Instonians against Brigade promised to be a classic, but perhaps it sums up how things actually went when the most interesting incident in the home side’s innings was actually umpire Wylle McKinty retiring hurt.
McKinty had fallen whilst attempting to get side on at the bowlers end to adjudicate a run-out and eventually had to be replaced several overs later.
Richard Johnson, who thought he was there for a quiet afternoon spectating, found himself out in the middle as replacement.
For Instonians it had started reasonably at 49-1, but with the introduction of teenager Ryan McBeth it all went horribly wrong.
The youngster tore the home side’s middle order apart, taking 4-15, Andrew White, James Shannon, Jordan McClurkin and Rusty Theron contributing 17 between them, suddenly it was 64-7, a batting disaster.
Realistically there was no way back from there, Nathan Smith battled and helped the score reach respectability with 28 off 43 balls before he was run out, but 118 was well below expectations.
It would be hard to fault the Inst bowlers, however White, Smith and Theron all had catches downed, David Barr getting two lives in his 27 and the otherwise excellent Ryan Hunter one.
Hunter played the one innings of note, making 69 off 92 balls with 3 sixes and 7 fours as Brigade cruised home by 7 wickets with 7 overs to spare.
At Strabane Park Carrickfergus elected to field and seemed to have done the hard work in restricting their hosts, that was until Kevin Pretorius ran amok with 60 (6x4s, 4x6’s) off just 29 balls, including 30 off the last over.
Ultimately that was to prove the difference as the final margin was a mere 19 runs, Aaron Gillespie with 43 and Ryan Gallagher (39) added 80 for the fourth wicket, Strabane posting 214.
It was skipper Gallagher again with the ball; after a steady partnership between Iain Parkhill and Jamie Holmes, he removed both along with the dangerous Pat Botha in the space of seven deliveries.
Alex Haggan’s fine form continued as he battled to keep Carrick in the game making 61 from 72 balls with seven boundaries before Gallagher returned to account for him. Aaron Gillespie pretty much took care of the rest finishing with 3-46.