Templepatrick Cricket Club’s First XI’s season gets under way this weekend with the seniors involved in league and cup fixtures.
On Saturday Richard Greer’s lads will be off to Holywood for a Senior Challenge Cup first round tie, and this will be followed by the opening Senior League Section 1 fixture of the season when former Premier League side, Lurgan, will be visitors to The Cloughan on Bank Holiday Monday.
Club president, Arthur Bowron, and Sam Reynolds have been working all hours recently to have the grounds in superb condition, so all connected with the club will be hoping the players will respond by scoring lots of runs in the months ahead.
Andy McCrea is one of the top coaches in Ireland and he has inspired quite a few members to become involved, so that each of the three youth teams have two qualified coaches in charge.
On Monday evenings Mark Thompson and Colin Latham look after the Under-13s; on Thursdays Robert Smith and Peter Shepherd are in charge of the Under-15s. On Wednesdays McCrea and Arthur Campbell will have their work cut out with the Under-11s which tends to be the largest group.
“The Under-11s cater for boys and girls from Primary 1 to Primary 7,” said McCrea. “They use a softer ball and there will be teams competing in the popular Kwik Cricket competition in June.”
A ladies’ section has been formed, and they are planning to have a couple of friendlies later in the season. Any ladies who would like to be involved in cricket, experienced or novice, should contact Andy McCrea on 07811737047.
The only club side in action at the weekend was the 2nd XI who romped to a fine six-wickets win against Ballymena II at The Cloughan.
Templepatrick’s bowlers restricted the Braid lads to 104 in 33 overs. BRA pupil Ross Bryans was tops in the bowling department with three wickets, including both openers. Leg-spinner Michael Stewart also took three wickets, while Peter Shepherd and Owen Hutchinson weighed in with two and one respectively.
Following an excellent opening stand of 73 between James Jackson (51) and Bryans (23) the hosts lost four wickets, but David McWilliams and Aaron Coleman saw them home safely on 105 for four.
On Saturday the club’s new overseas player, Bob Homani, will be hoping that he will continue to impress in Holywood while the 2nd XI welcome Academy II. On Monday the Firsts welcome Lurgan.