A troubled winter brings a shining summer at Millpark

Millpark Cricket Club, winners of the Ulster Bank League Cup �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1535-201EB
Millpark Cricket Club, winners of the Ulster Bank League Cup �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1535-201EB

MIllpark Cricket Club’s league title is one that was based in raw emotion.

Before the successful season began, the club was rocked by the deaths of Billy and Joe McCart and, after securing the Ulster Bank Section Three title last weekend, the current skipper was in reflective mood.

“Going up as champions means a lot because it had been quite a difficult winter for us,” Paul McCart told the ‘LEADER.’

“My granda Billy McCart, who was Mr Millpark, and his brother Joe both passed away. They would both have been there watching our games and both had played for the club for years.

“There was a lot of emotion around the club and we really wanted to win the league this season. It’s been 18 years since we last won it so doing it this year was really important to us.”

Millpark, of course, beat Cooke Collegians and Dunmurry in their last two games of the campaign to secure the title by four points.

“It was really pleasant ending to the season,” continued the skipper.

“To be able to go to Dunmurry and get the win when we really neede it was a really great feeling. We’re all so, so pleased.

“A few weeks ago, it looked like we were out of it but it shows the competitive nature of the league in that other teams did us favours in beating the teams around us.”

McCart was also keen to pay tribute to all the WAGs involved in the background at the club.

He said: “My granny Agnes has being making the tea for years but this year she has found it difficult so a lot of the wives and girlfriends came in to help out.

“We couldn’t have done this seasojn without them. It’s been great having their support and they helped to create a real feel-good atmosphere around the club.”

The only tinge of disappointment in an otherwise enthralling season was the dmise of the club’s second XI near the start of the season.

“There was nothing else we could do,” said McCart. “It was a hug frustration for us but hopefully getting promoted will open doors to signing new players.

“We want to start the seconds up again but I need someone to come in and run the team as well.

“I know there are guys playing seconds and thirds cricket elsewhere that could come and put in a real push for our first team.”

If you would like to join the club, contact Paul via the club’s Twitter @MillparkCC or via their Facebook page.

McCart also thanked the club’s sponsors Target Dry.

“We couldn’t surviva as a club with their support,” he said.