MILLPARK’S First XI signed off the 2012 season with something of a whimper rather than a flourish.
It has, however, been an encouraging year for the Tullylish men who finished in a credible fourth in Senior League One.
The poor summer weather has tested the ground staff to the limit, and their hard work is much appreciated by all players.
Club President Mrs. Agnes McCart continued her many years of excellent catering, again laying on the best teas in the league.
First XI scorer Kenneth Smith has again been tremendous - the players made a presentation to him before the game to thank him for his contribution as a valuable member of the team.
On Saturday, Millpark travelled to relegation threatened Drumaness. Drumaness ran out winners in close match, to secure their position in Senior League One for 2013.
Their elation, however, was later to turn to despair, when they learned of the death, in tragic circumstances, of player Davy Mills.
The condolences of all at Millpark Cricket Club go out to his family and friends, and our friends at Drumaness Cricket Club.
The game itself was a twenty over affair. Batting first, Millpark openers and cousins Paul McCart (39) and Stu McCart did a great job to put on 48 for the first wicket.
The latter was out for 21, and Ben Talbot (19) came in to help McCart build on the good start. After the New Zealander was out, Davy Glover came to the crease. He immediately set about the Drumaness attack, scoring a belligerent 44 off 21 balls. He hit six 6’s and one 4 - England could use a man like that at the World T20.
Millpark’s total of 138 was competitive, but by no means unreachable on the compact Drumaness ground.
With pads not long back in his kit bag, main man Glover at once set about the opposition batting. In his second over he took three wickets in four balls, to reduce Drumaness to 15-3. He finished with 4-9, a fantastic effort for Glover, who works as a recycling specialist. While others bowled well in support, they could not contain Darren Oldroyd, who struck four sixes in his 58 not out. He and Gartland (28no) took their team over the line on the last ball of the match.
On Sunday Millpark travelled to champions elect Laurelvale. Conditions were soggy, definitely less than ideal, but Millpark generously agreed to play. Batting first, they never got going. There were a couple of lusty blows from Charlie McCrum (23) and Stu McCart (6), but this was a batting performance which very much had an end of term feel to it.
Only resilient Skipper Jason Maxwell (10) had much else to contribute as the innings ended in a whimper, with just 81-9 on the board.
The result was really never in doubt as Laurelvale began their reply. Aggressive from the start, it took them just 14 overs to reach their total for the loss of just two wickets.
Millpark were not without opportunities to take further wickets, and put down a number of catches in swirling conditions. The normally reliable Johnny Breen in particular comically misjudged a skyer, Ryan McCart was caught fielding out of position, Nelson Shanks acrobatically parried one over the rope for six, and Stu McCart could not quite take a tough chance in the deep.
Although it was a disappointing end to the season, Millpark have performed well this year, and can take many positives into 2013. Established names such as Glover, Martin and various McCarts have been helped by excellent performances by newcomer Keith Dempster, the returning Paul McCart and young Robin Sinton.
Skipper and Match Secretary Jason Maxwell has had a successful first year in charge, and his confidence in the job can only grow.