This summer the opportunity for young male and female cricketers in the borough increased as a result of the continued collaboration between Templepatrick Cricket Club, Cliftonville Cricket Club, Newtownabbey Borough Council and the University of Ulster at Jordanstown.
There were three main schemes which catered for under-14 boys, under-11 boys and under-15 girls, with all the sessions taking place at Templepatrick Cricket Club’s facilities at the Cloughan in Ballyclare. Each group had sessions with qualified coaches throughout the summer and culminated in matches to represent Newtownabbey against opposing teams.
The girls’ under-15 team played against Dundalk and were successful in a very tight game, emerging victorious by four runs.
The under-14 boys’ team were split into A and B teams. The A team enjoyed a comprehensive home win against Coleraine under-14s, while the B team were pipped at the post by CSNI. The under-11s also played against their Coleraine counterparts at the University of Ulster and were rewarded with a solid victory.
Templepatrick Cricket Club’s Development Officer, Andy McCrea commented: “It’s great that all four organisations were working together to provide excellent facilities, coaching and resources for both young male and female cricketers in the Newtownabbey area. This combined effort is doing a great job in further promoting cricket in the local community as well as giving young cricketers a stepping stone from club cricket on to possible representative cricket. We hope this venture continues to flourish as cricket in the area goes from strength to strength. I’d like to thank the opposition for providing good competition, and I’d like to thank Newtownabbey Borough Council for their support.”
Andy McCullough, from Cliftonville Cricket Club, added: “I echo Andy’s comments regarding the commitment and huge improvement shown by all the boys and girls and look forward to coaching and developing cricketing opportunities further during the winter months.”
Deputy Mayor of Newtownabbey, Alderman Pat McCudden attended the matches and congratulated the players, coaches and administrators who supported what he called and “innovative venture”.
“The facilities and skills have been impressive,” he added.