Leinster inspire Sunderland future stars

Fri, Jul 3, 2009 11:54 AM

Leinster Cricket Union hosted a cricketing masterclass evening for the local cricketers of Sunderland as part of their community interaction while playing in the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead Tri Nations Championship.

City of Sunderland has a remarkable record of producing high class cricketers ranging from Phil Mustard, Mark Turner to Durham CCC newest signing Christopher Rushworth. Their premier cricketing side Sunderland CC 1st X1 contains no less than seven players who have come through junior development with the club and indeed has Michael Robson who at aged 16 is already a veteran of three seasons of 1st X1 cricket.

On a remarkable day for Leinster cricket, the players endured a 3am meet at Dublin airport, suffered baggage problems but as they landed in Newcastle they brought the Irish sunshine not only in the sky but in attitude and spirit. Watched by the Sunderland juniors, Leinster secured a major cricketing coup in defeating a professional Scotland U19s side then taking that Irish positive attitude into a wide ranging coaching evening for the community. Numbers expected to attend the evening was 20 maximum but as word spread of Leinster’s efforts locally, numbers attending more than doubled showing the passion for the game in the city.

Ages attending ranged from 8 to 15 and Leinster were taken aback at the quality on show both in talent and commitment extending their masterclasses to match the talent on show. The juniors enjoyed a batting masterclass led by Nigel Pyne Irish U23 Womens Coach working on the fundamentals as well as attacking T20 shots, a bowling masterclass from Brian O’Rourke the Leinster Cricket Development Officer and an intensive fielding course led by tour captain Eoghlan Conway.

As is a Leinster tradition, they marked the evening with some awards choosing three outstanding performers on the evening, joined by Gatorade who identified three players with great potential. NUSC Director of Cricket John D Holland along side his scouts were noticeably down keeping a close eye on the talent having seen their decision to gamble on Sunderland own Christopher Youldon pay staggering dividends after he secured the Gatorade Player of the Tournmant at the Tri Nations Championship.

Who knows in 2012, Leinster may be suffering at the hands of their little protégées in their 10th anniversary tour but no doubt they would take great pride in having inspired another generation to continue in the game.

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