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Encouraging 2018 Season for the NCU Under 17 Girl's

Richard White (NCU PRO)  

The Northern Cricket Union Under 17 Girl's, sponsored by pwc, have had an exciting and encouraging season. Since the indoor sessions which commenced in October 2017, it has been a long, but rewarding year for the squad, captained by Abbey Leckey (CSNI). New players have come into the squad and others have progressed to join the NCU Senior Ladies set up.

On the 5th July, the NCU Under 17's played the first of two back to back Twenty 20 fixtures with their North West counterparts, at Stormont. In the first game the North West batted first and scored 89 for 8 in their allotted overs, with Rea Moore and Alana Dalzell scoring 34 and 29 respectively. Molly Mathers claimed four wickets and Abbi Leckey two wickets. The NCU won convincingly by 9 wickets as Sam Todd was undefeated on 37. 

After the lunch break, the NCU team batted first in the second fixture, amassing 143 for 5, with Amy Hunter scoring a tremendous 93 not out, off 20 overs. In reply, the North West fell 31 runs short with Sophie Killen scoring 43 and Alana Dalzell 39. Jennifer Hanna took 2 wickets for 19 runs, for the hosts. 

In the first 30 over game of the Summer, the North West hosted the NCU at Coleraine Cricket Club. The NCU batted first and struggled with accurate bowling and bigger boundaries. They managed 77 for 9, off 30 overs. Batting out their allotted overs was a great positive for the team, however the North West chased down the set target with seven overs to spare, and four wickets in hand. 

In the final inter-provincial game of the Summer, the Under 17's travelled to Bready Cricket Club to play a 25 over fixture, and then stay on afterwards to watch Ireland play a T20 international against Afghanistan. Abbi Leckey won the toss and elected to bowl first, and the North West were restricted to 76 for 9, with Craig top scoring with 22. Katie Palin took 3 wickets for 11 runs, and Amy Hunter 2 wickets for 9 runs. The NCU won by 3 wickets, chasing down the North West total with an over to spare. Cara Murray top scored with 20 runs. 

It was encouraging for the NCU Girl's to play so many fixtures this Summer, against challenging opposition. It gave everyone in the squad a chance to play representative cricket, as well as playing regularly in the Gardiner Brothers Premier League and Gallagher Challenge Cup. With the Girl's representing their clubs at a high level it is promising for future inter-provincials in the coming seasons.