Weather hits opening fixtures


WHAT’S NEW? The cricket season again got off to a watery start, with not a ball bowled by all but one of East Antrim’s clubs.

In NCU Section 1, Templepatrick, under skipper Richard Greer had been looking forward to making their second-tier debut in Dundrum, but the square was partially flooded. The two teams are scheduled to meet again this weekend at the same venue in the Challenge Cup, but if the ground is still unplayable the tie might be switched to The Cloughan.

Carrickfergus’ first match outside of the top flight for nine years, against Derriaghy, also bit the dust. They are due to take on Downpatrick in the Challenge Cup at Middle Road this weekend.

The only local team who did get to take to the crease was Mallusk-based Cliftonville CC. Their season opener against Downpatrick ended in a four-wicket defeat. Cliftonville were 110 all out, while their visitors posted 111 for six.

Academy, under new skipper Matthew Palmer, had hoped to open their Senior League Section 2 campaign with a home game against Cooke Collegians at Castle Grounds in Belfast, but it too fell foul of the weather. “Thursday’s rain did the damage, and there was never any hope of making a start,” said club secretary, Jack Quinn. Academy are set to host Saintfield on Saturday.

Gareth Gaw’s Larne side were hoping to get life in Section Two under way against Millpark but that game too, was postponed.