NW Review 9: Limavady
You would imagine that any team that ended the season with a set of championship medals, the Faughan Valley cup and having reached the last four of the Bob Kerr All Ireland competition would be content with their lot, but Limavady aren't any team.
Their league campaign was of a very high standard, 14 wins from 17 matches with their only defeats coming at the hands of title challengers Strabane and Bready and maybe a little more surprisingly, Fox Lodge. To be fair to them the Roesiders did very well in the second half of the season considering that they had to play that set of fixtures away from home as the Hunter Grounds was undergoing major surgery, however there is little doubt that the All-Ireland defeat stung really badly.
Going into the last four there was a glint in David Cooke's eye as most observers were in agreement that his side looked by far best equipped to go all the way but the rest as they say we already know. It's difficult to work out which hurt most, the defeat or the fact that it was in the main self inflicted, but either way it had a demoralising effect.
As for the individual performances you would hardly get rich backing Des Curry to top the batting averages but once again the North West's most prolific player was magnificent. For the record Decker posted 1236 runs at a superb average of 65 and for a guy who was finished two years ago that probably rates as good as it gets in domestic cricket.
Curry's regular opening partner, Ian McGregor, was next in with 920 at an average of 40 dead and there are very few Number 1's around with his sort of track record down through the years either. Skipper David Cooke followed with 691 at just under 35 and all-rounder Chris Moore weighed in with 568 at over 31 but when you consider that all four have been opening batsmen for large parts of their career you get an idea of the options available to the side.
Impressive though the batting figures are it was Limavady's attack that was their most potent weapon, Richard McDaid coming two wickets short of seeing them with FOUR bowlers passing the 40-wicket mark for the season. Johnny Martin claimed 20 victims, Decker 29 and Ricky 38 whilst Chris Moore, Andrew Riddles and Simon Dunn all posted 40 plus.
Moore returned 41 at an average cost of just over 18 runs each and Dunn was top taker with 44 at just under 20, but the averages were claimed by all-rounder Riddles whose 43 came at less than 15 runs each. We haven't checked the averages collectively over the past few seasons but Simon Dunn seems to continually pick up fantastic wicket hauls for a bowler who should get more overs than he does.
You would need to have been visiting your great aunt Hannah on Mars for the past fortnight to have missed the rumours flying around about possible movement away from the Hunter Grounds during the winter but for now, rumour is all that it is. As we said at the start, any other team with that record would be hiring an open top bus to take them for a lap of honour. Limavady probably see it differently.
R McDaid 428 runs @ 19.5
C Moore 568 runs @ 31.6
D Cooke 691 runs @ 34.6
I McGregor 920 runs @ 40.0
Des Curry 1236 runs @ 65.1
J Martin 20 wickets @ 28.9
Des Curry 29 wickets@ 21.2
R McDaid 38 wickets @ 19.8
C Moore 41 wickets @ 18.2
A Riddles 43 wickets @ 14.7
S Dunn 44 wickets @ 19.5