Killyclooney Cricket Club: A Small Club with Grand Aspirations

This Sunday, Killyclooney Cricket Club will make their way to Belfast for an exciting quarter-final match against Cliftonville Academy at the Castle Grounds in the Arachas National Cup

(Cricket News) The Killyclooney Cricket Club, hailing from the North-West Cricket Union (NWCU), currently boasts six competing teams, including three adult teams, a women’s team, and two underage teams. Despite reaching three T20 finals in recent years, they have yet to secure a victory.

In the ongoing season, the club has taken the lead in the Long’s SuperValu Premiership, winning three out of their four matches. Additionally, they currently sit at the top of their group in the White Horse Hotel T20 Cup, with two wins under their belt.

Their overseas professional, Blayde Capell, has been in remarkable form, consistently scoring runs. He notably achieved a staggering 136 off 99 balls in a match against Civil Service a couple of weeks ago, as well as an unbeaten 135 off just 83 balls in their Premiership victory over Glendermott.

The upcoming quarter-final match has garnered significant local interest, with the club organizing a bus for supporters. Anticipate spirited chants of ‘Clooney’ on Sunday.

Ahead of the crucial game this weekend, we had the opportunity to speak with Timothy Dougherty, the club’s captain.

Regarding the upcoming trip to Belfast to face Cliftonville Academy, how excited are you for the game?

“Looking at this weekend’s fixture, we are approaching it with high expectations. This season, there’s a strong sense within our squad that we have the ability to perform and defeat any team on a given day. It’s all about maintaining our momentum and securing the desired outcome on Sunday. Since it’s the National Cup, anything can happen. We’ll be prepared and ready for the contest on Sunday.”

Which memories do you hold dear from your time at the club?

“There are countless stories I could share about our bus trips to matches, but I’m not sure if the players would appreciate me recounting them, even though they would make for great reading.

However, one of the highlights has to be our journey to the 2014 final. At the time, nobody would have expected us to reach that stage. A significant part of our success was the enjoyment we derived from the bus trips, spending the day together. Interestingly, we currently have four players in the squad who played in that final and experienced the buildup. There’s never a dull moment when we embark on a day trip in the bus.”

Looking ahead a bit, what would winning the National Cup mean for your club?

“Winning the National Cup would undoubtedly be one of our greatest accomplishments, although we still have a long way to go before achieving that. It would be a fantastic achievement for us and a way to give back to the loyal supporters who stand by us every week, regardless of the result.”

Are there any notable players who have represented the club?

“Killyclooney is a small club located in a small village, so attracting new players can be challenging. This actually creates a strong sense of unity within the club, as we all know that we play because of our love for the club. William Porterfield is probably the most recognizable name in our club’s history. He played for us from the ages of 8 to 12 with our 2nd team.”

This year, the club recruited South African wicket-keeper batter Blayde Capell as your overseas professional. He has been in sensational form, scoring remarkable runs. How much of an impact has he made on the team, both as a player and within the club?

“Blayde has been an exceptional signing for us. When we were considering overseas professionals for this season, we could only dream of the performances he has delivered thus far. On and off the field, he has motivated us to reach our full potential. One glance at the run charts in the North-West region reveals his class. He has settled in seamlessly, and his reputation is such that people from all around the North-West come to watch our games. Hopefully, he can maintain his remarkable form, and we can secure some silverware for him to take home.”

Also Read: This weekend will witness the QFs of the Arachas Irish Senior Cup & the Arachas National Cup


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