Muckamore secured their place in the Premier League for another season this year, finishing seventh having collected 20 points from 14 games (5 wins, 8 losses, 1 no result).
It is the exact same record they collected in the league in 2017, and captain Neil Gill is looking for his side to improve further when the 2019 season rolls around.
Professional Fahad Iqbal had a good season, and Adam McDaid (above) made a real impact when he joined the Moylena club late in the campaign.
Here, Gill reflects on the season that’s been.
When you look back on 2018, what are your thoughts?
Overall, we set out to stay in the league and we done that. There were a lot of positives with the likes of Aditya (Adey) and Craig Drummond having good seasons. Looking into next year, we need to think about not just surviving, but pushing on as well. That’s two years that we have consolidated.
The younger guys have had another season and hopefully I will be fully fit next year. We just to have to try and improve. There were a lot of positives, but there is also a lot of work that needs done.
You ended up finishing in 7th, but spent a lot of the season above that. Do you feel you performed better than that?
Looking through the whole season, there are only two matches that we got really annihilated in and those were the two CIYMS games. Other than that, we competed in every game.
We should have beat North Down away, and we had a no result against them as well. If you look on the whole, there are games there that we lost that we should have probably won. There is a lot we can improve on.
Our fielding was really poor. It was the worst that I have seen and it is something we need to work on. The boys need to get fitter. There are boys who have talent with the bat but they didn’t kick on and show it.
I didn’t have a great year personally with injuries and a few other things, so I will come back stronger. Sam Gordon and Aditya are going to Australia during the winter, so hopefully that will improve them as cricketers.
Aditya Adey had a great season, and you have a few other young guys in the squad. Do you think they will only continue to get better?
The point that I’ve been making to the club for years is that it’s important we stay up and aren’t a yo-yo team, which has happened over the years.
Seeing them in their second year in the Premier League, they have improved and you can see it when they are facing the best bowling and best batting.
Sam Gordon has so much talent and got two fifties in the Emerging Knights games, but for us played some silly shots which was down to concentration more than anything.
Adey still needs to improve his bowling. He does pick up wickets but he is still bowling two sides of the wicket and not bowling to a field. There is so much to work on and we are still in the Premier League.
Lisburn are coming up and they are going to be a good side. It isn’t going to be easy next year, but we just have to keep trying to improve.
You are consolidated in the Premier League now. Do you feel that the side has improved in 2018?
I do feel we have improved in some senses with Adey and a couple of the other guys standing up and being counted.
Hopefully next year the likes of Sam come along after spending some time in Australia. Our players have the talent and they need to do it in the big league now.
Ashwin (Shetty) came in and got important wickets, and the pro (Fahad Iqbal) was a great find as well, getting close to 700 runs and 28 wickets as well. We couldn’t complain about that.
We probably have improved, but not an awful lot. As I said, our fielding was worse than the year before. Overall, I am happy we stayed up but definitely looking to do better.
Muckamore professional Fahad Iqbal
Looking to 2019, what are the goals?
I said to the boys after the last game on Saturday that it’s great staying up, but next year I want to add a couple of guys to improve the team and add to what we already have and maybe push for a run in the Senior Cup and maybe get to a final.
We have got to a couple of semis in the past years, but it would be great for the club to get to a Senior Cup final.
It’s about us improving every single year. We have consolidated now and if we are improving as a club every year, it’s all you can ask for.