READY FOR THE OFF

Coleraine Cricket first team with sponsor Gareth Godferry.
Coleraine Cricket first team with sponsor Gareth Godferry.

Coleraine Cricket Club will have four senior teams in action this Saturday, April 28th, with all games starting at 1pm.

Last year Coleraine 1st XI finished in joint fifth in the NWCU Senior 1 League in what was their most successful season for many years. This year they are hoping to progress further and have already been tipped as the potential dark horse in the Senior 1 League race.

Having the experience and talents of Captain Ian McGregor, Vice-Captain David Cooke and strike bowler Stephen Dunn at the core of the team has allowed the Club to invest in the development of its youngest players: teenagers Rishi Chopra, Calum McGregor, Scott Campbell, Paul and Andrew Douglas, and indeed Johnny Martin who will be hoping to build on his impressive first year at Sandel Lodge.

On Saturday the 1st XI travel to Bready for their opening match and an exciting game is certainly in prospect if the last game played by these two sides is anything to go by, when the result went down to the last over with Coleraine, playing without a club professional, losing by just nine runs.

A significant difference this time will be the presence of Chinthaka Jayasinghe, a Sri Lankan all rounder who is expected to play an important role throughout the season. The club is delighted to have secured the services of a player of his calibre – he has played International T20s for his country - it is confident that he will be an invaluable asset in the 1st XI’s pursuit of both League and Cup silverware this year.

Following immediately on promotion the year before, Coleraine’s 2nd XI team was promoted again at the end of last season, joining the Intermediate A section of the NWCU.They start their campaign with a home match against Bready 2nd XI at Sandel Lodge this Saturday under a new Captain and Vice-Captain – Peter Wallace and Johnny Elder. This game promises to be an exciting fixture and Coleraine hope to get off to winning start.

There will be a number of young players making their debuts in this team during the season whenever school fixtures allow, giving a mixture of youth and experience as they set out to build on the achievements of the past two seasons. Amongst the players in 2nd XI the ambition remains to progress further and there are many of them who will be competing for places in the 1st XI.

The grounds at Sandel Lodge have also been undergoing further improvements as the club bids to host more International games, following last year’s Under 19 World Cup qualification games which were played in several club venues including Coleraine in August.

In the pre-season they have installed new state of the art practice nets and there are also new sight screens, new seating and a new scorers’ hut for the club this year. The Cricket Section committee of CRF&CC would like to thank its new and existing Sponsors whose generous contributions have enabled these new facilities to be provided and also to record its appreciation of the dedicated grounds staff who work diligently to provide high standards of pitches for every game.