Robinson Services League Awards

Three North Down cricketers receive prestigious Robinson Services League awards for outstanding performances: from left Alaistair Shields, Anniruddha Chore  and Carl Robinson. Shields and Chore each scored Premier League centuries against CSNI and Lisburn respectively while Robinson won his award with the ball taking 6-30 against Carrickfergus. Centuries, at least six wickets or a hat trick are the awards’ criteria in the top four NCU leagues and they were presented by David Robinson, managing director of Robinson Services, and Roger Bell, president of the NCU.

Last Man Standing Competition

Player NameRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Round 6
Alistair ShieldsLeicesterMan CityTottenhamArsenalLiverpoolEverton
Gavin RogersMan UnitedLiverpoolMan CityArsenalChelseaEverton
Ray ShieldsChelseaMan CityTottenhamEvertonLiverpoolMan United
Gavin McKennaChelseaLiverpoolTottenhamMan UnitedAston VillaArsenal
Scott IrvineChelseaMan CityTottenhamMan UnitedLiverpoolEverton
Siobhan TedfordChelseaMan CityTottenhamArsenalLiverpoolEverton
Curtis McCartneyMan UnitedMan CityLeicesterEvertonLiverpoolWest Ham 
Dee McLaughlinChelseaMan CityTottenhamArsenalLiverpoolWest Ham 
Jamie McMullanChelseaMan CityLeicesterEvertonLiverpoolMan United
James ShieldsChelseaMan CityTottenhamMan UnitedLiverpoolLeicester
Bob SharpChelseaAston VillaMan CityMan UnitedLiverpoolEverton
Sandra HannaEvertonMan CityTottenhamMan UnitedLiverpoolWatford
Ruairi MFGChelseaMan CityTottenhamMan UnitedLiverpoolEverton
Leonard CoeyLeicesterMan CityTottenhamMan UnitedLiverpoolEverton
Paul McCaugheyLiverpoolMan CityLeicesterArsenalMan UnitedEverton
Chris RevillLiverpoolMan CityTottenhamMan UnitedChelseaEverton
HowardEvertonMan CityMan UnitedChelseaLiverpoolLeicester
Davy NapierChelseaMan CityTottenhamMan UnitedLiverpoolEverton
Sam GrantLiverpoolMan CityTottenhamMan UnitedEverton
Andrew HaireChelseaMan CityTottenhamMan UnitedWolves
Stuart NelsonChelseaLiverpoolTottenhamMan UnitedMan City
Catherine WilsonChelseaLiverpoolTottenhamBrightonMan City
Neil DalzellChelseaLiverpoolTottenhamMan UnitedMan City
Tim CarsonLiverpoolMan CityTottenhamChelseaWolves
Craig YoungChelseaLiverpoolMan CityMan UnitedEverton
Ryan HaireLiverpoolMan CityTottenhamArsenalWolves
Wilmer McKibbenEvertonLiverpoolMan CityMan UnitedWolves
Gareth WrightLiverpoolMan CityTottenhamMan UnitedLeeds
Mervyn DavisonLiverpoolMan CityTottenhamMan UnitedWolves
Jonny CampbellLiverpoolMan CityTottenhamMan UnitedWolves
Alec GordonChelseaLiverpoolTottenhamMan UnitedMan City
Philip GrimasonLiverpoolMan CityTottenhamMan UnitedWolves
Niall LamphChelseaMan CityTottenhamArsenalWolves
Colin McCaugheyEvertonLiverpoolTottenhamChelseaMan City
Jimmy PattersonLeicesterLiverpoolMan CityEvertonWolves
Sam WallaceLiverpoolMan CityTottenhamMan UnitedWolves
MontyLiverpoolMan CityTottenhamChelseaLeicester
David JardineLeicesterChelseaTottenhamMan UnitedEverton
Johnny BoyChelseaLiverpoolMan CityMan UnitedWolves
Aidan McAleavyLeicesterAston VillaMan UnitedWest Ham 
Michael DinesLeicesterTottenhamMan UnitedWest Ham 
Stephen CooperLeicesterMan CityMan UnitedTottenham
Aaron MacroryLiverpoolMan CityMan UnitedTottenham
Stephen ScottLeicesterLiverpoolWest Ham 
Ivan ShieldsChelseaMan CityWest Ham 
Hammy CoulterLiverpoolMan CityAston Villa
Keith MaloneChelseaMan CityWest Ham 
Andrew FraterMan UnitedLiverpoolWest Ham 
Daniel CorbettLeicesterLiverpoolWest Ham 
Peter EakinChelseaAston VillaWest Ham 
Peter DavisonChelseaAston VillaWest Ham 
StokerChelseaLiverpoolWest Ham 
Ian McKnightChelseaLiverpoolWest Ham 
Gordon McConnellLiverpoolMan CityWest Ham 
Darren ElliottChelseaMan CityWest Ham 
Alan StevensonLiverpoolMan CityWest Ham 
Maurice BrownMan UnitedMan CityWest Ham 
Gareth BellEvertonBrightonWest Ham 
Stephen RussellChelseaMan CityWest Ham 
Aaron McCaugheyChelseaMan CityWest Ham 
Robin MitchellChelseaLiverpoolWest Ham 
Billy AdamsChelseaLiverpoolWest Ham 
George HarperLeicesterLiverpoolWest Ham 
Graham MorelandLiverpoolMan CityWest Ham 
CrocMan UnitedMan CityWest Ham 
Paul McLaughlinLiverpoolMan CityWest Ham 
Harry McLaughlinChelseaMan CityWest Ham 
David HaylettChelseaMan CityWest Ham 
Robin HaireMan UnitedMan CityWest Ham 
Neil RussellEvertonMan CityAston Villa
Josh GilmoreChelseaMan United
Martin MorelandLeicesterCrystal Palace
Dean McDonaldLeicesterMan United
Phil HillWest Ham Brentford
Ian CarserChelseaMan United
Martin DalzellChelseaMan United
Paul MFGLiverpoolMan United
Carl RobinsonArsenal
Ellie McFarlandAston Villa
Tom MayesArsenal
Ian Carser 2Arsenal
Peter ShieldsArsenal
Richie WattersArsenal
Adrian MullanCrystal Palace
Crawford WhiteArsenal
Andrew MacroryArsenal

Gallagher New Youth Academy Sponsor

The club are delighted to announce Gallagher as the new headline sponsor of our youth cricket section at The Green.

The youth section of the club, which we re-branded this year to be our Academy, has grown dramatically in the last few years after a concerted effort to revive it's fortunes, and the new sponsorship will help us to continue that good work and build on the solid foundations now in place.

This season with over 150 kids we have fielded at least 8 sides throughout the age groups and have for the first time in our history fielded an all girls team. The coaching team have worked tirelessly throughout the summer months and despite not winning any trophies we have made the step forward to be competitive in the age-group Premier Leagues and the U15s reached their league semi-final. On top of that, a number of players have achieved underage NCU representative selection.

The additional sponsorship has not only helped provide new playing shirts but will also ease the financial burden during the winter months, when facility hire is a large expense. On top of that, it will also enable us to progress with initiatives such as a new bowling machine and video analysis equipment which will be of great benefit to the players and coaches.

So a huge 'thank you' to Gallagher from all the youth players, coaches and parents at The Green!

Shane Matthews, Regional Managing Director at Gallagher, said “We are huge cricket fans at Gallagher and are delighted to be partnering with North Down Cricket Club.

As a local community broker, supporting sport in the areas where our clients are based is something we are passionate about. Partnering with a cricket club that is such a pillar of the local community is a huge source of pride for us.  

After what has been a challenging couple of years for sport, we are delighted that the season has been such a success."

Second Best in Senior Cup Finals

It wasn't to be for either the men or ladies in the finals of the NCU Senior Challenge Cups, sponsored by our friends Gallagher Insurance.

The weather was the main topic of conversation in the run up to the men's decider which was against CIYMS at The Green. As usual, we pulled out all the stops and although on the day the rain threatened, The Green was immaculate both inside and outside the rope and the committee would like to thank all those who played their part.

Unfortunately on the field it was a difficult day for our 1sts, playing in the final for the first time since 2012.

Although we didn't bowl badly, silly mistakes and uncharacteristic sloppiness let the scoreboard get away from us a bit, and chasing 270 under pressure was always a big ask.

And so it proved - the skipper being run out early set the tone for a run chase that never got started and we were well beaten on the day.

Hopefully a step forward though and next time we'll be better equipped for the experience.

Challenge Cup Finalists 2021 (c) Ian Johnston/CricketEurope

The ladies final was at a sun drenched Lawn on Sunday and Staci Maxwell and her troops were up against favourite's CSNI.

Having inserted the opposition and got them 5 down for 50 odd the game was really on, but a late innings recovery took CSNI to a respectable 116 in the allotted 20 overs.

The North Down reply struggled to get any early momentum and by the time we picked up the pace later on the run rate had just got too high, CSNI winning in the end by 20 odd runs.

Ladies Squad with Neil Hunter (left, Gallagher Insurance) and Sam Beckett (NCU Chairman) (c) Michael Dines

A Club Steeped in Tradition

Above: the inaugural winners in 1897

By the club historians...

When North Down face CIYMS in the Senior Challenge Cup Final at The Green on Friday it will be a new experience for 8 members of the team. Only Ryan and Andrew Haire with 15 appearances between them and Peter Eakin with 1 will fully appreciate the significance and history of the trophy that will be on display in front of the pavilion.

The home side, with the Final being played for the eighth consecutive year at The Green, should have a good support from those who have enjoyed the experience of playing at this stage and the many youngsters who play in the junior teams. There have been 3 Golden Eras in the club’s history the first coming from 1887 until 1899 when the great trophy was won 9 times. Oscar Andrews reigned supreme with the bat and ball and the Turner brothers, Willie and Sam, and Tommy Graham took the bulk of the wickets under the captaincy of John Andrews Jnr.

The 2nd Golden Era was between the 2 World Wars 1919 until 1939 when James and Tom Macdonald, Jack Dearden, DGR McKibbin and Jackie Shields ruled for 2 decades under the leadership of the inimitable Willie Andrews.

1936 Senior Challenge Cup Winners v Woodvale

The most recent Golden Era in Senior Challenge Cup terms began in 2000 and finished in 2010.

The cup sides at this time were bursting with talent and although many players graced the Final, some stood out. Robin Haire with 12 North Down finals under his belt played in 7 of these Millennium Finals as did Jo Montgomery with two others prior to 2000.

Ryan Haire and the classy David Kennedy both scored unbeaten centuries while both players and Andrew White, Jo Montgomery, Neil Russell, Peter Shields and Robin Haire added plenty of runs to the score book and at the same time there were wickets aplenty for the likes of Billy Adams, Marty Dalzell, Gavin McKenna, Ralph Coetzee and Peter Connell - who can forget the celebrations when Connell dismissed his fellow Kiwi, the brilliant Craig McMillan in 2010?!

Ryan Haire, destroying with the bat, Martin Moreland taking many crucial wickets and Shields, top wicket-keeper and leading the side during these glory years, played in all 10 Finals during this period.

2010

In contrast to the 31 outright cup wins and 1 shared, CIYMS have won this trophy only 3 times but recently in 2015, 2017 and 2019 and have plenty of dangerous opposition to the home side including former North Down players James Cameron-Dow and Jacob Mulder. The sides have met already this season at Belmont in the Premier League when North Down were successful by 53 runs but in cup terms, the last big meeting in a Final was at The Green in 2010 when North Down won by 74 runs and Taimur Khan was MOM with 89 and 3 for 14.

2021 Skipper Alistair Shields

Ali Shields leads a very talented side into this Final, which, weather permitting, should be a classic.

You can read more about all of the Senior Cup 'characters' in The Vault...

The Story So Far...

The ups and downs of our various men's, women's and youth teams in the 2021 season so far are too many to chronicle in one short news article but can be pretty much summed up with one short phrase - it has been a 'mixed bag'!

After a disappointing exit from the T20 at the league stage, the 1stXI have played some excellent 50 over cricket and find themselves second in the Premier League table and with a Senior Challenge Cup final v CIYMS to look forward to this Friday (13th).

The junior teams have all been in action on a regular basis but at the time of writing are threatening neither the top or bottom of their respective league tables and cup competitions.

The ladies play Lurgan in the semi-final of the Senior Cup tomorrow at Pollock Park with a place in the decider at stake for Staci Maxwell's troops, after a comprehensive quarter final victory against Holywood.

Neil Dalzell and his band of coaches have been extremely busy with over 150 kids registered at the club this year, and teams at all age groups. The numbers are fantastic and blow all that has gone before out of the water. There have also been some youth interprovincial selections which the club are very proud of!

The Under 15s, led by skipper Drew Parker, play Cliftonville Academy this Thursday night in the league semi-final at The Castle Grounds.

Saturday the 7th August is a washout but lets hope for more favourable weather going forward and a dry, successful end to the season...

Ani Chore

Aniruddha 'Ani' Chore joined the club ahead of the 2021 season and what an impression he has made.

A talented wicketkeeper it is with the bat that he has excelled, in the season to date having scored 854 runs at an average of 106, including 3 centuries and 2 Challenge Cup MOM awards.

He is seen here pictured receiving Robinson Services awards alongside his skipper Ally Shields, David Robinson and NCU President Roger Bell.

We are all delighted that Ani has settled so well at the club and hope for further success this season, and beyond.

Eakin - 10 Years of Support

Jeremy Eakin

Eakin's major sponsorship of the club has reached a milestone in 2021 as this is the tenth year of our partnership. The club are indebted to Jeremy and all at Eakin for their continued support.

This is what Jeremy had to say:

"2021 marks 10 years of Eakin Group’s partnership with North Down Cricket Club. During that time the club has continued to thrive and stay a strong and relevant part of the Comber community despite changing lifestyles and demands on peoples’ time. However, lately much has changed in the world around us due to the covid pandemic. Thankfully as vaccination rates are high in N Ireland, players are participating in a near full season of cricket so spectators and loyal fans can again enjoy and critique from the sidelines.

Here at the Eakin Group we have also experienced change in the last year as we have acquired Armstrong Medical in Coleraine. This means we are now actively manufacturing and supplying respiratory care products to the NHS and further afield – part of our commitment to supporting those in critical care during the pandemic and beyond. We are committed to better health and care globally and to providing employment opportunities within Northern Ireland.

On behalf of the Eakin Group, I would like to wish North Down Cricket Club well for the season and to all players and fans, please stay safe and healthy."

Jeremy Eakin

Inter-Pro Cricketers

We have been delighted in recent weeks to see some of our players receive representative recognition, it is richly deserved and a credit to both themselves, coaches and families, well done!

Evey Keenan, Aadi Maini and Josh Parker
Keziah Dines, Amy Benson, Staci Maxwell and Tasha Morton

New Season To Start 8th May

Anyone who follows our Social Media will be aware that there is a lot going on behind the scenes at the minute and we thought now would be a good time to get an update on the website.

Return to action…
The NCU have confirmed that the competitive season will start on 8th May after the Stormont Executive agreed a return to competitive sport. We expect to have fixtures in place as soon as possible. Unfortunately the current regulations stipulate that for now our games must be played behind closed doors but hopefully that will also be eased soon.

AGM…
In October we postponed our 2020 AGM with a view to holding this at a later date when it was safe to get a group together. Unfortunately this hasn’t happened all winter and therefore the AGM has been cancelled.
As stated last year, if any of our members would like to receive a copy of the reports that would normally be available on the night then please either contact Dean MacDonald (Hon Treasurer) or Staci Maxwell (Hon Secretary).

TeamFeePay…
Follow the link to get registered for membership and make payment of annual subscriptions - as you can imagine, with the clubhouse bar having been closed all winter there is a shortfall in our current cashflow position, therefore prompt payment of these fees will help us enormously in the expensive early season period. https://www.teamfeepay.com/s/I9Ajv8J

Youth Cricket…
Follow the link to see details of our youth cricket - https://northdowncricketclub.co.uk/youth-kick-off/

Ground Works…
Anyone who has been about The Green will have seen some of the great work being done in getting the place looking good for the new season – that work is not complete so please feel free to join in as and when another request for help is made – it has been very encouraging to see some new faces helping out alongside the usual suspects!

Cricket Ireland/Northern Knights
Unsurprisingly we were asked to host some training for the NCU Cricket Ireland Hub and despite the recent cold weather that began today and as usual the playing surface was well received by those involved. We have also been confirmed as host to the Knights v Lightening 50 over interpro game on Sunday 16th May.

Gayan Maneeshan

Overseas Arrivals
Despite the current COVID travel restrictions Gayan Maneeshan and Tom Mayes will be with us in good time for the start of the new season, once they complete their relevant isolation/quarantine period.

North Down Branded Clothing
Visit the club shop at Tribal Branding to get kitted out in time for the actual beginning - https://tribalbranding.shop/collections/north-down-cricket-club