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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.

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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

Blarney Castle renew partnership for 3 more years

Friday, February 22nd, 2019

Cork County Cricket Club and Blarney Castle are delighted to announce the extension of our existing partnership.

For the past three years, Blarney Castle have provided invaluable support to cricketing activities at the Mardyke, supporting players of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. This agreement sees that partnership continue for a further three years, with the famous Blarney Castle logo continuing to take pride of place on the front of the club playing shirts.

Welcoming the extension of the current agreement, Cork County Cricket Club President Kieran Aherne thanked Blarney Castle for their ongoing support and highlighted the link between two of Cork’s most picturesque settings, the Mardyke and Blarney Castle.

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Kit Donation to Cork Direct Provision Centre

Saturday, January 19th, 2019

Following a recent appeal on Twitter from Roos Demol (@vlnierland) and Deirdre O’Shaughnessy (@deshocks) looking for cricket equipment for residents at the Direct Provision Centre on the Kinsale Road, a number of members got together to gather up old equipment to donate. 

A big thanks for Andy Wootton, in particular, who donated a significant amount of old bats, pads & cricketing accessories. Also a special mention to Abdul Jabbar Younus, Scot McNamara, Sean Cawley and Robert Duggan for donating other bits and pieces.  

Direct Provision Centre donation

There was great interest through social media with the guys from the Direct Provision Centre putting the new equipment to use immediately once they returned to their residence on the Kinsale Road. It is hoped to continue to liaise with the group with coaching to be organised over the coming months in the lead up to the season. #WeAreCounty

Former Irish Independent journalist Sean Power dies after short illness (Irish Independent)

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

sean-powerTRIBUTES have been paid to former journalist and public relations guru Sean Power who has died after a short illness.

Mr Power, who was in his 80s, was a former southern correspondent with The Irish Independent and political correspondent with The Irish Press.

A native of Waterford, he was a hugely talented sportsman and won an All Ireland senior hurling medal with Wexford in 1960.

He hurled with Wexford as he was based in the county at the time as a local journalist.

A friend said today: “He was a great guy, a great journalist and part of Cork’s social and sporting life for decades.”

Uniquely, his brother, Seamas, won an All Ireland senior hurling medal with Waterford the previous year, in 1959.

He moved to Dublin from Wexford to work as political correspondent with The Irish Press, later becoming Chairman of the Oireachtas Press Association.

Mr Power relocated from Dublin to Cork in the late 1960s where he married his wife, Mary.

He worked for a time as the southern correspondent with The Irish Independent.

Mr Power then left to found his own firm, Power Communications, which became very successful.

At its peak in the 1990s, his firm boasted some of Cork’s leading companies and organisations as clients.

Mr Power was a close friend of Dr Garret Fitzgerald and, famously, when the then-Taoiseach would visit Cork in the 1980s he would insist on staying at the Power home in Montenotte rather than in a hotel.

Former Tanaiste Peter Barry also became a close friend of Mr Power who was an advisor to the Fine Gael organisation in Cork for many years.

A lifelong sportsman, Mr Power was a very accomplished golfer.

He was immensely proud of his two children – John, who became an Irish cricket international, and Michelle, who manages the Quercus Scholarship Programme at University College Cork (UCC).

Mr Power is survived by his wife, Mary, children and extended family.

Ar dheis De go raibh a hAnam dilis.

Reference

Riegel, R. (2019, January 11). Former Irish Independent journalist Sean Power dies after short illness. Irish Independent. Retrieved from https://www.independent.ie/

Sean K. Power RIP

Friday, January 11th, 2019

It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of another club stalwart, Sean Power, overnight. Sean was a familiar face at the Mardyke down through the years having served as President during the successful period 1997-99, and has always been acknowledged as an extremely valued member of the club. Our sympathies go to Mary, John, Michelle and all of his family. #RIP

Funeral arrangements available on rip.ie 

Sean Power & Pat Twomey attending a Cork County Awards Dinner

January Update

Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

Hello All,

We hope you have enjoyed the festive period and are looking forward to the upcoming season. The Committee would like to take this opportunity to update you all on a number of matters:

Indoor Training

Following a review of potential venues, the indoor hall at Bandon Grammar School has been selected as the venue for pre-season indoor training. Bandon is suitable as a bowling machine will be available and hard balls can be used for all elements of training. Dates are being finalised but it is likely that training will begin in the final week of January and will take place on Sunday afternoons.

Fixtures

The MCU Cricket Committee will release the fixtures for the season in mid-February. All leagues and cups remain largely the same in terms of structure, however as Cork County 3 finished in second place in Division 3 last year, we have been promoted to Division 2 for the coming year. The first matches in Munster competitions for our first and second teams take place on 27/28 April while the third team will commence on 20/21 April.

The Cricket Leinster OCC will release a provisional fixture list in late January however this will only contain the dates of our fixtures and not the opposition. Our opponents in the newly branded Cricket Leinster ‘Championship’ will be decided by an early season ‘league cup’ competition but are likely to contain teams from both Division 1 and Division 2.

Infrastructure

Members who have been at the club recently will have noticed the installation of a CCTV system. This was deemed an essential by the committee following recent break-ins. The cost of this system was in excess of €1,300 and has made it even more important for members to pay their subscriptions as soon as possible this year.

A grant application has also been submitted for the development of a twin net-bay facility on the far side of the ground which will run from the Rochestown Park sign toward the Beamish sign. This will have minimal impact on the existing playing boundary. The result of the application is expected in March/April and if successful, construction would start in the early part of the summer.

Subscriptions & Membership

All members are requested to pay their membership fee as soon as possible. Subs can be paid online, in person to David Griffin or at the bar which is open every night from 7pm. Full details available at www.corkcountycricketclub.com

On-Field Update

We are delighted to welcome Harvey Wootton to the club for 2019. Harvey as most of you know is the son of a certain Andy Wootton and is currently in NZ, playing alongside Jeremy Benton. Harvey is a left arm seam-bowling all-rounder and will have a fantastic impact in our first team.

Cormac Hassett & Jeremy Benton are both enjoying the NZ summer presently and will return to our shores in April. We’re also looking forward to welcoming Brandon and Steve Kruger back to the Mardyke for a portion of the summer.

Finally, we would invite all members to join us in congratulating Ramesh Neppalli on his recent marriage in India.

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

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Ann O’Connell RIP

Sunday, December 23rd, 2018

It is with great sadness that we learned of the unexpected passing of Ann O’Connell over the weekend.

Ann was a familiar and friendly face behind the bar to members, supporters & visitors for almost 30 years at the Mardyke. A true club stalwart through good and bad times down through the years and will be sorely missed at the club. May she rest in peace. #RIP

Christmas Party 2018

Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

The annual Cork County CC festive get together is taking place at the Mardyke on Sunday, 23rd December 2018. It’s a great opportunity for all members, supporters, past players, friends & family to enjoy a night of reminiscing, fun and a little banter to kick off the Christmas holiday season.

Doors open at 7 p.m. so all welcome to come along and soak up the Christmas music, mulled wine and fantastic company! #WeAreCounty

Cork County Cricket Club - Christmas Party 2018

Scan the QR code with your mobile device to see the event on Facebook.

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