The Lawrence Moore Column
Outside Edge: 31 July
Now that the dust has settled on the Northern Bank senior cup final it is as good a time as any to take stock on the show-piece in light of Bready's first attempt at hosting it. The North West has decided that the final is to be rotated now on an annual basis between Tyrone and Derry and that is probably no bad thing. It opens up the avenue for any club to put themselves forward safe in the knowledge that it will be themselves that decide where it is to be played, and that transparency is to be warmly welcomed.
Most of us will only ever remember seeing a senior cup final played at three grounds- Beechgrove, Eglinton and now Bready; indeed some might not even remember that many. The latter will probably be cursing their luck that the final was to be ruined by the weather but I'm not so sure as the club showed just how well they were able to cope with everything the elements threw at them. To be fair the same comments have applied to Eglinton in the past as the village club had a team of volunteers led by John Pierce, Terry Campbell and Ken Craig who were blue in the face getting covers off and on even in the most awful conditions.
The first prerequisite for hosting such an event these days is a volunteer team of around 50 people because if you don't have them you're going to be visibly stretched. Some people I talked to over the weekend felt Beechgrove was the ideal place to host the final and Brigade's home ground certainly has plenty of attributes that lend itself to being a good host. While we're not comparing like with like however it is difficult to argue that Bready have raised the bar by several feet now. A cast of thousands, superb facilities including a magnificently positioned media room and a scoreboard that even I could see were all top notch, but it was their attention to detail that was so catching. If you had car parking requirements you talked to Harry and it was sorted, Flora and Nellie had tea seemingly on tap and things like having someone work the electronic scoreboard for the scorers were all taken care of.
On Wednesday night the CricketEurope team had decided to score the senior cup final “live” and we gave it a dummy run however the wi-fi signal wasn't strong enough. Within 20 minutes Mark Lecky had landed back with a second router and the deal was done. The food was superb and served with military-like timing and when a few unexpected visitors arrived on Sunday and needed a cuppa when the kitchen was closed, Davy Scanlon made it.
Fitting then that before the final had even started, former Test batsman and current ICC match referee Jeff Crowe arrived at Magheramason along with Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom and Chair of Cricket Joe Doherty to take a look at the ground and facilities as part of Bready's quest for ODI status. Jeff somehow managed to get Davy Caldwell off the roller long enough to get a look at the pitch and the New Zealander spent several hours assessing the entire venue. Obviously his full findings will be reported in due course but the overall feeling seems to be pretty positive.
Mr Crowe was at pains to point out that the demands of the modern day International cricketer have risen substantially in recent years and that hosts now had to have separate tea facilities for each side and then another one for umpires. He was also impressed by the changing facilities but warned Bready that they would need to have an extra two rooms available to cope with the mountain of gear that the players would bring. At the heels of the hunt though there is at least now a chance that we will see a full ODI here in the North West sooner rather than later and that can only be good news for the region.
Before leaving the cup final there were also rumblings over the weekend that the North West should now go to a one-innings decider as is the case in the other regions. For my money, and thankfully the vast majority of clubs as well, that is exactly why we must stay with a 2-innings final. The North West is unique in that respect and if we were to relent then there would be little or no discernible differences left between any of the unions. Sure the weather hasn't helped for several finals in recent years but we've been playing 2-day finals for a million years so why would it be any more of a problem now? (Answers on a postcard to Global Warming section, the Mark Patterson Show, Radio Foyle,,,).
Anyway, that's by the by. I just want to finish off this piece by wishing Donemana and Brigade the best of luck for their big matches this weekend. We're due a win in both of the Inter-Regional cup competitions so with maximum respect to both Merrion and Civil Service North- here's hoping it's a big weekend for our own.
The Lawrence Moore Column: Index
Outside Edge: 20 November Outside Edge: 20 November ( )
Outside Edge: 24 October Outside Edge: 24 October ( )
Outside Edge: 8 October Outside Edge: 8 October ( )
Outside Edge: 18 September Outside Edge: 18 September ( )
Outside Edge: 12 September Outside Edge: 12 September ( )
Outside Edge: 28 August Outside Edge: 28 August ( )
Outside Edge: 20 August Outside Edge: 20 August ( )
Outside Edge: 14 August Outside Edge: 14 August ( )
Outside Edge: 7 August Outside Edge: 7 August ( )
Outside Edge: 31 July Outside Edge: 31 July ( )
Outside Edge: 25 July Outside Edge: 25 July ( )
Outside Edge: 10 July Outside Edge: 10 July ( )
Outside Edge: 2 July Outside Edge: 2 July ( )
Outside Edge: 26 June Outside Edge: 26 June ( )
Outside Edge: 19 June Outside Edge: 19 June ( )
Outside Edge: 12 June Outside Edge: 12 June ( )
Outside Edge: 5 June Outside Edge: 5 June ( )
Outside Edge: 29 May Outside Edge: 29 May ( )
Outside Edge: 22 May Outside Edge: 22 May ( )
Outside Edge: 15 May Outside Edge: 15 May ( )
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