Friday, 23 December 2011

Merry Christmas

We would like to wish all our members a Very Merry Christmas and a Successful 2012.

Keep an eye on the website for some exciting news in 2012 and the continuation of our Winter nets programme.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Christmas Drinks

Don't forget this Friday night at 7.30pm at the club we are having our annual Christmas Drinks (you can even bring your WAG along!!)

This has been a regular fixture in our social diary so why not come down and have a drink and a mince pie all courtesy of the Chairman!!  Thanks Scol. 

Monday, 19 December 2011

3rd XI Fixtures 2012 Season

3rd XI fixtures have now been agreed and will be as follows for the 2012 season;


13th CSNI (A)
20th Lisburn (H)
26th Cliftonville (A) CUP


3rd Cliftonville (H)
17th Academy (H)
26th Victoria (H) 20 Over


1st Lisburn (A)
8th CSNI (H)
24th Victoria (A) 20 Over
29th Academy (A)


5th Cliftonville (A)

Keep an eye on the website for the Junior fixtures which will be posted on here once they are released.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

2nd XI Fixtures for the 2012 Season

The fixtures for the 2nd XI will be as follows;


28/4  Cliftonville (H)


5/5  Laurelvale (A)
19/5  Donaghcloney (H)
26/5  Cliftonville (H) Intermediate Cup


2/6  Templepatrick (H)
16/6  Cooke (A)
30/6  Donaghcloney (A)


7/7  Armagh (H)
14/7  Cooke (H)
15/7  Academy (H)
21/7  Laurelvale (H)
22/7  Templepatrick (A)
28/7  Cliftonville (A)


4/8  Academy (A)
18/8  Armagh (A)

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Indoor Nets

The last indoor net session of 2011 takes place this Friday at Grosvenor Grammar School starting at 7 pm and running until 9 pm.

Any junior members who may wish to attend are more than welcome.

See you there.

Friday, 2 December 2011

1st XI Fixtures Released

Senior League 3

5 May

Cregagh v Victoria

12 May

Cregagh v Dunmurry

19 May

Junior Cup 1st Round No Game

26 May

PSNI v Cregagh

2 June

Larne v Cregagh

9 June

No Game

10 June

Dungannon v Ards

16 June

Clogher v Cregagh

23 June Closed Date

Ireland v Australia (ODI) Stormont

24 June

Cregagh v Dungannon

30 June

Cregagh v Donaghadee

7 July

Ards v Cregagh

14 July

No Game

21 July

Victoria v Cregagh

28 July

Dunmurry v Cregagh

4 August

Cregagh v PSNI

11 August

Cregagh v Larne

18 August

Dungannon v Cregagh

25 August

Cregagh v Clogher

1 September

Donaghadee v Cregagh

8 September

Cregagh v Ards

Friday, 25 November 2011

NCU Trails for Cregagh Lads

Once again the NCU have invited 6 of our junior players to attend trials for the NCU Team at under 13 and under 15 level.

The successful candidate's are Mark Johnston, Oliver Fleetham and Adam McCormick at under 15 level and Stuart Nelson, James Hume and Lewis Cunningham at under 13 level.

Well done lads the whole club is proud of you no doubt you will wear the Cregagh shirt with pride.  The committee would also like to place on record our thanks to our Youth Director David McCormick for his continuous hard work and commitment to the development of these lads which has continued during the winter with our indoor nets programme.

The hard work is paying off well done everyone.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Stuart Catterson reaches 50, years not runs!

On Satruday 26th November Stuart Catterson will have reached the ripe (young) age of 50 and to celebrate the lads have arranged a little get together at the club, a very ladish night out a bit like a typical night on tour, can you read between the lines on that one ;-)

We have arranged to meet at the club for 8 pm and let the night flow from there!!!!

Watch out Maddisons!

Watch out the Turkish Kebab House!

Watch out Granny's!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Cup Draws

The NCU made the draw for the Junior Cup, Intermediate Cup and the Minor Qualfying Cup and the details are as follow;

1st XI

1st's received a bye in the first round and will face Bangor II's away on 2nd June 2012.

2nd XI

The 2nd's will play Cliftonville II's at home on the 26th May 2012.

3rd XI

To complete the draw and a double header our 3rd's will travel to Cliftonville to play their 3rds on 26th May 2012.

Good luck to all the teams.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Indoor Nets

Our winter indoor nets sessions continue this Friday at Grosvenor Grammar School between 7 and 9 pm.

Any school lads wanting to attend please contact Davie Mac on 07774 179710.

Just incase you forgot what they looked like!!
See you there.

Monday, 7 November 2011

AGM 2011

The Cricket section held their AGM on Tuesday 1st November 2011 to vote on the captains and office bearers for the 2012 season the highlights of the meeting are as follows;

1st XI Captain: Peter Kerr
2nd XI Captain: Thompson Dawson
3rd XI Captain: David McCormick

Vice captains will be selected by the respective captains

Chairman: Philip Thompson
Vice Chairman: Graham Watt
Secretary: Philip Walker
Treasurer: Philip Walker
Director of Youth Development: David McCormick
Ground Convener: Stuart Catterson
Executive Reps; Stuart Catterson, Robert Moore & Graham Watt

The Chairman Philip Thompson reviewed the season and congratulated all captains and match secretaries in fulfilling the majority of our fixtures the fact that we had only one fine from the NCU shows how organised they were. In fact our lack of fines over the last number of seasons from the NCU show how organised we are.

Philip took time to thank the committee members for all their hardwork considering the amount of fundraising and great nights that we had as a club this year. He also recapped on the dinner which had to be one of the best dinners we have had in recent years, being capped off by the special awards presented to Ian Kerr, Stuart Catterson and Peter Kerr all very deserving winners.

A special note of thanks was also conveyed to Stuart regarding his hard work on the ground which is now being rewarded with the ground being used for the interpro Under 13 match and the midweek final which earned us rave reviews from Waringstown players and officials alongside officials from the NCU, NWCU and the MCU.

In addition to this David McCormick was thanked for his endless time and effort that he contributes to the youth section in the club which grows from strength to strength each year. What made his achievements even greater considering the injury he sustained during the tail end of the 2010 season. The youth section in true Cregagh tradition embarked upon its first ever tour playing Leinster CC in Dublin. Again a huge thanks was conveyed to David McCormick and Thompson Dawson for making this happen. (footnote how many clubs in the NCU have a senior and junior tour party!!!)

In respect of the captains the committee would like to congratulate Peter Kerr in continuing in his role in the 1st XI and would like to welcome Thompson Dawson as the 2nd XI skipper and David McCormick as the 3rd XI skipper.

At this time the committee would also like to place on record our thanks to Brian Clarke who has been the 3rd XI captain over the last 6 seasons and has now decided to step down. As we all know, the 3rd XI captaincy is not an easy role yet Brian went about his business with dignity (as you would expect from Brian) and a lot of humour (greatly needed at our wee club). Not only this but Brian was never afraid to throw the young lads in and to give them a chance at this level. None was this better demonstrated than recently when the bowling attack of a 3rd XI averaged around 14 years!! Brian could see how vital it was to develop these lads and for that we are grateful to Brian for his hard work and now well deserved rest.

Finally, the members thanked the chairman Philip Thompson for his hard work, commitment and drive throughout the 2011 season a great first year for the chairman the results of which are evidenced in the buzz and togetherness that we all experience around the place at present.

Well done mate!!

The AGM was brought to a close with a short notice about our upcoming tour to Portugal. Tour party stands at 24 at present!!! See you there.

Monday, 31 October 2011

David Harris

Unfortunately over the weekend we learnt of the sad news that David Harris's Father passed away on Saturday afternoon.

On behalf of the cricket committee and all our members at Cregagh our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Bob Catterson

On behalf of the cricket committee and the members of the cricket section we would like to pass our condolences to Stuart Catterson and his family upon the death of Stuart's Father Bob.

The funeral will be held on Saturday 29th October at Cregagh Methodist Church at 9.30 am.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011


The Cricket Club will be holding its AGM on Tuesday 1st November starting at 7.30 pm. 

Some big announcements and decisions to be made!!!!!  Make sure you are there to voice your opinion!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Indoor Nets

Indoor nets start on Friday 14th October at Grosvenor between 7pm and 9 pm.

Any junior player wanting to come along please contact David McCormick on 07774 179710 to arrange lifts.

Link below for directions to Grosvenor!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Annual Dinner and Awards Night

I think its fair to say that the switch to a Saturday night and starting the event at 7.30 pm ensured that this was one of the best dinners we have had at the club, of course not to mention the Chairman's stand up performance (would be remiss of me to overlook his 3 hour speech), however the punters were in for one hell of a surprise as TD along with Davie Mac brought the presentation to a conclusion with the tour DVD!!!  More of that later! 

You knew the night was going to be special when the tour veterans were receiving medals from the Club President, and to add to this, we now have a club tie, ssshhhhh keep that quiet as we only have a small supply!

Anyway...Like a well oiled machine (few were still well oiled afterwards) the attendees at a Cregagh Cricket Dinner now know the drill, grub first, then speeches (Bronagh's favourite bit) followed by the award presentation and this year was no different, or so we thought!!!

First up Brian Clarke ran through the 3rd XI season with the winners as follows;

3rd XI Batsman of the year;   Sameer Maishe
3rd XI Bowler of the year;  Neil Pinkerton
3rd XI Captains pick;  Adam McCormick

Haider Maishe also received a special award for his hattrick.

Following Brian was our 2nd XI skipper William Ross.  Possibly the shortest speech ever which went down well with the punters, William announced his award winners of the season;

2nd XI Batsman of the year;  Matthew Simpson
2nd XI Bowler of the year;  Philip Thompson
2nd XI Captains pick;  Thompson Dawson

Then the 1st XI skipper was on deck for his review of the season.  Along with a large notepad the members in the room feared a lengthy speech but to his credit (and our delight) his speech was sharp and to the point.  the award winners for the 1st XI were;

1st XI Batsman of the year;  Peter Kerr
1st XI Bowler of the year;  Alan Baker
1st XI Captains Pick;  Robert Moore

Then we moved onto the special awards;

The WAGS got their usual wee backhander!!!  Well deserved may I add.

Clubman of the year;  David McCormick, for smashing his ankle and still playing this year and overseeing a great season in the youth section, a truly great effort

Young Player of the year;  Matthew Simpson, won it hands down, well done mate.

Special performance award;  Peter Kerr for his 132 against the PSNI.  Peter also received a special frame of the scorecard from the match along with a photo of him celebrating his century. 

Special award winners
As a special award the club wanted to acknowledge the services of two very special and important people to Cregagh Cricket Club, namely Ian Kerr and Stuart Catterson.  A special collection of photographs were collated for Ian showing his service down the years and a specially commissioned water painting effect photograph was presented to Stuart Catterson.

At which time the chairman handed over to Thompson Dawson for his special review and short presentation in relation to our successful tour to Croatia.  (Still unbeaten in Europe).  In addition to this the most eagerly awaited trophy, namely the canard dore`. 

This year a low number would win this prestigious trophy, clearly the Cregagh batsman have upped their game.  In fact, this year 2 ducks was enough to win the trophy, (will Bob's record ever be beaten, 12 just in case you had forgotten) however, one person had managed to secure himself a 'European duck' and as we all know the away goals rule in Europe it was decided that this duck counted as double.  So step forward Craig Copeland (aka Justin Beiber) to accept your award.  Along with his pink cap which was decided that he could keep.  Well done mate.

Copey found a bird to go home with
But Thompson wasn't finished here, for the first time ever we had a comfort break in the presentation ceremony in order to set up the DVD player!  Step forward Davie Mac in the role of Steven Speilberg as he had put together a short film/recruitment DVD charting our exploits on tour.  Needless to say the MAGNIFICENT SEVEN finally made an appearance!!!

Rock the boat
And as the night drew to a conclusion (and what a conclusion) it meant we were free, to have a drink, have a laugh with your mates who you play cricket with during the summer, recall all our glorious wins and defeats, go on a huge recruitment drive for Portugal!, laugh at Copey chatting up our wives, suggest to the riddler that the 4 week drink ban was a bad idea and ask the DJ for one more song to revive our memories of a wonderful tour and a great night. 

Well done to our winners, our special award winners, the WAGS (of course, best in the NCU) and all our committee men who punch in the hours to make our wee club the best in the NCU!

Cregagh CC needs you in Portugal, European Skipper on the recruitment drive
Hey mate, any Prodigy?

Monday, 26 September 2011

Cricket Club AGM Change of date

Please note the AGM will be held at the club on 1st November starting at 7.30 pm sharp.

Good attendance is needed in order to vote on the captains and office bearers for the 2012 season.  Hope to see you there.


Thursday, 15 September 2011

NCU Dinner

Please see below the list of individuals who have advised that they wish to go to the NCU 125th Anniversary Dinner on Saturday 15th October 2011.

1. Matthew Simpson  (Radio, Simpy)
2. Ian Kerr  (Vet)
3. Robert Moore  (Bob, Rab Dog)
4. Stephen Watt  (Greek)
5. Alan Baker  (Bunsy)
6. Graham Watt  (Watty)
7. Philip Thompson  (Scol)
8. Stuart Catterson  (Cat)
9. Neil Adams  (Gerry)
10. Peter Kerr  (Riddler)
11. Davy McCormick  (Dee, Davie Mac)
12. Thompson Dawson  (TD)

Nicknames included in case people didn't recognise their names!

If your plans have changed and you will not be attending or if you wish to be added to the list let me know NOW (Tel: 07979 481206). Unless I hear from you by close of play Saturday 17th September 2011 I will be assuming this list is final.
Guest Speaker at the NCU Dinner
As advised previously the cost of the dinner is £40 and monies are now due. Cheques should be made payable to ‘Cregagh Sports Club’ and placed in an envelope marked for my attention. Envelopes should either be left with the bar staff or posted to myself (55 Loopland Drive, Belfast, BT6 9DW). Payment is required no later than Saturday 24th September 2011.

Cheers, Pip

Friday, 9 September 2011

Annual Dinner and Presentation Night

Due to the high demand for tickets this event is now SOLD OUT!

Thank you to everyone who has bought a ticket in what promises to be a great night.  Please note the night will start at 7.30 PM SHARP!! on Saturday 1st October

Monday, 5 September 2011

Charity Night

This year as a first, the committee decided to hold a function with the aim of making a donation to a local charity. This year due to the untimely death of Dennis McNamara the chosen charity was the Chest Heart and Stroke Foundation. We would like to thank everyone who came along to support us on the night with another excellent turn out. Between the bingo and a game of pitch and toss we were able to make a donation of £350.
Stuart Catterson and Philip Walker present the cheque to NI Chest Heart & Stroke Foundation

We would like to thank Philip Walker, Philip Thompson, Stuart Catterson and Robert Moore for all their hard work in organising the night and also a thank you to all our sponsors who made donations and supplied prizes on the night.  Without your support these nights would not take place. 

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Cregagh 3rd XI V Victoria 3rd XI

In honour of the Ards player Peter Ritchie who tragically lost his life last weekend both teams observe a minutes silence before the start of yesterdays game.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and our colleagues at Ards Cricket Club.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Annual Dinner and Awards Presentation

Our annual dinner will take place on Saturday 1st October starting at 7.30 PM SHARP!!!! at the club and this year the committee wanted to go for a Saturday night.  The food will be provided by the same people we have used for the last number of years who always provides a great meal.  After the dinner will be the awards presentation followed by the ballot and the end of season dancing competition (i.e. the disco).  Cost will be £20 for an adult and £15 if you are in full time education.

If you wish to book a seat please contact Phil Thompson on 07748 354216 or Philip Walker on 07979 481206

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Dads V lads (Men v Boys!)

Its the game everyone has been talking about and finally it is nearly upon us.  Bragging rights for the year are up for grabs with this one. 

Across the homes of East Belfast and the surrounding areas talk across the dinner table has been about one thing and one thing only.  How can I bowl out my aul Da and make him look like a mug!

Bob and Simpy step up their training for the big match

So on Wednesday 24th August at 5.30 all the talking will stop as the first Dads v Lads match will take place.  Not one for the faint hearted.  The lads will be captained by Robert Moore whilst the Dads will be captained by Davie Mac.

Davie heard about the Lads new training regime and thought he would give it a try
Afterwards the junior prize night will take place in what will be the last act of another successful junior cricket season at Cregagh.

So good luck to all the young lads for the prize giving and COME ON YE DADS!!!

Monday, 22 August 2011

NCU 125th Anniversary Dinner

The NCU will be holding a special 125th Anniversary Dinner at the City Hall in Belfast on Saturday 15th October with special guest speaker Michael Vaughan.  Tickets cost £40.

The Club has booked a table of Ten so far and most seats have been taken.  Should you wish to attend please contact Philip Walker on 07979 481206 in order that we can arrange a 2nd table.

Club ties should also be available!!! watch this space!!  Sorry Stuart no Cravats!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Waringstown win Midweek League

The midweek league returned home last night as Cregagh (who originally administrated the midweek league and brought about its formation within the NCU) hosted the midweek league final between Waringstown and Muckamore.
Waringstown won the toss and elected to bat setting Muckamore a total of 107 to win the game with Beattie of Waringstown top scoring with 30 runs.  The chase never really got going with Waringstown's opening bowlers of Tahir and Harrison doing the damage and taking the first 6 wickets.  Muckamore were eventually bowled out of 48.
Murray Power making the presenation
Congratulations to Waringstown on their success and commiserations to Muckamore.

Monday, 15 August 2011

NCU Midweek Final Waringstown V Muckamore

On Wednesday 17th August Cregagh CC will be hosting the NCU Midweek final to be contested by Waringstown and Muckamore starting at 6 pm. The bar facilities will be open and complimentary tea and coffee will be provided for supporters of both teams and NCU officials.

Both teams finished top of their respective midweek leagues both winning 7 games apiece and finishing on 28 points, Waringstown's only defeat was at the hands of the Bot! whilst Muckamore's only defeat came against CSNI.

On behalf of Cregagh we would like to wish both teams well for the final, fingers crossed the weather will be kind!  As a footnote, the game will be umpired by two Cregagh men, namely Richard Walker and Philip Thompson.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

U13 Trip to Dublin-Itinerary

The itinerary for the trip is:

meet at Cregagh 8.00am
stop for breakfast outside Dundalk (euros required as the cost is not covered by the club)
30 over game v Leinster CC U13s
BBQ at Leinster CC after the game
depart Dublin 7.00pm
arrive Cregagh around 10.00pm

There will be no cost for the trip.

Bingo Night in aid of Chest Heart & Stroke Foundation

We are proud to announce that this Saturday night (20th August) we will be running a Bingo night.

One of the aims of the committee this year was to nominate a charity each year and run a night with the aim of raising funds for the charity.  This year the committee selected the Chest Heart and Stroke charity which had all been in our minds following the untimely death of Dennis McNamara.

The night will start at 8 pm with tickets costing £5 with great prizes to be won along with a supper and a disco to suit all ages.  So dobbers at the ready, eyes down look in and who knows you could be shouting HOUSE!!

Tickets can be purchased by contacting Philip Thompson on 07748 354216 or Bob Moore on 07754 934566.

Monday, 1 August 2011

U13 Trip to Dublin-Friday 19th August

A fixture has been arranged for the U13 team in Dublin on Friday 19th August.

The game is against Leinster Cricket Club U13s and will be played at their ground, Observatory Lane, in Rathmines. See for more details regarding our opponents.

A coach will leave the club early Friday morning returning later that night. At this stage we do anticipate that there will be any charge for the trip.

We will advise further details regarding meeting times etc in due course. All members of the U13 team are asked to confirm their availability to David as soon as possible.

Any parents wishing to travel should also let David or Stuart know.


These arrived today so the lads should look the part in Dublin!!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

The Final Countdown!

As anticipated dawn did come quickly the next morning, as we struggled to get packed up and across the harbour to the ferry for the 7.00am sailing the lads from the Sir William Hoste team had advised us about. However perhaps they managed to extract some little measure of revenge, as the ferry did not actually leave until 7.30am. Miraculously we were all present and correct although it has to be said, in various states of repair, including a now fully illustrated and foreign speaking version of Bob.

Bye bye Vis
Once we set off, many went up on deck to enjoy the early morning sun and yarn about our past triumphs and those yet to come. Below deck it looked more like a train wreck, with bodies strewn all over the cabin, as people tried to catch up on some sleep.

Amongst them though, was the Vet who was simply having his customary morning nap, before preparing for his late afternoon nap. As he advised all afterwards you don’t get to the ripe old age of 75 by skimping on your rest periods! Disco Dave meantime had a another beer!
Split Skipper welcomes Cregagh Tour Skipper
It was already warm when we boarded the buses in Split to go to Kastela, where we were staying and playing the Sir Oliver C.C. in the grounds of the Hotel Resnik. By 11.30am we had checked in and were on the way to the game, and by 11.40am Watty had lost our room key. The Sir Oliver team were ready and waiting, and on winning the toss, we decided to bat again, and to continue our family theme we opened with another father/son duo, as Pete and the Vet started our innings off.
Exchange of pennant's!
We had reached 36, when Pete, who hadn’t had as much sleep as his Dad and was clearly struggling in the heat, was run out for 13, as he laboured to make his ground. The Bionic Man, Davy Mac was next in, and he set about the Sir Oliver bowling with an array of shots, as the Vet notched up his 3rd European 50 at the other end. At 124 the Vet was bowled and 5 runs later Davy followed him, as he was unluckily LBW to a shooter, just 3 runs short of another well deserved tour 50. The Ross brothers were in next, and Willy started in confident fashion, with a couple of fine boundaries, before the tall Croatian skipper managed to take a great one handed catch leaping on the boundary to rob Willy of a six and his wicket! As we tried to step up the scoring Wayne went for 16, and Greek Steve went for 2, although on the plus side at least on this occasion he wasn’t stumped. It was left to Watty to marshall the tail with unbeaten 35, to carry us to a final competitive total of 237 off our 30 overs.
Watty marshalling the tail
After our lunch and a well earned drink, Pete had to retire to a darkened room, and sunstroke was a definite possibility as Cregagh took the field. This where our logistics staff came into their own, as Rooster and the guys made sure we were constantly given drinks whilst also dispensing sun tan lotion, and without this we would have really struggled, as temperatures soared.

The TANK!!
The opening bowlers were once again the Thompson twins, and we soon knew were in a game as Mate and Antonio managed a few big hits of their own. In a rare change of fortune the Thompsons were wicketless again, for a second day, when the skipper turned to Wayne Ross, as the openers celebrated a century opening stand. The writing was on the wall for Cregagh unless we got a quick breakthrough, and big Wayne obliged in his third over by bowling Mate, just 4 short of his 50. At the other end Antonio was still carving the ball to all parts, and in rare moment of inspiration the skipper threw the ball to the Ginger Ninja for a spell. After going for 13 in his first over, Copey struck twice in his second, removing the number 3 and 4 batsmen, with Greek Steve getting in on the act taking a well judged gully catch, for one of these. So from 104 for 0, the score rapidly went to 105 for 3. In a telling blow with the score on 119, Antonio launched a delivery from big Wayne into the deep towards the long off boundary, where the Vet, lurking like Victor Meldrew, plagued by hayfever, with one eye partially closed, was sheltering from the heat, barely awake, under the trees. Despite his dilapidated state the Vet atoned for his error of the previous day, and took a fine overhead catch to send Antonio back the hutch, and the Vet started dreaming about his next kip. After that the skipper and Willy Ross came on to tie things up in a miserly spell, taking a further 3 wickets between them. Safe in the knowledge the Sir Oliver team now required 63 runs to win off the last over, the skipper brought back Big Phil, against the current couple of 9 year olds now batting, in a vain attempt to buy him a tour wicket! Cregagh finished off their tour in style then with a 51 run win in their last match.
Sir Oliver CC & Cregagh CC
The Sir Oliver team had arranged a meal for us at their club, a short drive away, and with the exception of the Vet, who by this stage required another sleep, we were happy to go along with another good bunch of lads. Although to refuse, apart from being impolite, may have been dangerous, as two of them were air traffic controllers, both on duty the next day when we were due to fly home! We enjoyed another good meal, and made our customary presentations, including our newest addition, the tour duck, to one of Copey’s victims! The Sir Oliver lads then shuttled us back to the Hotel Resnik at various intervals where we were scheduled to have an early night, before our 7.30am pick-up to take us to the airport for our return to the U.K. the next morning.
Think its the Chairmans round?
Things don’t always go as planned on tour however, as arriving back at the hotel in the last car around 9pm, I anticipated a few quiet (and not quite few) beers before retiring. As it happened, in an unprecedented last tour night scene, when things are traditionally a little more low key, when I arrived at the hotel bar, it was clear everyone was there, and as the saying goes, the joint was rocking! The outdoor area of bar overlooked the bay, and in fact ran down to a shingle beach with the waves lapping onto the shore. As the sun finally sank behind Big Phil, it was picture postcard stuff, and the amber nectar was flowing. As the regular clientele shuffled to their rooms, we enquired what time was closing time, only to be informed it would be whenever we left……..Oh dear, a tour organizer’s nightmare! 
Have you any Prodigy??
As we had the bar almost entirely to ourselves, Pete turned DJ, and beers gave way to vodkas, whiskeys and even cocktails, it was mayhem! The Magnificent Seven even made a belated, if somewhat under dressed appearance before the evening finally came to close sometime in the early hours.

Four magical days of cricket and fun had finally ended in “the best last night ever”, which obviously preceeded the roughest next day after!

Fear naught, intrepid tourists however, 2012 planning, has already commenced!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Little ole wine drinker me

As day dawned on day 3 of our trip, it was very much business as usual a few doors down at our favourite breakfast venue. The locals all scattered as we all gathered for a lot of bellowing and a bite to eat, before being collected for the journey back to the vineyard at Plisko Polje around 11.30am. There was just time after breakfast for a supply run to the local supermarket to stock up on some essentials, i.e. some chocolate bars and 10 pack of toilet rolls, all of which we quickly stuck in the fridge for later. This was to last us through that day and night, and that was only for our room! Then the bus of fear was back in town. After Pip informed Oliver that he had children he would very much like to see again, Oliver promised to use at least one hand to steer this time, whilst stroking his dog, Piko. Pip having been suitably reassured was happy to put his blindfold on and got back in the front seat, clutching his toilet roll.

Simpy on the drive
Match day two, this time for a 30 over game, commenced with Cregagh winning the toss and the skipper having no hesitation in deciding to bat. After that it was very much déjà vu, with Simpo and Pete sharing a healthy opening stand that saw them both pass 50, before Simpo was bowled on 53, and Pete was out for 76. This allowed Pip to blast a quickfire 26, before an even quicker 24 ball, 52 not out from Gibby, and an attractive cameo of 17 not out, from the Wattster, saw us complete our allotted overs with 271 on the board. Another tour first, with three Cregagh fifties and very handy total, which the skipper was extremely confident was a winning score, as we paused to replenish our beer levels, and eat a sandwich or two.
Back (l-r) I. Kerr, C. Copeland, T. Dawson (Cpt) P. Kerr, P. Walker, Willy Ross
Front (l-r) R. Moore, M. Thompson, M. Simpson (wk) G. Watt, S. Gibson

Following up on our family theme, the skipper opened the bowling with the Thompson father and son duo. However the Sir William Hoste openers, Stanko “The Wall” Aleksic and Craig Wear, managed to negotiate this tricky opening spell successfully. As Bob and Pip replaced the Thompsons, whilst the required run rate was steadily climbing, Stanko solidly defended at one end, as Craig began to unfurl a few of his sublime range of shots, and the partnership remained intact at the drinks break. Copey and Willy Ross were then introduced into the attack. Willy finally made the breakthrough, in his first over, bowling Stanko for a resolute 40. However this was the cue for Craig to go on the attack, and it became abundantly clear how fortunate we were get him out so cheaply the previous day, as he pillaged 26 of Willy’s next over.

The required run rate was still over 14 an over, but with Craig at the crease, it was now dropping rapidly and all things were possible. It became a matter of keeping the other batsman in check and on strike now. Copey helped slow the rate by taking 2 wickets, including the chairman Oliver Roki, who had opened up with 2 boundaries and was looking dangerous at the time. Craig was still averaging 2 sixes every over he faced, and heading for his hundred when the Vet uncharacteristically dropped him in the bushes in the deep. It was looking slightly ominous for Cregagh at this stage, as Craig’s run rampage continued. However in the end despite his magnificent undefeated innings of 125, Craig could not get enough of the strike and the Vis team finished 25 runs short of their target. The tour skipper finally was able to breathe a sigh of relief and it was back to Oliver’s patio for a few more well earned beers and lot more banter.

Craig gets his hands on a Cregagh Cap!
Skippers Union

We were kindly invited back later that evening to have a meal and sample some of Oliver’s fine wines, and so were driven back into Vis to shower and change before being collected and returned a couple of hours later. Everyone enjoyed the slow cooked lamb stew, Oliver provided, however some enjoyed his wine even more possibly, naming no names, Bob. As is customary, we presented our club plaque, (to be given pride of place at Olivers’s restaurant beside the MCC plaque), the man of the match trophy, (this time to the young wicketkeeper with the durable head), and our bottle of Bushmills (as revenge for the grappa Oliver plied us with as we arrived). Whilst Craig Wear was presented with what he always wanted…..a coveted Cregagh cap. Oliver then presented us with Vis Tee-shirts, (as modelled by Rory McGrath on T.V.) and some of his wine. We thanked Oliver for all the arrangements, including accommodation, transport and of course, food and drink, he had made for us during our memorable visit to Vis. Then it was time to bid farewell to Oliver and the Vis islanders, as we had a ferry to catch early the next morning to take us to Split, to play our third game against the Sir Oliver C.C. on the mainland.
Vis Wicketkeeper
Back in Vis there was just time to set alarm clocks and get a few hours rest, as we had been advised the ferry was leaving at 7am and not 7.30am, as we had thought. The youngsters meantime, much as they do at home, had decided to go back to Davy Mac’s place. The night was drawing to a close, and so were the youngsters! Apparently they were keen to do some colouring in, unfortunately in the absence of colouring books, they used Bob, as we were all able to read him the next day!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Good Morning Sunshine (Part 2)

Disappointment was one word to describe the opening of day two for the Tour Skipper, who had went to bed looking forward to catching up on some well earned rest, after the previous arduous day of travel and stress.

However the sight of Big Scolari, in his birthday suit, at the end of his bed early that morning, clutching only the face cloth the apartment offered as a bath towel, to hide his ample charms, on his way to the shower in the corner of the skipper’s room, was a less than ideal start. Then Phil decreed that after he was finished, everyone in our room would be accompanying him to breakfast!

Never mind, a leisurely stroll along the harbour front, to breakfast, a few doors down from our apartment, was an ideal tonic. Most of the squad were already there, having chased away any of the usual clientele from yachting fraternity, who probably would have prefered a quieter breakfast experience. Mark was tucking into the ham and egg omelette he had ordered, with some relish, before someone enquired what he anticipated an omelette without the egg would be like, and so momentarily Copey was deprived of the pink cap.

Cat finally slips up!!
As breakfast was finishing the call came through from Oliver Roki to say the Vis team would be a little short of bodies for the game at 4, and could we lend them a few, so one of the skipper’s problems was solved at a stroke, everyone would play today. All that remained was to decide how best to spend the afternoon, until we were to be picked up at 3.30pm.

Having been told there was a beach on the far side of the harbour, where we could see a few people swimming, that seemed to be our best option. Our old favourite, “a day at the beach” beckoned, trunks were donned, towels acquired and we set off, only to find our beach had more stones than a quarry. Nevertheless the water looked inviting, as the temperature rose and many of the boys ventured in, at this stage blissfully unaware of the dangers that lurked in the depths. Then sea urchins began to claim their victims, as Davy Mac, Pete and Greek Steve, all managed to step or lean on one, resulting in them collecting a number of hedgehog-like spikes. Cue Dr. Rooster with his medical kit to sooth the wounded warriors, although his pronouncement that he had a previous experience of this happening, and the victim had actually died was not so encouraging!

Cregagh 20/20 Team
Oliver was good as his word and arrived at 3.30pm in his recently repaired vintage bus, which proved not to be quite as scary as its driver. He then drove, in the loosest sense of the word, us to the ground at his vineyard in the hills behind Vis town. The journey was thankfully short and we arrived overlooking the small ground prepared in a field, beside an old World War 2 airstrip. Whilst the ground looked pretty from afar, sliding on it proved to be as recommendable as sitting on a sea urchin. Pete found this out later when he tried it out saving a boundary, but losing a shin full of skin, the coarse vineyard grass being a little different from the lush Gibson Park Oval version.

Vis answer to Lords
The Cregagh volunteers for the Sir William Hoste team were, Big Phil, Copey, Pip and Cat, and the match got underway with the hosts batting. Craig Wear and Oliver Roki were the openers for the Vis team, whilst opening the bowling for Cregagh were the Ross brothers, a family theme which was to carry on throughout the tour. Vis opened brightly with Craig and Oliver getting off to a good start, before Willy had Craig smartly taken behind by Watty, the gloveman for the day. What a wicket that was, however we would not know that until the following day! Willy followed that up with Copey’s wicket next ball, again taken by Watty behind the stumps, and he was on for our first ever tour hat-trick. However Ben Heywood, in at number four, just managed to negotiate Willy’s next ball.

Vis team with guests!
After 3 overs each in the heat, the skipper rotated his bowlers. Without the option of Cregagh’s leading spin bowler, or is it 2nd spin bowler, Davy, it was more pace, as Bob replaced Wayne, and then in a surprise move, the skipper asked Matthew Simpson to replace Willy. So far we had used 4 debutant bowlers and none of them was letting us down, as Bob ended Oliver Roki’s stay at the crease and Simpo also notched up 2 tour wickets. The skipper then took out Rob, our host from the previous evening, before he also removed Cat, comprehensively bowling the big hitting dangerman of the lower order.

Pip gave the Vis innings a boost with some lusty blows, before with just 3 balls left Scolari was sent out to the crease to face Davy Mac, in duel to decide who would enjoy the evening more, if at all!

STRIKE ONE, Davy, a swing and a miss from the big man,.

BALL TWO, a little shorter and quicker, and despatched, as Phil larruped it to the boundary, with the fielders all in catching positions…….honours even now.

FINAL BALL, this time a sharp lifter, and guided/edged past Gibby’s ear, as he stood at slip, for another boundary, 2-1 to Phil, so it was going to be earplugs all round tonight now!

131 to chase, after a medicinal beer of course. We opened with Pete and Simpo who put on a fine opening stand of 70, before Copey caught Pete off Craig Wear for 30. Simpo went on to post his 50 and retired to allow Mark Thompson, with a quickfire 33 and Gibby, with a stylish 11 to take us to our target in 13 overs and a 20/20 win. More beers and a presentation to our hosts, the Sir William Hoste team, followed, before Oliver or was it his dog, Piko, drove us back to Vis for the evening.

Phil bowled well the day lads didnt he?
A leisurely (if you weren’t sitting near Phil) meal followed, before we hit the bar on the harbour for just the one nightcap, eagerly anticipating the longer game tomorrow.
Right TD we are off to bed, honest!