Monday, 28 June 2010

The Big Lebowski

The scheduled late start on the Saturday gave the tired Cregagh boys a chance for some well earned rest and a leisurely breakfast before the bus to take us to play Vladimir Chudacik’s Slovakian team was due at 12.30.

The first big crisis then arose, as the curse of the dodgy flip flop had struck “The Dude”, our own Big Lebowski, Phil Thompson. Crippled by blisters but reluctant to suffer in silence, the self styled greatest Cregagh bowler ever, was clearly a doubt for the big game. Nevertheless the big man, after a consultation with our medical staff, decided to travel.

Despite this potentially serious setback, we set off on our journey to the home of Slovakian cricket in the village of Hajske, in good heart. The trip was largely uneventful, but took a little longer than anticipated, due to the frequent refuelling stops……for Dave Standley.

So to the village of Hajske, population 1135, home to a library, 2 pubs, and F.C. Hajske, where the game was to be played. We arrived in time to see the plastic flicx pitch being unrolled and nailed to the grass. After warm greetings were exchanged in temperatures rising to the high 30’s, the teams were announced. With big Phil passing a late fitness test, feeling considerably better after consuming several filled rolls and a vat of crisps on the bus, the Cregagh team named was as expected, and we played our joker, in the form of Greek Steve. We then presented our Cregagh plaque and flag, as a momento of our visit.

The tour skipper then won the toss. After consultation with the senior professionals, inserted the opposition curious to find out how the wicket would play, in our 20/20 challenge. Slow and low was the answer, as Mark Thompson and Davy Mac opened the bowling, and very soon the Slovaks were 4 for 1, as Davy removed one of the openers. In the stifling heat, in order to conserve the bowlers, 2 over spells were the order of the day. 1st change bowler, Aaron Kerr then struck first ball to make it 13 for 2, but with Gibby bowling his unorthodox range at the other end, the Slovak run rate was steady, if unspectacular. With 4 bowlers now employed and Pete Kerr next in line to bowl, the noise level from fine leg, was cranked up another notch, as Phil Thompson, the human vuvuzela, (definition: persistant, loud and very aggravating), inquired incessantly when he would be possibly be employed.
Next was the answer, as the skipper, in face of the constant barracking, put aside any concerns for the big man’s feet, in favour of some personal relief from earache. As Pete and Phil both picked up further wickets the score had reached 42 for 4. Opener Chris Moorhouse, who had remained unmoved as his partners departed, was joined by Vladimir the Slovak skipper. This was to prove the best Slovak partnership of the match, and after a laboured 2 over spell from the tour skipper, which he somehow survived, it was time to turn to the openers again. As is frequently the case on tour, Mark Thompson stepped up to the plate and removed the opener, Moorhouse, for a well made 37. Davy Mac then struck twice to remove two more batsmen, including skipper Vlad, for a fine 24. That left us chasing a target of 95 to win.
Special mention must go to our stand-in wicket keeper Watty, who performed heroically, to only concede 3 byes on a difficult wicket. No mention of Aaron’s comedy run out attempt and Greek Steve’s dropped catch, though.

For our run chase, we started with Gibby and the Vet, and things went largely according to plan, until Gibby was bowled unfortunately off his legs, with the introduction of Vladimir into the attack with 30 on the board. The Vet was then out, caught in the same over for 19, and Cregagh momentarily wobbled. However with Pete and Davy Mac batting and the extras mounting as the bowlers were rotated, there were no further alarms, as we eased home with 5 overs to spare. Pete finished with 22 and Davy with 18.

Following the game the Slovaks took us to one of the local pubs, where we were treated to local delicacies, of beer and spicy sausage, which lived long in the memory, but travelled quickly through the system. Chris Moorhouse was awarded our Man of the Match trophy, and his son a coveted Cregagh jersey, and it was time to bid farewell to our Slovakian hosts. The first leg of our quest had been successfully negotiated.

We returned to Bratislava buoyed by further European success, but hopefully more importantly having introduced the Cregagh brand to another part of Europe and made some new friends. We were back in time to watch the England game in a restaurant with no food, in a thunderstorm.
The big questions still remained though. How would Phil’s feet stand up, or more importantly would he (hopefully) be hoarse in the morning, could Davy Mac avoid a third successive tour duck, could Greek Steve afford another night on the town, and what would Dave Stan have for breakfast next morning?
Another day, another country, as we were set for Austria the next day.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Club open Sunday 27/6/10

Please note that the club is open all day on Sunday 27/6 for the England V Germany World Cup game plus the evening game Argentina v Mexico

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

The Long Good Friday!!

The Long Good Friday, paradoxically began late on the Thursday evening, as the intrepid Cregagh tour party began to gather from around 10pm at Tour Headquarters in Gibson Park Avenue, to await our transport to Dublin. A few beverages were consumed to steady the frayed nerves of our less keen aviators, as cases were weighed and weight redistributed accordingly to comply with Ryanair baggage restrictions.

By 1.45am the bus had arrived, and we were finally on our way. Those who opted to travel without jackets or jumpers, quickly discovered sleep would not be an option, as our driver was obviously of Eskimo extraction.

Nevertheless we arrived on schedule at Dublin Airport, for the 4am Big Mac breakfast, (as opposed to the Davy Mac breakfast, as the bar wasn’t open yet), a mere 6 hours into the longest day.

Our Ryanair flight arrived on time in Bratislava, and having met up with the Giblar, who flew in from Stansted to join the group, by 11.30am we were at our hotel, and not for the first time that weekend a quick turn around was called for. Just time for a quick change then, the Vet swapped his post-war demob suit, for a tee shirt, first worn for Queen’s coronation (and Victoria was highly amused), whilst Malibu man went for the Muscle Beach look, and Scolari favoured the orthopaedic flip flops, that we were to hear so much more of later. So noon saw us on the sun drenched streets of the Slovakian capital, watching the temperatures rise to the mid-30’s. By lunchtime we had caught up with the vanguard of our party, led by the Wattster (forever to be known as t.w.b.), who had been unable to wait on the main group and hit the streets early.

Acclimatisation was clearly the name of the game now, and after a leisurely lunch, we sat down in the Old Town to talk tactics, and all sorts of other stuff, now 16 hours into the Long Good Friday. Another hour in and we were ordering helicopters with increasing regularity. Davy Mac’s glasses were permanently down and Cregagh’s best ever bowler was in full flow, but was the skipper listening? Only tomorrow would tell…
By 6 or was it 9 o’clock, the tour skipper had heard enough. The time for talking was over, it was time to go back the hotel and finalise tomorrow’s team, whilst still fresh, before taking an early night. So certainly for the skipper and the t.w.b. that was the end of the longest day, however others opted for a tea-time nap before venturing out again for an evening constitutional. Ah, if only Phil had changed his footwear.

As we moved from Saturday night to Sunday morning the Slovak challenge awaited us the next day.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Under 11 Cup Quarter Final Date

The Under 11 Quoile Cup quarter final against Lurgan will take place at Cregagh on Monday 28th June.Start time 6.00pm

Please make every effort to come along and support our young players in this important game.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

What a week for the club !!!

What a week it has just been for the club with the youth sections and senior sections both enjoying three victories out of three.

It all started on Tuesday evening when the U13s defeated Instonians by 6 wickets at Gibson Park in the League and was followed the next night by what was probably the performance of the season (and many seasons). In the Quoile Cup our U11s went to the Lawn and thumped Waringstown by 114 runs scoring a magnificent 180 (off 20 overs) then dismissing the 'Town for 66: Stuart Nelson 78 and 3 for 8, James Hume 48 and 3-13. The final youth game on Friday night at home saw the U15s defeat Woodvale by 10 wickets (the second consecutive season that we have won by 10 wickets).

Not to be outdone the senior side of the club then put together three straight victories. On Saturday the 1sts scored 237 at home in defeating Templepatrick by 20 runs and followed this up on the Sunday, also at Gibson Park, by again scoring 200+ in winning against Dungannon by 70 runs. Not be to be outdone the 2nds won a league nail-biter at Templepatrick by 1 wicket.

A magnificent effort by all the captains, coaches and players. The U11s are now into the quarter final of the Quoile Cup where they will play Lurgan at Gibson Park on a date to be confirmed. The date will be posted on this site. Please make every effort to come along and support the future of the club.

Good luck also to the 2nds who face Saintfield 2nds in the Intermediate Cup Quarter Final next Saturday.

PS: The consecutive wins increases to 8 if you include the two 'European' away wins last weekend.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Under 13's off to a flyer!

Cregagh under 13's got their league campaign off to a winning start on Tuesday night with an emphatic win over Instonians.

Skipper Daryl Larmour lost the toss for the first time this season and the CCC lads were asked to field first. Opening bowlers Stuart Nelson and Callum Byers kept it nice and tight in the opening 6 overs with the 'Inst' batsmen finding runs hard to come by. Regular 1st & 2nd change bowlers Adam McCormick and Mark Johnston also kept it tight before Adam made the break through with three quick wickets in his 4 overs.

All rounder James Hume then entered the fray with his 'Golden Arm' and demolished the tail end. As is now the norm with the Cregagh lads, if a batsman hits the ball in the air he should start walking. Every catch was held and every single was a potential run out. The Instonians innings was finished in the 20th over. 63 all out. J Hume 4 for 4 A McCormick 3 for 10, C Byers 2 for 14.

Cregagh's answer to Lumb and Kieswetter. James Hume and Mark Johnston then set about the 63 total with their usual form, and after a succession of powerful fours and well ran singles the pair had us almost home before Hume was out going for another big dig. A couple of silly wickets fell before Tom Campbell and Adam McCormick saw us home in the 12th over.

Another great performance lads with new boys Callum Byers and Daniel Mayhew settling in very well. Great catches from Stuart, Tom & Adam. Keep up the hard work lads and you will get all you deserve, and more. Next game against CSNI 25th June.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Voluntary Cricket Section Levy

The £10 senior cricket section levy will be running again this season.

It is a voluntary payment (in addition to the Cregagh Sports Club sub) and the committee would encourage all members to consider giving. Payment can be made to any of the captains, Philip Walker or Stuart Catterson.

All monies received go directly to the section to cover expenses.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Slovakia here we come!!

Following on from our successful tours to Monaco and Hungary we have our sets sight on Slovakia and Austria as we plan to play two matches in consecutive days across two Countries!

As with previous tours we have looked to go to another far flung destination where cricket is in its infancy and where often the locals are extremely keen to play against touring teams. As with previous trips we will bring along some gifts to donate to the ‘cricket effort’ as a thank you to our hosts.

Our trip begins at 1.30am on Friday morning as we meet at Gibson Park to hop onto our bus to Dublin to catch our early morning flight to Bratislava. We have arranged to play against a Slovakian select team on the Saturday and then on Sunday we catch the train to Vienna to play the Vienna Cricket Club who only in 1998 hosted the MCC.

Once again the Cregagh club would like to place on record our gratitude to the Northern Cricket Union for granting our request for a free fixture weekend. For further information along with match reports go to;

Over to you TD!!