Cricket at Down High School benefits from the quality of coaching, the facilities (including two pitches and three sets of batting nets) and the close links that the school has with a number of local clubs. Any casual look through the local newspapers will reveal a number of Down High players who have continued their love affair with cricket, and this is in no small part due to Mr Irvine’s leadership and encouragement.
Recent seasons have certainly been truncated by the persistence of poor weather, but progress has certainly been made. We were Schools’ Trophy finalists in 2006 and while a number of departed senior cricketers proved difficult to replace, the future seems bright with the imminent arrival of a number of excellent junior and middle school players in the senior panel. Patrick Calvert, John Donnan, John Reid and Aaron Cairns have all got the potential to achieve great things as they progress towards the senior school. Further down the school, Justin Rea and Jack Calvert look excellent prospects, while younger players such as Luca Rea and Jamie Thompson are already demonstrating that they can form the nucleus of a successful team in the future.
Down High School also enjoys an excellent reputation in Girls’ cricket. Coached by Miss Halligan, the girls turn out regularly for practice and have performed admirably in a number of matches. Over the years, a number of Down High girls have achieved representative honours, with Sarah Willis and Anna Ferguson receiving call-ups to the Ulster Girls’ squad at their age levels.