Robert McKinley makes move to Instonians

Robert McKinley
Robert McKinley

Instonians have pulled off a major coup with the signing of Robert McKinley from Ballymena.

The 22-year-old fast bowler, who is a third year student at Loughborough College in England, moves to the 2014 Premier League winners after five seasons at Eaton Park.

After moving from Larne, McKinley firmly established himself as a top-flight cricketer, but his appearances have been severely limited over the last couple of seasons.

The Northern Knights man played just six matches for the Ballymena in 2014 and 2015 and his absence was perhaps instrumental in the Eaton Park club falling through the relegation trapdoor last summer.

It has been a winter of significant movement at Shaw’s Bridge. Inst announced the signing of crack South African bowler Juan Theron in the autumn but have lost left-arm spinner Zach Rushe to CIYMS.

Inst have also appointed Gavin Rogers as first team coach and coincidentally, Rogers and veteran seamer Eugene Moleon are the coaching team with the Northern Knights.

It is unclear how much Inst will see of last year’s captain Neil Russell, who is living in England after taking up a post as general manager of the Manchester Storm ice hockey team.

In a statement Instonians said: “Instonians are delighted to announce that Robert McKinley has joined the club from Ballymena Cricket Club. Robert (22) as well as Ballymena has played for all the Ireland underage groups from under-13s up to under-19s and last year played for the Northern Knights. He attends Loughborough College and plays for the university team. Robert is a fast bowler who can also bat.”