CALLUM ATKINSON AKA CATKO
Catko is the 2nd XI opening bowler and he fancies himself as a decent batsman, and to be fair, he has shown glimpses of form which would merit such a tag. With the talent to be really pushing for a regular spot on the firsts, Callum will be looking to 2011 as an opportunity to rediscover the precocious talent which saw this likeable 17year old break into the senior ranks at the age of 15.
Another confidence player, when he gets into a rhythm he has the ability to bowl with pace, aggression and accuracy. He has turned in some fine spells, both at 1st and 2nd XI level, and if he could find a way to do that on a more regular basis, there is little doubt he would be consistently plying his trade at senior level. His Irish age group caps are testament to his talent and hopefully 2011 will see him right back in the mix at the top of the club.
His batting and fielding are two areas where improvement are required however. Although he has show some decent form with the bat, there are times when he can look slightly nervous with the willow, but as he gets bigger, stronger and more experienced, expect that side of things to take off. He has the occasional shocker in the field, but again, nothing a bit more confidence cant assist.
Another young Lisburn lad with a busy and varied social life, Catko can put the ladies ahead of his sport from time to time (the Chelsea fan even confessed to missing a couple of big matches because he was having some food with platonic female acquaintances, truly shocking behaviour!), but he rarely misses a cricket match or practice, and is a good all round lad.
JONNY BELL AKA JB
JB is a talented batsman who really should have scored a lot more runs at senior cricket than he has. However, he showed glimpses of what many Lisburn observers hope will be an extended run on the 1sts with some decent performances last season.
JB bats in the middle order for the firsts, although tas the temperament and ability to slot in at various positions in the top order. A stylish batsman, he holds the club record for highest individual score, his 219 against Cliftonville II a couple of years back being a fairly brutal innings, albeit against opponents who were somewhat understrength.
JB also plays first team hockey for Lisnagarvey and this has impacted upon his availability for cricket, but with a bit of luck 2011 will see a more consistent run from him. JB is also the reserve reserve wicketkeeper, and he has provided adequate cover when called upon in this discipline.
He is an important member of the club’s management committee, having been responsible for the entertainment’s programme for the last few years, and he is the club’s child protection liaison officer
ADAM BERRY AKA DINGLE
Dingle is a FLC (future Lisburn captain) and 2010 saw him enjoy his first full season as a 1st XI regular. With an absolute mountain of runs at school and representative levels, Dingle will be the first to admit that his club season was a little disappointing. However, there is absolutely no doubt that he possesses all of the skills to be a real star at senior level and he will be looking to 2011 to set the record straight.
There are fewer better equipped batsmen at Lisburn from a technically sound perspective. Adam has both a robust defensive technique coupled with an array of pleasing strokes. He struggled a little with his application during the last year, at times looking to be in ominous form only to play an ill judged shot when seemingly set for a decent score. His bowling can be effective, particularly on certain wickets, and it was surprising that he didn’t get more of a bowl for the team during the year.
A sensible and mature approach with the bat is reflected off the field for young Adam who refuses to be drawn into the busy social pursuits enjoyed by some of his peers. Now that he is turning 18 that situation may or may not remain, but he has a good head on his shoulders and is likely to be a pivotal player for Lisburn for many years to come.
ANDREW BROWN AKA BROWNY
Another veteran who remembers the Botham 150th anniversary very well, Browny is a hard hitting batsmen who for a number of seasons has deliberately hidden himself in the club’s lower teams on the pretext of helping to develop young talent. He has played many seasons for Lisburn, interrupted only by a few seasons of spanking for his university at Queens.
When occasionally allowed to don the whites by the Mrs, Browny is a consistently destructive batsman who terrorises opposition bowling with his clean hard hitting style. He also fancies himself a bit as a bowler, with his left arm grenades being deceptively efficient at luring the batsmen into 2 minds. On occasion, when they cant decide whether to hit him for 4 or 6, he capitalises on the uncertainty by chipping in with a wicket or 2.
Off the field, father of 3 Andrew has been the Treasurer of the club on 2 occasions, although is currently taking a sabbatical from that role. A club man through and through, he is always supportive of events and initiatives to raise money. The club looks forward to welcoming him back to the playing side of things in 2011 after his year off.
RICHARD BOOTH AKA BOOTHERS
Boothers is the former 2nd XI skipper who has handed over the reins due to joining the ranks of fatherhood recently, as well as being in the final countdown to tying the knot next Easter.
A blow-in from the sunny seaside town of Bournemouth (aka Ballmouf), Boothers has enjoyed 3 decent seasons for the club’s 2nd XI. A workmanlike, yet effective, medium pace bowler he relies on guile and variation to lure batsmen into mistakes, and he has led the way at the top of the wicket taking league for the side this past couple of seasons.
He is also a more than useful performer with the bat, where he cleverly uses a touch of unorthodoxy to accumulate runs in what is normally a fluent manner. Having batted in most positions from 1 to 11 in his time for the seconds, Boothers is capable of adapting his style of play to the circumstances which present themselves.
He has one of the safest pair of hands in the team (bar a couple of aberrations against Carrick this season!) and there is rarely a match goes by where he doesn’t contribute in at least one of the 3 disciplines.
Off the field, accountant Richard is a member of the management committee and has been earmarked as a future Treasurer, once he gets his busy year behind him and son Ethan is up and running.
GARY CROWE AKA CROWEBAR
Crowebar is the newly appointed vice captain of the 2nd XI, a position his cricketing knowledge and clever tactical brain more than merit. The club is grateful to his girlfriend for permitting him to take on this role.
Gary is a powerful middle order batsmen renowned for his clean striking style. Another “form” batsman he normally shifts from looking like he cant lay a bat on it, to tonking it all round and out of the ground, without necessarily feeling the need to utilise any intermediate steps between the two extremes. An occasional bowler, his height allows him to get useful bounce on suitable tracks and he is sometimes under-utilised in this capacity. But with buddy Slim at the helm, expect the Bar to be thrown the ball a little more often during the coming season.
Crowebar is a handy rugby player and all round athlete, and his chemistry with captain Slim could lead to a successful season for the seconds, assuming of course that he doesn’t miss too many games when his Mrs comes over during the summer.
GRAHAM ELLIOTT AKA ELLERS
Ellers is an enigmatic batsman and occasional wicket keeper who has the ability to both hit some of the most beautiful, orthodox strokes you could ever wish to see, and to frustrate the hell out of his teammates for consistently getting out when he looks like wearing a shield of invincibility.
When in full flow, there are few more talented, technically adept batsmen at the club. Glorious straight and cover drives just flow from his bat yet he baffles observers by failing to cash in on many occasions, cameo knocks of 20 or 30 meaning his true potential as yet remains untapped. With more application, there is little doubt he would be a shoe-in on the club’s 1st XI and perhaps 2011 will be the season where that undoubted talent is realised. His glovework has improved, although in this discipline he tends to favour natural ability and hand-eye co-ordination over technical skill and footwork.
Outside of cricket, Graham leads a busy social life and can normally be relied upon to take at least 3 holidays during the season, and if he can manage his vacation time a little bit better (ie take holidays from late September onwards) we may well see a reinvigorated figure grace the Wallace Park some time soon.
JON ELLIOTT AKA JELLY
Jelly is a legend. Enough said really, although it is fair to say that he has gained this reputation more from his extra curricular activities rather than his exploits in a Lisburn shirt (we assume he possesses one, and will now wear it, now that he has left that all boys educational establishment in College Square, Belfast).
Jelly definitely possesses ability at the game, both with bat and ball, but like his brother he can frustrate his teammates at times and really should be a consistent 2nd XI performer at worst. His bowling is either top notch (as evidenced by a super 4for against a really strong Waringstown side in 2009) or utter muck (a lot to choose from) but when he gets it right, he is a handful. His batting can at times be very cultured, but lack of availability (hopefully improved now he has left school) and other interests (eg pole vaulting) have curtailed his run scoring for his club.
Off the field, Jelly simply has no peers. Ever since the day he rocked up to the Plough as a 14 year old with a Minor Cup winning medal, was told by his elders to keep his head down and he might be able to join them for the evening, and promptly looked the doorman in the eye and went “Alright big lad” before touching with a 23 year old inside, Jelly has put in consistent, and at times bewilderingly remarkable efforts away from cricket. If he could translate half that form into his cricket, there is little doubt he would be off to the sub-continent next year for the World Cup donning the Irish jersey!