It’s same again all round in the Interprovincial Coaching line up
Eugene Moleon, Ian McGregor and Ted Williamson have been confirmed by Cricket Ireland as the three head coaches in this year's Hanley Energy Inter-Provincial Series.
This will be Eugene Moleon's fourth season in charge of the Northern Knights, with the affable South-African born coach winning the IP Cup back in 2013.
Eugene Moleon said:
"I am thrilled to be re-appointed the Knights’ coach for 2016. I do realise we have a great amount of work to do to put really competitive performances in all three formats and I'm excited to be involved in striving to make that happen.”
The Northern Cricket Union has also appointed Gavin Rodgers as Assistant Coach to Moleon for 2016 following a successful period in the role.
2016 will continue to pose challenges for the Knights who have struggled with player availability over the past three campaigns.
With Cricket Ireland announcing the end of the central C-contract and promising enhanced Inter-Provincial contracts for those fringe players aspiring to play for Ireland it is hoped that more NCU players will be able to increase their availability and strengthen the squad accordingly.
Ian McGregor was granted temporary charge of the North-West Warriors last year and will relish the opportunity to continue the progress made by the region since the competition started back in 2013.
The benefits of having centrally contracted players was apparent nowhere more so than the North West where performances have improved greatly particularly in the past season.
One wonders just how strong the Warriors would be without their self-imposed restriction of only selecting players playing in the NW leagues.
Ted Williamson led Leinster Lightning to a clean sweep of trophies in 2015 in a superb first season in charge after taking over at the helm from Trent Johnston.
And it will be Leinster who will start as favourites again in all three formats.
So after a winter of debate regarding the make-up of the series and the possible addition of a fourth side whether that be by the inclusion of Munster or a dilution of the Leinster powerhouse, it’s very much as you were for 2016.
The 2016 Hanley Energy Inter-Provincial Cup commences on May 2nd, when the Northern Knights take on Leinster Lightning at Stormont.
The first game in the IP20 Trophy is at Merrion on Friday May 13th between Lightning and NW Warriors, while the IP Championship gets under way on Tuesday May 17th when the Knights host Lightning.
The Northern Knights’ Fixture list is as follows
Mon 2nd Northern Knights vs Leinster Lightning IP50 Stormont
Tue 17th to Thu 19th Northern Knights vs Leinster Lightning IPC venue tbc
Fri 27th Northern Knights vs North-West Warriors IP20 North Down
Tue 21st to Thu 23rd North-West Warriors vs Northern Knights IPC Bready
Fri 1st Leinster Lightning vs Northern Knights IP20 Merrion
Fri 22nd Northern Knights vs Leinster Lightning IP20 CIYMS
Sun 24th to Tue 26th Leinster Lightning vs Northern Knights IPC venue tbc
Sun 31st Leinster Lightning vs Northern Knights IP50 venue tbc
Fri 5th North-West Warriors vs Northern Knights IP20 Strabane
Sun 7th Northern Knights vs North-West Warriors IP50 Waringstown
Mon 8th to Wed 10th Northern Knights vs North-West Warriors IPC Stormont
Sun 14th North-West Warriors vs Northern Knights IP50 Eglinton