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NCU "Past" President's Message - Autumn 2017

Peter McMorran


Well my two years in the President role has finished and what a two years.

I have watched some wonderful cricket (Jason Van Der Merve's Arthur J Gallagher Cup Final and Greg Thompson's Lagan Valley Steels T/20 Cup Final innings 2016 stand out);  I have visited all of the NCU Clubs playing weekend fixtures (sometimes joined by my wife Celia and Pippa the dog) and welcomed warmly;  the Northern  Knights have competed admirably and the Juniors have achieved great success winning 5 of the 8 Inter Provisional competitions in the last 2 years and if that is not enough Ireland obtained Test Cricket Full Member Status.

Visiting the NCU Clubs has been a very enjoyable experience and it is gratifying to see all the hard work (most of it voluntary) put in by so many to ensure cricket is enjoyed by numerous adults, men & woman and our juniors whom will be the next generation of Club, Representative and International cricketers. There are many unsung heroes in every club and I would like to thank them personally for all their efforts.

What I have particularly noticed however is the amount of time and effort put in by the NCU representatives whether as League Secretaries, Directorate Officials or Board Members etc.

Not always do Clubs like the decisions made by NCU officials but what I do know is the fact that decisions are taken with the best interests of cricket at heart.
Ireland gaining Test status will create its own challenges not only for Cricket Ireland but also for the NCU as the governing body for cricket in the NCU region.  This will lead to larger budgets and a greater degree of professionalism in the running and governance of the NCU and thus the need for the NCU to become an incorporated charity as was approved at the recent AGM.

I would therefore like to take this opportunity of thanking all of the NCU officials for their hard work, much of it unseen, and in particular our current Chairman Alan Waite and General Secretary Bryan Milford.  Both individuals work incredibly hard in an entirely impartial manner putting the interests of the NCU before the interests of any Club.

As I say, Cricket Ireland has many challenges ahead, but how wonderful it is to have this opportunity.  Developing the First Class Inter Provincial series will be one of those challenges and how to make the competitions, in all three formats, more competitive whilst at the same time nurturing the current and future players for International Cricket.  In addition C.I. will also need to consider how it can continue to assist participation cricket at grass roots level.  Not only to increase the interest in cricket in Ireland but to also ensure the pyramid in cricket has strong foundations.

I cannot sign off without mentioning some recent events in the NCU calendar.  Firstly, the efforts put in by all  preparing for the Ireland match v the Windies only to be blighted by the weather.  It was very unfortunate not to have any cricket played that day as Stormont as it looked superb.  There will however be many more International fixtures at Stormont in the future.

Secondly, the wonderful NCU dinner enjoyed by approx 200 members and guests.  Without doubt Geoff Miller is one of the best speakers on the after dinner circuit and Colin Barkley one of the best MCs.

Finally, Waringstown's success in 2017, winning the NCU Lagan Valley Steels T/20 Cup, the Ulster T/20 Cup, Gardiner Brothers Premier League and finally the Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup.  It makes me very proud when an NCU team wins the Irish Cup and many congratulations.

No wonder my two years of office have flown by so quickly. It has been a great honour and I've really enjoyed my time as President.  Wishing my successor Clarence Hiles every success in what will be a very enjoyable year.

Peter McMorran
NCU "Past" President

(Photos: top ©PressEye - bottom ©RBAI)