The Ger Siggins Column
Inside Edge: 30 May
The Ger Siggins Column: Previous Articles
The best bit of news in a while for Irish cricket came from Sandymount on Saturday. Trent Johnston stretched his long legs for the first time since the ICC World Twenty20 qualifier and the results were spectacular. His six overs saw him take 3-13 and ensured his new club YMCA qualified for the quarter-finals of the LHW Cup.
“The knee took at battering in the UAE”, he told Inside Edge. “But I got through it and we are going to another world cup which is huge for Cricket Ireland. The past eight weeks or so have been giving it rest, building it back up and strengthening up enough for me to bowl again. I can't thank Brendan Connor and Kieran O’Reilly enough. It’s in a good place.”
His 68 with the bat clinched his man of the match award and makes it three scores over 66 on the trot for his new club.
“Moving to YM was a difficult decision,” he admits. “I'd helped create a winning mentality and squad at Railway which will continue for a few more years I'd reckon. But all good things must come to an end and a new challenge begins. YM have one of the best junior structures around and my children are already benefiting greatly.
“Albert van der Merwe and I are in charge of the senior training. It’s a new challenge and the chance to work with five or six young quick bowlers excites me, that's what I want to do when my playing career finishes. Our goal is to be competitive this year and I think we have proved that already.”
‘TJ’ is also looking to his post-playing career and is both player-coach of YMCA and assistant coach of the South XI in Sunday’s interpro in Cork.
“My role with Leinster is exciting as well. We haven't had a session yet but I was asked about selection. We play this coming Sunday at the Mardyke and I can't wait to make my debut for Leinster and get my teeth into the coaching with Pete Johnston in the coming weeks.”
Performance of the week: Evergreen Corkman Ted Williamson, who made an unbeaten 201 for Harlequins in a 499-4 trouncing of Co Kerry.
Tweet of the week: Economics boffin David McWilliams (@davidmcw): “in ashbourne. irish&indian kids not playing footie, but cricket. going to be v different country sooner than we think”
Perhaps 60 is the new 40? Last year The Hills stalwart Martin Russell made his senior debut in his seventh decade. And the comeback of the season so far is that by YMCA player Eric Rankin, who turned out for the 4th XI on Saturday against Terenure in Division 9. Rankin's last competitive game was in 1978 – a 34 year gap.
Irish cricket is now spectacularly well-served by websites. Besides the monumental CricketEurope Ireland, cover-point.com and crackingcricket.ie, the national organisation has set up its own cricketireland.ie site. The Cricket Leinster website (cricketleinster.ie) has had a recent overhaul too, and now updates with news and features every day as well as the stunning results section which carries full scorecards of every game, no matter how modest, under its jurisdiction.
The title of a new book ‘Cricket – a Very Peculiar History’ tells you all you need to know. Written by Dublin resident Jim Pipe, it is an entertaining collection of well-worn stories, quotes and facts. It’s perfect for dipping in and out of, and you may discover interesting snippets such as the 1300 reference to a sport called ‘creag’ which meant fun and may have derived from the Irish ‘craic’.