Cricket: Instonians crowned NCU Premier League champions

Mandatory Credit: Rowland White PressEye
Cricket:  NCU Premier League
Teams: Instonians v Waringstown
Venue: Shaw's Bridge
Date: 30th August 2016
Caption:  Instonians celebrate winning the League after defeating Waringstown
Mandatory Credit: Rowland White PressEye Cricket: NCU Premier League Teams: Instonians v Waringstown Venue: Shaw's Bridge Date: 30th August 2016 Caption: Instonians celebrate winning the League after defeating Waringstown

Teenager James Hunter had the honour of sealing the Ulster Bank Premier League title for Instonians at Shaw’s Bridge last night.

Waringstown had set a meagre total of 97, even by T20 standards, and Inst had little bother chasing it down, winning the rearranged game by four wickets.

Mandatory Credit: Rowland White PressEye
Cricket:  NCU Premier League
Teams: Instonians v Waringstown
Venue: Shaw's Bridge
Date: 30th August 2016
Caption: Kyle McCallan, Waringstown

Mandatory Credit: Rowland White PressEye Cricket: NCU Premier League Teams: Instonians v Waringstown Venue: Shaw's Bridge Date: 30th August 2016 Caption: Kyle McCallan, Waringstown

Hunter (14) crashed his second ball to the boundary for four and the victory was assured..

The details of the Instonians innings were almost irrelevant, the game as contest was decided between the fifth and 10th overs of the Waringstown innings and a look at the scorecard tells it all - the top four all run out.

Remarkably on the night Instonians scored with five direct hits.

Waringstown looked a spent force, undoubtedly the fact that they reached the final stages of five trophies ultimately took its toll, both mentally and physically.

Mandatory Credit: Rowland White PressEye
Cricket:  NCU Premier League
Teams: Instonians v Waringstown
Venue: Shaw's Bridge
Date: 30th August 2016
Caption: Instonians captain Nikolia Smith with the League Trophy sealed with a win over Waringstown at Shaw's Bridge

Mandatory Credit: Rowland White PressEye Cricket: NCU Premier League Teams: Instonians v Waringstown Venue: Shaw's Bridge Date: 30th August 2016 Caption: Instonians captain Nikolia Smith with the League Trophy sealed with a win over Waringstown at Shaw's Bridge

One only had to look at the faces of Adam Dennison and James McCollum unable to take part in the title decider due to injury.

Jordan McClurkin top scored with 28 with five boundaries.

A delighted Instonians coach Gavin Rodgers: “This is why I joined these boys.

“Tonight is the culmination of a season of hard work, these guys quite simply don’t know when they are beaten.

“We have done well, but believe me when I say there is a lot more to come from this bunch.

“Remember we did not have Robert McKinley for the first few weeks of the season and he has finished the season as the most consistent bowler in the league.

“One of my highlights is the fact that we beat three top Dublin sides in the Irish Cup”

Captain Nikolai Smith was modest in his summing up but his personal contributions with both bat and ball to the Instonians campaign should not be underestimated:

“What can I say, it has been a remarkable season, looking back it began with Andrew White’s hundred in the first game of the season. Eugene Moleon’s bowling at North Down brought us back from the dead.

“At the weekend Rusty Theron’s 88 and Stephen Bunting’s hat trick in the same game and then tonight the five run outs. Add it all together; you kind of know you’re going to cross the line.”

For Waringstown it was a case of what might have been.

A disappointed Lee Nelson said: After winning the league and Irish Senior Cup last year it was always going to be difficult.

“I feel that those little moments, the extra percent here and there have been missing.

“Tonight we simply were not good enough.”