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Dundrum CC Youth Team Undertakes a 3 day tour to Dumfries

Jeff Maguire
Dundrum Cricket Club

Jeff Maguire reports on a very successful underage youth tour to Dumfries in Scotland for Dundrum CC

Dundrum Cricket Club recently undertook an under-16 cricket tour to Scotland, their fifth trip to the United Kingdom in five years. The club might be struggling at senior level but their commitment to promote junior cricket is exceptional. The minibus picked up the 12 players and four coaches and off to breakfast on Larne boat then onto Cairndale hotel in Dumfries and the squad took to the swimming pool.

Sadly, the match on Monday evening was postponed but quick-change plans was off to Carlisle for ten pin bowling which entertained both players and competitive coaches.

Dumfries CC, the oldest club in Scotland and the superb ex international ground, hosting our first ever two innings 25 overs game. Dundrum chose to bat and the captain led by example as Rhys Philips top scored with 37 runs. Dundrum scored 129 for 8. Tom Ruddington (23 not out) put on a 61-run partnership with Rhys while Jedd Campbell hit a quickfire 13.

The pick off the bowling was both openers Alistair Little 1 for 21, Sean Thornley 1 for 16 and Luke McBurnie 3 for 15.

Dumfries have a super young 16-year-old Indian all-rounder and he put on a masterclass innings of 81, the fact that no other player scored double figures was down to his class and good field placings by targeting the other batsmen. Dumfries scored 133 for 8 with the wickets shared between Rhys Philips (2 for 26) and Adam Colgan (2 for 8). It was good to see wicket keeper Joshua Maguire (2 for 17) back bowling as he pitched it up and hit the stumps twice in his first over and Tom Crudgington 1 for 20.

The clouds gathered and light rain fell and so the format was changed and called the game an honourable draw.

After a splendid tea the coaches from both teams decided on a 16 over game and Dundrum learned quickly about setting fields and pitching the ball up bowling Dumfries out for 73. Tom Crudgington picked up the prize wicket of Adam Malik again top score for 17, very well caught by the only girl on tour Erin Busby (who was excellent in the field in all three games). Adam Colgan (2 for 12) was tour leading wicket taker.

Dundrum quickly went on the attack with the Philips brothers putting on a 58-run partnership with Rhys run out for 19 but Rhodri was in aggressive mood scoring 35 not out and Joshua Maguire 3 not out and chased the 73 in only in ten overs. After the match Dumfries CC put on a barbeque and it was off back to the hotel for an early night for some. 

The next day after morning swimming the tour set off to another fine club St Michaels Cricket Club and got be said hospitality from both clubs was superb. It was a nice green wicket after so much rain - well done to Sandy McNay.

The home side captain agreed to bat first as Dundrum wanted to try and bowl and bat as many players as possible. The coaches said pitch it up and Rhodri Philips did just that getting 2 early wickets, one a very good catch by Jedd Campbell as stand in wicket keeper. After leg spinner Tom Crudgington bowled Ronan Wilson with his second ball to leave the score 35 for 3 of six overs it looked like a one-sided game.

St Michaels captain Finlay Jack took the lead and both him and opener Reece McNay went after some very short poor bowling that didn't please the coaches on a wicket made for line and length. Both batsmen just sat back and played some classy shots (and the odd hoik!). St Michaels posted a cracking total off 150, after a partnership off 115, with man of the match Reece McNay 83 not out (including 14 boundaries) and skipper Finlay Jack a hard hitting 45 not out including the only six.

Dundrum coaches after talking with captain Luke Williamson, who excellently marshalled a very young team including seven u-13 players, it was agreed to go out attack and try chase it down as even in friendlies this squad is competitive and that's great to see. Dundrum reached 35 for two off six tight overs from Conor Lynch and a very good young girl bowler Niamh Muir (2 for 27) who will play at highest level. The home side looked well in control but this young Dundrum team went on the attack as they had nothing to lose. A superb 116 run partnership from the u-13 stars - the outstanding player of the tour Rhodri Philips (whose fielding was also exceptional) scored a superb hard hitting 67 not out (with eight boundaries) and Tom Crudgington with fantastic support. They rotated well and also ran well – they put the bad ball away - Tom scored a classic 51 not out to chase the total with six balls to spare.
All the games played in great spirit to end their very successful tour unbeaten which was amazing considering 7 u-13 players all featuring and i have no doubt it was the main reason that Dundrum u-13 won their league semi-final two days later when they looked beaten as the drew on the tour experience to pull off a massive win against a premiership u-13 team that were well on top.

Dundrum have a fantastic set of unpaid coaches from minis to u -15 and no better place than the meadow for fun and they give boys and girls a great chance to enjoy the great game off cricket and plans under way for senior and junior tours away next year.