During the Easter break, we held camps on for our U11, U13, U15 and U17 Leinster groups. These were the first sessions outdoors for a lot of the players and the weather played ball for the most part. We also finally managed to carry out our sliding and diving masterclass for U13 and U15 girls which had been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. The participants were lucky enough to be put through their paces by Lara and Tess Maritz who were able to demonstrate the best ways to dive and slide in different situations.
Once Easter is over, it’s very much all about schools’ cricket until the exams begin. Cricket Leinster encouraged as many new schools to enter teams as possible and it was great to see some new schools join leagues in 2022. The games came thick and fast, as did the finals and we were lucky to be able to complete all of the schools’ finals without interruption from the weather with the honours being spread around.
Mount Sackville won a historic first title in the Senior Cup with Georgina Dempsey taking home the player of the match award. The Senior B title was won by The High School with Jennifer Burns winning player of the match.
Mount Temple beat St Andrews in a tight contest with two players of the match awarded – one to Katie O’Reilly from St Andrews and the other to Lucy Barry from Mount Temple. The Junior B final went the way of Sandford Park and their player of the match was Nancy Lalor. The first year A final was an exciting match that was won by Sandford Park again – the only school to win two titles – and their player of the match was Rebecca Oakes. The last final played was for the 1st year B title which was won by Loreto St Stephen’s Green; player of the match was Laura DeBurca.
Earlier in 2022, I spent time delivering to 1st years in a number of schools, but in the summer term it was CricHIIT that took over with Loreto Dalkey students going through a full course of the high-energy, beginners cricket course. We also delivered the new format down in Laois Cricket Club where Development Officer Bernard O’Meara trained in delivering CricHIIT.
Emma Butler and Jenny Sparrow have come on board and have been working hard to help clubs in Leinster to sign up to the two national programmes for girls – It’s Wicket and Smash It. The programmes are designed to be easy to deliver, fun filled and a great way to get young girls into the game. Jenny and Emma are working hard to set up Activator training and to support Activators, coordinators and clubs to either set up a girls’ section, or to bolster a girls’ section that’s already in place. If your club is interested in getting involved, please contact Cricket Leinster to find out more.
The HBL continues this year with the Slaney Sharks, Liffey Hawks and Boyne Crusaders battling it out for bragging rights over three days – Ringcommons on July 16th, Terenure on July 31st and Leinster on August 20th.
A lot of work goes on behind the scenes for the HBL and Cricket Leinster would like to thank Rob and Sue O’Connor for their work to bring the format to life in 2019 and 2021. Cricket Leinster has taken over the organisation of this competition for the most part but Rob and Sue are still very much a part of the process and their input has been much appreciated over the course of the HBL’s history.
A highlight of the summer so far for me has been seeing and hearing about the fixtures in Division 4. The teams playing in this division play with such a good spirit, it’s a joy to behold. The uptake of the game continues apace in Leinster and we hope there will be a Division 5 for fully beginner teams in 2023.
July will see the return of meaningful girls’ interprovincial cricket for the first time in many a year. It’s going to be a highlight of the summer with our U13 team, South and North Leinster U15 teams and South and North Leinster U17 teams all in action against their counterparts in the NCU and the NWCU. The U15 and U17 teams will travel for the day to play T20s and will have an overnight tour to the NCU to play their 50-over competition over three days.
A first for women’s cricket in Ireland will close out the interprovincial season with Leinster Bolts emerging women’s squad taking part in the first Emerging series for women at the backend of July. This competition aims to close the gap between youth interpros and the Arachas Super Series with contracted players not eligible to take part.