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Daniel Kennedy reports from South Africa

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

Howzit from sunny Johannesburg, I started my stay at the prestigious St. Stithians School on the 16th January, where I was admitted into Mountstephens boarding house where I was met with a cluster of accommodating students and staff. They helped me a lot by showing me around the boarding house and the school, where I also met my host Thando Makwetu who used to captain Gauteng U15A which is the provincial team where I am staying, though they are a much higher standard than ours. Thando’s older brother Wandile Makwetu also played cricket. He was captain of South Africa’s U19 side on their tour of England last year and now plays for the Multiply Titans in Pretoria.

Daniel Kennedy presents Wim Jansen with a Munster cap

In my first week in the school I attended the same classes as my host. I found the school work a lot harder than Ireland, as they are a whole half year ahead of us. The school is amazing it has 4 different schools on its campus. At the Boys College we had 7 different cricket pitches, one of which was equipped with flood lights to play day/night matches and was overlooked by a beautiful restaurant with an honours board which had all the name of sportsmen and women who represented South Africa.

I was very lucky to get a chance to play there. The main pitch which the first team play on was stunning, the pitch was quick and bouncy, and the pavilion was really nice. The dressing rooms had jerseys of all the cricketers who represented South Africa at any level including Wiaan Mulder and Kagiso Rabada and next to that you had the cricket offices where I first met the Director of cricket at Saints, Wim Jansen who used to play at Pembroke with Ted Williamson. Mr Jansen was very helpful, and he was able to get me lots of game time.

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The school day was very different to a typical school day in Ireland, but I loved the difference. I was in the boarding house so I would have to wake up at 6 to be ready for room checks at 6:40 we would then go to breakfast at 7:00 to start the day at 7:40. We would normally start with chapel where we would all gather for announcements or war cry’s which was great fun and it was amazing to see how passionate the boys were about their school, after which we would go to school until 2:40, as exchange students we were allowed to go down to the cricket nets during school hours to have private coaching session with Peter Stringer who used to play for Yorkshire. The sessions were very beneficial, and Mr Stringer had so much experience in the game it was great to be able to pick his brain.

The training was very tough in the beginning as it was hard to adapt to the hard-bouncy pitches, which also were a joy to bowl on. The high altitude, as Jo’burg sits at 1,750 metres, took some initial adjustment and the scorching heat didn’t help as it was consistently over 30 degrees, but I got used to it quickly.

Daniel Kennedy and Brandon Kruger in South Africa

I got to play 5 matches in Jo’burg for St. Stithians and I was lucky enough to play to 2 games for a club in Pretoria called Harlequins. Steve Kruger, who was here, at Cork County last season and will be returning again this summer was extremely helpful and I would like to thank him for setting up the games for me. He is also the Head Coach at Harlequins in Pretoria. The game time was invaluable, and I was able to learn a lot. The highlight of my matches was being able to play in a day/night match which was a great experience for myself and the other exchanges, who wouldn’t have the the facilities back home. It was amazing to play under the lights and to see what the ball does, it swung miles and because of the low pressure the ball was able to travel a lot further.

It was great to experience life outside of cricket in South Africa also, I was able to meet my cousins who live here, go on a game drive which is amazing as you can see animals in their natural habitats and the sunsets were beautiful. The food there was also excellent and it great to try all the foods my mother who is also from Jo’burg would have grown up on.

If anyone decides to visit this wonderful place I would definitely recommend trying, boerewors roll which is a bit like a hot dog, any good steak house as the flavouring the put on is amazing and spar letta Creme Soda is a great pairing for any food. I went home to the Makwetu’s nearly every weekend and I was welcomed by Thando’s parents, Miranda and Kimi Makwetu who were gracious and kind hosts and helped me with whatever I needed and were able to get Thando and I tickets to the Pink ODI at Wanderers. It was amazing to be part of such a momentous occasion and the atmosphere was electric and although South Africa lost, I had a great day. I’d like to thank the Makwetu’s for making my trip so great.

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Just before I left South Africa St. Stithians 1st team had won the Johnny Waite Cup final, which is a big competition in Johannesburg, and the school that won would represent the Lions, which is the cricket franchise in Jo’burg, in the Coca-Cola T20 Schools competition in which the six best cricket schools in the country plus two development teams get pitted against each other at the end of the season in a cricket week.

I was amazed to see how much work went into to the competition. All the boys got amazing new kit complete with everything you could imagine, from match shirts to Coca-Cola head phones and at an opening ceremony they all received their certificates for their participation in the event. All the matches were live streamed on the cricket South Africa and PitchVision YouTube channel. The whole experience for the boys must have been invaluable, especially since St. Stithians won the competition for the 4th time in the six years it had been running.

They had a whole presentation and an interview with the captains. The whole idea of the structure of the tournament is to give the boys a taste of what the life of a professional cricketer might be like and it was great to see. The boys received cash prizes for man of the match or if they obtained batsman or bowler of the tournament, which I’m sure we’d appreciate here. All in all, it was great to see how this sort of thing was set up a got me thinking it would be quite easy to do if we got the right sponsorship here.

Host-Thando-Mkweto-whose-brother-Wandile--captained-u19SA-last-year

I thoroughly enjoyed my whole experience of being in South Africa and would love to go back again. The cricket experience I had here was invaluable and I hope to take it into the new season in Ireland. I would like to thank St. Stithians for allowing me into their school and to Mr Jansen and Mr Stringer for helping me with my cricket training and experience in the school and also to Mrs Gretchen Maruggi for organising the trip for me. Lastly, I’d like to thank the Makwetu Family for allowing into their home and to Thando and all the other boarders for making my time at Saints so wonderful.

Daniel Kennedy
Cork County CC & Bandon Grammar School

Thanks for the memories 2018

Monday, December 31st, 2018

2018 was such a busy year both on and off the field with many highs and lows and little success sprinkled along the way so here’s a little look back on the season just gone as we look forward to 2019 with plenty of optimism. Not forgetting the friends we have lost over the past 12 months including Ann O’Connell, Ollie Barriscale & Philip Short.

2019 Munster Cup Draws

Sunday, December 30th, 2018

The 2019 All Rounder Cricket Munster Senior, Junior & Minor Cup draws have been released by the Unions Cricket Committee with some interesting draws for Cork County.

The 1st XI have received a bye to the Semi-Finals of the Senior Cup and will face either Cork Harlequins or Limerick at the Mardyke. The 2’s & 3’s face trips to Castle Farm in County Waterford to take on Lismore and Clonmel in both Junior and Minor Cups, respectively. Best of luck to all sides! 🤞🏼 #WeAreCounty

CCCC_Cup-Draws-2019

Preparations begin for 2019 season following AGM

Wednesday, November 28th, 2018

The 2018 Cork County Cricket Club Annual General Meeting took place on Monday, 26th November, at the Mardyke. As always the meeting offered a forum for members to to engage with the clubs committee and regarding the season just gone and looking to the challenges that lie ahead in 2019.

The elected officers from the meeting were as follows:

  • President: Kieran Aherne
  • Secretary: Kevin O’Sullivan
  • Treasurer: David Griffin
  • Club Captain: Robert Duggan
  • 2nd XI Captain: Kevin O’Sullivan
  • 3rd XI Captain: Abdul Jabbar Younus

Committee Members:

  • Talha Kayani
  • Abdul Jabbar Younus
  • Andrew Wootton
  • Len Browne
  • John Power

A motion from the Youth sub-committee was approved at the meeting which will see a member of that committee attending each of the main committee’s meetings.

The Club Captain will Chair the selection sub-committee and will nominate a captain for Cricket Leinster competitions in due course, but will be the de facto captain in all other 1st XI competitions unless otherwise stated.

Downloads:

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Munster Cricket AGM

The Munster Cricket AGM took place on Sunday, 2nd December, at the Mardyke and saw a number of Cork County members elected to roles on the Executive for the coming season.

David Griffin was re-elected as Chairperson for another three term and will continue to oversee the implementation of the Munster Cricket Strategic Plan and the ongoing work to enhance the governance structures of the Union.

Robert Duggan, Veena O’Sullivan & Matt Reed were also elected as ordinary members to the Executive for 2019 and we thank them for their commitment and work for the club and Union. In fact, Veena O’Sullivan is only the second female member of the Munster Cricket Executive Committee following in the footsteps of Amanda Lanigan who served as President from 2005 to 2007.

Philip Short RIP

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

dineen_jack-shortCork County Cricket Club offer their sympathies to the Short family following the passing of Philip Short, brother of former player & Irish international Jack and son of Frank who was Club President in 1976.

His brother Jack Short, pictured (right) alongside Peter Dineen, first gained representative honours for Munster Schools, and also, from an early age playing for Bohemians and Cork County. He later went on to play 11 First Class fixtures for Ireland between 1974 and 1984 and was inducted into the Cricket Ireland Hall of Fame in 2014.

Full details are available on RIP.ie

County clinch 6th consecutive Premier Division title

Monday, September 3rd, 2018

Cork County clinched their 6th consecutive All Rounder Cricket Premier Division title with a game still to play following victory over Limerick at Adare on Saturday.

The Mardyke men knew that avoiding defeat against Limerick would mean they could not be caught at the top of the Premier Division table with the final game of the season still to play.

A dominant display with the ball in batsmen friendly conditions on the Adare artificial saw Cork County restrict the home side to just 120. The pick of the bowlers were Abubakar Saddique (3-7), Joseph George (3-11) and Munster Reds skipper Jeremy Benton (3-25).

The reply go off to a shaky start with the loss of 3 early wickets but an excellent partnership between Saddique (43*) and opener Harry Broadhurst (35*) saw the visitors home with 6 wickets to spare.

2018 Munster Premier Division Champions

The skipper Cormac Hassett was clearly delighted to have clinched the title with a game still to play following an impressive season in which they lost just one fixture to date.

“The boys have put in a huge effort once again this season. Competing in two league competitions is always a tough ask but the squad have really stuck at it and suffering just one defeat in the Premier Division all season is a fantastic return for all the hard work!”

“A sixth league title in succession is a fantastic achievement and shows the commitment of the players and club to maintaining our success in Munster.  In addition to our Senior T20 Blast title, it has been a good season despite missing out on a possible Senior Cup due to a bowl-out earlier in the season!”

2018 Premier Division

PosTeamPWLNRBPPoints%
1Cork County 1119112721782.80
2Limerick 1106312415464.00
3Cork Harlequins 1105322014060.00
4County Kerry 111380248430.55
5County Galway 11019082811.20

Munster Premier Division

1st September, Adare.

Limerick 120 all out (Saddique 3-7, Jose 3-11, Benton 3-25) lost to Cork County 123-4 (Saddique 43, Broadhurst 35) by 6 wickets.


 

Carey stars in Southern XI win against NCU U17s

Wednesday, July 4th, 2018

Diarmuid Carey’s 43 with the bat and 6-31 with the ball, combined with excellent knocks of 69 (Seanan Jones) and 59 (Stephen Black) helped the Southern XI to a commanding 50 run victory over the NCU in CIYMS on the first day of the 2018 U17 inter-provincial tournament. This propelled the Southern XI to the top of standings in this year’s tournament following a victory over Leinster 3 weeks ago.

Carey stars in Southern XI win against NCULike all inter-pros, the first day began with an early morning start. However, unlike other years, the sun was shining and the weather is set fair for the entire week. After a victory over Leinster three weeks ago, the Southern XI should have been feeling confident but in their way today was a strong NCU side who had also won their first game (vs NWCU) and whose team had won the corresponding fixture in the U-15’s competition two years ago.

The first thing evident upon arriving at the ground this morning was the sight of a used wicket and a rock hard, rapid outfield. With the sun also out in force, it would be a long toil in the field for whoever had to bowl first. The wicket was clearly going to deteriorate for the second innings, making the toss crucial. Jones called correctly and his delight was evident as he shouted “we’ll have a bat” and ran off gleefully to his team. The Southern XI had the advantage but the pressure was now on to make use of the good batting conditions at their disposal. 

After a quick start, the Southern XI were 16-2 after 3 overs, with Allison accounting for McDonough and Archer early on. From that point, however, the Southern XI dominated. The NCU bowlers were consistently off with their lengths which Black (59, 9 fours) & Jones (69, 8 fours & 1 six) picked off with ease. Black drove well, bisecting mid-off and cover with high frequency. Jones accumulated singles and used his strength to put away the bad ball, highlighted by a big six over the mid-wicket boundary. Neither the seamers nor the spinners could gain any control and as both players brought up their fifties, it seemed as if nothing would unsettle them. Then at 122-2, Black missed a sweep off Malone and was bowled. Suddenly the NCU had an opening they could try and exploit. 

However, what followed was almost the complete opposite. Carey (43, 4 fours & 1 six) joined Jones and the two Corkmen proceeded to take the game to the NCU. Their partnership of 55 came at a run a ball and was highlighted by two lovely reverse swept 4s by Jones, and a couple of extra cover driven 4s by Carey, followed by a 6 for Carey over cow. After 34 overs, the Southern XI were 175-3 with a score of 300 on the cards if the Munster lads kept going. The break seemed to rejuvenate the bowlers and there was a marked improvement in their line and length. A couple of overs later, Jones walked past a ball from Glass and was stumped. Soon after Carey was bowled by Simmonite. From then on, the innings faltered a little and the boundaries became harder to come by. Askew hit a quick-fire 27 (2 fours & 1 six), while some good running and poor fielding helped the Southern XI finish with a highly competitive 259 all out. Allison was the pick of the bowlers with 4-43 off his 9 overs. It was a good comeback by the NCU, who would have fancied themselves as a batting team to begin with. However, with runs on the board, the scoreboard pressure and deteriorating wicket would surely give the Southern XI a good chance. 

The NCU seemed to quell some of the Southern XI’s hope with their opening stand. Jones and MacNulty bowled solidly, but Warke (29, 5 fours) & Metcalf (33, 5 fours) set the NCU off at a good pace. Their opening stand of 69 in 15 overs was highlighted by exquisite drives to the cover fence. They showed that the wicket was still a good track and the Southern XI struggled to pile on pressure. Captain Jones opted to turn to spin. McDonnell (1-29) was tight from the outset, bowling with flight and providing good control. Carey was the more aggressive of the pair, pitching the ball quite full which was greeted with a meaty shot over extra cover for four in his first over. However, both bowlers were extracting variable bounce and spin from the pitch and Carey’s second over produced a double wicket maiden. Metcalf pulled a shorter ball into the hands of deep mid-wicket and then two balls later, Warke was beaten in flight and skied a catch straight to mid-on. McDonnell then had Clarke flick a ball to the man at short mid-wicket and next over Malone hit Carey straight to the man at deep mid-wicket. 69-0 had suddenly become 76-4. 

Burton and Hunter then started to rebuild for the NCU. They put on 40 with ease as Jones rotated his spinners looking for a break through. Just as the NCU looked set to dominate, however, a mix-up led to both batsman ending up at the same end and Burton was run out for 25. Jones brought Carey back on and his first over accounted for Reid. Once again the NCU were in trouble at 118-6. 139 more runs were still required from the final 18 overs. Hunter (68, 9 fours) and Glass started to chip away at the deficit as the Southern XI brought back in the seamers. On this variable bouncing pitch, this provided a relief from the spinners and the batsmen very quickly settled and started finding the boundary. Some poor fielding and well-timed shots brought the game back into the balance. With 10 overs to go, the NCU required just 81, with two well settled batsmen at the crease and a quick outfield at their disposal.

Carey, with two overs left, was brought back for his third spell. Once again, he struck early as he spun one past Glass’s advancing feet to have him stumped and complete his five wicket haul. In his next over he tossed one up to Hunter who could only find the safe hands of long-off completing his excellent bowling display with 10-2-31-6. MacNulty (1-37) and Jones (1-47) then put the game beyond doubt with an excellent display of the death bowling. Their yorkers were almost unhittable and they each took a wicket at the death to finally bowl the NCU out for 209, a victory by 50 runs. 

After two matches it leaves the Southern XI on top of the standings with 2 wins, ahead of Leinster & NCU with 1 win each. The final 50 over game is tomorrow against the NWCU before the T20s commence on Thursday. It was a great all-round team performance by the Southern XI, exemplified by the runs from Jones, Black & Carey and the wickets spread amongst nearly all the bowlers. A special mention must also be made about the superb catching display throughout their bowling effort. But in the end, the day belonged to Carey whose 6-31 was the highlight of a great win.

Scorecard

Source: Cian Carey for www.cricketeurope.com

County make it 3 Senior T20 titles in 3 seasons

Tuesday, June 5th, 2018

Cork County completed a hat-trick of Munster Senior T20 titles with an emphatic 93 run victory over Limerick at the Mardyke on June bank holiday Monday. The first silverware of the 2018 season was up for grabs a little earlier than usual but the weather played its part to make it a memorable weekend of T20 action.

Following victories over Midleton and County Kerry in Group B of the qualifying stages, Cork County went into Finals Day where they faced local rivals Cork Harlequins in the first Semi-Final of the day. The holders booked their spot in the Final with a convincing 10 wicket victory over Harlequins after a commanding bowling and fielding display restricted the men from Farmers Cross to just 78.

After losing the toss and being inserted by Limerick, County posted a challenging total of 212-6 off their 20 overs with Jeremy Benton, Cormac Hassett and Nabeel Anjum in particular striking some big blows for the Cork men aided by more classical strokes by opener Robert Duggan.

With the ball, Shelford Meads in partnership with the left arm spinners of Sid Joshi and Jeremy Benton proved too tight and incisive for the Limerick top order who were soon falling way behind the rate required and losing wickets. A wonderful caught and bowled by young Daniel Kennedy topped off a fine display in the field by County as they clinched their third title in as many seasons.

Munster Senior T20 Blast Final

Cork County 212-6 (Hassett 56, Benton 51, Duggan 43, Nabeel 28) beat Limerick 119-9 (MS Sidiqi 35, Meads 3-15, Nabeel 3-15) by 93 runs at the Mardyke.

Ashes of former Cork County & Man Utd player Noel Cantwell to be scattered on the Mardyke

Thursday, April 12th, 2018

noel-cantwellThe ashes of Noel Cantwell, one of Cork and Ireland’s greatest sportsmen, are to be scattered on a cricket pitch at the Mardyke close to where he was born.

On Friday, 13th April 2018, Noel Cantwell’s daughters will bring his ashes to the Cork County Cricket Club grounds on the Mardyke, where his all-round sporting prowess first started to shine. Cantwell batted for his country seven times and went on to play international soccer, winning 36 international caps and scoring 14 goals with the Republic of Ireland.

He also played rugby, but is probably best known for captaining Manchester United. Cantwell also played with West Ham United and joined Manchester United in 1960, making 121 league appearances with them; winning two league titles and an FA Cup winner’s medals.

Noel Cantwell died in 2005, aged 73, and his ashes were kept by his wife, Maggie, at their home in England. She died just before Christmas and their daughters, Kate and Liz, requested that his ashes be scattered at the Cork County Cricket Club.

Although his opportunities on the cricket field were restricted by his soccer commitments, Noel, and his brothers, Frank and Gerry, were one of a number of families who grew up in the late 1940s and 1950s in and around the Mardyke area and who became leading lights in Cork cricket focused on the Mardyke.  Others from this era included Jim and Tom Kiernan, Pat Dineen, Jim Fitzgerald, Con Odlum, Danny Duggan, Noel and Dermot Giltinan and Billy Bradley to name but a few. 

The three Cantwell brothers played their club cricket with Cork Bohemians, played with Cork County in friendlies against Dublin, Northern Irish and English opposition and all three played for Munster in Interprovincial matches in this period.  Cork Bohemians were probably the dominant club side in Cork and Munster (pictured below) in this period winning the Senior League on six occasions in the 1950s.  Frank also played in the South v North fixture in 1952 which was effectively an Irish final trial but only Noel would go on to play international cricket for Ireland.

Noel is pictured below with the Munster Cricket side at the Mardyke on 25th May 1951.

Noel Cantwell pictured with the Munster Cricket side at the Mardyke on 25th May 1951

Noel Cantwell was a left handed bat and a right arm medium paced bowler.  Contemporary accounts describe him as being a fluent stroke maker and a brilliant fielder.  While Noel himself downplayed his ability as a bowler, he is noted as “having the habit of taking wickets at club level when most needed”.  Noel Cantwell played five times for Ireland in the period 1956 to 1959.  Of the relatively few matches played by Ireland in that period (generally three or four matches per year), quite a few were played in late August or September when his soccer commitments would have ruled him out of contention for selection. 

In 2015, a laneway was named after the sporting legend near the Mardyke. The ceremony was attended by Roy Keane, FAI chief executive John Delaney, and rugby legends Tom Kiernan and Barry McCann.

Councillor Mick Finn said after the ceremony that he spoke with Cantwell’s daughters, who expressed the wish to bring his ashes to Cork. They decided to follow through with the idea after their mother died.

“It’s fantastic that a Cork son will finally be returning home for the last time,” said Mr Finn. “It was fitting to name the walkway after somebody with such achievements and it was fitting that Roy Keane was there on that day because Noel Cantwell was the Roy Keane of his day.”

References:

County face Cork derby in 2018 Senior Cup opener

Sunday, January 7th, 2018

The 2018 Munster Cup draws have been made with some tricky ties awaiting Cork County next summer including Cork derby against Cork Harlequins in the Senior Cup Quarter Final. WeAreCounty 

Senior Cup: 

Quarter-Final: v Cork Harlequins (A)

Senior Cup holders Cork County make the short trip to Farmers Cross to take on local rivals Cork Harlequins in the Quarter Final with Midleton awaiting the winners in the Semi-Final. The other Quarter Final sees 2017 finalists Limerick making the trip up the M18 to face Galway at Lydican with the winners setting up a home tie against County Kerry in the Semi Final.

senior-cup-draw_2018_FINAL

Junior Cup: 

Quarter-Final: v Cork Harlequins or Tipperary (A)

Junior Cup holders Cork Harlequins open their defence with a home Quarter Final against Tipperary County with the winners facing Cork County in the Semi-Final. Limerick make the trip to East Cork in the other Quarter Final to take on Midleton with a trip to the Oyster Oval awaiting in the Semi-Final.

junior-cup-draw_2018

Minor Cup:

Quarter-Final: v Limerick (H)

Minor Cup holders Limerick face a tricky trip to the Mardyke in the Quarter Finals to take on Cork County with the winners facing the victors of Midleton and Winner 1 (Cork Harlequins v Tipperary County).  The other half of the draw sees a derby in The Kingdom when County Kerry take on North Kerry while Lismore await the winners of UCC and Waterford Districts.

minor-cup-draw_2018