Cricketer Jeffrey calls it a day

Cricketer Jeffrey calls it a day

7 August 2019

JEFF Maguire brought the curtain down on a distinguished 46 year one-club career at the weekend.

The popular all-rounder, from one of Dundrum’s sporting dynasties, was the centre of attention on Sunday when he held a special fundraising day in a bid to give something back to the game that he loves.

Players from all over the NCU were at The Meadow to take part in a few challenge games and pay homage to one of the most genuine men in the sport.

Jeff’s aim was to raise £1,500 to purchase an electric scoreboard in his last fundraiser for the club. That total and then some was passed in no time and has now risen above the £4,000 mark which has delighted Jeff.

“Many thanks to all the sponsors, supporters, players, umpires and scorers,” Jeff enthused.

“Thanks also to Liz Byrne, Jackie Wilson and Dave Crudgington who ran the refreshments and food made by chef Ryan Finnegan. We just couldn’t have achieved our target without the help of a lot of people and I can never thank them enough,” he added.

Sunday was an emotional day for Jeff and he was at times reduced to the odd wee tear.

“Rodney Hassard’s tribute had me close to breaking down, but I was able to hold it together. I got my wish of playing alongside a lot of my former team-mates and I am indebted to them all for turning up and sharing the occasion with me.”

In the first challenge game of the day Dundrum’s current first team took on a squad of former Dundrum players that included Alan Mills and Darren Oldroyd, from Drumaness, Mark Yeates, from Downpatrick, and Byron Woodruff, from Saintfield.

The game was competitive to say the least and thanks to decent knocks from Terry Hutley (25),  Stuart Campbell (33) and Sean Cameron (24) Dundrum posted 126.

Yeates sent the stumps cartwheeling on two occasions with Oldroyd also picking up two wickets. Harry Hitchins got the prize wicket of first team captain Ian Wright.

The golden oldies rolled back the years in reply with Rodney Hassard (42) showing his undoubted class in his first game in five years.

Woodruff made 26, including two big sixes off Cameron and Shilliday danced his way down the wicket, as used to be the norm, for a quick fire 23. Oldroyd (13) and Yeates (2 ) completed the job with five wickets to spare.

The second game saw some excellent ball striking and decent bowling from an NCU Select team.

Saintfield’s Byron Woodruff and the best young prospect in County Down, 17 year-old Adam Reid, treated all the bowlers with contempt as the runs flowed quicker than the refreshments.

Man of the match Reid hit 50 not out in only 20 balls including eight boundaries and one massive six that went out of the ground.

Superb all rounder Woodruff showed his old team-mates what a talent he is, hitting 55 in 33 balls with four big sixes and the same in boundaries.

If both had not retired they would have scored centuries and the Dundrum bowlers were happy to clap them off. Ricky Owens then rolled back the years with a splendid 34, including three big sixes and three fours, the NCU side posting 164.

It was perhaps fitting that Alan Mills, the oldest player on the pitch and still ultra competitive, finished 3 not out.

Dundrum fought back well after the early onslaught with good fielding catching and astute field placing by captain Gavin McNerlin.

Wickets were shared around with Chandar Shekhar the pick of the bowlers, taking 2 for 18 of three overs. Shilliday was again on the money and finished with 2 for 16. McNerlin, Keba Butler, Neil Reilly and Peter Calvert all got one wicket apiece. 

Dundrum got a steady start from Greg Hutley (13) and Rodney Hassard before Drumaness’ Neil Gelston removed them both. Oldroyd then hit the middle stump with successive deliveries leaving Dundrum on 46 for 4.

McNerlin hit Gelston straight over the scoreboard in his 16 before Stuart Campbell (12) was run out by Woodruff. Saintfield’s T McCavera picked up two wickets with CIYMS’ Steven Hughes and Woodruff also getting in on the act.

The last wicket partnership of 40 between Neil Reilly (15) and Keba Butler (16) got Dundrum closer than it looked as the NCU side ran out comfortable winners.

The match ball sponsors were Bao and Bento and Pizza Palazzo, Newcastle.