Friday, 31 August 2012

Groundhog Day Part 3

Another bright sunny morning greeted the Cregagh tourists, as Bobbie throttled down for re-entry into the waking world. In Mission Control headquarters, Big Phil was sorting through his wardrobe, helpfully laid out on the table in the living room, just above the heavily depressed sofa bed that was his nocturnal abode, before the influx of visitors arrived through the patio door, to enquire about his health, or just to use the now traditional short cut to the other side of the building. It was Day 3 for Victor Chandler too, as the usual pilgrimage for re-fueling down in the Marina began before we prepared for the game. Meanwhile Pinky’s favourite waitress had taken the day off, fearful of his return and her having to convey cartloads of rejected food to her temperamental and disgruntled chef. I wonder if Gordon Ramsay ever had dealings with our hero, it may just explain the short fuse?

With the bus arriving to take us back to Brown’s around 12noon, there was just time for a shopping trip to acquire all the essentials necessary for a day of sport in the sun. Led by the shopper’s shopper, Cregagh’s answer to Dale Winton, Big Phil, we watched as he quickly filled his basket with our requirements, lots of water, some chocolate, (lots of) deodorant, (obligatory) toilet rolls and a large water pistol. Fully equipped and ready for all eventualities we boarded the bus clutching the water pistol, but having left the water and deodorant on the kitchen table! Some of our shoppers were more single minded though, as Disco’s carry out was bigger than the tour kit-bag. Already three men down after CJ and Pete’s injuries, and Bobbie with a leg injury that looked like he had a small lighthouse growing out of it, discussions were still ongoing as to the make-up of the team to face the might of Barringtons C.C. Fortunately this time when we arrived they were now aware of what cricket was, and they showed us to our dressing room to await the opposition turning up.

It proved to be a long wait in the end. Disappointingly after hanging around about an hour the Barrington’s South African skipper, Ralph had accumulated a team totalling 3 men! In true Cregagh fashion we made the most of things though and Gibby, the Vet, Bob, Davy Mac and TD joined the Barringtoners, against a Cregagh squad skippered by Simpo. Barringtons batted first, with Gibby and Ian scoring 29 and 12 respectively, before the other Barrington South African tonked a useful 17, as the opening Cregagh bowlers of Bob and Phil were “milked”, none more so than Phil with a 4 over spell of 0 for 29! The Barrington squad posted 127 of their 20 overs, with Davy Mac bashing a late 18, whilst Copey was the pick of the Cregagh bowlers with 3 for 15, although Pip took 1 for 3 in 2 economical overs before retiring to the shade, Bob 1 for 20 and Simpo “Larwood” took 1 for 17 in his own inimitable (dictionary definition: incapable of being copied) style. Entertainingly the Watt twins also bowled an over each, eventually, before being timed out! Balls bowled on the cut strip were as rare as spare chips on a Scolari dinner plate!

A useful total then, time for Cregagh to show their metal. Clearly worried, Simpo sent in the pinch hitters, Greek and Bob to open. Gibby and TD opened the bowling for Barringtons, Gibby claiming 1 for 26 and TD a sweat soaked 0 for 6 in their 3 over bursts. However despite Ralph turning to his South African compatriot for his slow bowling option, the pinch hitters had done the business, with Bob cracking 22 and Greek 33, before Davy Mac and the Vet respectively ended their stay. Runs were hard to come by during the middle period with Davy Mac, the Vet and Barringtons skipper, Ralph keeping the bowling tight. So with Simpo and Copey at the crease, Cregagh still needed 12 runs to win of the last over. High drama to the end. Ralph then made a fatal mistake, (in my humble opinion, which do not necessarily reflect the views of the entire tour party), not bringing back his miserly sweat soaked and now rested opening bowler, but instead decided to take the responsibility himself. Optimistic! 5 balls later it was all over, as Simpo hit him for 4 consecutive 2’s before carting him for 4 to finish on 44, with Copey unbeaten on 11 at the other end. Game, set and match Cregagh, after Ralph’s schoolboy error!

Naturally we tarried for a few swift ones and to shoot the breeze with Ralph and his 2 man team, before returning to the delights of the Algardia apartments, for some naked balcony planking, as you do (if you are in the first flush of youth and all your body parts are in the right places, that is)! On that evening we opted to dine in groups rather than en masse, to save time and trouble, however unfortunately being in Pinky’s group, dinner was a little more protracted, as he constantly checked his steak against a helpful colour chart he carries everwhere with him to ensure perfect colouring and texture, before allowing us to eat! And then on to............Figos, where else? Well for the veteran tourists anyway, whilst the younger more energetic members of the party sought out karaoke bars, or somewhere they could get a dance.

One full day to go now, would the Kawasaki ever run out fuel, could Pinky find the perfect meal, who made a mess on Big Phil’s bed, do the Inbetweeners have enough clothes (as one of them always seems to be naked) and would Victor Chandler be back tomorrow? All would be revealed, no doubt, before the next best last night ever.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Junior presentation award night

Last night the junior section held its end of season award ceremony, the members of the committee would once again like to thank all the coaches, players and parents for their commitment over the summer months which really wasn't easy this year with the weather, without this commitment from all of you we wouldn't have one of the best youth sections in the NCU. 

Also a huge thank you goes to David McCormick for the time he personally invests in the youth and the youth sponsors Whitehouse Engineering and Kerr Consulting.

The winners on the night were as follows;

Stuart Nelson winner of the Stuart McCormick Youth Cricketer of the Year Award

Stuart Nelson Under 13 batsman of the year

Matthew Fleetham Under 13 Bowler of the year

Lewis Cunningham Under 13 Fielder of the year

Lewis also received a special award for taking 6 wickets for 13 runs against CSNI

James Hume under 13 all rounder of the year

Adam McCormick Under 15 bowler of the year

Adam also received a special award for taking 5 wickets for 10 runs against CSNI

Andrew Welsh under 15 fielder of the year

Stuart McClune under 15 fielder of the year

Mark Johnston Under 15 batsman of the year

Matthew Fleetham receiving his special award for taking 5 wickets for 15 runs against Lurgan

Andrew Nelson under 11 batsman of the year

Andrew Nelson Under 11 All rounder of the year

Alastair Watt and Daniel Henry receive special cricket medals for bravery for using the cage of death!!!!!

Robert Moore Under 13 coach telling the lads to use their brain like he does!!!!
A great night was rounded off by our director of youth coaching David McCormick summarising the season with a number of highlights amongst those being Mark Johnston, Stuart Nelson and James Hume representing the NCU with Stuart and James being called up to the Ireland training squad.

Club professional Rodney Ontong also praised the youth section and commented on how impressed he was with the overall set up and structure within the club and how much he had enjoyed coaching the lads.

Philip Thompson club chairman then finished with saying a few words to thank everyone for their hard work during the season.  Then led the charge to the jellies!!!!

See you all next year lads and keep an eye out on the website for details on the indoor nets programme.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Super Sunday Cricket Style!

This Sunday will see a new first as we attempt to host two home games in one day at Gibson Park!!

At 11.30 in the morning the 3rd XI and current league champions will play their final game against CSNI 6ths in a 20 over game.

Following this the 2nd XI will face Armagh 2nd XI in a 20 over game starting at 2.30 pm.  In addition to this the club will be opening the bar to televise the football games on sky.

So why not come down see the 3rds aim to finish their league campaign unbeaten and watch the 2nd XI in what should be a tight game against Armagh before retiring to the bar for a well earned cold one!!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Ireland's Call!!

Following on from the good news regarding our youth section Stuart Nelson and James Hume have now been invited into the Ireland Under 13 training squad that is meeting up next week at Bready CC.

Once again well done lads for all your hard work over the last number of seasons.  Also congratulations to their coach David McCormick who has invested a lot of his time and energy into our youth system which is now reaping the benefits.

Well done to all involved and good luck lads.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

More recognition for our young stars.

The quality of our youth cricket section has again been recognised by the selection of three players in the Belfast Under 14s side to tour Scotland.

James Hume, Mark Johnston and Stuart Nelson left on Monday 13th August and travelled to Ayr CC for games against Glasgow and Edinburgh.

James and Stuart were part of this seasons NCU 13 Inter-provincial side while Mark played in 2011.

Everyone at the club is delighted at the news and wishes all three boys the best of luck. Their selection is great testimony to the work of the youth coaches over the past number of years particularly David McCormick who has been with all three since their U11 days.

The photograph below shows all three at Ayr CC prior to the start of the game against Glasgow on Monday in which they all played. Belfast U14s won by 3 wickets.
James Hume, Mark Johnston and Stuart Nelson (L-R)

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Congratulations and good luck Trevor / Neil / Gerry

There may be three names but its only one person!

Gerry on his way to his first 50 for Cregagh CC
Well done to Neil on his selection for the Ulster Schools tour to Durham where they will face West Scotland Academy and Northern Universities.

Good luck mate.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Take your pick

Some photos from our Take your pick night where Wendy Thompson won the main prize of a 19" LED TV and DVD combo.  The portable DVD Player went to Joanne Crockard (TD's neighbour) and Leon won the £50 cash prize. 

Other winners included Karen Cunningham winning a nights stay at a local hotel, Philip Walker won a digital camera and Neil Adams won a Co-Op food hamper worth £40 in cash!!!!! and Pamela Nelson who was the lucky winner of a case of wine.  Other prizes included a Digital Radio, I-Pod dock and clock radio, micro music centre, digital camcorder but I cant remember who won what!!!

Of course with Take your pick you will have some booby prizes, Laura Watt claimed a bottle of water, Graeme Hassard won a hard boiled egg, Ian Kerr won the sanitation travel kit, Bronagh won mango lip gloss and Mark Nelson walked away with a bottle of Swedish Ketchup!!!

Lets not forget the Cattersons who walked away with a cool £19.10 in cold hard cash!!!  It appears you can buy an Everton fan after all.

Monday, 6 August 2012

3rd XI League Winners

Well done to David McCormick skipper of the 3rd XI in winning NCU League Junior 9 still undefeated and now league champions following their win away to Lisburn 4ths last Thursday night.

CJ and the Bear

As Day one moved into Night one, it was clear all was not well with everyone, as one wing of our apartment complex appeared to harbour a motorbike test bed, and sleep was in short supply in that corner. As it transpired after a morning conversation with Craig Johnston, (hitherto and forevermore to be known as C.J.), there were no motorbikes other than Bobby “Kawasaki” Fleetham, who himself, had enjoyed a good night’s sleep.

The morning and the afternoon was time for relaxation and acclimatization, as we were not due to play our 18/18 practice match , until around 5pm. Most took the opportunity to refuel in the marina, enjoying the delights of a Big Breakfast. All enjoyed something, all except Pinky that is, as Neil indulged in his favourite hobby of returning his food, for which, at home apparently he has quite a reputation! He returned his toast because it had butter on it, upon receiving the new batch of butterless toast, he then requested jam, and by the time the poor waitress had returned with the jam, he had polished off the toast.....what a dream customer. By this stage Lawnmower man was in overdrive and describing all kinds of horticultural equipment to his one avid and enthusiastic listener, in Stuart Catterson, as by this stage their first night roommate, Pip, had already sought sanctuary elsewhere, after having a series of nightmares about tungsten 14 bladed, 4 stroke rotor mowers.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, as the saying goes, some of the party were enjoying an afternoon of fun and frolics, around the secluded pool, which they had to themselves, or so they thought. That is until the woman who attended to the small bar adjacent to the pool complained to the tour skipper the next day on behalf of her 80 year old mother, who was not a fan of the Cregagh synchronised nude aerobics performed by the more youthful members of our party.........but then again, who is? One more time now, let’s all do the Postman Pat stretch.

Thankfully the bus arrived promptly to take us to Brown’s Sports and Leisure Complex, to prevent any further unfortunate occurrences. We were ushered to our spacious changing rooms, after a slight delay when they found someone who knew what cricket was. Then the Virgins Challenge was on, that is 2 Cregagh teams, each captained by a virgin tourist lining up to play each other in a new format, of 18/18. Bobby Fleetham skippered one side, whilst a sleep deprived C.J. captained the other. Bobby’s side comprised, Peter, Simpo, Aaron, Copey, Pinky, Marty Ross, Greek Steve and Phil, whilst C.J. had, Pip, Watty, Davy Mac, Gibby, the Vet, Bob, TD and Uncle Billy. After the toss Bobby’s team batted first, and with a fine opening stand between Pete and Simpo as the mainstay, with useful runs by Aaron and Copey, they posted a very competitive 125. For C.J’s side Gibby was the surprise pick of the bowlers terrorising the tail, with figures of 3 for 9 in two overs, but C.J. himself had (ripped his tights again), suffered a reoccurrence of hamstring injury and was now labouring like a stricken wildebeest. However for his squad, Pip and Watty opened, with Pip quickly reducing the arrears, batting like a man, who has just been told the bar is closing soon, hit a series of 4’s and 6’s, before the bar. Watty, Davy Mac (courtesy of a generously dropped catch by his bedmate), and Gibby, then brought the target in range, before Bob and the Vet took C.J.’s team home with 1.3 overs to spare. The pick of their bowling attack as Matthew “Harold Larwood” Simpson, who bowled his 3 overs for a miserly 13 runs and no beamers.

From there, it was back to our apartments for some manly grooming, in the correct sense of the word, before heading back to the Marina for some fine dining, or in Pinky’s case, order on a sale or return basis. This was swiftly followed by an evening in Figo’s revelling in our new found “regulars” status. We were afforded this accolade after the first night, when the bar, obviously used to serving a few glasses of wine to locals and a couple of beverages to the yachtsmen, found themselves awash with orders for pints of Sagres, and a Babycham for C.J., all helping to fund Luis’s regular orders for haircare products. The evening was not without incident however, as the first team skipper was dramatically stricken by a hamstring injury, whilst reaching for his pint, and ruled himself out of the next day’s cricketing encounter. So as Day Two drew to a close, with the cleaners in Figo’s starting hoover round us, the elder statesmen of the party made a tactical withdrawal, whilst the Inbetweeners and a few other like minded souls, who were allergic to sleep, sought out further entertainment venues still open to prolong their evening. That night, as the lucky ones dropped off to sleep, somewhere in the recesses of the apartment building, someone had once again kick-started Bobby Fleetham and the North West 200 got another re-run.