At the recent NWCU AGM, it was announced that Ian McGregor is set to take on an expanded coaching and talent development role in the Warriors set-up. McGregor has been Head Coach of the North West Warriors since 2015 and during his tenure, the Warriors have seen considerable improvement including an Interprovincial Championship-winning campaign last year.
Thompson, O’Brien & Gillespie pile on the runs for Warriors of Day 1
It was a day of almost complete domination from Ian McGregor’s charges who having been put in to bat, struggled for an hour against the new ball before filling their boots in the next two-and-a-half sessions.
Much of the talk in the run-up to the match had been the inclusion of William Porterfield and Boyd Rankin in the North West side. The Ireland skipper, however, was one of two wickets for the home side in the opening exchanges- Porterfield not offering a shot to a ball from Tyrone Kane that nipped back and clipped his off stump.
David Barr made 16 before he fell to Peter Chase and then Aaron Gillespie did his reputation no harm at all with a quality half-century. The Strabane all-rounder batted superbly in the circumstances and had much of the hard work done when he cut one to Kevin O’Brien at point and was gone for 57.
That was 95-3 and game on again but what followed was a batting masterclass from Thompson and O’Brien.
These two built their stand patiently at first but gradually upped the ante and by the start of the final session were climbing into anything remotely loose from the bowling unit.
The final tally was 358-3 with Thompson unbeaten on a superb 136 (18 fours and 1 six) and O’Brien equally impressive in making 129* (13 fours, 1 six).
Head Coach McGregor is well aware that the reigning champions will be keen to bounce back straight away when action resumes on Wednesday morning but was equally adamant that his side would be ready for that.
“It’s just the first day of the first game in a long summer, but it is exactly the start we were after. I thought we were exceptional today and while Thommo and Nobby will deservedly get all the plaudits, I thought Aaron was excellent too.”
“We have to be careful tomorrow not to let our standards slip, but this group has worked hard over the winter, and this performance hasn’t happened by accident.”
“We have ten guys born and bred in the North West on our side today, and the other two might as well be, as they have bought into this from the start.”
“Today has taken the Warriors to a new level of performance, and while we can certainly enjoy it we have to do everything we can to make sure we maintain those standards”.
Action gets underway at Sydney Parade again at 11 am on Wednesday and Thursday.
You can follow all of the action via our app
Cricket LiveScore EU
D Barr c Tucker b Chase 16
W Porterfield b Kane 2
A Gillespie c K O’Brien b Chase 57
N O’Brien not out 129
S THompson not out 136
Extras 18 Total (3 wkts, 104 overs) 358
Fall: 1-7 2-26 3-93
T Kane 22-5-69-1;
P Chase 21-3-101-2;
K O’Brien 15-3-38-0;
G Dockrell 21-2-77-0;
S Singh 24-7-60-0;
J Anderson 1-0-3-0
Junior Warriors Program
In light of the announcement of Irelands elevation to full member status, that will undoubtedly bring increased professionalism and opportunities for young and aspiring cricketers across Ireland. The North West is pleased to announce; following on from a review of youth cricket and the Youth Forum in September, the establishment of two new programmes aimed at developing talented young cricketers in the region. The Junior Warriors and The Future Warriors.Junior WarriorsThe first of the new programs to be launched is the Juniors Warriors Programme. This innovative program aims to develop players from the ages 9-13 and is designed to offer considerably more playing and coaching opportunities to players. It will focus on players learning fundamental skills and allow for consistent cricket specific coaching.
The programme will split into two sections; Winter and Summer. Winter ProgramThe first part starting in January will offer fortnightly regionally based sessions throughout the winter and spring, to allow more players the opportunity to attend training close to where they live. The North West will split into 3 zones or regions of Causeway, L’Derry and Tyrone plus a shorter schedule in Fermanagh. At the end of the winter section, there will be a blitz for each age group, as we ran last year with the under 11s, in Meadowbank Arena, Magherafelt. This blitz will involve teams from all of the Zones playing against each other.Summer ProgramThe second section of the new Junior Warriors Program starting in April/May will offer further regionally based outdoor training sessions for each of the regions running through the summer months. The summer program will be by a concluded with a festival week in late July and early August. The festival week will bring together the regions to play a series of 6-8 matches against each other and specialist coaching on the off days. The games will be all be played in coloured clothing and played with the pink ball. The North West see this as a positive move towards developing more young cricketers for both clubs, The Union and Ireland.
Age GroupsThe under 11 winter program is currently open to those players in year 6 & 7 (NI) and 5 & 6 (ROI). However, if your club has players that you feel are in lower years but can compete at this level, please see the contact details below.The U13 winter program is open to 1st & 2nd year for those in secondary educationPriceThrough grant funding and sponsorship, the NWCU can offer the full winter and summer programme including the blitz days and summer camp at a reduced price of £90 per child. With over 40 hours of cricket, this works out at only £2.25 per hour for the full programme with all players receiving a free training top and playing shirtPrice per childFull Coaching Programme including blitz days and summer camp £90Winter Coaching and Blitz Day only £45Summer Coaching and Blitz Day only £45Summer Camp only £40
The winter sessions will run on the following dates:Causeway – Roe Valley Leisure CentreU11 – Mondays – 6 to 7:30pm15/01/18 to 26/03/18 U13 – Mondays – 6 to 7:30pm22/01/18 to 19/03/18 L’Derry – Glenaden ArenaU11 – Fridays – 6 to 7:30pm12/01/18 to 27/03/18 U13 – Fridays – 6 to 7:30pm26/01/18 to 23/03/18 Tyrone – Artigravan HallU11 – Tuesdays – 6 to 7:3016/01/18 to 27/03/18 U13 – Tuesdays – 6 to 7:30pm23/01/18 to 20/03/18 The Future Warriors Program will be announced later today.
No dates have yet been set for any of the cup rounds as Cricket Ireland and subsequently, the NWCU contemplate an extraordinarily busy 2018.
With what is building up to be an exceptionally busy season ahead, we hope to have the dates for the following fixtures out as soon as possible.
BANK OF IRELAND SENIOR CUP
Glendermott V Ballyspallen
Bready V Coleraine
Burndennett V Fox Lodge
Eglinton V Killyclooney
Ardmore V Bonds Glen
Newbuildings V Drummond
Strabane V Donemana
St Johnston V Brigade
SAM JEFFREY SHIELD
1. Drummond v Bonds Glen
2. Burndennett v Killyclooney
3. Ballyspallen v Newbuildings
4. Glendermott v St Johnston
Winner 1 v Winner 4
Winner 2 v Winner 3
QUALIFYING 1 CUP
1. Sion Mills v Bonds Glen II
2. Bready II v Donemana II
3. Eglinton II v Brigade II
4. Fox Lodge II v Ardmore II
Winner 1 v Winner 3
Winner 4 v Winner 2
QUALIFYING 2 CUP
1. Bready III v The Nedd
2. Limavady v Coleraine II
3. Newbuildings II v Glendermott II
4. Creevedonnell v Strabane II
Winner 3 v Winner 1
Winner 4 v Winner 2
QUALIFYING 3 CUP
1. Maghera v Ballyspallen II
2. Burndennett II v N Fermanagh
3. Donemana III v St Johnston II
4. Drummond II v Killyclooney II
Winner 1 v Winner 4
Winner 3 v Winner 2
QUALIFYING 4 CUP
1. Killyclooney III v Eglinton III
2. Fox Lodge III v Ardmore III
3. Bready IV (bye)
4. Coleraine III (bye)
Bready IV v Winner 1
Winner 2 v Coleraine III
Fixture dates will be available HERE when they have been published
The North West Cricket Unions Autumn General Meeting will be held this coming Thursday night (30 November) at Eglinton CC starting at 7pm.
The meeting is a very important, as with major governance changes and a lot of potential rule changes to be made it is vital that all clubs attend and have their say.
Documents have already been sent out to club delegates so that they can have access to the proposals before the meeting- otherwise the meeting would last for hours.
We would encourage clubs to ensure that they have at least one representative at the meeting and that delegates have discussed the various proposals with members before voting.
Cricket Ireland have named both their Under 15 and 17 winter training squads ahead of a busy schedule in 2018.
20 players have been named at Under 15 level and Lead Coach Brian Allen is happy with the talent that he and his fellow coaches will be helping grow and progress.
“As a coaching team we are very happy with the players who have made the squad, congratulate them and look forward to working together,” said Allen. “I can’t wait to get under way and assist the development of what are now potential test stars.
“We are excited to get this talented group of players together and as usual it’s far from an easy choice deciding who is included at this stage.
“There are numerous really talented cricketers not on this squad which we will also be keeping a close eye on and invite along to join us where possible so there is always room for players to reclaim their place,” added Allen.
There’s also a very talented batch of young cricketers at Under 17 level, and Lead Coach Nigel Jones can’t wait to help mould the next generation of Irish senior cricketers.
“I’m excited by the potential and balance of this squad,” said Jones. “Along with my fellow coaching group, we believe that we have selected an exciting group of players who will benefit greatly from an intense winter programme ahead of a busy 2018 schedule.
“The profile of the squad sees no fewer than eight players returning from the 2017 match programme and in addition to this we have named nine players who are effectively a year young qualifying for U16 level. We believe that their (U16) development will be further supported by the returning squad players, who are essentially responsible for continuing to drive squad standards and culture, pushing this exciting group forward throughout 2018.
“I’d like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Ireland U17 coaching management group to congratulate those who have been selected and to wish them well with the winter programme ahead,” concluded Jones.
U15 Winter Squad;
Ben Brownlee (LCU), Diarmuid Burke (LCU), Matthew Daly (NCU), Wilhelm de Klerk (LCU), Cameron Doak (NCU), Cian Egerton (MCU), Jamie Forbes (LCU), Matthew Humphreys (NCU), Stuart Kennedy (NWCU), James Lambert (NCU), Jack McGee (LCU), Nathan McGuire (LCU), Craig McKay (LCU), Robbie Millar (NWCU), Hugo Neville (LCU), James Rose (NCU), Tim Tector (LCU), Daniel Thorne (LCU), Sam Topping (NCU), Luke Whelan (LCU).
U17 Winter Squad;
Max Burton (NCU), Diarmuid Carey (MCU), Nathan Doak (NCU), JJ Garth (LCU), Gavin Hoey (LCU), James Hunter (NCU), Seanan Jones (MCU), Kyle Magee (NWCU), Reece Malone (NCU), Gregory McFaul (NWCU), Oliver Metcalfe (NCU), Cian Nulty (LCU), Marcus Poskitt (NWCU), Neil Rock (LCU), Scott Ruttle (LCU), Alex Stiles (LCU), Mitchell Thompson (LCU).
The Cricket Ireland Board met this week in Dundalk where a wide range of issues were discussed with the following outcomes.
1. Date of Test match
The dates of Ireland’s inaugural Test match as an ICC Full Member – against Pakistan – have been confirmed as Friday May 11th to Tuesday May 15th. A decision on the venue will be announced in the coming weeks.
2. Cricket Matters
The Board approved a number of recommendations relating to governance around the playing side of the game, as follows:
– The formation of a High Performance Committee (HPC) – a refinement of the High Performance Advisory Group, the committee will be responsible for the oversight and strategic implementation of men’s and women’s high performance areas – including selection – and will support as well as ‘check-and-challenge’ performance personnel. It will comprise internal and external expertise and report directly to the CI Board. The Chair of the Committee is former Director of the Irish Institute of Sport, Gary Keegan.
The full Committee is:
Gary Keegan – Chair; former Director of the Sport Ireland Institute of Sport
Alan Lewis – former Irish international cricketer and CI Board Director
Kyle McCallan – former Irish international cricketer
Jo Hopkins – former head of performance planning, Sports Institute of NI
Frank Sowman – CI Board Director; Chair, Leinster Professional Game Board
Richard Holdsworth – CI Performance Director
Richard Holdsworth, CI Performance Director, said: “This new Committee is a reflection of the need for specialised skills and experience in the modern, professional high performance sphere as Irish cricket develops as a fully-fledged Test nation. Having a stand-alone performance committee also reflects best practice in other major sports while we are delighted with the calibre of our first intake on the committee, comprising high-quality individuals from inside and outside cricket.”
– Men’s Squad Selection – the Board approved the uncoupling of the role of Chair of Men’s Selectors and the Independent Director for International Cricket. Richard Holdsworth said: “While not specified as a requirement, the last two Independent Directors for International Cricket have also been Chair of Men’s Selectors – a reflection of the calibre of the individuals rather than a governance requirement. Given the rapid evolution of Irish cricket, the recent restructure in our selection committee and the development of the High Performance Committee (with its oversight of selection), the Board agreed it was now appropriate to remove a potential conflict by definitively uncoupling the roles.”
– Chair of Men’s Selectors – Having already served nearly 6 years as Chair of Selectors, Alan Lewis will hand over the role upon the appointment of a new Chair of Selectors, the process for which will commence in due course. The Board also approved the evolution of the position into a part-time paid position to reflect the greater quantity of fixtures to be played by the men’s senior, and A-team/Wolves/inter-provincial squads commensurate with Full Membership status. Ross McCollum, Chairman of Cricket Ireland paid tribute to Alan Lewis: “Alan, or Lewie as he is known to his hundreds of friends, has been an extraordinary servant of Irish cricket. Passionate, dedicated and knowledgeable, Lewie has overseen a period of great change in his 6 years as Chair of Men’s Selectors, and as much as anyone has played a vital, often unsung, role in steering us to Test cricket. He departs with our deepest thanks for a job extremely well done.”
– Irish Cricketers Association (ICA) – the Board also approved the request for official recognition by CI of the newly-formed Irish Cricketers’ Association, which represents the interests of cricketers in Ireland, and is a new member of the Federation of International Cricketers Associations (FICA)
3. Weather Mitigation for Major Matches
The Board received a series of recommendations from the Cricket Committee around attempting to mitigate the impact of poor weather at our major fixtures. Management was asked to investigate a number of measures including the sourcing of sufficient volunteers to support the ground curators; pooling of local club resources; dedicated staffing to properly coordinate the development, support and oversight of venues which are used for CI matches; and looking into the cost of reconstruction of outfields to support better drainage.
Warren Deutrom, CI Chief Executive explained: “Our washed-out ODI against West Indies in Stormont a few weeks back gave us much to ponder. On reflection, there is probably too much simple acceptance of bad weather affecting our games given our geography, and probably not enough being done to mitigate it. The fact it rained most of the afternoon and previous fortnight isn’t the point, rather it was the apparent lack of resource around getting play started when it was dry and sunny – which was nothing to do with Groundsman Phil McCormick, whose personal efforts were extraordinary. We know we are being held to a higher standard now that we are a Full Member – we need to look in the mirror on this one, and it is an area in which we have a lot of work to do. The Cricket Committee has acted quickly to give us some recommendations for future action which we shall now take forward.”
4. Transitioning to Full Membership
The Board received a progress report on the work of the consultancy Inside Track, which has been engaged to support Cricket Ireland in its transition to full membership. Warren Deutrom said: “We have been working with Inside Track since early September on a consultation process with our stakeholders to identify our priorities for expenditure once ICC funding arrives in 2018. An online survey, one-to-one interviews and benchmarking with other Full Members and major sports will hopefully show us the path we need to follow in our full membership journey. The new funding is unlikely to satisfy all expectations, but we hope the insights of player and administrator alike will help us focus on our immediate priorities to hit the ground running
Throughout the off-season ground-staff, volunteers, club members and club officials expend lots of time and energy preparing their club’s grounds and facilities for the new season.
The continuous upgrade of facilities and equipment maintains a club’s playing base, ensures more cricket can be played throughout the summer and attracts new players and members into clubs.
As part of Cricket Ireland’s 2016-2020 Strategic plan, the governing body aims to incentivise clubs to improve facilities through a ground improvement grant/subsidy scheme based on club accreditation standards.
This process provided significant grants to clubs around Ireland in 2016 and the application process for 2017 is now open.
Below are examples of the ways in which the clubs, via the provincial unions, accessed funds for various improvements and new purchases.
The eight clubs in the North West Cricket Union to receive grants were Ardmore, Ballyspallen, Bready, Bond’s Glen, Brigade, Eglinton, Fox Lodge and Strabane.
Bready, Fox Lodge and Strabane all used their grants for improved drainage, while Bond’s Glen and Eglinton sought new flat sheeting and domed pitch covers. Unfortunately these were all tested to the full during the wild summer storms in the north west of the country.
Ardmore and Brigade used their grant to secure mowers, while Ballyspallen brought artificial matting into their club on the back of their grant.
The 2017 Club Facilities Grant Fund is open now with all applications made through the Provincial Unions. The examples above show how clubs around the country spent money improving their facilities and equipment over the past year.
The grants issued can be spent in a wide variety of areas to improve or upgrade facilities within clubs. This in turn assists in the clubs in maintaining their playing base and attracting new members.
Any clubs interested in applying for funding under this grant scheme should contact their local union to find out more information on criteria, application and submission details.
The deadline for applications is October 31st, 2017.
Sion Mills Cricket Club is inextricably linked to two things: The Mill where 700 local people found work, and for whom the club was founded, and a single day in 1969 when a touring West Indies side were humbled by the “Gentlemen of Ireland”.
A number of Sion players made it on to the field that day, the most famous of whom was Ossie Colhoun. A fitter who worked in the mill, Ossie kept wicket for Ireland that day and represented Ireland on 87 occasions.
The other 699 staff in the mill were given the day off to watch the match and took advantage of the opportunity to see the West Indies in their back garden.
Sion Mills CC was always linked to the fortunes of the Mill as it was initially founded to provide recreation for the staff. In the ‘60s and ‘70s the Mill was thriving, the team was winning and the players were getting international recognition.
Sadly, the decline of the Mill signalled the beginning of the decline of the cricket club too. Not to mention, the football, tennis, bowls and handball that were all part of the haven of sport in Sion Mills.
I wasn’t alive when a team of household names from the Caribbean finished a test match at Lord’s in London and travelled via Belfast to Sion Mills, County Tyrone to play Ireland the next day.
However, the way in which the story of what transpired that day, has been passed from generation to generation and transcended cricket fans to make news all over the world, I sometimes feel like it’s a part of my history too.
Looking at the old video clips from the BBC and seeing batsman after batsman trudge back to the pavilion never fails to stir the spirit. While there recently, I made sure to stand in the same spot as the camera had been, while taking some photographs.
When I visited the club recently, I saw a club fighting hard to keep its’ head above water. And yet, the mantra of “There has to be a club here” survives.
Every member, every player and every officer is determined to keep their club alive. This is a club built on local values and family pride, fathers, uncles, grandfathers played for the club. One of the current squad drives from Ballina for every game.
This club will survive and may even thrive again through the hard work and dedication of the members, coaches and families in Sion Mills.
The club may have been founded for the workers of the Mill but it exists now for the people of the village.
It needs to continue for all the people who know very little about cricket but still say: “Sion Mills? Didn’t Ireland bowl the West Indies out for very little there in the ‘60s?”
Making cricket as mainstream as that story became would be fantastic for all the current club, provincial and international players in Ireland.
Our next opportunity to do so comes against the West Indies next Wednesday September 13th at Stormont. Will those of us lucky enough to be there next week be reminding our grandchildren about the time in 2017 when we beat the men from the Caribbean?
The North West Junior Warriors demonstrated their true support of local cricket spending 90 minutes giving masterclasses to local children during their recent Hilton Series tour to the North East.
After a long hard day in the field against the NUSC, the 13 young Warriors stayed back at Horden to help coach their U11s squad including two U6s who had already scored runs for the U11s in competitive cricket and a young lad tipped to be a Taekwondo champion having already been selected for England.
The evening covered fielding, batting, and competitive matches to end which was warmly received by all at Horden, and completed by all of the Warrior players with smiles on their faces making it a true experience for the Horden young cricketers.
Encouraging the message of the kids to be part of their club, the young cricketers were treated to a free meal in the clubhouse, encouraged to play pool, and watch sport on the TV at ‘their club’ alongside their coaches from the Warriors.
Wayne Birks, the outgoing Chairman of Horden CC added “I would like to thank the young Warrior players for their efforts and their spirit throughout the tour. A very different evening to ones we run, but you could see the kids had enjoyed it, and I hope that the NWCU can agree on a Hilton Tour in 2018 as they will always be welcome down the Horden welfare’.
David Bradley the NWCU administrator was quick to praise the tourists noting: “The NWCU would like to pay credit to John, Mark and the NWW tourists for making such a positive impact while in the North East. As a union, it is very pleasing to receive nothing but positive feedback for the tourist’s efforts on and off the field. It repays a lot of work needed to make the tours happen. The tourists are also all aware praise is not cheapened in the North East, and they should all be proud of how they represented their union this week”.