NORTH DOWN

  • Captain - Alistair Shields 
  • Vice-captain Peter Eakin
  • Overseas player - Neil Brand 
  • Outs - Carl Robinson
  • In - Husnain Maroof (North Kildare)
  • Young player to watch: Tom Mayes

It was a case of so near, but yet so far for North Down in 2021. Can they capture some silverware this campaign?

Alistair Shields takes the captain's armband again this season, and will have fellow talented all-rounder Peter Eakin as his deputy.

There's a new overseas player at Comber, with South African Neil Brand recruited.

The 25 year-old is a top order left-handed batsman who averages 40 in first-class cricket, while his left-arm spin has also claimed 50 wickets. He is the current captain of the Titans, and looks a quality performer.

Carl Robinson has left for Woodvale, while Husnain Maroof arrives from North Kildare.

Tom Mayes and Ani Chore both had productive seasons last time out and Shields is hopeful that higher honours mightn't be too far away.

"Having been runners up in both the league and challenge cup last year we’ll hope to be there or thereabouts in the hunt for silverware again," Shields told CricketEurope.

"We’ll have a well balanced side, to which we can add Paul Stirling and Craig Young when available.

"We have tough draws in both cup competitions but we’ll be looking to put a run together in either, if not both.

"With the amount of games this year we’ll be giving opportunities to various guys, including those who have performed well for our seconds in recent years."