DAZZLER DALZELL SHINES FOR BREADY

It was quite a weekend for Bready teenager Alana Dalzell whose excellent season continued with a series of eye-catching displays for the Magheramason side.

She claimed four wickets for just one run as Bready beat Newbuildings in the Qualifying Two League, and followed that up with 33 and two wickets as they beat Strabane. In the Women’s League on Monday night, she hit 47 as they gained a last-ball win over Fox Lodge.

The 18 year-old has just finished her A levels studying Maths, Biology and Geography and she has ambitions to start studying physiotherapy at Ulster University in September. So how did her cricketing journey start?

“My dad Alan was always a keen cricketer and so I started out playing cricket with him at home at a young age, although I only began playing club cricket for Bready aged 11 after our school won the Kwik Cricket tournament that year in 2012.

“Initially, Trevor Hamilton was my most influential coach as he managed our u11s team when I first started out, and the fact that he always made training sessions fun was a fundamental part to my interest in playing cricket.

“Since then, I’ve had many sessions with different coaches who all have had different approaches in helping me improve my game, which I feel is vital for development. Brian Allen and Marty Deans have played key roles as well as Davy Scanlon who has helped me at the club over the years. Currently my main coaches are Gary McDaid, Stephen McCartney and Barry Scott within the North West Ladies’ squad, along with my Ireland coaches.”

Dalzell’s performances have caught the eyes of the selectors, and she has played for Ireland at both Under 15 and 17 level, and will be representing Ireland U19’s this summer. She is also part of the Women’s Super Three series where she represents the Dragons.

Alana was quick to highlight the importance of playing for Bready in the Mens League as an important cog in her development.

“I play for Bready thirds team which has been very important in helping improve my game. I feel it has allowed me to adapt to different game situations more easily and has helped me to think more tactically about each match as I play alongside and against experienced players.

“It also has made me more disciplined and determined and hopefully these qualities will help me to develop to the full international side.”

Dalzell became the first woman player to represent Foyle College boys’ side, and was also the first from the NW to play in a men’s cup final. With her progression she continues to be an excellent role model for the region and hopefully it won’t be too long before she gains further recognition for her talents.

TYRONE PLAYERS TO THE FORE IN INTERPROS

The youth interprovincial series started in earnest at the weekend and the NW got off to a winning start with an excellent morale boosting win against their NCU counterparts at Fox Lodge.

The win looked a distant possibility as Matthew Daly (4-13) and Rory Ellerby (2-29) reduced the hosts to 28 for 4. The NW rallied thanks to determined resistance from the middle and late order with St Johnston's Scott MacBeth top scoring with 38. There were also vital contributions from the Eglinton duo of Corin Kyte (30) and Robert McFarland (23) as well as Bready's Brooke Crumley who made 18 as the NW posted 184 for 9 in their 50 overs.

The NCU also struggled when it was their turn to bat, being reduced to 84 for 7, with wickets for Khayat Bhavsar and Dylan McDaid. Michael Waite (30) and Carson McCullough (28) led the fightback with a 8th wicket stand of 55, but Corin Kyte broke the stand, and then Brooke Crumley picked up the last two as the NCU were dismissed for 162 in the 43rd over.

The tournament proper begins next Monday, July 1st in the NCU region and Coach David Scanlon will go into it with great confidence with points already on the board.

The U17 squad is due to be selected this week ahead of their tournament, which is also being held in the NCU region. They start with a curtain raiser this Sunday at Lisburn against the junior Knights.

There have been six players from Tyrone in the winter training squad with Strabane’s Tom Harpur and Conor Graham, the Fox Lodge duo of Adam Boyd and Aidan Logue, Donemana’s Levi Dougherty and Kilyclooney’s William Finlay all expected to play a major role in the tournament.

Ireland have also named their U15 squad for a four-match tour to England next month when they will play Middlesex and Berkshire. There are two representatives from the NW, with St Johnston’s Scott MacBeth and Bonds Glen’s Raymond Curry named in the 14-player squad.

SUPERMAC LEADS THE WAY IN FASTEST FIFTY CHALLENGE

Donemana all-rounder William McClintock has propelled himself to the top of the charts in the race for a prize of £500 of sports equipment at the end of the season after he hit a stunning 11-ball half-century in Donemana’s T20 win over Strabane at The Holm to put him into the lead for the North West’s Fastest 50, pushing Burndennett all-rounder Salman Ahmed down into second place.

McClintock has set the standard after bringing up his 50 in just 11 balls, which included eight sixes and a four, as Donemana posted 227 – Ricky-Lee Dougherty no slouch either as he hit 10 sixes in his 99. Jordan McGonigle then captured 5 for 14 as Donemana eased to a comprehensive 151-run win as Strabane made just 76.

The Red Caps had to pick themselves up for the long journey to Coleraine on Saturday morning, and after being dismissed for the same score, it looked as if they would have the return journey to reflect and lick their wounds. However an inspired bowling display saw them earn a share of the spoils as they restricted the Bannsiders to 76 also.

Bready were also in T20 action and the 2017 winners were in top form after restricting Ballyspallen to 108-8, with Brendon Louw hitting 31, as Irosh Samarasooriya claimed 4-30. The Sri Lankan was also in form with the bat as he made 41 and Jamie Magee added 31 as Bready passed the target with five overs to spare, keeping themselves in with a shout of making the top two who will contest the final at Strabane later in the summer.

BURNDENNETT STAY IN POLE POSITION IN CHAMPIONSHIP

Burndennett continue to lead the promotion race in the Championship as Mark Mooney's men easily accounted for Newbuildings by eight wickets.Overseas player Salman Ahmed was again to the fore as he followed up his T20 half century in a losing cause at Ardmore on Friday by claiming 6 wickets as Newbuildings were dismissed for 80. The home side made light work of that as Andy Barr (32*) and Eddie McGettigan (27*) sealed an emphatic success.

Fox Lodge’s hopes of making the top two were dealt a blow as they lost a hard-fought battle at home to Ardmore. Peter Harrigan top scored for the visitors with 65 as they made 199 and despite a half century from Jason Milligan, the Ballymagorry men came up just short - Gary Neely's stunning leaping catch on the boundary sealing the win in a see-saw game.

In the final game, David Lapsley hit 78 and took 3 wickets as St Johnston hammered Bonds Glen by 173 runs. Kevin Martin also made 70 as the Saints racked up 342-7 and although Ewald Roberts made an unbeaten 92 for the home side, they never looked likely to get close.

There’s a huge game in the division on Saturday, when Burndennett take on Fox Lodge in what is always a competitive match. It’s a must win game for Fox Lodge if they are to retain hopes of automatic promotion. Killyclooney host Ardmore in another intriguing game, with these two also harbouring hopes of Premiership cricket next season. You get the feeling that there could be a lot of twists and turns before the season ends.

NW FIXTURES

T20 PREMIERSHIP (FRI 6.30pm) Glendermott v Bready Eglinton v Donemana Ballyspallen v Strabane

T20 CHAMPIONSHIP Newbuildings v Killyclooney St Johnston v Ardmore Fox Lodge v Bonds Glen

PREMIERSHIP (SAT 1PM) Donemana v Bready Brigade v Strabane Coleraine v Eglinton Glendermott v Ballyspallen Strabane v Ballyspallen (Sun 1pm)

CHAMPIONSHIP Newbuildings v Bonds Glen Burndennett v Fox Lodge Killyclooney v Ardmore Ardmore v Newbuildings (Sun 1pm)

QUALIFYING ONE Bonds Glen II v Bready II Ardmore II v Eglinton II

QUALIFYING ONE CUP Fox Lodge II v The Nedd

QUALIFYING TWO Ballyspallen II v Maghera Killyclooney II v Strabane II Sion Mills v Newbuildings II Bready III v Glendermott II

QUALIFYING TWO CUP Coleraine II v Glendermott II (Sun 1pm) Sion Mills v Strabane II (Sun 1pm) Ballyspallen II v Maghera (Sun 1pm)

QUALIFYING THREE North Fermanagh v Donemana III Donemana III v NW Women's XI (Sun 1pm) Eglinton III v Fox Lodge III (Sun 1pm)

ULSTER PLATE (Sun 1pm) Waringstown II v Fox Lodge II Bonds Glen II v CSNI II Eglinton II v North Down II

WOMEN'S LEAGUE (MON 6.30pm) Strabane v Fox Lodge Killyclooney v Bready Newbuildings v Burndennett