McDonnell, McBrine, Riddles dominate North-West Awards

Dessie McCallion, left, presenting the Radio Foyle Cup for the Player of the Year to Niall McDonnell, of Coleraine, at the annual presentation dinner held by the North West Cricket Union in the White Horse Hotel. Included is Robin Walsh, President of Cricket Ireland. (DER4413PG105)
Dessie McCallion, left, presenting the Radio Foyle Cup for the Player of the Year to Niall McDonnell, of Coleraine, at the annual presentation dinner held by the North West Cricket Union in the White Horse Hotel. Included is Robin Walsh, President of Cricket Ireland. (DER4413PG105)

THE North West Cricket Union staged its annual presentation dinner in the White Horse Hotel last Friday night and in excess of 160 guests gathered to celebrate another successful season for the local region.

Cricket Ireland Chief Executive, Warren Deutrom and President, Robin Walsh, were among a number of dignitaries who joined North West President, Andrew Fleming, for the glitzy evening in which there were several multiple award winners.

Eglinton's Ross Allen, who was the winner of the Jack Semple Silver Salver for the Young Player of the Year, collecting his award from Andrew Fleming, left, President of the North West Cricket Union, and Warren Deutrom, CEO of Cricket Ireland, at the presentation dinner held by the NWCU in the White Horse Hotel on Friday night. (DER4413PG106)

Eglinton's Ross Allen, who was the winner of the Jack Semple Silver Salver for the Young Player of the Year, collecting his award from Andrew Fleming, left, President of the North West Cricket Union, and Warren Deutrom, CEO of Cricket Ireland, at the presentation dinner held by the NWCU in the White Horse Hotel on Friday night. (DER4413PG106)

Niall McDonnell was a massive part of Coleraine’s phenomenal season and the opening batsman won both the Premier League Batting Shield and the coveted Radio Foyle ‘Player of the Year’ award. McDonnell scored 1,230 runs at a brilliant average of 77 and his efforts also got him a place in the ‘News Letter’ Team of the Year.

Donemana’s Andy McBrine, currently in Dubai with Ireland ahead of the World T20 Qualifiers, was also among the winners. The 20-year old won the Bannigan Players’ ‘Player of the Year’ award as well as the ‘Emerging Warriors’ player and he too was named in the Team of the Year.

Eglinton’s Ross Allen won the ‘Young Player of the Year’ just pipping William McBrine and Kyle Magee who also enjoyed prolific summers while Killyclooney’s James Colhoun was a worthy winner of Club Person award.

Fox Lodge’s Jonny Robinson claimed the Premier Division Bowling Trophy having taken 45 wickets for the Ballymagorry outfit, just edging out Coleraine duo Gordon Cooke and Jarred Barnes.

In the Championship, it was a night of triumph too for Andrew Riddles, the Ardmore all-rounder claiming the Divisional batting award, the Warriors Player of the Year and included in the News Letter team to boot. Ricky McDaid of Drummond just touched off team mate Chris Moore for the bowling trophy.

Thomas Thompson of Newbuildings picked up the Qualifying 1 bowling award while the Batting Shield went to Coleraine’s Rory Knox. Gregory McDaid and Gareth Martin from Crindle were named Qualifying 2 winners and team-mate Ivan McDaid was nominated by the Umpires for the Harry Henderson Fair Play award. Ballyspallen’s Ryan O’Neill was rewarded for an excellent season with the Qualifying 3 batting with Ardmore’s Robert Murray claiming the bowling honours.

There was a special award made to Derry Midweek League trio Davy Caldwell, Sam McConnell and Lexie Miller to mark their services to cricket in the North West. Between them the ever popular officers have amounted over 120 years service to the Derry Midweek League and have overseen charity work that has seen the DML hand over in the region of £160,000 to local charities in the past 30 years. Their awards were handed over to a standing ovation from the attendance.

The evening was completed with a couple of excellent speeches from CI President Robin Walsh and a response from his North West counterpart Andrew Fleming before former Irish Rugby International Mick Quinn sent guests home in good spirits with a fantastic after dinner routine.