Derriaghy Under 15’s triumphed in the the final of this season’s Graham Cup, the most prestigious youth competition in the NCU on Tuesday.
The final was fought out between local rivals Derriaghy and Lisburn at Wallace Park.
Having been delayed by the weather on Friday of last week the final went ahead in front of an excellent crowd and a close contest ensued.
The visitors had first knock on a very green wicket and their opener Reece Malone continued his fantastic run of form in the competition with a commanding innings of 65 made off 58 balls and containing 5 boundaries.
His contribution was key in a Derriaghy total of 142 for 5 wkts off the allotted 25 overs. Wicketkeeper Rory Brown battled hard for his 21 and skipper John Lynch (17) and Joe Anderson undefeated with 12 also reaching double figures.
Michael Glass was best of the bowlers with 2 for 20 but Malone, son of former Ulster Rugby star Niall, confirmed his top ranking in this age group. Requiring a rate in excess of 5 an over Lisburn got off to a disastrous start losing 3 wickets for 12 runs largely due to some impressively accurate bowling and tight fielding from Derriaghy.
Opener Michael Glass (20) along with Joel Dundas (23) added 41 for the 4th wicket but without the required acceleration and, despite aggressive innings from Edward Kyle (24) and Jack Dillon (30), the “home” side were bowled out for 116 giving Derriaghy victory by 26 runs.
Jamie White picked up a wicket with his first delivery and went on to collect 3 late wickets finishing with the impressive figures of 4 for 30. Captain Lynch took 2 for 22 while Malone showed his all-round ability by conceding just 7 runs from his 5 overs.
It is exactly 10 years since Derriaghy last lifted the trophy and many of that team are now regular players in the clubs two senior sides. Many of the current squad are already featuring in the club’s 2nd and 3rd XI’s and there is no reason why they shouldn’t continue to move up the ranks in the coming years.
This success would not have been achieved without the dedication and hard work of head youth coach Wayne Hughes, Scott Hughes, professional Kaushik Aphale and all the other assistants who give freely of their time to develop these young players.
The Derriaghy club is indebted to all for their efforts.
One final word of thanks must go to the Lisburn CC ground staff who ensured the ground was in excellent order despite very testing conditions.
Reece Malone c Thornton b Dundas 65
Hugo Henderson b 6
John Lynch 17
Rory Brown b 21
Joe Anderson not out 12
Lewis Curry 2
Jack Harte 1
David Scott not out 0
Total for 5 wkts 142
J. Postlewaite 5/1/18/1
M. Glass 5/0/20/2
C. McDowell 3/0/20/0
Michael Glass b White 20
Jude Postlewaite lbw Lynch 2
Cameron McDowell b Curry 0
Tim Curragh c Harte b Lynch 1
Joel Dundas b Malone 23
Edward Kyle lbw White 24
Matt Thornton b White 5
Jack Dillon b White 30
Zac Croskery run out 1
Ali Patterson not out 0
Jude Haligan c White b Benson 0
Total all out 116
L. Curry 5/0/15/1
J. Lynch 5/0/22/2
J. White 5/0/30/4
J Harte 1/0/10/0