Weather brings a halt to play in the NCU

Rain stopped play this weekend
Rain stopped play this weekend

Weather is the story once again as all the matches were called off this weekend due to the heavy rain.

Potentially one of the most exciting weekends of cricket in the NCU this season was completely wiped out by the rain.

We have an expectation that July will be warm and sunny however, looking at a weather app on Saturday morning it revealed that in 19 of the last 30 years it rained in Waringstown, so in reality it was just a normal day.

Saturday was schedeuled as Finals Day for the Lagan Valley Steels T20 competition and on Sunday it was three quarterfinals of the Irish Senior Cup in the NCU area and the first ODI of the 5 match series between Ireland and Afghanistan at Stormont.

The T20 had semi-finals planned at Wallace Park and The Lawn with the final at Waringstown in the afternoon. Early morning rain ruined any chance for play in both semi-finals, leaving us a frustrating afternoon as the sun finally made an appearance.

The NCU Emergency Committee met and agreed the semi-finalists can make their own arrangements to play the matches with the proviso that the original venues stood and also that there can be two additional attempts to obtain a result including.

The final will take place on Friday 12 August at Waringstown with a reserve date of Sunday 12 August.

Both Carrickfergus and North Down were unhappy that as group winners in the earlier stages of the competition that they were not rewarded with home ties in the rescheduled matches.

The NCU have stood by the originally selected venues as these were awarded to both Lisburn and Waringstown before the competition commenced, irrespective of who made the semi-finals and where they finished in the group.

Waringstown made an early call that there would be no play at The Lawn on Sunday morning as despite a dry night heavy rain was falling from around 9am.

Meanwhile in Belfast both CIYMS and Instonians made the attempt to host YMCA and Phoenix respectively, both though were ultimately doomed to end in failure. At Belmont YMCA managed to bat for a total of 7 balls before rain wiped the game out.

The only game completed was in Dublin where Merrion overpowered a severely understrength Derriaghy side in less than 2 hours. The visitors could only muster 54 and Merrion wasted no time in cruising to a 10 wicket victory.

Tom Staunton was pick of the Merrion bowlers taking 3 for 10.

At Stormont is was a complete disappointment for spectators including numbers of Afghanistan fans who had travelled across for the weekend from England to support the visitors. The game did not even get as far as a toss taking place

Despite the herculean attempts of groundsman Philip McCormick and his team; a number of showers, some torrential lead to William Porterfield and his opposite number Mohamad Asghar Stanikzai shaking hands shortly after lunch.

The series continues on Tuesday 12 July at Stormont with play scheduled to commence at 10.45am.