Neil Rock hoping to round off his stay in style with T20 glory

Neil Rock is hoping he can round off his short stay at Carrickfergus by helping the club achieve LVS Twenty20 Cup glory.

Saturday, 5th June 2021, 1:00 pm

The Northern Knights wicketkeeper-batsman plays his club cricket for Leinster side Rush - where he is captain - but with their season not getting underway until Monday, it has allowed Rock the chance to turn out for the Middle Road outfit.

He made his debut in a five-run victory over CIYMS last Friday night before hitting 96 from 52 balls in a narrow eight-run loss to Instonians the following day.

Michael Gilmour’s side had already secured their spot in the semi-finals and ended the round robin phase sitting in second to set up a home clash with Lisburn this afternoon.

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Carrickfergus’ Neil Rock

The 20-year-old could have a big say in his final weekend and he was happy to make an early contribution at his temporary base.

“Ideally we would have got another win after a good win on Friday,” he said.

“Personally it was nice to get some time in the middle, which I haven’t done too much yet this season.

“The first two games have been really enjoyable.

“The standard of cricket across both games was extremely high.

“We got 190-odd against CIYMS and they almost chased it and then on Saturday we were chasing and almost got it.

“Hopefully we can win the semi-final and get into the final. It would be great to knock two off and win a trophy with a new club in the second week.

“Apparently there will be a big crowd out on Saturday so hopefully it will be a good day and we can make it into a final.”

Due to his presence in the Knights and Ireland Wolves set-up, Rock arrived at Carrick with high expectations but says the nature of Twenty20 cricket has helped him settle in right away.

“I spoke to Johnty (Simon Johnston) initially about playing club cricket up here for a few weeks before our season started,” he added.

“I then spoke to Eagy (Ryan Eagleson) and he sorted it out from there.

“Initially you do (feel pressure), but I try to just take that away.

“Twenty20 cricket forces your hand a bit and makes you play in a certain way.

“They’ve been great with me. I knew a few of the lads already like Eagy and Jeremy Lawlor and the rest have been very welcoming.”

The Knights will resume their season later this month after starting their Inter-Provincial season with one win from three matches.

They were impressive in victory against Leinster Lightning and Rock is hoping they’ll be able to reproduce more of that form when they return to action.

“It probably hasn’t gone to plan,” he said.

“We couldn’t capitalise on our win against the Lightning and didn’t manage to put a string of performances together.

“The T20 starts soon so hopefully we can start well in that.”

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