While Tyrone clubs struggled a touch in the Premier Division this season the county has been given a massive boost with the announcement of the full Ireland squad to play Scotland in a 4-day game at Clontarf next month.
Current skipper William Porterfield obviously learned his trade at Killyclooney and Donemana but the opening batsman is joined in the 14-man squad by no fewer that four other former local players.
Craig Young, formerly of Bready and now with Sussex has obviously impressed selectors with his Interprovincial performances and he has been joined by fellow seam bowler Graeme McCarter. The latter is another ex-Killyclooney player but has most recently been involved with Fox Lodge and of course Gloucester.
Two fresher faces are also in the squad- Chris Dougherty getting his long awaited chance after he too put in an excellent Interprovincial display, albeit with the Northern Knights. Many feel that the former Bready man should have been given his chance long ago but at still only 25 years of age he has time on his side.
The fifth of the Tyrone quintet is Andy McBrine- the Donemana youngster having belied his tender age this season with some really mature performances on his way to becoming skipper for the North West Warriors.
The all-rounder has over 700 runs and 25 wickets in all competitions already this season but it has been his efforts with the Warriors that have really caught the eye, resulting in him being given the armband. Speaking after the 20-year old’s inclusion in the squad, Donemana secretary (and a proud mother), Norma McBrine said Andy was delighted with his call up.
“He has worked so hard on his game this season and this is brilliant for him. He has done everything asked of him both by his club and by the North West Warriors and the fact that Bobby Rao has entrusted him as Warriors captain tells you how hard he has worked.
“It’s a real irony too as his dad, Junior, got his first Ireland cap against Scotland in Dublin in a 4-day game as well. As you would expect we are very proud of how well he has done and the fact that the Ireland selectors are showing faith in him. Obviously we’re keeping our fingers crossed now that he makes the team but everybody at Donemana Cricket Club is thrilled with the news”.
That game begins on 11 September and it would be a great boost for Tyrone and North West cricket if the local players were all given their chance.