Cricket: Not such a gr-eight day for Belfast's cricketers
Belfast finished in a disappointing eighth place in this year's Under 14 Lord's Taverners' Ford Inner Cities Cup held at Arundel in West Sussex.
Having qualified for an seventh successive year following victories over Edinburgh and Glasgow, Belfast were winless against some particularly strong opposition in this years' National Finals and finished bottom of the eight cities who qualified from the original 24 entrants from all over the UK.
The wet weather hit the competition badly, washing out the first day completely, and the group matches which should have been of 30 overs duration, were rescheduled as 10 overs matches on Day 2. This did not suit the Belfast side which did not possess the big hitters which some of their opponents had in their ranks.
The results in the Group matches, which all took place the same day were as follows:
Belfast 48/7 Leicester 49/1 (9 overs). Leicester won by nine wickets.
Manchester 77/4 (Scott Irvine 3-9) Belfast 62/7. Manchester won by 15 runs.
Belfast 62/4 Sunderland 66/2 (9.2 overs). Sunderland won by eight wickets.
Belfast finally got to play a 30 over match on Thursday when they met Birmingham, who had finished in fourth place in the other group in the play-off for seventh and eighth places, but were beaten by 18 runs. Birmingham 189/6 (S Ali 81) Belfast 171/8 (Jonny McCrea 51, Adam Berry 27). Birmingham won by 18 runs. Belfast received some consolation when they received The Ken Lawrence Trophy as the most sporting team in the competition from former England captain Mike Gatting at the awards ceremony held at the end of the tournament.
The Belfast squad was: Adam Berry (Lisburn; captain), Callum Atkinson (Lisburn), Stuart Balmer (Saintfield), Aaron Bartley (Templepatrick), James Cox (CSNI), Niall Dalton (Templepatrick), Glenn Halliday (Lisburn), Scott Irvine (North Down), Mark Irwin (Woodvale), Jonny McCrea (Cliftonville), Paul Ritchie (North Down), Sam Russell (North Down), Gary Scott (Carrickfergus)