Until Saturday you had to go all the way back to August 3, 2013 to find the last time Waringstown lost a cricket match.
A remarkable winning sequence of 17 consecutive matches, notwithstanding the bowl-out farce at home to Railway Union in the Irish Cup, was brought to a crashing halt by Civil Service North’s Shane Getkate.
The Dubliner, once of Warwickshire, was ostensibly signed as a fast bowler during the early weeks of the summer, but it was his batting that inflicted the unfamiliar pain of defeat on the villagers at Stormont.
Waringstown were only defending 173 for eight, a total that represented a recovery from the perils of 76 for six, but they were probably favourites when CSNI stumbled to 75 for five in reply.
But on a pitch that offered nothing to their spin-dominated attack, Waringstown could do little to stem the tide of Getkate’s attacking strokes. The Northern Knights all-rounder added 97 for the sixth wicket with Christopher McMorran, with the Ireland under-19 man contributing just 25.
Getkate’s unbeaten 88 came from just 97 balls and included 10 fours and two sixes but CSNI’s victory was more than about one man.
Nigel Jones crucially read the pitch correctly and opted to bowl first, taking advantage of seam-friendly conditions. The captain conceded just 10 runs in 10 overs along with the wickets of Adam Dennison and Lee Nelson, while Allen Coulter bowled in-form James Hall and professional Shaheen Coulter.
Kyle McCallan, who struck six fours in 64 from 105 balls, and James Collum with a fine unbeaten 34, added 76 in just 84 balls, a partnership that contrasted with the snail’s pace of the first half of the innings.
CIYMS inflicted a second league defeat of the season on North Down at The Green. Rassie van der Dussen, the South African professional, top scored with 83 from 92 balls, hitting five fours and three sixes.
Nathan Waller looked to be helping CI to a total beyond 250 when he crashed 55 from just 50 balls, including three fours and three sixes, but from 184 for three, the visitors limped to 226 for nine.
Ryan Haire, the North Down captain, claimed three for 44 and James Cameron-Dow two for 29 and that total should have been within reach, especially as North Down’s opening stand reach 64 between Jonathan Terrett and Andrew Sutherland (37).
However, CI’s under-rated quality is a bowling attack which delivers precious few bad deliveries and after Trevor Britton (2-23) removed Sutherland and Haire in quick succession, North Down started falling badly behind the asking rate.
Terrett made 71 but it took him 131 balls and Nick Larkin struggled for fluency before he was one of four victims for leg-spinner Jacob Mulder.
North Down lost their last four wickets for just 10 runs to slump to 188 all out as CI won with ease by 37 runs.