Last Saturday cricket was all but wiped out in the NCU. For me though there was a certain irony in the fact that of the two games that did survive the onslaught one was played on a ground that last saw cricket 150 years ago.
Monaghan played their first home game at St. McCartans College and the visitors Larne went home with the points. Larne skipper Chris Dempsey also had the distinction of becoming the first to get lost on his way to the ground; he probably won’t be the last:
“Most went through Armagh; we came through Newry, missed the turn and arrived about 5 minutes late. Having said that it was a great day, the ground looked really well and obviously a lot of effort had gone in to the preparation, plus a couple of the lads even got sunburnt!
Hospitality was excellent, I would say the wicket was bowler friendly and it was clear they had worked on fielding drills as well.”
Across in Armagh it was a local derby against Laurelvale and visiting skipper Davy Sinton was delighted with a 5 wicket victory:
“We have not really fired this year and decide to change things around. Stuart McClelland has been batting down the order and despite putting a lot of work in he has not been getting the return.
“I decided to bat him at three and glad to say he justified my faith with a great knock, top scoring with 76.”
Darryl Henry also set the tempo at the outset with 44 and I thought we pretty much controlled it from a batting perspective.”
Earlier in the day Armagh had posted what looked a competitive 188 with Colin Russell 35 and Michael Villiers 34 the main contributors.