Killyclooney Cricket Club: The small club with big ambitions
DUBLIN - Killyclooney Cricket Club will head to Belfast this Sunday to take on Cliftonville Academy at the Castle Grounds in the quarter-finals of the Arachas National Cup, a competition in which they were runners-up to Carrickfergus in 2014.
The side from the North-West Cricket Union (NWCU) currently have six teams competing, three adult teams, a women’s team, and two underage teams. In more recent years the club have reached three T20 finals, buy have yet to finish on the winning side.
This season the club lead the way at the top of the Long’s SuperValu Premiership, with three wins from their four matches. They also sit top of their group in the White Horse Hotel T20 Cup with two wins to date.
Blayde Capell, Killyclooney’s overseas professional this year has been scoring runs for fun, including when he scored 136 off 99 balls when they beat Civil Service a couple of weeks ago, along with an unbeaten 135 off just 83 balls in their Premiership victory over Glendermott.
The match has been generating so much interest locally that the club will be running a bus to Sunday’s quarter-final, so expect lots of cries of ‘Clooney’ on Sunday.
We caught up with the clubs captain Timothy Dougherty ahead of the big game this weekend.
You face a trip across to Belfast this weekend to take on Cliftonville Academy. How much are you looking forward to that game?
“Looking at this weekend’s fixture we are going into it with good expectations. This year we seem to have a feel within the squad that on our day we can perform and beat anyone, so it’s just about keeping the momentum going and getting the right result on Sunday. It’s the National Cup, so anything can happen. We’ll be there on Sunday, ready for the contest.”
What are your most cherished memories during your time at the club:
“There are lot of stories I could tell about bus runs to matches, but I’m not sure the players would agree with me telling them although it would make great reading.
“However, I think that the run up to the 2014 final has to be up there with performances, at the time nobody probably would have backed us to make the final that year. A large part of making it so far was because we all enjoyed a bus run away for the day. We actually have four current players in the squad who had played in that final in 2014 and the run up to it. There’s never a dull moment when we get away for a day in a bus.”
Thinking ahead a little, what would it mean to win the National Cup for your club?
“Winning the National Cup would definitely be one of our biggest achievements. although there’s a long way to go yet to achieve that. It would be great for us to be able to achieve it and give something back to the supporters who follow us every week no matter the result.”
Any notable players that have played for the club:
“Killyclooney is a small club based outside a small village, so as you can imagine it’s pretty hard to get new players. I think this makes us all have that tight knit feeling at the club, as we all know we are there playing because we love the club. William Porterfield is probably the most recognised name in our history books, he played at our club from the ages of 8-12 with our 2nds.”
This year the club brought in South-African wicket-keeper batter Balyde Capell as your overseas professional. He has been in superb form of late, scoring massive run totals. How much of an impression has he made for you at the club as both a player and around the club:
“Blayde has been a great signing for us. Back when we were shortlisting overseas professionals for this season, we probably could only dream of performances of what he has given us so far. On and off the field he is pushing us to achieve our true potential. You only have to look at the run charts in the North-West to realise his class. He has settled in well. He’s that good there are people from all around the North-West coming to watch our games. Hopefully he can keep up his good work and we can get him a bit of silverware to take home.”