John Cochrane

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As well as being a proud representative of NWCU and Ireland, for whom he was capped late in his career - as a grandfather in fact - John Cochrane has written himself indelibly into the record books as a Donemana player - one of the club’s all-time greats.

He played in 12 North West senior cup finals between 1949 and 1969, winning the trophy on six occasions, two of those along with his son Ivan, a prodigious talent who sadly passed away at a young age.

John was a member of the first Donemana team to lift the Senior Cup in 1950 - 70 short years ago. In 1959, he excelled for his club although on the wrong end of a shock defeat at the hands of St. Johnston, taking five wickets and scoring an unbeaten 101 in an unsuccessful fourth innings run chase.

He was to score another cup final century, 112 in 1964, this time on the winning side against a strong Brigade team.

He was not only a hero with the bat; he also took 38 cup final wickets at an incredible average of 12.55. Words from me about John’s excellence as an all-rounder are surely superfluous in the glow of these impressive statistics; suffice to say that I will cherish the memories of his rhythmical left-arm bowling action, wheeling in to send down his ‘bananas’ and his elegant batting, usually at the top of the order with the likes of Mitchell Caldwell and Frank Woodcock.

On top of all that, he was a really, really nice man to know, as his legion of admirers will testify, not only in Tyrone, but also in the Coleraine triangle area, where he was to make his home after scaling down his successful interests in the motor trade.

Another cricketing colossus has raised his bat aloft and climbed the pavilion steps.

May his noble soul rest in peace

Joe Doherty, March 11 2020