Saturday, 26 July 2008

Bouncebackability!! (Cheers Pip!)

That's what it's all about, a popular phrase created by a Norn Iron footballing legend that is Iain Dowie.

After the poor performance against Academy, we were in for a tough battle against Templepatrick. After winning the toss I decided to have a bat on a cracking pitch at the home of Cricket in the East, cheers Ian.

I was not going to be disappointed, as The Vet and Pip put on 55 for the first wicket. With the Vet back in the pavilion 27 runs better off, RJ came to the party. After a shaky start and Templepatrick appealing for anything! the big lad got wired in.

He took his time to get to 30 odd, then he opened up, the Cregagh Road, The Green and the power station all felt the force, and 7 lost balls later the big lad was celebrating his 2nd ton for the CCC.

Pip was soon out playing very well for his 42 runs. This brought Javed to the crease and he was not hanging around as he raced to 23. RJ finally was adjudged LBW on 118 with a 150 on the cards. The innings stalled as a run out put paid to Javed and the following batsmen were simply swinging at anything with only a handful of overs left. Stewart Porter ended up on 18 not out with a few lusty blows from the kilt wearing Scotsman!

With a run rate of 5.4 Templepatrick were going to have to tee off, and with the dangerous Morrow at the top of the order we needed wickets. Thankfully our friends from the Commonwealth took care of their top 4 batsmen and the Temple never recovered. Some smart catches from the brummie behind the stumps also helped us along.

Then it was the Stewarty Porter show, after 7.3 overs the big lig finally found his rhythm, (it was in his wallet but he never looks there) and took 3 wickets for a miserly 30 runs. Runs off his bowling were as frequent as the rounds he buys in the clubhouse!

Wickets continued to fall and a run out from Stewart Porter made sure that we secured the win with 85 runs to spare. Magic!

Details

Cregagh 270 for 9

Jarvis 118
Walker 42

Templepatrick 185 All out

Jackson 44
S Porter 3-30
R Jarvis 3-45

MOM Close call this.....Ill give to the newest member of the Green and White army.....R Jarvis

Friday, 25 July 2008

Cregagh Training Tops

New clothing range for the 2008 season these training tops are available from Philip Thompson at £20.

Extremely useful for our chilly summer nights!!

1st XI Update

The weather has been the only winner I'm afraid.

The rearranged game with Cooke Collegians was agonisingly washed out. After making 154 runs with a great knock from young Max at the death we believed this to be a good score.

The next night with Cooke on the verge at 38 for 4 with 16 overs played and Davie Mac unplayable the rain came and the game was washed out.

Onto Academy and with a freshly rolled wicket just 10 MINUTES before the game started and the toss already decided we batted first on the worst wicket played on this season.

92 was never going to be enough and proved so, although we took five scalps on our way!

Friday, 18 July 2008

Breathe @ Robinson Centre Offer

Cregagh Sports Club members can now avail of a negotiated monthly discount membership offer at Breathe in the Robinson Centre on Montgomery Road.

The usual monthly fee will be reduced from £32 to £25,the initial £15 registration fee will be waived and the first month will be free of charge.An annual saving of up to £124.

The offer is available upon production of a current Cregagh Sports Club membership card (issued on payment of the club subscription).

An induction night has been arranged for Cregagh members on 31/7 and we need to advise the numbers who are planning to attend.Please let Stuart Catterson know as soon as possible on 07720414155.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Cregagh on You Tube !

Following on from our hugely successful Family Fun Day on the 12th July you can now see the highlight of the day on You Tube.

Follow the link below to see young Adam McCormick take his Dad down a peg, plus Belinder's laugh is excellent, so turn up the speakers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKzxCC2k_rU

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Subscriptions

Juts a reminder that the annual subs are now overdue.The amounts payable for each category can be found on the website home page.

Payment can be made to Graham Watt,Philip Walker,Stuart Catterson or your team captain.

The Cricket Committee.

Revised Social Dates

Please note that the dates for the social events previously posted have changed.They are now:

Saturday 2nd August-Inter Section 20/20 Game

Their will be a 20/20 game between two sides made up of members of the cricket ,football and darts sections followed by drinks and food in the club.Start time 4.00pm
(This is a closed weekend for cricket in the NCU).

Friday 15th August-Poker Night

Posters will be put up in the club in due course confirming start time etc.

Saturday 6th September-A Night at the Races

This is our major fund raiser and a large attendance will greatly assist in helping club funds

Friday 26/9-Annual Club Dinner

Please endeavour to attend as many events as possible and help to support the club.


Stuart Catterson
Chairman

Monday, 7 July 2008

Budapest Tour 2008 Part 2 (Divorce Lawyers at the ready!!)

The cricket over, we sat down at the little bar at the club, basking in the cooling evening temperatures, in the early thirties, whilst enjoying a steaming bowl of refreshing goulash, with our Hungarian hosts. We then presented a few little memento’s, which hopefully, would provide a more lasting memory of our visit, than cuddly duo’s on-field cavorting.

The troops then returned to base in good heart to prepare fully for a long night of celebration of our newly won international status. Stylish understated elegance was the order of the day, with a few opting for the more forgiving expanding shorts look, lots of men in striped tops, and B.C. and the Vet, modelling some little numbers from of their popular Man at Oxfam range. We started in typical fashion, in more familiar surroundings, watching the football, with some welcome pub grub and few pints, in Becketts, a downtown Irish bar. We next debated how best to immerse ourselves more fully in the city’s culture, and using his rapidly growing grasp of the Hungarian language, Trim led us to a fetching little Karoake bar, in a complex of underground tunnels.

After slow start, where we hummed along to a series of Hungarian rock songs, we finally captured the mike, for Trim to belt out a selection from his catchy repertoire of Celine Dion numbers; before after confiscating all the razor blades, Serious, Hazzy, and Marky T, otherwise known as “The Three Benders”, cheered us all up, with some Coldplay dirges. Through it all, our cheerleaders danced the night away in the background, as Disco Dave, who hitherto had limped along on one leg, suddenly produced a series of moves not seen since John Travolta’s heady days of the early seventies, whilst the Aussie funster adopted his more languid style solo swaying. It was a time for a lot of manly bonding, (in a good way, Pete). We even have the collectors item photo, of the triple hug between, Phil, Trim and Mark, before normal service was resumed when Phil checked out Mark’s expenditure! However as the numbers dwindled, and Davy Mac enjoyed his only full night out, (whilst awake, that is), the final Cregagh quintet really came into their own, late in the evening, leading with a heart rending Oasis number, before leaving their audience gasping, their performance of Robbie Williams, “Angels”, as only they could perform it. Not a dry eye left in the house!

Time now to retire to our hotel to enjoy some soup, accompanied by more soup, whilst Davy had a nap in reception.

DAY THREE

As the boys straggled into reception to return to R.A.F.C. Palya, for the 8 over tournament on Sunday, the tour skipper began to suspect that this particular event was not the focus of their weekend.

Nevertheless somehow we managed to get ourselves to the ground for around noon again. It was agreed we would open up with the long awaited, Cregagh v Cregagh encounter, and with both teams having racked up around 80 in the 8 over practice game, we knew the par score. So having won the toss, Trim’s team of, newly christened, “Woody” Clarke, “Careless” Pete, “Hapless” Hazzy, “Lager” Langer and “Mental” Mark, faced up to “Drunken” R.J, , the artist formerly known as “Davy Mac” and 4 other guys.

Trim won the toss, one of his specialist subjects, and inserted the opposition. It quickly boiled down to contest between those who can drink and play, and those who don’t do Sundays. Clad in our new fetching one day orange outfits, we opened with R.J. and Watty, and with Davy Mac at 3, the rest of us felt in a 8 over game, we could sit back and watch. Then Langer got amongst us, removing Davy Mac, going comprehensively bowled for his customary, Tour Sunday, first ball duck, following Watty’s demise. Scolari went next, after avoiding a 5 wides delivery, which interrupted this match clinching hat-trick performance. Mark T, then, as he had promised all the previous evening, saw off R.J. to clean up, 2.4 overs into the game, and the target had been set at 26. Attacking fields were duly set with R.J. and Davy Mac opening the bowling, but despite Davy removing Trim, in rare waking moment, the soporific run chase was concluded in the 6th over, with a conclusive victory to Trim’s squad.

Andy Grieve’s young squad embarrassed the Hungary A side, in the other game then, in another low scoring affair, to set up a date with Trim’s squad in the final. It was a much closer final game, with Trim’s boys setting a target of 52 in their 8 over innings, the highlight of which was Langer congratulating the wicketkeeper, after being stumped by Fanni, as our scorebook will forever testify.

Langer remained at the heart of the action during the Hungary innings, with perhaps, the run out of the year, swooping in the deep for a one handed pick up, realising he had not in fact managed to pick up the bottle of beer he was going for, he hurled the ball away in disgust, whilst on the run, but it promptly smashed over the stumps, running out the unfortunate hapless batsman by yards. It was not enough however, as Andy Grieve in partnership with Fanni, perhaps appropriately sealed a last wicket victory, when Andy hit the winning boundary, in the last over.

It had become clear throughout the day, that the Cregagh boys had learnt from their mistakes of the previous day, when they had failed to capitalize on the fact, that the bar at the club was open all day. In this atmosphere, the remaining Cregagh squad stumbled onto the field to face the Hungary A squad, in an attempt to uphold the club’s honour, in the final match of the day. The omens did not look good. R.J. described (the Hungary4cricket website, for his performance the previous day), as the South African whirlwind, by this stage, had subsided to merely a gentle breeze. Whilst the pride of Cregagh, Davy Mac resembled a man more accustomed to life in bus shelters.

Time for the footsoldiers to come to the party, and we opened with Scolari and the Vet, who put on a fine opening stand, punctuated by Scolari’s magnificent six on to the roof of the stand off the Hungarian pace man. The big South African followed the openers so swiftly, we had to check if Mark T was bowling for the Hungarians. Then whilst the smart money said Davy Mac couldn’t surpass his awful Monaco performance, Rooster cleaned up, taking bets on 2 ducks on one day! Surely a Cregagh record. We were in disarray, however in a series of partnerships between the skipper, Watty and Hazzy, the total was boosted to an improbable 58, the highest total of the day.

So to defending this total. We were somewhat handicapped by the loss of R.J. to the attack, the big wooss having hit himself on the foot, whilst batting, and Davy Mac, who failed a breathalyzer test. Nevertheless Hungary A were put to the sword, having been skittled for a paltry 18, much to the skipper’s delight. So at least half the Cregagh squad remain unbeaten by European opposition!

However not all the drama was taking place on the field, throughout the last two games. Pete, after an extensive search at the ground, had been asking everyone if they had seen his misplaced passport and wallet. Before the start of the last game, he had left for a final desperate search of the hotel, before contacting his mother (as you do), the local police and the British Embassy. All this despite the fact, his Vet had been waxing lyrical about a picture of his daughter-in-law, in a wallet retrieved from Rooster’s valuables bag, at the ground, clearly assuming we all have pictures of Iraina in our wallets, as we do!

We finished up the cricketing day, as is customary in Hungary, with a bowl of goulash, to bring our body temperature up to a mere 40 degrees C, before presenting Fanni with her richly deserved, Performer of the Tournament trophy.

On our return to the hotel, even after establishing, unsurprisingly, that Pete had not in fact lost either his passport or his wallet, the turn round at the hotel was not particularly swift, as we attempted to go for a final meal together. Eventually by about 9pm we assembled, minus Ryan and Rooster, who were tired and emotional, for a meal at local Steak House. We followed this with a series of games of Pool, with pints, in a hottest Pool Hall in the world, where Watty and myself had to be removed at regular intervals, to be wrung out.

Needless to say no-one wanted to be the first to leave on the last evening, so on our return to the hotel, Davy took up his usual position, head back, mouth open, shades down, in reception. The soup came and went, and people eventually succumbed to reason, departing at regular intervals, to barricade their rooms, in anticipation of a late night raid, which undoubtedly this year would not be led by the leading light of the Monaco Five. As the breakfast began to be served the final Cregagh stalwarts departed the 24 hour bar reception, and people’s shoes began to disappear!

DAY FOUR

And so to the final day, which opened for the more intrepid tourists, with a little morning gymnastics, as part of a new keep fit regime. This was rapidly followed in the same health conscience vein, by a trip to Burger King. From there we retired to the famous Gellert Spa, for an afternoon of pampering around the pool, with the wavemaker, enjoying our final afternoon of Hungarian sun, a fine way to bring our tour to a close.

By 4:30pm it was time to return to the hotel, to search for Pete’s helmet, suitcase, clothes etc., and wait for our bus to the airport, Cregagh’s second European adventure was drawing to close.

Aer Lingus conveyed us to Dublin a mere 10 minutes behind schedule, however after an hour on the ground, in the bus, entertaining the bus driver, his wife and kid, we were still waiting for Hazzy to clear customs. So it was until 2am we returned to the bosom of our families, just too late to catch our ticker tape welcome, as the new national champions of the People’s Republic of Cregagh.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Budapest Tour 2008 Part 1

DAY ONE

For this year’s tour, CafĂ© Mocha was the starting point, for those who like their carbohydrates. The last supper, was replaced by a final breakfast. The usual suspects were on show, with the Bear eating for two, and it also featured some of Davymac’s last few waking moments.

At 10 o’clock sharp the luxurious coach pulled into view, right on schedule, as most other things were this year, I hasten to add. The crowds of adoring Cregagh fans, flocking to bid farewell to their heroes, could not but fail to be impressed by the perfect blend of grizzled veterans and fresh faced youthful innocents (i.e. Watty), assembled for this year’s assault on European cricketing glory.

After a quick refuelling stop in Newry, primarily for our Commonwealth friends, who it would appear are entirely sustained by the amber nectar, we proceeded towards Dublin Airport, stopping only one further time, to allow the Vet, Trim and the Aussie to run along behind the bus for some 100 yards or so, to test their match fitness, or at least that is what we told the bus driver!

On arrival at the airport, last minute nerves were soothed in a sea of liquid tranquilizer, and to the amazement of all last year’s tourists, after a delay of a mere 20 minutes, we were Budapest bound. The incident free flight, was followed, on arrival in Hungary, by a pleasant and informative coach ride to our hotel, nestling in the Raday Utca, and twenty five minutes later we were good to go. Acclimatization is, we discovered from last year’s experience, a crucial part of the tour ethos, and with that in mind, we embraced the concept wholeheartedly. We discovered the wonderful world of Soprani, a recommended local restorative, as we made our mental preparations for the cricketing challenges ahead, and the evening was concluded in the sanctity of our hotel, enjoying a nightcap of Tomato soup, as was to become the norm. All that remained was to set our alarms, ready for the big game tomorrow!

DAY TWO

The day commenced, as decreed in the Tour Itinerary, with all the troops assembled in the hotel lobby at 10:30am sharp, all that is, bar the skipper and his room mate, who were relying on an alarm on the phone, and hadn’t reset the phone clock to Budapest time, or so they claimed! After that hitch, taxis were summoned, and the Peoples Republic of Cregagh were off to play their first international game, against Hungary’s finest.

Shortly before high noon, we were surveying the lush green outfield of the R.A.F.C. Palya ground, in Budapest’s XVI District. Having checked out outfield, we next checked out the wicket, which we quickly identified as the strip of the lush green outfield between the two sets of stumps! After giving it the key test, and losing two sets of keys, (though fortunately none of these belonged to Pete), and having consulted the senior pros and sought their advice on whether we should bat first, or insert the opposition on this green wicket, the problem was solved when skipper promptly lost the toss, we were fielding.

Almost embarrassed by the depth of riches in the bowling attack available in the touring squad, the skipper turned to Mark Thompson and Davy Mac first up, and runs were hard to come by for the hosts. Davy struck first, clean bowling one opener, and his partner soon followed, being run out, 20 for 2 then and Cregagh well on top. The next pair of bowlers kept the pressure up, with Hazzy and Lager, or did I mean Langer, getting a wicket a-piece, and the score was 48 for 4, Cregagh in control then. With the temperature hitting the mid 30’s, the skipper thought it prudent to rotate his bowlers, and take the pace off the ball.

Unfortunately the wicket didn’t seem assist our spin attack much, and wicketkeeper batsman, Mike Glover opened up with a couple of 4’s and 6, to send the run rate spiralling upwards, 89 for 4, advantage Hungary. Then R.J. came on at one end, and Davy Mac was quickly re-introduced before he fell asleep. R.J. removed the dangerous Tushar Gandhi; the wicketkeeper and no. 7, and on this occasion, the inappropriately named, Lucky Singh, were both adjudged lbw, to the Macster; Janos Matyasfalvi was run out without facing; and Stevie Clarke induced Zoltan Mago to pull a short ball into to Hazzy’s mitts, so by then the score had reached 119 for 9. That seemed to be that then. However a spirited unbeaten, last wicket partnership, of 37, between Mark Bownas and Hungarian skipper, Andy Grieve, took the score to an improbable 156, of the allotted 30 overs.

The Cregagh attack had used 10 bowlers, and whilst the pace quintet of Thompson (M), McCormick, Lang, Dawson and Jarvis, bowled 21 off these overs conceding only 59 runs, with only 9 byes in the total, perhaps the skipper’s policy of involving everyone in the bowling effort, had backfired? Time would tell.

Buoyed by the thoughts of a welcoming bowl of steaming after match Goulash, the Cregagh openers Pete Kerr, (whilst he still knew where his helmet was) and Stevie Clarke strode to the crease. However an opening partnership of 18, was a little short of our hopes, and when Stevie and Watty went, before their helmets needed emptied, with the score on 25, the skipper was starting to regret a couple of overs.
Langer and Trim started a mini-revival, with Langer opening up with a couple of lovely fours, before he was removed by a magnificent catch, and we had slumped to 49 for 4.

R.J. was next in, and whilst Trim and the big man were at the wicket the game was in the bag, however after a quickfire 9 ball 33, the Hungarian skipper induced a false shot, in an impressive spell, and the score had reached 101 for 5. Davy Mac strode to the crease to join Trim, the skipper was smiling again, no problem. Then after a drinks break, skipper Andy Grieve accounted for Trim, 111 for 6. Mark Thompson, next in, departed as quickly as he arrived, 112 for 7, and the skipper resumed his pacing in the stand.

Hazzy, in harness with Davy, started to put these fears to bed, with a confident performance, punctuated a couple of crisp boundaries, and the skipper was cracking jokes again. In true Cregagh fashion though disaster struck again, as Hazzy dragged a wide one onto his stumps, via his trailing leg, 144 for 8. The skipper was now popping tranquilisers, but nevertheless, with Brian “The Wall” Clarke at the crease, surely he would block one end up, whilst Davy took us home. Then Davy smacked one straight up in the air around mid off, 3 fielders converged, the skipper started munching his pads, and as two of the fielders backed off, the other dropped the ball after two attempts. The boys coaxed the skipper back down off the roof of the stand, just in time to see The Wall breached. Brian Clarke, bowled Grieve, with the score on 148 for 9.

The final act then, 9 needed, the last pair at the crease, the hopes of nation resting heavily on their shoulders, no pressure! Composing himself, with a deep breath, the skipper marched nervelessly to the crease, pausing only to pull on a pair of Pampers. On arrival in the middle, Davy quickly checked the skipper for a pulse, and bolted him to one end, before accumulating the required runs, finishing the game with a pull for 4.

Easy win then, no problem, never doubted the final outcome, Cregagh now rated number 33 in the world!