Jackie's memory will live on at Woodvale
On the day that an NCU Legends side played a touring equivalent from Australia, the Sydney Classics, at Woodvale, club legend Jackie Gaw passed away after a long illness at the age of 71.
One of the great characters of NCU cricket, he would invariably greet everyone at the club with some banter - especially those of us who were only occasional visitors.
Originally from Donaghadee, Jackie joined Woodvale in his late teens after marrying a girl who lived beside the ground and played until his late 40s, his last match the all-Woodvale Minor Cup final between the Fourths and the Fifths, and stories of his playing days are as legendary as his status.
A late-order batsman, his most famous innings was winning a game against Bangor when he hit Ireland international John Elder for six, but the less said about his running between the wickets the better.
In one midweek match he ran out four team-mates, and the next man in was told to run out Jackie. The next wicket was indeed another run out, but it wasn't Gaw!
The bar curator, even during his playing days, he was then club secretary for more than 20 years. Indeed, Jackie was attending club meetings and watching the 1st XI in action up to five weeks ago, as vocal as ever.
An all-round sportsman, he played football for the 22nd Old Boys and was a single-handicap golfer, but it is at Woodvale where his memory will live the longest.
He is survived by his son Anton, who played for Woodvale and Downpatrick, daughter Julie and four grandchildren.
On the field, the Legends won by six wickets with Uel Graham and Charlie McCrum each taking three wickets as the tourists were bowled out for 157.
In reply, Michael Turkington and Alan Waite were both retired after reaching 40 and Graham hit the winning boundary to finish 23 not out.
With the square at Belmont still too wet for any play in the Cricket Ireland Academy-Future Stars game, it will now be played as a two-day game at Holywood, starting this morning (11.00).
One level up from that, the Ireland Wolves begin their eight-game series against Bangladesh A with the first 50-over game at Oakhill.
Andrew Balbirnie captains the side, but the rest of the squad will be playing for places in the Ireland team to face Afghanistan at the end of the month.
Today's squad: A Balbirnie, D Delany, J Garth, S Getkate, T Kane, G Kennedy, A McBrine, B McCarthy, J McCollum, J Shannon, S Singh, H Tector, S Thompson, L Tucker.
The equivalent of the Junior Cup in the North West is also being played this weekend with Donemana II facing Eglinton II in the Qualifying 1 Cup final at Ardmore, the two innings match starting on Friday (noon).
• Joe Root hopes he is inheriting the Test-match skills of Adil Rashid at the perfect time.
The England captain confirmed his fellow Yorkshireman will be the sole spinner to take on India in the first Test at Edgbaston today.
Starting in their landmark 1,000th Test, England will need him to be more of a threat than his career figures suggest - 38 wickets at an average of 42.78 from 10 overseas caps.
"I think over the last couple of years... he has grown as a player massively," said Root.
"I've known Adil for a long time, seen his success over the last year in white-ball cricket and feel I have an opportunity to get the best out of him."