Waringstown batsman David Dawson says he has made an “emotional “decision” to leave his boyhood club.
The 28-year-old, who has been part of the villagers’ huge success over the last decade, is moving to neighbours Donaghcloney Mill.
Dawson is the latest player to leave The Lawn, following the winter departures of Ireland under-19 star Morgan Topping to Civil Service North and Jonathan Waite to Lisburn.
It leaves Waringstown, who swept the board last season winning the NCU Premier League, Irish Cup, and two Twenty20 competitions, with a squad that lacks depth outside an admittedly very strong starting 11.
Dawson didn’t start every game last season, but he was involved in all of Waringstown’s three Irish Cup victories of the last seven years and in the Premier League title victories of 2013, 2015 and 2017.
He often supplied game-changing runs from the lower middle order with an aggressive style of batting that will undoubtedly be missed.
“It was an emotional decision for me parting with my boyhood club and one I can’t even explain but it simply just felt right to move on,” Dawson told the News Letter.
“I’m currently involved in a new church, Emmanuel Portadown, which would limit my Sunday availability.
“I just want to say a massive thank-you to everyone at Waringstown. It’s a special club, in my opinion the best in the country, and I don’t take it lightly that I got to play for so many years at The Lawn.”
Dawson is now looking forward to helping Donaghcloney Mill’s Section One promotion challenge in what is sure to be a very competitive league this summer.
“Donaghcloney Mill was the club I always said I would pay for if I left Waringstown,” Dawson said. “There’s something about the village club that attracts me. I’m excited for the new challenge there and I hope I can help them progress like they have been over the last few seasons.
“At Waringstown special mention to Roy Harrison, who was instrumental when I was younger. Neale Matthews, Geoff Heyburn and Kyle McCallan always believed in me. Alan Waite, the club wouldn’t be run without him, and last but not least the lads I had the privilege of playing with and winning trophies.
“I will miss the changing room the most. I will always be a Waringstown boy and supporter. All the best to the club. I hope they win everything this year again.”
Waringstown will also be without rising star Jack Carson this summer. The teenager is plying his trade with English county Sussex and his returns to Northern Ireland will probably be limited.
They have added one name to their squad, the former Ballymena seam bowler Matthew Purse.