Posted: 1 month ago

The Author and The Bowler

Before we proceed with the serialisation of the ‘The Bowler’ let’s ‘spill the beans’ and incriminate the author.

F.O.T.W. Exposed

He is of course our esteemed member JC Hiles who is very highly regarded for his more serious journals such as ‘The History of Senior Cricket in Ulster’, ‘The History of the Northern Cricket Union Challenge Cup 1887-2011’, ‘Tommie’ the life of our legendary past member Thomas Andrews and ‘Gone ,but not Forgotten’ a look at the most influential past members of the Northern Cricket Union and including 7 North Down legends.

To learn more of our ‘Fly on the Wall’ reporter, check his cricket career at ‘The Vault’ on our website.

JC Hiles in The Vault CLICK HERE


Setting the scene for The Bowler in 1978

In January 1978 North Down CC had eventually cast off the mediocrity of cricket performances post war and the fight to keep going, and was emerging not only as a serious senior club but as a rejuvenated social enterprise. With four Saturday teams in the field and a thriving mid week XI it was onward and upward and success on the field, league wins, for all teams a few years earlier brought with it a good feeling of well being.

The AGM of this year saw Jim Barry in the Chair, a man who had played for the club as 3rd XI wicket keeper and who only accepted throw ins from fielders who delivered the ball within his reach! A former North Down Hockey 1st XI goal keeper he had experience in dealing with all at The Green with equal understanding and forthrightness.

The Secretary at the time was the efficient and reliable Sydney Elliott who was a 1st XI captain and very capable batsman who bowled slowly with guile.

Another cricketer of note was our treasurer Wilmer McKibbin who was a youth star at the club and performed for all teams during his career.

With Lawrence Hunter leading the 1st XI the big ambition was to progress into the top flight and stay there with the help of his vice captain Miller O’Prey. Peter Artt with his vice captain Willie Wilson, Norman McLeod with Wilmer McKibbin and Jimmy McKittrick with Peter Allen led the other teams.

The leadership off the field added Derek Steen, to become the Chairman, Alvin Maginess, to become an excellent leader of the 4th XI and senior NCU umpire, Raymond Crosby a former senior player and international hockey player, Walter Wishart who had a long and distinguished career at The Green, Eddie Doherty who was a future Chairman, Robert McVeigh who devoted much of his time umpiring for the club and Raymond McIlveen who was a wicketkeeper and goal – minder and much liked loyal member.

A selection Committee added Don Shields to the team leaders.

The future was mapped out and the new bar was open and going well. Events were organised and meetings conducted and in this year a new and unique experience came to the attention of the members.

A member with literary flair and a knack of avoiding the law published a club magazine called ‘The Bowler’. The floating journalist known as ‘The Fly on the Wall’ probed and unearthed the real North Down cricketers and their strengths and inadequacies.

It could be an offence to recreate these journals verbatim but it is perhaps the duty of our rejuvenated website to bring to the attention of its readers the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth of the real state of our club 46 years ago.

It is therefore the intention to serialise ‘The Bowler’ in an abridged version and in true Bowler fashion, the author is at this time totally unaware of what is going down.

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