Maghera catching cricket bug?

Photographer Damien McKee captures Owen McAuley in full flight during Maghera Cricket Club's first game at Rainey Endowed School. INMU2913-MAGHERACC (3)
Photographer Damien McKee captures Owen McAuley in full flight during Maghera Cricket Club's first game at Rainey Endowed School. INMU2913-MAGHERACC (3)
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A new sporting outfit played their first home match at Rainey Endowed School on Wednesday last, and is urging anyone interested to come down to join their new club.

Maghera Cricket Club was formed in March by board members Rhys Jones (Chair), Roger Talbot (Vice) and Mike McAuley (Treasurer) with the aim and hope of bringing cricket to the south Derry region.

“Previous to that there had been no organised opportunity for the game to be played in the local area,” said MCC Chairman, Rhys Jones. “The board felt there was a need and desire to supplement the love of football with the other sporting love of their lives –cricket.

“With no history of the sport being regularly played in the surrounding community it was, from the outset, an ambitious project. However, with healthy numbers participating it is one that is succeeding and showing clear signs of growth and development.

“The club have recently secured funding from Magherafelt District Council, and are in the process of also securing funding via well known and respected retail business ‘Crawfords Maghera’ which will assist in the purchase of club kit and equipment.

“Added to this, renowned local school, Rainey Endowed, have graciously agreed for their artificial wicket and their sports pavilion to become the club’s home ground for both training purposes and matches.

“From the club’s inception and development we have worked closely with Cricket Ireland and have subsequently become fully affiliated with the North West Cricket Union. Our aim being in the first year of the club’s formation, to play a summer series of competitive T20 friendly matches with teams throughout the North-West and beyond, before hopefully entering a league system the following season,” Rhys said.

Based in, and training, right in the heart of Mid-Ulster, the club is ideally situated for everyone who would like to try this great sport. The club is open to all, both genders, absolutely regardless of experience or ability, from the age of 12 upwards.

Training is each Wednesday night from 7pm onwards and everyone will be warmly welcomed. Should you wish to come along and try cricket, you can contact the club, and find further details through its promotional officer Stephen on the club’s facebook page; magheracricketclub.

“Establishing a venture such as this is hard work,” Rhys continued. “It also requires the kind assistance of many people beyond the membership of the club itself. On behalf of the club, I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thanks those who have graciously helped in any way in the club’s formation. These include: Miss Heather Boyd at Maghera Parish Caring Association for her kind guidance and grant application assistance, Mr. Brian Allen (Cricket Ireland) for coaching and advice, Magheraflet District Council & Crawford’s store Maghera for their willingness to financially assist the club in its infancy, and to Rainey Endowed School for their community spirit in allowing the club to find a ‘home’ on its pitches.

“Thanks also to Coleraine and Ardmore Cricket Clubs who were only too willing to provide opposition for the club in what are the early stages of its development.Mr. Robert Montgomery, Rainey Endowed Groundsman, for his willingness to assist the club with preparation of the pitch and wicket - a special and deserved thank you.

“And finally to the club’s members themselves for being willing to participate in the sport and represent this new venture. Well done!”

Maghera Cricket Club’s next home game is at Rainey Endowed School at 6.30pm on WednesdayJuly 24 against Kilcooley - why not come down and watch this fun sport?