Paddy O'Hara (CricketEurope), March 2021
As NIACUS agonised over who could replace the 'irreplacable' Peter Lunney, up stepped Ian Houston - and the rest is history!
Ian is currently 20 not out (probably one of his better scores!) and everyone fully expects him to be in post for another 20 years.
A surprisingly time consuming summer job, managing every aspect of appointing, cry-offs, re-arrangements, grading, recording the finances, managing complaints, Ian takes it all in his stride. He has quite a reputation as a 'no nonsense' individual and the umpires AND the captains ensure that they don't get on the wrong side of him.
A good club cricketer with both Holywood and Bangor - including captaining Bangor II to a Junior Cup triumph. He also really enjoys his umpiring. Schools' matches are a particular favourite and he regards them as a social day out. You meet up for a leisurely breakfast, enjoy the umpiring and spotting the stars of the future and then adjourning to an appropriate nearby hostelry for apr's match refreshments.
There is just one blot on this man's otherwise superstar CV. When NIACUS' most successful ever White Stick captain was unceremoniously sacked, Ian was not only brought in for his first cap, but also handed the skipper's armband. The match at North Down resulted in NIACUS suffering its heaviest defeat in the 30 years of the tournament. Unsurprisingly, he fell on his sword.
Ian Houston may be a one-cap wonder but he is certainly a wonderful Appointments Secretary. We hope he continues to be so for a long time.