There was a somber mood among the NW cricketing fraternity this week with the death of Alan Dunn following a short illness.

The 59 year-old was an integral part of the all-conquering Donemana side of the 1980’s, also playing for Eglinton before becoming one of the Union’s most respected umpires.

“Cheetah” was a talented lower order batsman and occasional medium-pace bowler, but it was his fielding which made him such a superb addition to the playing side at Donemana. He paraded the boundary on the slopes at The Holm with great athleticism, agility and speed.

Tributes poured in from across the cricketing spectrum, not just in Ireland but from across the globe, among them Ireland legend and Sky commentator Kyle McCallan and former Indian Test players Bobby Rao and Sanjeev Sharma.

The NW Union said: “Whether as a player, umpire or spectator there is no-one in the Union who didn't spend some great time in Alan's company. He was a true character in our sport and has crammed more life into his 59 years than most people would in 99.”

Donemana CC paid this tribute: “He was a great servant to cricket not only at Donemana but throughout Ireland in his later years as an Umpire. But above all, we will remember Alan as Cheetah – competitive, committed and the ultimate club man. He will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by many throughout Donemana the Northwest and Ireland.”

We pass on our sympathies to Alan’s family and friends at this sad time. It is perhaps fitting that Alan’s two senior clubs Donemana and Eglinton meet this Saturday in the Premiership in what is bound to be a very emotional occasion.

It’s a busy weekend for both teams as they will play T20 matches on Friday, while they also are in action on Sunday in the Irish Senior Cup, with Donemana travelling to North Down and Eglinton to Phoenix.

They will be attempting to join two Tyrone teams in the second round draw. Strabane had received a bye and Bready joined them after a wonderful chase saw them beat Lisburn. Irosh Samarasooriya scoring a century and David Rankin 80.

In the draw for the second round, Bready await the winners of the Phoenix versus Eglinton game, North Down or Donemana will entertain CSNI while Strabane are away to Leinster.

The second round takes place on Sunday June 16th.