Warriors Go With Youth For Final Game

The Warriors have named a mixture of youth and experience in their squad for their final Interprovincial fixture of the season- a 3-day match against Leinster Lightning starting at Bready on Wednesday (11 am).

One new face has made the 12- the rapidly improving Bready bowler Reece Kelly, while Brigade‘s Ryan Macbeth and Fox Lodge spinner Aaron Heywood could both add to their one appearance each so far.

David Barr keeps his place after an excellent summer while man-in-form Davy Scanlon looks sure to speahead the attack in a squad where Ian McGregor has opted to go without an overseas influence.

There’s still no Craig Young although Stuart Thompson, Johnny Thompson and Aaron Gillespie along with the Bready skipper will give Andy McBrine plenty of options against a quality Lightning side.

Niall O’Brien returns too and his presence is sure to give the batting a boost as the Warriors look for the win that would keep the Championship race open.

Just one change, David Delany in for Simi Singh, for the Leinster Lightning ahead of their two matches in two weeks which will decide the destination of the Hanley Energy Interprovincial Championship title for 2017.

The Northern Knights lead the way on 29 points but while the Leinster Lightning sit in third place on 21 points at the moment, they do have a match in hand on both the Knights and the North West Warriors.

The penultimate match of the IPC season takes place at Bready Cricket Club from Wednesday August 30th to Friday September 1st.

The Leinster Lightning are able to select a strong, settled squad for this match. The notable absentee is Simi Singh who is being rested, with a slight shoulder problem, in advance of Ireland’s clash with the West Indies. As a result, Clontarf’s David Delany receives his first call-up this year.

Hanley Energy IPC, North West Warriors v Leinster Lightning, Bready CC, Wednesday August 30th – Friday September 1st, 11am start

North West Warriors Squad;

A McBrine (capt) (Donemana)
R Allen (Eglinton)
D Barr (Brigade)
A Gillespie (Strabane)
A Heywood (Fox Lodge)
R Kelly (Bready)
R Macbeth (Brigade)
N O’Brien (Natwich)
D Rankin (Bready)
D Scanlon (Bready)
J Thompson (Brigade)
S Thompson (Eglinton)


Leinster Lightning squad;

John Anderson (c) (Merrion)
Andrew Balbirnie (Pembroke)
Peter Chase (Malahide)
David Delany (Clontarf)
George Dockrell (v/c) (Dublin University / Leinster)
Ed Joyce       (Merrion)
Tyrone Kane (Merrion)
Kevin O’Brien (Railway Union)
Eddie Richardson (North County)
Jack Tector (YMCA)
Sean Terry (The Hills)
Lorcan Tucker (w/k) (Pembroke)

Cricket ireland National Cup image

Strabane Reach Semi-Finals of National Cup

Cricket Ireland Senior Cup Image

Cricket Ireland Senior Cup Image

We are down to the last four in both the Irish Senior and National Cups. Eight teams hoping to make it through to Finals weekend at Bready on September 2nd and 3rd.

In the Senior Cup, there are two, Northern Cricket Union versus Leinster Cricket Union, ties.

Waringstown host Pembroke at The Lawn having beaten Coleraine by 8 wickets and Merrion by 3 wickets in the previous rounds. Instonians travel to North Dublin to face The Hills with Ireland’s newest international call-up in their line-up.

Nathan Smith is very confident that this could be their year in the Senior Cup. “We haven’t been playing too well as a team in the league but in the cups we’ve blended together and we’re confident we have the ability, talent and skill to be able to take it all the way.”

Smith has bowled well all summer and took 2 wickets in the victory over Brigade in round 2 but was outshone on the day by Robert McKinley’s remarkable 5-7! For The Hills, Albert van de Merwe has twice taken 4 wickets including 4-22 in the quarter-final victory over Balbriggan.

The Hills have the likes of Van der Merwe, Max Sorensen and the Wolves’ Sean Terry who could turn the game in their favour. For Instonians there’s Northern Knights’ James Shannon and Nikolai Smith who will look to do well as well as Smith of course, who isn’t worried about Ireland v Netherlands being a distraction.

“No I don’t think so; I find if you don’t look too far ahead you’re going to be in a better situation. We’ll just focus on what’s in front of us and as soon as that game’s over I’ll then turn attention to next week.”

In the other semi-final Pembroke travel north to take on Waringstown at The Lawn.

Pembroke have had three comfortable home victories in the competition so far, defeating County Galway by 141 runs, Bready by 9 wickets in a re-fixed match and then beating North Down by 76 runs in the quarter-final.

Centuries from Theo Lawson, Nick Cutler and Andrew Balbirnie were the cornerstone of each victory. The round two match at Bready which was rained off would have been Pembroke’s only away match in the Cup this year.

Instead they travel for the first time in the semi-final, and to face a Waringstown side that are playing at the business end of cup competitions every weekend at the moment.

An unbeaten 91 from James Hall in round 2 saw them past Coleraine by 8 wickets. In the heavyweight quarter-final, Waringstown restricted Merrion to 195/9 off their 50 overs. Then, an unbeaten century from James McCollum saw Waringstown home by 3 wickets with more than 10 overs remaining.

Could this match be about which bowling attack can nullify the opposing top-order?

In the National Cup, Strabane and Derriaghy travel to Dublin to face Terenure and Malahide respectively.

Strabane are in the competition for the first time and will be looking to get passed Terenure and clinch a spot in the final which is being held in the North West at Bready.

Strabane have beaten Cliftonville, Cregagh and County Kerry to reach Saturday’s semi-final. Their hosts, Terenure, have defeated Holywood, Limerick and Rush to get this far; their round 2 match against Limerick requiring a super over to find a winner.

Malahide have defeated Glendermott, Downpatrick and Midleton en route to the semi-finals and will be hoping Ireland international Peter Chase can take them through to the National final. Derriaghy however have had comfortable victories over St Johnston, Sion Mills and Knockharley and it will be a fascinating match on Saturday at Malahide.

The winners of Saturday’s semi-finals will meet in the National Cup final on September 3rd in Bready.

Irish Senior Cup, Semi-finals, Saturday August 12th, 12.30pm

Waringstown v Pembroke, The Lawn
The Hills v Instonians, The Vineyard

Irish National Cup, Semi-finals, Saturday August 12th, 13.30

Malahide v Derriaghy, Malahide
Terenure v Strabane, Terenure

Exciting Finale in Store For Haney Energy IP20



The Leinster Lightning travel to Cork on Friday, hoping to secure their second piece of silverware of the season. Defeat against the North West Warriors last time out, brought the Warriors back into contention for the Hanley Energy IP20 Trophy.

The Lightning secured the IP50 Cup without playing last Sunday and will be keen to wrap up the Trophy on Friday evening. The game represents a final opportunity to secure the T20 title; having failed to pick up the one point required last time out against the North West Warriors in Merrion Cricket Club.

Andrew Balbirnie, Kevin O’Brien and Peter Chase have been held back by Cricket Ireland as a precaution in advance of the upcoming Intercontinental Cup match against the Netherlands. That means a recall for Merrion’s Tom Stanton and a first call-up this year for Stephen Doheny of Rush. Josh Little comes in to the squad for Chase.

The Munster Reds, meanwhile, have announced an unchanged squad ahead of their final game of the IP20 Series.

They’ll have Irish-selected opener Jack Tector on their side, while his brother Harry joins Aaron Cawley, Max Neville and Rory Anders in all securing Ireland’s place at the U19 World Cup next year. Their experiences in Jersey will stand to them no end.

The Clontarf duo of Robert Forrest and David Delany helped their team to Leinster T20 glory a few weeks ago, and will soon face Reds team-mates Cawley, Stephan Grobler, Gary King and Cormac Hassett in the All-Ireland semi-final at Lisburn on the 20th August.

The game begins at 5pm, and with free admission, a barbecue, refreshments, and plenty for the kids too.

While the Leinster Lightning are the firm favourites to wrap up this format on the back of last week’s IP Cup win, the North West Warriors will be hoping the Munster Reds make the trip to the Mardyke a difficult one for the Lightning.

Should the Lightning lose and the Warriors defeat the Northern Knights, the Warriors could yet win the Hanley Energy IP20 Trophy themselves.

Craig Young remains unavailable as his workload is managed, however Aaron Gillespie returns and Aaron Heywood retains his place courtesy of some big performances for Fox Lodge.

As the Northern Knights cannot win the IP 20 competition the selectors have decided to look at some of the Emerging Knights in this fixture. Included in the squad are: John Matchett, Mark Berry, Alex Haggan and Jamie Magowan.

An intriguing finale to the Hanley Energy IP20 is guaranteed.

Hanley Energy IP20, Munster Reds v Leinster Lightning, 11th August, Mardyke, 5pm.

Munster Reds Squad:

Stephan Grobler (Cork County)
Aaron Cawley (Cork County)
Yaqoob Ali (Co Kerry)
Cormac Hassett (Cork County)
Gary King (Cork County)
Jack Tector (YMCA)
Harry Tector (YMCA)
Jamie Grassi (North County)
Max Neville (Merrion)
Rory Anders (Phoenix)
David Delany (Clontarf)
Robert Forrest (Clontarf)

Leinster Lightning Squad

John Anderson (c) (Merrion)
Peter Chase (Malahide)
Gareth Delany (Leinster)
George Dockrell (v/c) (Dublin University / Leinster)
Stephen Doheny (Rush)
Tyrone Kane (Merrion)
Eddie Richardson (North County)
Simi Singh (YMCA)
Max Sorensen (The Hills)
Tom Stanton (Merrion)
Sean Terry (The Hills)
Lorcan Tucker (w/k) (Pembroke)

Hanley Energy IP20, Northern Knights v North West Warriors, 11th August, Belmont, (CIYMS CC), 5pm

Northern Knights Squad

James Shannon (Captain)
Adam Berry
Chris Dougherty
Shane Getkate
Alex Haggan
Gary Kidd
Robert McKinley
Jamie Magowan (Wicket Keeper)
John Matchett
Jacob Mulder
Nikolai Smith
Greg Thompson

North West Warriors Squad

Andy McBrine (c) (Donemana)
Ross Allen (Eglinton)
David Barr (Brigade)
Andy Britton (Brigade)
Ricky-Lee Dougherty (Donemana)
Aaron Gillespie (Strabane)
Aaron Heywood (Fox Lodge)
David Rankin (Bready)
Jonny Robinson (Brigade)
David Scanlon (Bready)
Johnny Thompson (Brigade)
Stuart Thompson (Eglinton)

The Cricket Club That’s Been Through the Mill

Sion Mills Team

The skeleton of the mill still stands tall and proud, despite the ravages of fire and neglect. Nestled against the old Recreation Hall is a cricket club that has been brought to its knees a few times but is determined to continue.
This is one of the most famous patches of land in Irish cricket history.

The grass grows, the clubhouse stands and the people remain. Sion Mills Cricket Club; the great survivor.

“Welcome to Sion Mills, I’m Simon, captain, groundsman, general dogsbody.”

Nobody has a job at this club and everyone wears at least two hats. Stephen Alexander is introduced to me later as the Chairman, another member tells me he’s the Treasurer, talking to him I get the impression he’s a director of coaching.

If it needs to be done, it just is at Sion Mills. For that reason, Simon Galloway is cutting the grass before the match and the broken glass and cans were swept away from the seating areas by the players the week before.

Today they are facing Brigade 2nds in a North West Cricket Union Qualifying League 1 match, there is speculation amongst the players that a promotion play-off might even be in the offing at the end of the season.

I’m here because Sion Mills hosted the West Indies and Ireland in 1969 and the Caribbean team are returning to Ireland in September for an ODI at Stormont.

Everyone at Sion Mills has a story about 1969 when Ireland bowled the West Indies out for 25 on this famous old ground.

The father, uncle or grandfather who played, the man who got off work to come and watch; those but a twinkle in an eye but have heard so much about it they feel like they were there!

Simon disappears to collect a few players, the joy of captaincy, but it has got to be done. For the team, for the club, for the village.

Sion Mills bat first and despite Ryan O’Neill going early, they are 44/2 off 10. Simon Galloway comes in at 4 for a break after all the off-field duties he’s had already. He stays in for 43 minutes and 6 singles before being caught behind.

He’s been giving the strike to Mark McNulty who’s on his way to a classy 52. McNulty smashes three 6s and six 4s on his way to his half-century, a brilliant knock.

Lee Finlay, coming in at number 7, shot to 26*, including 3 maximums, in no time at all. Both Finlay and McNulty clubbed sixes up to the old railway line.

I was told of the maximum that burst through a passing train carriage and was carried all the way to Derry for the longest 6 in North West history, well either man here had the requisite power to repeat the trick.

Pity the train line is no more, it’s not the only thing off the field in Sion Mills to have gone by the wayside. The original pavilion is gone too. The latest pavilion lacks some welcoming touches but the people more than make up for that.

Jim McGranaghan comes in to bat at number 9, he’s enjoyed a laugh and a joke all day but now the game face is on. His first shot in anger is a massive 6 into the higher branches of an overhanging tree. The young Brigade lad underneath tentatively asks what would happen if he caught the ball off the tree but is drowned out by the adoring fan club cheering this big hit.

Before Tea, the Brigade openers face a tricky spell and John Havern nips in with a great delivery, clean bowling Waterstone for 4. He has a unique style and he certainly won’t get called for any no-balls as he lands way behind the stumps. No danger of John Halvern bowling No-balls!
Tight bowling by Havern (1-13) and Lee McGonigle up front means the Brigade chase never has a chance to get started. McGonigle goes for just 10 runs off his 6 overs picking up the wicket of Orr for 0 too.

Ryan O’Neill was the man in the right place twice in quick succession to take excellent catches before Craig Alexander came on to mop up the tail, taking 3-9 in 4.5 overs.

In truth a young Brigade team never really got into the chase, through the tight bowling and energetic fielding of a keen Sion Mills side.

Every wicket was celebrated in fine style by the players and spectators alike. This is a club that, although not where it used to be, is being overseen by a dedicated, hardworking band of players and volunteers.

It’s vital for the village and the people of Sion Mills to have a vibrant cricket club.

There are good young cricketers, experienced campaigners with lessons to share and volunteers giving of their time. Mark McNulty stood out for his 52 and 3 wickets but Rian McKelvey and Craig Alexander look like top talents and the triumvirate of McGranaghan, Damien O’Neill and McGonigle have plenty of experience and nous to pass on.

In 2019, the ICC World Cup will be staged in England and Wales. In 2019, it will be 50 years since Ireland defeated the West Indies at Sion Mills.

There are a multitude of reasons Sion Mills “has to keep going” but one is definitely the possibility of a visit or training session by the West Indies to mark the 50th anniversary of Ireland bowling them out for 25 when Sion Mills was the epicentre of Irish cricket.

To see this year’s visitors from the Caribbean at Stormont on September 13th, pick up your tickets here

Ireland v West Indies, Stormont Estate, Belfast September 13th

Warriors Defeat Munster Reds | IP20

McBrine Leads Warriors to victory

In the Hanley Energy IP20 at Eglinton, An unbeaten half century from Andy McBrine was the catalyst for the North West Warriors’ 25-run win over Munster Reds.

The skipper’s 52 from 25 balls included 4 fours and a six from the last five deliveries of the home side’s innings that allowed them to post 142 for 5 from their 20 overs.

Spinner Harry Tector had earlier returned figures of 4-21 to reduce the Warriors to 62-5 after 12 overs before McBrine and his Donemana captain Ricky-Lee Dougherty added an unbroken 80 from just 49 balls late on.

David Rankin’s 26 and 19 from Graham Kennedy was the best of the top order, but the visitors’ reply started equally poorly as David Scanlon (3-19) picked up the wickets of both openers, Jamie Grassi and Jack Tector, in his first over.

Two wickets apiece for Johnny Thompson, Andy Britton and Steve Lazars then had the Reds reduced to 60-6 before David Delany threatened to haul them back into it.

The Clontarf man’s 25 along with Harry Tector (11) added 37 for the 7th wicket but once Delany was caught on the boundary by William McClintock off Andy Britton, the game was up.

Next up for the Warriors is Leinster Lightning at Bready on Sunday week in the 50-over format while it’s another four weeks now before both teams are back in T20 action.

Hanley Energy Inter-Provincial T20

At Eglinton,

NW WARRIORS 142-5 (20 overs; A McBrine 52*, D Rankin 26, RL Dougherty 24*, H Tector 4-21)
MUNSTER REDS 117 all out (17.4 overs; D Delany 25, D Scanlon 3-19, J Thompson 2-19, A Britton 2-24, S Lazars 2-27)

Cricket Ireland Celebrate Full Membership

Cricket Ireland Celebration

Warrens_explanation CRICKET IRELANDCricket Ireland today celebrated the ICC decision to grant Full Membership and Test Status at a gathering in Dublin where staff, players, union representatives, volunteers, sponsors and government officials heard of the ‘remarkable journey’ the sport has undergone to achieve acceptance in the top echelons of world cricket.

Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom outlined just how rapidly the sport had developed in such a relatively short time, but emphasized that he saw the historic decision as just the beginning for the sport in Ireland.

“Last month, the night before our historic match against England at Lord’s I said that Irish cricket is crossing a Rubicon – yesterday, we crossed it!

“By becoming a [Test-playing nation and] full member of ICC, we have completed one stage of a journey that has taken Irish cricket from marginal and mostly ignored to one of the premier nations in the world’s 2nd biggest sport.

“And it is a journey that has been travelled with remarkable speed. Just 10 years ago our then-new corporate strategy outlined one of its key goals as the Ireland team being competitive in England’s county club competition.

“Every time we set ourselves a mountain to climb, we do so. We have always believed that the shame is not in failing to reach an ambitious target, but rather being afraid to try. And having proven our credentials to the world cricket community, we now have the opportunity to achieve an even bigger goal, which is to make cricket a mainstream sport in Ireland.

“In the last four years, we have rapidly realised that producing a competitive Test team is in fact only one part of a much bigger whole – that instead our goal needs to be broader and further reaching – that it needs to envision Ireland not just being a major force in cricket, but cricket being a major force in Ireland.

“Everywhere I look in Irish cricket, I see people with the talent and desire to succeed on the field of play, and off it. I see accomplished players, talented youngsters, dedicated volunteers, passionate administrators, generous sponsors and a growing profile. I see a desire for success, a burning self-belief and a willingness to innovate and embrace best practice. With all this in place, and the game finally ready to embrace change, where might we be in the next 10 years,” concluded Deutrom.

One of Ireland’s most senior international Ed Joyce also paid tribute to the tireless efforts of everyone who made the remarkable journey possible.

“We all owe a big debt of thanks to the players, volunteers, coaches and supporters that have brought us to this point,” said Joyce. “However this can’t be the end point of the journey and the really hard work starts now.
Joyce made his debut back in 1997 against Scotland, and is amazed by the transformation in the game during those two decades.

“When I started playing cricket for Ireland, the idea of us playing at test level was ridiculous so to be a small part of this journey makes me very proud.”

Joyce sounded a word of caution that there may well be testing times ahead with the elevation, but felt that solid foundations were already in place.

“Getting to the point where we’re consistently competitive could take a while and we have to be ready for that as well but hopefully this is the start of a special time for cricket in Ireland.

“We’ve achieved quite a lot with very little over the last decade so with the extra funding and fixtures that comes with yesterday’s announcement, we should be able to speed up our progress.”

He also congratulated Afghanistan, who were also given Test status, and hoped that other countries would follow suit in the coming years.

“I’d like to pass on my congratulations to Afghanistan too for their elevation. Their cricketing story is an incredible one and they deserve everything that is coming their way. Hopefully yesterday opens the door for more countries to get elevated status.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD expressed his delight at Cricket Ireland’s achievement of Test status. “This a great result for the hard work put in by many people over many years in developing Irish cricket.

“This development is a massive milestone for the sport in Ireland and is a landmark date as no other country has received full membership since Bangladesh in 2000. We can all be truly proud of what Cricket Ireland has achieved.”

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Brendan Griffin TD , welcomed the achievement by Cricket Ireland , saying at the conference : “Irish cricket is now at the top table in world cricket and Irish fans can look forward with relish to seeing some great cricket fixtures in the coming years.

“In recent weeks, we have seen some wonderful cricket in the ICC Champions Trophy, ultimately won by Pakistan and the thought of Ireland competing against such top cricketing nations in Test cricket is an exciting prospect.”

Photos from the event can be viewed by clicking here

Hanley Energy IP20 Round 3

IP20 Continues this friday

North West Warriors Munster Reds IP20 EglintonAt the end of a momentous week for Cricket Ireland the Hanley Energy Inter-Provincial T20’s continue in their usual Friday night slot.

The Northern Knights host the Leinster Lightning, at Instonians CC captained by James Shannon. Craig Lewis, Jamie Magowan, James McCollum and Lee Nelson have been added to the squad that played against the North West Warriors in Strabane. Stephen Bunting is unavailable due to injury.

The Lightning selectors have opted for a largely unchanged squad. Kevin O’Brien and Tyrone Kane return to the T20 squad having missed last week’s victory over the Munster Reds through injury. Andrew Balbirnie misses out with a reoccurrence of his hip injury sustained during the current 3-day match in Oak Hill.

Meanwhile at Eglinton the North West Warriors host the Munster Reds. The Reds make just one change with Morne Bauer unavailable. The Warriors make three changes to the team that drew with Leinster in the 3-Day championship match at Oak Hill this week.

At the halfway stage of the IP20 series Leinster Lightning lead the way with fourteen points, with the Northern Knights in third place with four points. Leinster Lightning defeated the Northern Knights in Dublin by seven wickets on the 9th June.

Hanley Energy Inter-Provincial T20

North West Warriors v Munster Reds, Eglinton, 5pm

North West Warriors

A McBrine (Donemana)
S Thompson (Eglinton)
C Young (Bready)
D Rankin (Bready)
W McClintock (Donemana)
J Thompson (Brigade)
A Britton (Brigade)
S Lazars (Coleraine)
RL Dougherty (Donemana)
G Kennedy (Ballyspallen)
D Scanlon (Bready)
R Allen (Eglinton)

Munster Reds

Stephan Grobler capt. (Cork County),
David Delany (National Academy/Clontarf),
Arslan Anwar (Co Kerry),
Muhammad Saddique (Cork County),
Yaqoob Ali (Co Kerry),
Robert Forrest (Clontarf),
Nicolaas Pretorius (Phoenix),
Rory Anders (National Academy/Phoenix),
Jamie Grassi (National Academy/North County),
Max Neville (National Academy/Merrion),
Harry Tector (National Academy/YMCA),
Jack Tector (National Academy/YMCA).

Warriors Rearguard Foils Lightning

O’Brien and Lazars Deny Leinster from first win

Oak Hill Cricket groundNIALL O’BRIEN and Steve Lazars dogged resistance denied Leinster Lightning victory on the final day of their Hanley Energy Inter-Provincial Championship game at Oak Hill.

The pair shared a fourth wicket stand of 132 in 36 overs, which occupied most of the morning session The duo showed all of their experience in denying a determined Lightning attack, for whom George Dockrell was the star performer.

O’Brien top scored with 87 from 192 balls (13 fours), while Lazars made a defiant 62 from 119 deliveries (11 fours).

Even after both were dismissed along with Andy McBrine, the Warriors middle order battled manfully, with determined resistance from Stuart Thompson (40), Johnny Thompson (25) and David Rankin (22). Craig Young even curbed his natural attacking instincts to use up what was to prove a crucial 36 deliveries.

Warriors were eventually dismissed in the 109th over, with Dockrell having the excellent analysis of 6 for 67 in a marathon effort, while there were two wickets apiece for Eddie Richardson and Peter Chase.

With a target of 167 in 17 overs, Lightning attacked from the off, but despite a brave effort could only manage 123 for 3 when the players shook hands on the draw – Jack Tector top scoring with an unbeaten 48.

Lightning lead the table by two points ahead of the Warriors and Knights.

All the teams are back in action tomorrow (FRI) in the IP20 Trophy, when the Warriors entertain Munster Reds at Eglinton, while the Knights have home advantage against Lightning at Shaw’s Bridge – both games get under way at 5pm.

Hanley Energy Inter-Provincial Championship

Leinster Lightning v North West Warriors at Oak Hill, Day 3 of 3
North West Warriors 235 and 296 (108.4 overs; N O’Brien 87, S Lazars 62, S Thompson 40: G Dockrell 6-67)
Leinster Lightning 365-9 dec and 123-3 (16 overs; J Tector 48*, S Singh 27; S Thompson 2-17)

cricket Ireland Test status

Ireland Awarded Test Status

Ireland are Full Members of the ICC

cricket Ireland Test statusIrish cricket has received a tremendous boost after receiving confirmation from ICC of their successful application to be awarded Full Membership and Test status.

The historic decision was taken at the ICC Conference at the Oval in London today where both Ireland and Afghanistan were confirmed as the 11th and 12th Full Member countries in the top echelons of world cricket.

The news was welcomed by Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom, who along with his team has worked tirelessly over the past decade for Ireland’s elevation.

“It’s fantastic news for all involved with Irish cricket and I’d like to thank ICC and the members for the positive outcome,” said a clearly delighted Deutrom. “It’s obviously a great fillip for the game in Ireland, where we are striving to make Ireland not only a major nation in cricket, but also to make cricket a major mainstream sport in the country.

“Test cricket is the pinnacle of the sport and it’s what we’ve all been aiming for. The players have been very clear in their stated objective of wanting to play at the very highest level of the game and it’s clearly a momentous day that we will be able to do that in the very near future,” added Deutrom.

“The sport has grown substantially since 2007, with participation levels quadrupling in that time. With the increased profile and revenue streams that will come with achieving Full Membership, this can only get even better as we invest in the sport throughout the country.

“I’d like to thank all those involved with Irish cricket for their drive, enthusiasm and energy over the years which has made this journey an ultimately successful one. We are all justifiably very proud today, but we see this not as the end of the road, but just the first step in taking our wonderful sport further and higher in the years ahead.”

Ireland captain William Porterfield is relishing the opportunity to lead Ireland in a Test match, which he admits would be ‘a bit special’. “It’s wonderful news for all of Irish cricket, with all the players already talking about playing in a Test match for the first time,” said Porterfield.

“We’ve all played in World Cups and achieved some memorable results along the way, but to play in a Test would be a bit special. You dream as a youngster growing up of playing at the highest level and for me the opportunity to lead Ireland in their first Test match would be an incredible experience.”

Cricket Ireland Chairman Ross McCollum outlined the next steps and the immediate future for Irish cricket.

“We are sincerely grateful to the ICC and its members for giving us this honour. It is a recognition of the quality of our teams over the years, male and female, of our talented administration, and of the strength of our domestic and club structures.

“It is also clearly a sign of the faith that the cricket community has in Ireland’s ability to help grow the global cricket economy through more people attending, watching or investing in our great sport.

“We can now commence discussions with several parties about staging our first Test while we look forward to the outcome of discussions around international cricket structures which will help us unlock increased commercial funding to assist in the development of the game.

“With Full Membership comes increased funding and we will look to invest that in all levels of Irish cricket. The Board of Cricket Ireland has already debated next steps for Irish cricket at a high level around strategy and immediate priorities.

“At this stage, it is unclear at what point increased funding will begin to flow down from ICC, but we shall get into that level of detail in due course.

“I’ve no doubt this date will be seen as a watershed moment for the sport, and I’d like to thank ICC once again for having the courage and foresight to broaden the game’s traditional horizons which can only be good for the sport.”

Cricket Ireland will host a press conference in the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) offices on D’Olier St Dublin 2, tomorrow, Friday 23rd June at 2pm.

In attendance will be Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom along with members of the Irish cricket teams (subject to availability), and Brendan Griffin, the recently-appointed Minister of State for Tourism and Sport.

Joyce Century Keeps Leinster in command on day 2

Ed Joyce Cricket IrelandED JOYCE’S 46th first-class century ensured Leinster Lightning maintained the upper hand on the second day of their Hanley Energy Inter-Provincial Championship match against North West Warriors at Oak Hill.

Joyce dominated Lightning’s innings, stroking 23 fours and two sixes as he top scored with 156 as Lightning posted 365 for 9 declared – a first-innings lead of 130.

Lorcan Tucker scored his maiden first-class half-century, hitting 56 from 119 balls (5 fours, 1 six) in a solid Lightning batting display.

Four players got into the twenties, with John Anderson making 29, and George Dockrell, Jack Tector and Simi Singh all scoring 27.

The Warriors attack battled manfully, with Andrew McBrine, Craig Young and David Scanlon all taking three wickets apiece.

With 17 overs to negotiate before the close of play The Warriors were soon in difficulty yet again, losing Irosh Samarasooriya, Ross Allen and Andrew Austin to finish the day on 44 for 3.

The Warriors face a daunting challenge to salvage anything on the final day, and much will depend on the experienced Niall O’Brien (16*) if they are to escape with a draw.

Play on Thursday gets under way again at 11am.

Hanley Energy Inter-Provincial Championship

Leinster Lightning v North West Warriors at Oak Hill, Day 2 of 3

North West Warriors 235(87.2 overs; A McBrine 67, D Rankin 47: S Singh 3-59)and 44-3 (17 overs)
Leinster Lightning 365-9 dec (101.3 overs) E Joyce 156, L Tucker 56; C Young 3-70, D Scanlon 3-79, A McBrine 3-91

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