The club’s first ground was a field loaned by the late Joshias Rankin and it was from that base in 1938 that the club gained entry into the North West of Ireland’s Junior League and Junior Cup competitions.
Early success in Junior cricket, despite interruption by the Second World War, concluded with a memorable Junior League Championship and Junior Cup win in 1946 and promotion to Intermediate cricket followed at the start of the 1947 season.
Over the next 27 years different fields were used as the club competed in Intermediate cricket with League Championship wins in 1948, 1954, 1960 and 1962 (Qualifying League) and Intermediate Cup wins in 1954, 1962 and 1966.
The move to the club’s present ground, that was then owned by Robert McNeely Junior, took place in the early 1970’s and turned out to be a major factor in the club’s desire to play cricket at Senior Level. In a short time (1974) promotion to Division 2 of the North West Senior League was achieved and the club remained in that Division until gaining promotion to Division 1 of the North West Senior League at the end of the 1980 season. Bready also purchased their present ground in 1980.
Unfortunately after two seasons (1981 and 1982) in Division 1 of the North West Senior League, Bready was relegated back to Division 2 of the North West Senior League, but promotion back again to Division 1 of the North West Senior League was quickly achieved at the end of the 1984 season and there the club still remains. One of the largest crowds ever to turn up for a cricket match in the North West of Ireland was at Magheramason on Thursday August 13 1987, when, to mark the formal opening of the club’s fine new pavilion by the late Alex McBrine (Donemana), a Viv Richards XI played an Ian Bothams XI. Both of these world leading cricketers scored excellent centuries in the match which produced some exciting cricket throughout.
Jubilee Year followed in 1988 and this 50th Anniversary Year was marked first of all with the Club’s initial appearance in a North West Senior Cup Final in early August (lost to Donemana) and then was followed by an International Single Wicket Competition at the club grounds on Thursday August 11. Australian Allan Border won the competition. Two further North West Senior Cup Final defeats followed in 1989 and 1992, both at the hands of Donemana again, while at the end of the 1995 season Bready reached the Final of the All Ireland Senior Cu competition, but in a high scoring Final at Comber, they suffered a one run defeat against North Down. The 1995 season also saw the club appoint their first professional player (South African Alex Cilliers).
1996 will be remembered as a great year for the Bready club. An 8 wicket win was accomplished over Strabane in the North West Senior Cup Final (A Cilliers 91 and 52 not out) and the club 2nd XI won the North West Intermediate A Cup competition. Two further North West Senior Cup Final appearances against Limavady (1997 and 2002) ended in defeat.
Season 1998 saw new club professional player Ijaz Ahmed come and go while South African W Smit arrived for the 1999 season to fill the vacancy and still remains. Tribute must be paid for his efforts in establishing a youth policy at the club and his coaching expertise has without doubt benefited the club greatly as can be seen when the Bready Under Eleven team were crowned All Ireland Eleven Champions for season 2001.
As indicated, earlier family traditions have always been strong at the club. In it’s time Bready Cricket Club has been blessed with those of a marked cricketing ability and those who were content to sit at the boundary’s edge but did their work on committees and in administration. Many have written their names indelibly in the records of the club and recognition of this is recorded in this book and as a result of their endeavours, the club can look forward to further success in the twenty-first century.