Lurgan needing an ark
David Holmes (Total Cricket)
When Noah was around he built an ark because it was going to rain for forty days and forty nights. When I spoke to Lurgan’s Niranjan Godbole for my article on 30 May he had just made successive centuries against Holywood the previous weekend.
This weekend Niranjan should be looking forward to another clash with the same opposition in the league, which if the game goes ahead will be exactly 48 days since the last time Lurgan have been on the field of play. Now don’t try and tell me that is not a crisis for cricket.
Lurgan have already suffered from the fact that their game against Bangor was called off at the weekend and as this was a match two it is now null and void. So despite being unbeaten on the field the promotion favourites are now losing ground (excuse the pun) off the field.
I spoke to Graeme Hunter yesterday and with heavy rain falling in Lurgan and the prospect of more before the weekend he was not optimistic of play. He also confirmed what I had heard from a number of sources that clubs were unwilling to even take a chance at rearranging fixtures at short notice because of the likelihood they will be called off and therefore potentially be null and void.
Ironically Muckamore success in the cup and the fact that they keep being handed home draws is working for them when it comes to the league. With Moylena one of the few places where cricket is being played, the club may have a massive league backlog but the fact that they are not going to game two scenarios gives them a better chance than most to get the fixtures completed if the weather does relent.
At Millpark the situation is little better; again I commented at the start of June on their great start to the season with three wins and a tie. Guess what they still have three wins and a tie and have not played since 3 June, I spoke to Jason Maxwell:
“It’s a nightmare, what we need is 4 consecutive days of heat and wind, effectively Monday to Friday, it is just not happening. Never mind play we have not even had a roller on the ground in 6 weeks. On Sunday our seconds were due to play but the artificial was too dangerous.
We are due to play Saintfield on Saturday; we have already switched fixtures with them this season so this is now our home game, to be honest I cannot see any way it will go ahead. We have not had a full week’s practice in 6 weeks and have only been out about three times.”
Even if we get dry weather from now forward most clubs are in the position where they will be looking to cram two thirds of a season into August and September and we all know that is extremely unlikely as winter sports will come to the fore. I can confidently predict that it will be no surprise if more than 50% of fixtures from second eleven levels to below are not completed this season.
I will finish on a positive note; Donaghcloney are bucking the trend and are only one game behind, last weekend’s game against Lurgan being called off, as David Marshall explains:
“To be honest Saturday morning ruined it but by late Saturday afternoon we might have been able to play a reduced overs game. We are on top of a hill where the wicket is situated so the water all drains away from the middle.
There is a lot of hard work goes on; we have the covers and tarpaulins. We have also had a decent start to the season and for us it is about survival in the league. We don’t have many younger players coming through most of us are experienced heads now and Bruce Topping and Mansing Nigade have been doing a good job with the bat.”
Finally, finally news reaches me that Drumaness are through to the final of the Twenty20 Shield, beating Saintfield 1-0 in a bowl out. Surely this is the first time any club has reached the final of a competition without actually playing a game. A bye and two bowl out victories their record to date.