-15). However, CSNI will need to continue their good season form if they want to claim a place in the final and retain the trophy.
CSNI’s opponents, Lurgan, had a comfortable 67 run win against Carrickfergus in the previous round with Hinds top scoring with the bat and impressive bowling figures from Orr 3-11, Todd 2-8 and Rainey 2-8 making it a tough match for Carrick. Lurgan will be hoping home advantage also counts to enable them to stake a claim for a place in the final.
In the second semi-final last year’s finalists, Muckamore, are also on the road with a tough assignment away to Waringstown. In their previous round Muckamore defeated Holywood by 149 runs with top scorers Caulfied 58no and Logan 58 leading the way with the bat. Holywood had a tough day against some fine Muckamore bowling with Niblock 4-16, Murray 2-9 and Hall 2-1.
However, Muckamore will have to be on top form to overcome a strong Waringstown team who have recruited wisely this season and have been performing well so far. In the previous round they overcame a youthful Instonians side in a rain affected game by 9 wickets on run rate. Captain, Charlotte Lyons, will be looking forward to leading her young side out on Sunday at the Lawn.
All four teams will be looking forward to their games on Sunday and with two closely matched ties it will be interesting to see which two teams claim their place in the final on Sunday 30th August.
Semi-final Games
Lurgan vs CSNI – 11am, Lurgan
Waringstown v Muckamore – 1pm, The Lawn

Keith Montague

Clogherhead Co Louth

1st Aug 2020

Gallagher Women's Challenge Cup
My Predictions (Weather Permitting of course)
2nd August
Carrickfergus v Lurgan - Away Win
Holywood v Muckamore - Away Win
Instonians v Waringstown - Away Win
North Down v CSNI - Away Win
3 out of the 4 ties are easy to call as all Lurgan, Muckamore and Waringstown should progress with ease but the tie of the round is North Down v CSNI with the current holders taking on the 2016 winners at The Lawn v Waringstown but I just see CSNI taking it.
In the Inter Pro under 19's match at Coleraine a bit of a surprise result with the NWCU side beating the NCU side by 6 wickets. Maybe should not have been considering they beat the LCU by 9 wickets earlier on in the week. It will be interesting to see how they fare against the LCU in the under 15's at North Downs CC Comber and Balrothery home of North County CC
I feel looking at the scores so far in the Mens side of the sport that CIYMS are really the side to watch with scores of 140 plus in the league with C Dougherty player of the season candidate already. CSNI, Waringstown and North Down are in a battle for 2nd as I see it with the other 4 sides in the bottom half of the table. Feel Lisburn and Carrickfergus will be cut adrift after a good start by Woodvale (even though beaten by Waringstown on Saturday) could shock Insts in 2 weeks after another bad start to a season again.
Did contact Mr Milford as you suggested but no reply yet probably busy with all the under age stuff to be played before schools are back.
Thanks again Ed post more stuff soon and everyone keep healthy and safe in the island of Ireland

Bryan Milford, Sec NCU


31st Jul 2020

The 2020 NCU Gallagher Women’s Challenge Cup campaign gets underway this weekend with an exciting schedule of first round of games on Sunday 2nd August.
The holders, CSNI, begin their Cup campaign when they travel to The Green to play North Down. CSNI proved that they were a force to be reckoned with last summer as they clinched victory in the Cup final, beating a strong Muckamore side at Stormont. Chris Elliott’s squad will be going into the game on Sunday knowing that there is no room for error if they are to retain the trophy this season.
Last season’s runners-up, Muckamore, go into their first round game against Holywood in confident mood having already defeated their opponents in their season opener last weekend. Whilst Muckamore will start as strong favourites to make it into the semi-finals, Holywood’s young side will have learned from their previous encounter and will provide much tougher opposition in their game on Sunday.
The Instonians vs Waringstown tie will be a tough one to call at this stage. Waringstown had an excellent win in their season opener last weekend against North Down, with Cara Murray performing well with bat and ball. However, they will unfortunately be without Murray this time around due to an injury picked up on representative duty during the week. A young Instonians squad will be relying on the excellent early season form of Amy Hunter if they are to progress to the semi-finals.
Former Cup winners Lurgan will start as strong favourites in their tie against Division 1 side Carrick. Lurgan will be relying on strong performances from Emma McMurray and Hannah Grieve, who have both shown excellent early season form, if they are to ensure they progress to the semi-final stage of the competition.
With four exciting games ahead this weekend it will be interesting to see which four teams stay in the hunt for the Gallagher Women’s Challenge Cup this season and make it into the hat for the semi-final draw.
Gallagher Women’s Challenge Cup first schedule – Sunday 2nd August.
Carrick v Lurgan Carrick (TBC)
Holywood v Muckamore Seapark (1pm)
Instonians v Waringstown Shawsbridge (2pm)
North Down v CSNI The Green (12pm)
Photo (Presseye) – (l-r) Aisling Healy (CSNI), Richard Johnson, NCU President, Shane Matthews, Managing Director of Gallagher Northern Ireland, and Beth Healy (CSNI) with the Gallagher Women’s Challenge Cup