Cricket Report

By Ballyclare High School on 10 June, 2024



In a landmark moment for cricket in Ballyclare High School, the 1st XI has qualified for the final of the Ulster Schools’ Cup for the first time in the School’s history. A five-wicket win over a very strong team from Campbell College has earned Ballyclare High a place in the final of this prestigious competition.

The semi-final was hosted by Templepatrick Cricket Club, a familiar stage for many of the Ballyclare team’s players given the productive and mutually beneficial links between the School and the Club which have been developed in recent years.

In the eyes of most observers Campbell College started the game as strong favourites, but the visitors were quickly on the back foot after an impressive start from the Ballyclare bowlers and fielders which saw Campbell reduced to 19 for 4 after seven overs. A final total of 118 all out represented a significant recovery from a poor start and left the result of the game in the balance.

Ballyclare’s bowlers were consistently penetrative and economical and were ably supported by the fielders. A particular highlight was an outstanding caught and bowled dismissal by Jude Wilson, who finished with excellent figures of 3 for 14. Austin Adair (2 for 5), Evan Carlisle (2 for 10) and Jacob Scarlett (2 for 28) ensured that wickets fell regularly, while Cooper Donnelly took 1 for 33 and Jack Smyth only conceded ten runs from his three overs.

The strong start required to the Ballyclare innings was provided by an opening partnership of 45 runs between Jack Smyth (26) and Jacob Scarlett. Finn Lutton’s innings of 35 runs (4 fours, 2 sixes) continued the momentum of the Ballyclare reply, before it fell to Cooper Donnelly to hit the match-winning boundary.

The talent and tenacity of the Ballyclare players served them well as they overcame the pre-match favourites to earn a place in the final against RBAI, on a date yet to be confirmed.

Teams representing Campbell College provided the opposition for a series of matches on the morning immediately after the Schools’ Cup semi-final. Hopefully the achievements of this year’s 1st XI will encourage and inspire our younger players to challenge for further honours and success in the future.

The very promising Under 12 side, who had previously reached the semi-final of their Cup competition, enjoyed a four-wicket win over Campbell, the highlight of which was an innings of 53 from Adam McGookin. Ryan Arthur, James McKnight, Noah Morton and Josh Reynolds all took wickets.

The Under 15 team lost by 72 runs while the Under 13s competed well before losing by six wickets, despite an impressive innings of 38 runs from Noah Thompson.

The Under 13 team also met RBAI, for the second time this season, and, despite another loss, again emerged with some credit for their performance. Noah Thompson’s innings of 28 runs was the highlight of the Ballyclare total of 89 all out. RBAI went on to win by seven wickets with five overs to spare but not before Scott Robson, Conor McKee and Noah Thompson had each taken a wicket.