NW Review 1: Ardmore
2014 will go as a disappointing year for the Bleachgreen side with relegation only avoided on the final day of the season with a win against Glendermott in the play-off.
The club won five of their fourteen league games, while they didn't have much joy in the various cup competitions.
They exited the first round of the Senior Cup after a 69 run loss against Bready, but fared better in the Irish Cup when they beat five times winners North County in a thriller, before losing to Merrion despite another Curry hundred.
There were wins against Drummond, Creevedonnell and Strabane in the T20 competition, before losing to Donemana in a high scoring encounter.
The Ulster Cup saw them bow out at the first hurdle losing by 7 wickets to a Griffin Nieuwouldt inspired Civil Service North.
The club had the highest aggregate run scorer in the shape of the living legend Decker Curry who made 1180 runs at an average of 56.19 - some 363 runs clear of his nearest challenger, Kamran Sajid of Donemana.
Curry scored six 50's and 4 hundreds - taking his career tally to 97. His match winning hundred against Bready was rated by many seasoned observers as amongst the finest they had ever witnessed.
Andrew Riddles with 618 runs at 32.53 was the only other batsman in the NW top 20.
Ciaran Curley - helped by his maiden senior hundred against a severely weakened Fox Lodge - scored 440 runs at 19.13.
Adrian Murphy was just behind, but he is a much better player than his 435 at 25.59 indicates.
The rest of the Ardmore top order had distinctly average returns - Peter Harrigan 278 at 16.35, Paul McDowell 248 at 13.78, and Paul Brolly 175 at 13.46.
In the bowling stakes, it's also quite remarkable given their struggles that the club also had the leading wicket taker as Gary Neely led the way with 48 wickets at 15.46.
Decker Curry also made the top 20 with 35 at 21.97, and Lee Brolly - 28 at 28.25.
Teenager Ryan Brolly impressed with his return of 22 wickets at 18.86, while Andrew Riddles - 21 at 29.67 and Conor Brolly 20 at 25.35 also passed the 20 wicket marker.
Tellingly though, the club had only one bowler in the top 20 economy rates - Neely in 16th slot.
One area of huge concern to Ardmore - in addition to their brittle batting - was the standard of their catching and ground fielding.
Their lack of pace and mobility in the field was often in stark contrast to their opponents and needs to be urgently addressed over the close season.
What does 2015 hold for the club? If they can retain their signings and bring in an overseas professional or maybe another marquee player - Johnny Thompson has been mooted - then a major challenge for trophies may be the case rather than a relegation battle.
ARDMORE TOP BATSMEN
ARDMORE TOP BOWLING
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