Instonians have underlined their commitment to the growth of youth cricket with the establishment of an Under 11 Academy.

Aimed initially at boys only, the sessions will run over ten weeks in the winter months.

Plans for a girls Academy are at an advanced stage and they too are expected to commence in early 2018.

The inaugural group will see twelve boys receive expert coaching from Steven Crothers, Eugene Moleon, Nikolai Smith and Shane Getkate.

Instonians have a thriving and successful boys section who tasted all-Ireland glory last season with a thrilling win over YMCA, and the senior squad has benefitted in recent times from a production line of talent.

There was further good news for the Shaw's Bridge club with the news that Irish international James Shannon has been shortlisted for the Player of the Year at the prestigious Belfast Telegraph awards.

Shannon enjoyed a superb 2017 at both domestic and inter-pro level, but hasn't been able yet to force his way back into the senior international side.