Laurelvale Cricket Club – 28th June 2019
Tim Simmonite was appointed coach of the Northern Cricket Union (NCU) Women’s squad during the winter period, bringing a lot of skill and experience to the role. From this appointment there were preseason Strength and Conditioning sessions at the Sports Institute of Northern Ireland (SINI) at Ulster University, utilising their world-class facilitates.
All of the further training sessions, both indoor at UUJ and outdoor at Wallace HS, and also smaller group hub sessions at North Down, Templepatrick and Waringstown were extremely focused and player specific. As with the emerging and performance girl’s squads, the Women’s squad is made up of players from across the NCU representing a range of clubs.
This has increased the standard of the women’s domestic leagues, with several players who have recently been selected to represent Ireland at different age groups, namely Amy Hunter, Cara Murray and Naomi Matthews.
The Women recently played against the North West at Laurelvale Cricket Club, in two T20 matches.
In Match 1, the NCU didn’t get off to the start they would have wished for, being 4 wickets down with only 8 runs on the board. Morrison- Keates and Murray managed to develop a strong partnership, and the NCU finished on 73 from their 20 overs. Alana Dalzell bowled well for the North West finishing with 4 overs, 3 wickets for 10 runs. The NCU knew they had to try and defend a low total, and some early wickets from Staci Maxwell and Cara Murray put the NCU team in the ascendancy. Nikki Niblock came on to bowl and produced match winning figures of 4 wickets for 8 runs. Sarah Black provided the only resistance for the North West scoring 25 not out, following her bowling of 4 overs, 1 wicket for 17 runs.
The NCU won by 32 runs.
The second game saw the North West score a similar total to that set in the first match of 77 runs in their 20 overs. The NCU team bowled well, Charlotte Lyons taking 3 wickets for 10 runs and Niblock taking an impressive 4 wickets for 6 runs. The North West struggled in the same way the NCU did in the first match with the bat having only 3 people reaching double figures. In reply the NCU surpassed the total in 16 overs with contributions from Charlotte Lyons (31) and Amy Benson (26).
The NCU won by7 wickets.
A great day for Women’s Cricket for both the Northern and North West Cricket Unions, with the next fixture to be held at Coleraine CC on Wednesday 31 July. Laurelvale CC excelled as hosts, providing an excellent grass wicket, as well as catering for both teams before and between the games. The NCU wish to express their thanks to Colin Stewart and the team at Laurelvale.