Jamie Holmes shines in Carrickfergus win over North Down

Instonians Stephen Bunting bowling against CSNI
Instonians Stephen Bunting bowling against CSNI

I doubt many would have called four results correctly on opening day of the 2016 Ulster Bank NCU season.

At Queensway, Derriaghy proved that they are not simply here to make up the numbers with a 23 run victory against CIYMS.

Carrickfergus winning at The Green against North Down was perhaps not in the same category but the manner and margin of victory will have surprised many.

Needing 248 to take the points they chased it down with 10 overs to spare and for the loss of only two wickets.

After the early loss of Michael Gilmour, Jamie Holmes wasted no time in showcasing the talent that has earned him a call up to the Northern Knights squad.

Iain Parkhill happily played the supporting role as the pair added 135 in 26 overs, before Parkhill (39) was stumped by Peter Shields off Marty Moreland. A little more than 11 overs later the game was over.

Pat Botha, Carrick’s new professional playing his first knock in NCU Premier League cricket, took over the steering wheel and Holmes moved to the rear seat as in a little over 40 minutes of mayhem the game was done.

Botha faced just 42 balls hitting 8 fours and 2 sixes as the pair put together an unbroken stand of 105.

This takes nothing away from a superb innings by Holmes of 118 not out off 117 balls striking 12 fours and 3 sixes.

Earlier North Down had looked capable of a much larger target than the 247 they finished on. Ross Ewing, (53 off 68 balls), Jacob Mulder, (65 off 100), Pieter Malan (52 off 84), all grabbed half centuries but it was only Ally Shields who gave the real impetus required with an unbeaten 50 from 34 balls including 3 sixes.

Waringstown ensured their title defence did not start with any banana skins as they wrapped up a 44 run victory over Lisburn at Wallace Park.

Greg Thompson began where he left off last season top scoring with 58 from 46 balls with 6 fours and 2 sixes and new professional Cobus Pienaar (48) chipped in with three maximums from 36 balls, as the pair added 84.

James McCollum (52) and Adam Dennison (34) put on 76 for the second wicket and the final score was 266.

When Richard Simpson cut Pienaar to Thompson at backward point and then Johnny Bushe caught David Simpson behind off Eaglestone at 15-2 it looked like an early finish.

To Lisburn’s credit they came back strongly as Cody Chetty (46) and Robert Rankin (79, 6x4’s & 2x6’s) added 98.

Steve Lazars made a quick fire 44 but once he departed, Pienaar effectively blew away the tail to finish with 5-31.

In the days other game Andrew White reached an unbeaten three figures in Instonians eight wicket win at Stormont.

In CSNI’s 193 professional Amjad top scored with 61 and was one of three victims for Instonians debutant Nathan Smith.