LAST weekend's big club finals and the visit of South Africa A to Malahide did much to put Fingal cricket in the spotlight at adult level - but the staging of specialised clinics across the county has also done much to help further develop young players.
These clinics, held over the past few weeks, proved to be a great success, with 80 players attending and benefiting from experienced coaches' great knowledge of the different aspects of the game of cricket. A 'Fielding Clinic' was held at The Hills CC, with current Irish international John Mooney acting as head coach. Players were taught the basics of throwing and finished with fielding drills and a talk about the importance of fielding in the modern game. A 'Fast Bowling Clinic' was run in North County CC with former Irish international André Botha acting as head coach. André talked through the principles of fast bowling and discussed the skills involved in becoming a good fast bowler. Time was also spent on the variations of bowling (in-swing, out-swing and slower balls). A 'Spin Bowling Clinic' was run at The Hills, and for this event Australian Matt Lunson (Phoenix CC) acted as head coach. Players were shown basic grips, techniques used and variations to finger spin bowling. Skill-specific training drills were followed by a tactical and game awareness session. A 'Batting Clinic' was run at North County where another former Ireland international, opening batsman Jeremy Bray, was head coach. During the clinic players were shown best-practice methods of playing both spin and fast bowling. Players had the opportunity to practice a variety of shots against different styles of bowling. Areas like the 'sweep shot' and 'advancing down the wicket' to spinners were covered as well as the 'cut' and 'pull' shot when playing against fast bowlers. A 'Wicket-keeping Clinic' was run by Clontarf's Robert Forrest at North County. Junior wicketkeepers were shown the basic principles of keeping and then were introduced to a variety of different stations of drills to help improve their overall wicketkeeping skills.