Cricket at CollegiansCollegians Cricket Club had three incarnations during its existence.
The first of these occurred at the beginning of the 20th century when it is recorded five matches were played in 1905 and three in 1906 after which the club lapsed.Cricket became a significant sport at the college in the late twenties. Supported by the Headmaster J.W. Henderson and distinguished masters A.C. Douglas and J. McDonald consideration was given to re-formation of an Old Boysâ€™ team.
In 1932 the first match was played against Glenedin under the captaincy of A.C.Douglas an outstanding sportsman who played both rugby and cricket at international level. For the first season the team won the Intermediate League Section B as well as the Intermediate Cup.
In 1933 the club finished second in the Senior Qualifying League.
There were successes and failures over the next few seasons. Close ties were maintained with the College and an under 15 team was entered on several occasions for the Graham Cup which was won in1935.In 1937 the first four games were won but thereafter no victories were gained and the summer ended with the team placed bottom of the League faced with relegation. With the death of A.C. Douglas it withdrew from the League structure.
1953 saw the third re-incarnation.
In that year the club was resurrected as an Associated Collegians Club.. Among those most active in this re-establishment were O.B. Glasgow, T.N. Brownlee, E. Kyle and H.G. Crawford who played in 1932 in the first re-incarnation.
Cricket 1st XI 1953
In the first season playing the home games at Deramore the club won its section of the Minor League and reached the semi-final of the Minor Cup.
In 1954 it had the first tour to the Isle of Man and in winning Section E of the Qualifying League gained promotion. With the benefit of a number of talented cricketers it progressed through the leagues and by 1958 it had climbed into the Senior Qualifying League which was a substantial achievement.
On the strength of these performances, second and third elevens were formed to play on Saturday and Mid-week Leagues.
Over this period much work was carried out to improve the ground at Deramore and was sufficiently successful to have the ground graded in 1960 as suitable for Senior Cricket.
The 1st X1 was second in the Qualifying League in both 1960 and 1961 and so achieved elevation to the Senior League, only nine years after being reformed. In this latter year the 2nd X1 won its section of the league as well as reaching the semi-final of its cup competition.
Over the next two or three years problems arose with both recruitment of players and the ground. Unfortunately the momentum to retain senior status could not be maintained and a return to the Senior Qualifying League took place in 1964.
The club was fortunate to have permission to use Pirrie Park which had the benefit of a full time groundsman.
1965 This was a more successful season with the 1st X1 winning the league.
Collegians reached the NCU Junior Cup final but were beaten by Laurelvale. (See note re 2011). Problems persisted with the drainage at Deramore, so Council decided to re-lay the whole ground in 1970/1.
In August 1972, the ground was officially reopened and all sporting sections took part in a Festival of Sport to celebrate the occasion.
Unfortunately this was not the end of ground problems and the square was re-layed in 1980 and with the appointment of a full time grounds man the whole ground showed rapid improvement not only the square. There was much favourable comment in cricketing circles.
During the seventies and the eighties the 1st X1 consolidated its position in the Senior League but was unable at any stage reach the top section. Promotions and relegations took place with some regularity but it was obvious total success would not come unless some higher quality â€œoutsidersâ€ were attracted.
Three junior teams turned out each Saturday with the help of some schoolboys and these teams have had success in winning their sections.
1982 In fact the 2nd X1 comfortably defeated Holywood to win the Intermediate Cup, largely based on an opening one hundred partnership by Fred Robinson and Ian Montgomery.
Insert 1982 photograph
1983 Unfortunately this year the 2nd X1 narrowly lost to North in a high scoring game where two North players scored centuries.
1985 The 3rd X1 won the Minor Cup by defeating RUC by one wicket in a very tense finish.
In this match one of the key performances was by the youngest player (still at school) John McConnell who was following a family tradition as his older brothers Kyle and Philip were significant contributors both on and off the field.
Cricket 1st XI 1985
Thereafter the club continued until it merged with Cooke Cricket Club in 1999 to become Cooke Collegians. Of interest is that in this format the club won the Junior Cup in August 2011 for the first time by beating Woodvale in a very close match. Over the periodic years of its existence the club was loyally served by a succession of stalwarts and the friendship and camaraderie engendered was enjoyed by all.
It is not only on the field of play that Collegians played a part in the local cricket scene. A steady stream of administrators is involved in NCU affairs.
This is an incomplete list of officers. Can you add any details?
IRFU www.irishrugby.ieUlster Branch www.ulsterrugby.comMethodist College Belfast www.methody.orgHarlequins RFC www.belfastharlequinsrfc.com
Collegians ClubFormerly - Deramore Park, Belfast,County Antrim, Northern IrelandE: email@example.com