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Cricket Clubs and Schools Working in Partnership
Strandtown Primary School

Richard White

During the summer term of the school year (2016-17), Strandtown Primary School, in East Belfast, worked in partnership with local cricket clubs and the Northern Cricket Union Development Team to achieve a goal of creating opportunities for primary school children to play 'hard ball' cricket.

Phil Hunter who is a parent of one of the many enthusiastic cricketers at Strandtown Primary School wanted to bring 'hard ball' cricket to Strandtown. He says, 'It had been a number of years since Strandtown Primary School in Belfast had fielded a hard ball cricket team. Led by two parents, who coach at neighbouring clubs, CSNI and CIYMS, the team participated in the Under 11 cricket league and cup. Every squad member had the opportunity to play in a competitive match and the team progressed to the Cup Final following two wins against Campbell College in their two competitive fixtures.

(Photograph Right - Strandtown Primary School at Danske Bank Reception
Adults – L to R – Peter McWilliams (P7 teacher Strandtown PS), David Allister (Danske Bank), Phill Hunter (Strandtown Coach), David Holley (Johnsons Solicitors), Peter McMorran. )

 After a sponsors breakfast, hosted by David Allister at Danske Bank, the team took part in a closely fought final played at Stormont.  Inchmarlo (RBAI Preparatory School) batted first making 121 and secured a narrow victory, winning by seven runs. All of the boys played their part and thoroughly enjoyed their experience. Without the help and support of various parties cricket would not have been possible.

This included Campbell College Belfast, who very kindly made their facilities available to the squad for weekly practice sessions and 'home' matches;  Danske Bank and Johnsons Solicitors who sponsored the match shirts, which incidentally will be available to the school in future years; the parents who taxied the team to both practice sessions and matches,  and the NCU Development Team who not only put the coaches 'through their paces' during the winter at the ECB Level 2 course, but provided additional support and kit during the last few months."

NCU Cricket Development Officer Callum Atkinson says, 'This is a great example of a volunteer who wants to improve cricket in his local area whilst creating relationships and partnerships between local governing bodies, cricket clubs and local businesses to achieve his targets'.

2017 Under 11 Final
Inchmarlo: 121-6 (TCarothers 41, G Palmer 36)
Strandtown PS: 114-5 (H Dyer 48no, R Hunter 36)
Inchmarlo beat Strandtown PS by 7 runs

Strandtown Primary School Squad

  • Milo Carter
  • James Clark
  • Jed Dornan
  • Harry Dyer
  • Ollie Dyer
  • Angus Farrell
  • Finn Gibbs
  • Adam Heasley
  • Ryan Hunter
  • Isaac Irwin
  • Fergus Johnston
  • Freddie Kane
  • George Kane
  • Matthew McCrossan
  • Tom Robinson
  • Callum Soper

Any Primary schools interested in developing 'hard ball' cricket with the view to either entering a team into the 2018 competition, or alternatively wanting to offer coaching/playing opportunities, are invited to contact: Nigel Jones, Cricket Ireland's Regional Development Officer in the Northern Cricket Union on (M) 078 7941 6121 (e)