Latest News

ECB Core Coach – Comes to the North West

The ECB Core coach (Equivalent to the formally named ECB Level 2 Course) is being delivered in the North West in the newly developed Waterside Shared Village.

 

For more information on this course – click here

 

Course Details

Venue: Waterside Shared Village, Irish Street, Derry, Londonderry, BT47 2DD

Dates: 4th, 5th, 25th and 26th March

Cost: £300

Expression of Interest form: https://forms.office.com/e/vhz45xKged

Umpires announce 2023 Training Course details

The local Umpires Association has confirmed the details for this year’s training course which they hope will see them attract much-needed recruitment ahead of the new season.

Providing officials for all senior games has proven problematic at times in the past few years and the Association is hosting both Level 1 and Level 2 tuition in the coming weeks.

The Level 1 course will take place over four 2-hour sessions- Thursday 16th, Tuesday 22nd, Thursday 23rd and Tuesday 28th of February from 7pm-9pm.

Level 2 training will be a 1-day event, held at the White Horse Hotel on either 4th or 5th March (date to be confirmed shortly).

This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who may have umpired before or who would like to give it a try now, to put themselves forward.

The NWCU would encourage all clubs to actively get involved in helping to recruit to the new training programmes as it would obviously be to the benefit of everyone to have more help available.

Anyone interested can register at nwuafacebook@gmail.com

 

The North West Umpires are kindly sponsored by Curtis Opticians. 8 Carlisle Road, Derry/Londonderry.

 

North West Trio Star in Zimbabwe Win

Ireland’s Under-19 Women recorded a 4-wicket victory over Zimbabwe in Pretoria this morning as the build-up continued ahead of the upcoming World Cup tournament.

The three North West players in the squad all played a pivotal role in today’s win- Eglinton’s Jenni Jackson the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3-15 as Zimbabwe were dismissed for 102.

Kia McCartney claimed 2-17 while Zara Craig added 2-18 with Rush bowler Ellie McGee (2-13) also on the mark.

Annabel Squires top scored with 26 in Ireland’s successful chase with Amy Hunter (15), Siuin Woods (13) and Zara (10 not out) seeing them home at the start of the 20th over.

This was a second consecutive warm-up win for skipper Hunter’s girls and a real confidence boost for the North West trio ahead of the first official warm-up game against Pakistan on Monday morning.

Boyd Relishing New Season Challenge

North West Warriors Head Coach Boyd Rankin has plenty to keep him occupied over the Christmas holidays this year, however the former International pace bowler has this week been looking forward to the 2023 Interprovincial season.

Selectors have already named a 20-man Winter Training Squad with an Irish passport-holding batsman set to be added in the New Year, however Boyd was quick to point out that the current list is by no means exhaustive.

“There will of course be opportunities for players not involved in the current panel to force their way in. There are several players playing cricket abroad for the winter while many more have been attending our local training sessions, so the 20-strong list issued last week has taken account of that.

“Playing Interprovincial cricket brings its own demands and requires a lot of commitment. I understand that it isn’t always easy, however we have to put some value on the fact that there are players who turn up week in week out throughout the winter months.”

“The perfect example of how that works in terms of pathway is Jared Wilson. Last year, Jared turned up for every training session and every gym session and he forced his way into the Warriors team.

“His performances at Interpro level saw him get his chance in the Ireland Development squad and now he has a real chance to kick on from there.”

“That’s how the process should work and it shows what can be achieved through hard work and commitment.

“Overall I am happy with our squad and have already spoken with the players who have been training this winter and haven’t been included. There will definitely be chances for them because next year looks sure to be a really busy summer.

“Our International players look set to miss domestic games as they will be on Ireland duty and there will be another busy ‘Future Programme’ to contend with as well, so there will be opportunities.

After a year in the job, the former Bready man says his new post has been ‘exciting and challenging in equal measure’.

“It’s been really busy, but I don’t mind that. I’m enjoying working with the players and a good team of coaches and while I’ve tried to change one or two things, it will take time.

“Hopefully, for example, we will over the next few years have summer contracts for Interprovincial players. That would help offset a situation where players are coming straight from work to training and it would give us some sort of negotiating position.

“All in all I’m content with where we’re at at this stage but it has to be a work in progress and there are things that we need to try to improve.

“We’ll have a short break now over Christmas and the New Year but we’ll be ready to go again after that and start building up towards the start of the new season.”

The North West Warriors are kindly sponsored by – Fleming-Agri Products Ltd

Originally set up in Donegal in the northwest of Ireland by Robert John Fleming in 1860, ownership of the company has remained in the Fleming family to the present, ranking as one of the oldest agricultural machinery companies in the UK and Ireland. The company trades in over 20 countries and employs over 100 people in their modern 6-acre site in Newbuildings. They specialise in agricultural, countryside and ground care machinery with over 100 products on offer: https://www.fleming-agri.com/

 

North West holds 2022 Presentation Evening

For the first time in three years the NWCU Awards night was back on Friday night as 170 guests enjoyed a glittering evening at the Best Western White Horse Hotel.

Thirty individual awards were handed out, not including an emotional Hall of Fame Induction where Joan Torrens and daughters Andrea, Joanna and Judith received a presentation on behalf of the inimitable Roy who passed away last year.

David Barr won the Radio Foyle Men’s Player of the Year, with Jared Barnes claiming the Michael Bannigan Players’ Player of the Year.

The man who skippered Newbuildings to their first ever senior title last season wasn’t present to pick up the trophy as he is currently in Australia, as is Alana Dalzell who won the Senior Women’s Player.

Raymond Curry won the Men’s Young Player of the Year with Alice McLaughlin picking up the Women’s version while Conor Olphert and Mollie Devine won the respective Warriors Player of the Year.

Simon Galloway was a deserving winner of the Club Person of the Year as was Stephen McCartney who picked up the Union’s Coach of the Year award.

Michael Gillespie hosted an excellent Q&A with North West legends William Porterfield and Boyd Rankin to draw an entertaining night to a close.

A full list of the award winners is as follows-

 

Midweek Batting- Billy Dougherty

Midweek Bowling Jason Wallace

League 4 Batting Rawal Wasim

League 4 Bowling Badah Mahmood

League 3 Batting Michael Lynch

League 3 Bowling David Mills

League 2 Batting Andy Lucas

League 2 Bowling TJ Boyd

League 1 Batting Umer Rawjia

League 1 Bowling Chris Neely

Women’s Division 2 Batting- Millie Spence

Women’s Division 2 Bowling Sophie Young

Men’s Championship Batting- Aaron Gillespie

Men’s Championship Bowling Mark Snodgrass

Women’s Division 1 Batting- Sarah Black

Women’s Division 1 Bowling- Vanessa Buchanan

Men’s Premier Batting- Ryan Hunter

Men’s Premier Bowling Ryan Macbeth

Fair Play Award- Brian Allen

Spirit of Cricket- Mark Pollock

Official of the Year- Tony McCloskey

Women’s Young Player of the Year- Alice McLaughlin

Jack Semple Young Player- Raymond Curry

Women’s Warriors Player- Molly Devine

Men’s Warriors Player- Conor Olphert

Coach of the Year- Stephen McCartney

Club Person of the Year- Simon Galloway

Michael Bannigan Award- Jared Wilson

Women’s Senior Player of the Year- Alana Dalzell

Radio Foyle Player of the Year- David Barr

Hall of Fame – Roy Torrens

Conor relishing T20 World Cup challenge

As Ireland head to Hobart for their crucial T20 World Cup Group matches next week, the Derry Journal’s Kevin McLaughlin spoke with Bready pace bowler Conor Olphert about his preparations for the global tournament.

There won’t be many cricketers at this month’s ICC T20 World Cup in Australia who are in the process of starting their final year at university and also moving house, but that is exactly the case for Ireland’s Conor Olphert.

The talented paceman started his fourth and final year at Jordanstown studying mechanical engineering, the same week that he headed with the Irish squad ‘Down Under’.

Olphert also revealed that whenever he received his call-up to Heinrich Malan’s squad, he was right in the middle of moving house. And now he’s challenging to get into the Ireland side which starts their ICC T20 World Cup campaign against Zimbabwe on Monday morning.

All of the Ireland games will be shown live on Sky Sports, with next Monday’s match getting underway at 9am.

“It’s actually a nice distraction with everything going on, because if it was just cricket in my life then I think my head would be a bit fried, so being able to have life outside of it is a good thing,” he insisted.

“I also have university going on as I have started my final year on my mechanical engineering course, so it’s going to be an interesting few weeks. Starting your final year of university in a different time zone could be tough!

“I don’t think I’ll get much free time off during the cricket but whatever time I do get I’ll be studying most of it.

“Let’s be honest, regardless of my plans four years ago whenever I started university at Jordanstown I did not think by my final year I would be going to participate in a World Cup.

“I have to admit going to Uni has helped me, because I have been a bit more flexible with my time to train. Before that I was working both day and night shifts, so it was never easy to train, but whenever I went to Uni, I would be in the gym all the time.”

The 26-year-old, who got his first taste of T20 international cricket against India in the summer, can’t wait to lock horns with Zimbabwe, Scotland and West Indies but remains confident that Ireland can progress.

“It’s meant to be tough and that’s what makes it exciting, but I know on our day, that our team and our squad has plenty of talented players.  I also know T20 cricket can quickly go either way,” he explained.

“The West Indies will be favourites in our group, but they’ve been beaten before- in fact Ireland have beaten them before so why can’t we go and do it again? It’s a one-off match, it’s like tossing a coin, so yes, we can win it.

“From my own International perspective, playing against India was a nice way to start as I was playing against some of the best players in the world. I was just a guy from the North West who was playing for his club a week or two ago, so yeah it was quite bizarre.

“It was good to be in the side to test myself against that calibre of player. I felt I had one good game and one bad game, but I know that whenever I miss my line or length at that level, it’s inevitable that quality batters will go after me.

“You just have to have a clear plan, back yourself and enjoy yourself. You can’t dwell on anything in T20 cricket, maybe in Test cricket or whatever if you bowl a bad ball you get smacked for four, you could get smacked for four twice in one over whereas in T20 it’s a game of cat and mouse.”

Conor will become the second Olphert to play representative cricket for Ireland following in his father Mark’s footsteps.

Olphert senior, who had a tremendous career with Bready and the North West, made one Ireland appearance in 1998 against Australia ‘A’, is Conor’s inspiration.

The North West Warriors bowler concedes his earliest memories of cricket was watching his father produce the goods for the Magheramason men and he admits that his father or any family members won’t be able to make the trip Down Under to see part of the Ireland squad.

“I don’t think he’s going to be able to travel to Australia, as it’s a bit short notice, but he has been my biggest inspiration,” stated the North West Warriors bowler.

“He played for Ireland himself, he’s a massive club man and I have been watching him since I was no age. My earliest memories are sitting in the old field in Bready between cars watching him both bat and bowl and I’m just glad that I’ve been able to reach the heights that he reached.

“No family is going to be able to make the trip at such short notice. People have work and other commitments and getting to Australia isn’t that easy. It’s not really fair to drag anyone out to Australia for three to five weeks or however long we’ll be there.”

Unfortunately, Olphert won’t have fellow Bready native Craig Young alongside him for the tournament; the pace bowler ruled out last weekend because of a chronic injury issue.

Young travelled home because of a recurring injury and has been replaced in the squad by former Coleraine man, Graham Hume.

The Liverpool supporter hopes everyone in the region is happy with his efforts and he also admits it’s great that he’s keeping the club’s good tradition going by being selected for the Boys in Green.

“I just want to go to the World Cup and make the North West proud because I want to be the best that I can be for the people back here,” added Olphert.

“It’s quite bizarre that this one club from the North West has produced so many Ireland internationals. We’ve gone from a club team who played a lot of junior cricket to eventually get into the senior league and managed to stay there for over 30 years and continue to produce all these players.

“Obviously over the years the club has grown and gone from strength to strength. We’ve expanded the facilities and did everything to make sure that we produced good cricketers and the youth system has been fantastic.”

Despite the unfortunate injury to Craig, there will still be plenty for North West supporters to enjoy during the tournament.

Here’s hoping Conor, and Ireland will be there for the duration!

 

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