Millpark Cricket Club

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Millpark
Home ground: Banford Green

Millpark Cricket Club was a cricket club in Gilford, County Down, Northern Ireland, playing in Section 3 of the NCU Senior League. The club, originally based at Millpark, an area located between Gilford and Banbridge, moved the short distance to its second and final home Banford Green, in 1969.[1]

Having spent most of its years in the lower leagues, Millpark's golden era was surely in the late 1990s and early 2000s when Irish Internationals, David Dennison, and brothers Alan and Noel Nelson returned to their boyhood club from near neighbours Waringstown CC.

These years saw the club win NCU Section 4 (undefeated in the league), gain promotion again the following year, and share the prestigious NCU Junior Cup in 1999.

Following the retirement of the three internationals, Millpark consolidated for some years in the third tier of the NCU, before slipping back to the bottom league.

Recruiting players was an increasing problem, and in 2015 the decision was taken to fold the second team.

In October 2016, it was effectively decided to give the club and its assets away to local rivals, Donaghcloney Cricket and Recreation Club. The agreement basically handed the Millpark ground and clubhouse (cost in late 1990s approx £120,000) to Donaghcloney CC.

Although the new arrangement was sold to members and passed at an EGM as a merger, this was a merger in name only. It was a take over of one club by another, as the new name Donaghcloney Mill Cricket and Recreation Club reflects.

Earlier in the year, Millpark declined to allow local premier league club, Waringstown CC to have limited use of their ground in return for payment. In light of the fact that as of October, Millpark had used almost all their liquid resources, on reflection this was a dubious decision.

The will of the club members to reject the selective renting of the club to Waringstown led to several committee members leaving the club. This also caused the loss of stability and income. Regrettably the new committee was not capable of seeing out even one year, as player numbers further declined and the new committee was unable to generate sufficient income to run the club.

Honours

NCU Section 3 Winners 2015

NCU Section 4 Winners 1997

Promoted to NCU Section 2 (now Section 1) - 1998

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