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Ulster Bank Awards for August & September - Rules relaxed to allow a County Down schoolboy to win a prestigious cricket award
Taj Kwelu put in the remarkable performance of taking five wickets in seven overs without conceding a run when he opened the bowling for Bangor in Section 1 of the NCU Senior League last month against Templepatrick.
But it fell just short of clinching an Ulster Bank NCU League award which goes to bowlers who take six wickets - and all because of his age.
The 17 year-old Bangor Grammar School pupil fell victim of the restriction that you must be over 18 before bowling in succession the maximum allocation of 10 overs.
Stephen Cruise of Ulster Bank said: “We put our heads together with the NCU and decided to present an award to Taj. It was a tremendous performance not to concede a run in seven overs and take five wickets into the bargain - it’s anyone’s guess how many wickets he would have taken had he been allowed another three overs.”
It’s been quite a season for the Kwelu family. Taj won Irish Schools’ honours into the bargain - and dad Mike skippered Bangor 3rd XI to promotion.
Awards also go to players who score a century or perform a hat trick and it’s only the third time in Ulster Bank’s 15 years of sponsorship that the rules have been relaxed: in the other two cases the awards went to wicket keepers.
Former Irish international keeper Brian Millar - also of Bangor - received a special award for claiming four “victims” in successive balls and former Queen’s University keeper Bertie Stiles followed suit when he claimed seven dismissals in an innings.
Other winners at this weeks Ulster Bank Awards (Also included all the photos are NCU President Elect Peter McMorran and Ulster Banks Stephen Cruise):
(All Photos © Ian Johnston)
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