It was a difficult season for Cliftonville who suffered relegation from Section One along with Academy.

At this week's AGM, it was announced that Cliftonville and Academy had agreed to merge - club meetings held already just still debate over name but likely to be the predicted 'Cliftonville-Academy'.

Let's hope the proposed merger turns out to be as successful as that of Donaghcloney and Millpark, although the decline in team numbers seems to be a slide that numerous initiatives are failing to arrest - worrying times for cricket in the North of Ireland who haven't been bolstered by the influx of economic migrants from the subcontinent who have contributed so much to the growth of the game in Southern Ireland.

Back to on the field matters and Cliftonville's batting was brittle with only three players passing 300 runs.

The club scored just 7 fifties - but managed two hundreds, one of which proved a controversial one as Paul Stirling hit 115 not out in a weekend back at his boyhood club. His appearance wasn't welcomed by all!

Johnny Terrett topped the run charts with 479 runs at 34.1, scoring the club's other century as well as two fifties.

Neil Cahill hit 409 at 24.1, also making two fifties. just ahead of Matthew McCord who also made two half centuries in his 399 at 21.2.

Adam Kelso with 266 runs at 16.6 (1 fifty) is also worthy of a mention.

The bowling unit also lacked depth but Matthew McCord's 30 wickets at 19.45 was a superb effort while Brian Anderson's 25 victims at 21.50 is also very commendable.

Tom McCord (15), Johnny Terrett (14) and Davy Menaul (12) reached double figures.

2018 promises to be an exciting one for the club and one can only hope that the merger proves a fruitful one and ensures the survival of this proud club.

CLIFTONVILLE BATTING

  • Johnny Terrett 479 at 34.1
  • Neil Cahill 409 at 24.1
  • Matthew McCord 399 at 22.2
  • Adam Kelso 266 at 16.6

BOWLING

  • Matthew McCord 30 wickets at 19.43
  • Brian Anderson 25 wickets at 21.50
  • Tom McCord 15 wickets at 33.13
  • Johnny Terrett 14 wickets at 25.77
  • David Menaul 12 wickets at 21.67