A recent photograph of Ardkill CC from 1941 prompted an enquiry as to their history and their playing personnel.

Thanks to Johnny Gallagher, who played for the club as well as his father we can shed some light on this, plus identify the personnel in the photo below.

The first record of the club being formed goes back to 1886, and they played in three different locations at least that we know of.

They played on the Ardkill Road near Kellys farm, as well as near Goshaden Cottages at Knockbrack House on land belonging to Tom Gormley who was a Nationalist MP at the time.

The third location is at a field near McCloskey's Bridge, close to Burntollet Bridge, infamous as the site for one of the Troubles most talked about incidents.

ARDKILL 1941

The 1941 side is as follows (Back Row: Lawrence Donnelly, Josie Dixon, Johnny O'Neill, Columba O'Neill, Tommy Dixon, Leo McDermott, Jimmy Dixon. Front Row: A Hawthorne, John Sharkey, Charlie Hargan, Victor Montgomery, John Brolly)

Gallagher recalls some epic battles in what was then the Claudy Midweek League with teams such as Kilaloo, Cumber Claudy, and Ballyarton.

"The crowds were huge in those days. The fact there were so many local derbies too with bragging rights at stake added to the competitive nature of the games."

"The standard was high too. Many senior players from other clubs would take part , although it has to be said that the standard of umpiring was at times, not great to say the least.

"Willie Bonner used to be renowned if he got an appeal from the final ball of an over to reply "Over up and a man out too!

"Scores were pretty low too and I remember one famous final in the competition were the teams each scored 28 apiece in both of their two innings. You could say the bowlers were on top!"

ARDKILL 1950

Ardkill eventually morphed into Gosheden CC around 1963, just missing out on their centenary.

Gosheden were run by Joe Quigg who used to transport his side around in the back of his van.

Great memories and certainly a different era.