Harrow abuzz for 2018 Johnny Mullagh championships

A RECORD crowd watched the Glenelg XI comfortably defeat the Mullagh XI to win the 2018 Johnny Mullagh Championships at Harrow on Sunday.

After a delayed start to the contest the Glenelg XI showed it was a class above its opponent for the day on the way to recording a 159-run victory.

Despite the big margin the game was played in high spirits throughout as 332 of the day’s 505 runs came through fours and sixes.

Steve McCabe has been involved in the Johnny Mullagh Championships cricket match since the first game in 1995.

He said the day was always something he looked forward to.

“The sun always shines on Mullagh and we never get a wet day,” he said.

“It’s always a good game no matter what happens and it’s always good fun.

“The players that take part in the day really respect what goes on and they don’t just turn up to go through the motions.”

The Mullagh XI batted first and found the opening combination of Tony Caccaviello and David Puls difficult to get away. 

Things did not get much easier for the side but Taine Morris blasted his way to 48 to add some respectability to his side’s scorecard.

The Mullagh XI continued to bat out its overs despite having lost ten wickets before it reached 100. Zac McLeod played an aggressive captain’s knock of 42 to help his side post 173 from its 40 overs.

It took the Glenelg XI less than 20 overs to reach its target as Simon Close and Nathan Murphy blasted 61 and 68 respectively.

The side was 7-332 when its innings was called to a close after 29 overs.

Close was awarded the John Gartland award as the best player in the Glenelg XI. Morris won the Edgar-Handbury award as the best player in the Johnny Mullagh side.

“People are starting to understand and become more intrigued by the story of Johnny Mullagh,” McCabe said.

“The word is getting out there on what a great day it is. There is always so much action going; there is always something to look at whether its the cricket, the quickshear or the billycarts coming down the hill.”

He said the day had changed a lot over the years.

“When I was first invited down there was no cultural centre and it was just a game of cricket and the billycarts,” he said. 

“The billycarts actually came first and then they incorporated the Johnny Mullagh game.

“Since then, through the tireless work of various people, there has been more of a chance for people to come and understand what happened for the first XI to go over to England.”