A POWYS cricketer realised a childhood dream on Friday when he took his maiden first-class wicket on his debut for Glamorgan.

And Builth Wells bowling sensation Jamie McIlroy’s first delivery in the professional game was against none other than England test captain Joe Root, while his first professional scalp was Matt Fisher, as the 26-year-old capped a memorable few days.

Left-arm seamer McIlroy dismissed Fisher for just six as the visitors bowled the hosts out for just 193 at Headingley and took command of their Group 3 encounter on the opening weekend of the 2021 LV= County Championship season.

McIlroy recorded more than decent figures for the Welsh side – taking the wicket of No8 batsman Fisher and conceding just 12 runs in his nine overs, including four maidens, for an economy rate of 1.33.

“It was a pretty great feeling,” Builth product McIlroy said of his bow and debut wicket.

“It was something I’d been wanting for a long time, to make my debut, and being able to bowl well and really settle in made it a bit less nerve-racking.

“Also, bowling your first ball as a professional against the England test captain and one of the best batters in the world, was a bit daunting.

“Being able to achieve a dream I’ve had since I was about 10 was an unbelievable feeling too.”

The Hereford-born right-handed batsman and left-arm fast-medium bowler, who also showed aptitude for football, having played both sports for his hometown clubs, signed for the Sophia Gardens outfit in 2019.

He penned an extension in September 2020 after injury had ruled him out of the entire 2020 summer season that was truncated severely by the Covid-19 pandemic.

McIlroy has been working hard to get back to his best and, as heads towards his 27th birthday in June, he’s happy to provide inspiration for kids never to give up on your dreams.

“It’s been tough to get my body back to a position where I can get back out of the pitch,” he said.

“Lots of hours in the gym and working on fitness. It’s a great club to be at and everyone at the club is working together to take the team in the right direction. Even individuals each day, challenging each other to get better, whether it be skill-based or physical conditioning.

“Hopefully with me making it to this position it can be motivation for other kids from Mid Wales to aspire to go after their dream, and hopefully that’s in cricket.

“You’ve got to be dedicated and continue to work hard. Look at me, at 26, it shows you should never give up. Sometimes in your teens you may take an opportunity like this for granted.”

Glamorgan, at the time of going live, led Yorkshire by 298 runs at tea on day three of four in Leeds.

Hard hitting from Timm van der Gugten (85*), Dan Douthwaite (57) and Michael Hogan (54) at the tail helped them post a sizeable 330-all out in their first innings – with McIlroy bowled lbw for a duck. Yorkshire were then skittled for 193 in reply, with the away side now in the driving seat, despite starting their second innings at 68-4. They are currently 161-4.

Billy Root was brought on as first change to bowl at brother Joe on Friday, but their first head-to-head match-up only amounted to four deliveries, an unsuccessful lbw appeal and a single.

The reverse contest late in the evening saw Billy score four off eight balls bowled to him by his older brother, as Root junior and Chris Cooke saw out the final hour.

The players observed a two-minute silence before Friday’s afternoon session and wore black armbands following the death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.