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Cregagh 2012 Tour

Cregagh CC

This year’s tour saw Cregagh CC take its largest party to date of 24 members to Vilamoura in Portugal to play against a combined Barrington CC and Carvoeiro XI.

Due to the financial difficulties experienced by the Barrington Club the cricket was saved by Browns Sports Complex, situated just outside Vilamoura, kindly offering the use of their artificial wicket, and over the next 2 days this would be our sporting base.

On the Saturday we enjoyed a training session followed by a 20/20 match between ourselves.  Played in 30 degree heat and without a cloud in the sky it certainly helped us to acclimatise to the hot conditions, slightly different to what we usually experience back in Belfast.

On Sunday we then played the combined Portuguese team in a 30 over match starting at 2 pm.  After winning the toss tour captain Thompson Dawson elected to bat and to set our hosts a total.  To that end Cregagh set a total of 171 off 30 overs.  The runs being shared around the team with, Aaron Kerr and Stephen Gibson both hitting their 30’s before retiring, after which Stephen Watt and Matthew Simpson each scored 23.

In reply the hosts got off to a poor start mainly down to the excellent opening bowling partnership of Aaron Kerr and Robert Moore, with 1 for 3 and 1 for 7 respectively, of their 3 over opening bursts, but after some staunch middle order resistance the oldest living bowling attack in Europe finished the job, with skipper Thompson Dawson taking with 3 for 12, and the ageless Ian Kerr with 4 for 5.

The two days where then brought to a close with a superb BBQ in the main leisure complex and of course a few well deserved cold beers with our hosts along with our own awards presentation that we like to make to our hosts when Cregagh is in town.

Once again we would like to put on record our sincere thanks and gratitude to Alan Brown for the use of his wonderful facility, a facility that was the Russian National Football teams base during the EURO 2004 campaign the facility is also used by Ulster Rugby before their Heineken Cup Final and by a whole host of English Premiership clubs and Scottish Premier clubs for pre season training.

Following our visit we now understand that they will look to entertain further touring cricket teams and we certainly would recommend their facility to any touring side.

Once again we would like to thank the NCU for accommodating our request for a fixture free weekend to allow our annual tour.