The North West and NCU held a Regional Blitz in Magherafelt
This weekend, players from across the North West, who have taken part in the new Regionalised Junior Warriors Program over the winter, gathered together in Meadowbank Sports Arena, Magherafelt to contest the now annual Regional Blitz between the North West and The NCU.
This is the culmination of the winter section of the new North West under 11 and 13 Juniors Warriors programs. The programs, which started in January, will run in three phases. The first is the winter program running in three areas (North -Roe Vally LC, South – Artigravan Hall & Central – Glenaden Arena) bi-weekly over 12 weeks, with a Regionalised blitz in Meadowbank with the NCU in April.
The third section will be the summer festivals in July and August. These will be week-long summer camps with training in the mornings followed by matches between the three areas in the afternoons.
We are currently working with the NCU to organise Regional Interpro Matches to coincide with the Warriors and Knights home and away games.
The new format, along with the new club blitz days, will allow for more players to play against more of those of their level, more often. It will also provide a more sustainable pathway into the new Emerging Warriors Program and beyond.
Unfortunately, due to the number of players in the Under 13s Juniors Warriors program unavailable due to other sporting commitments, the 13s blitz could not go ahead. This left the stage open for the under 11s.
On the chilly April Saturday morning over 30 boys and girls, from the North Wests three regional hubs and the NCUs Regional Program, came together with six teams playing three games over the three-hour slot.
With Meadowbank warming up to near unheard of temperatures for this time of year, so did the standard of cricket. There were no official results kept. However, each game was scored, and all of the games were hotly contested affairs with many going down to single runs and the last pair.
The format of the day was indoor rules played in both unions, with 6 to 8 players batting and bowling in pairs, with bouns runs for hitting the sides and teams losing runs for getting out. To give the boys and girls the best practice for the upcoming season, the first game was played in full batting kit, followed by two more games where pads were optional.
Organiser and North West Crickets Active Clubs Officer said
Its great to have so many players of this age group playing so early in the year. Both the unions are seeing the benefit of their new regionalised programs.
We are glad to be moving forward in our approaches and away from the old ways of having 24 plus players turning up every two weeks to train with two coaches, to the new regionalised set up where 6-8 players are getting more hours and more attention from more coaches in their areas.
The North West would like to thank John Semple, Lee Williamson, Gray McDaid, Craig Campbell and Jamee McAuley for their coaching through the winter and help on the day.
We would also like to thank Peter Bates, Uel Graham and their coaches for making the Regional Blitz a success. We look forward to more blitzes in the future.
The Regional Junior Warriors programs summer section starts on the 2nd of May with the Under 13s followed by the Under 11s the following week.
For more information on the program please contact Colin.firstname.lastname@example.org