Carrickfergus secure famous cup treble

The victorious Carrickfergus team
The victorious Carrickfergus team

Carrickfergus made it a famous treble yesterday as they beat Downpatrick in the final of the Ulster Shield to clinch a third trophy of the season.

Indrajeet Kamtekar, the Indian professional, was the start of the show at Middle Road, taking five Downpatrick wickets for 28 runs and hitting an unbeaten 31.

Downpatrick pro Amit Patil top scored with 50 and Gavin Ringland added 30 but a total of 153 was never likely to be too testing on a fast-scoring ground.

Michael Gilmour hit a breezy 48 and Jamie Holmes struck an unbeaten 53 as Carrick romped home by eight wickets.

Meanwhile the curtain is coming down on one of local cricket’s great family names after brothers David and Robert Kennedy confirmed their retirement at the weekend.

They didn’t go out the way they would have wanted - Ballymena lost by seven wickets to already relegated Muckamore at Eaton Park - but two of the most popular members of the circuit will be missed.

Injuries have been the deciding factor. Robert has missed much of the season with knee problems and will undergo more surgery this winter. David, one of the finest batsmen the NCU has produced over the last two decades, suffered a badly broken finger while playing against former club North Down earlier this season. He was advised that further damage could leave it inoperable so the former Ireland international was left with little alternative but to call it a day.

There have been many highs over the years, with nothing likely to surpass the famous title year of 1998 when Ballymena won what was still called Section One. With David and Robert retiring, their brother James and Michael Glass, the veteran seamer, will now be the only playing survivors of that era.

With professional Yogesh Takawale already having returned home, Ballymena were dismissed for just 38.3 overs by their fierce rivals. Cameron Staveley, a regular in Muckamore’s second team, was their unlikely destroyer, taking five for 23 in seven overs, including the wicket of David for 10.

Muckamore gained the consolation of recording their first Premier League victory at the 14th time of asking. Craig Mickan, their Australian professional, ensured they got there in a hurry. He thumped an unbeaten 54 from just 36 balls, including nine fours and two sixes. His partnership of 71 for the second wicket took Muckamore home in the 28th over, with Jamie Magowan making an unbeaten 15 from 73 balls at the other end.

The game was the only match to finish in the Premier League with North Down and Lisburn frustrated by the weather at Wallace Park.

The identity of Section One’s champions remains as difficult to predict as ever as both Lurgan and Carrickfergus, the top two, both lost on Saturday. Lurgan were bowled out for just 65 as they were beaten by Bangor by eight wickets while at The Meadow Downpatrick beat Carrick by three wickets after being set a revised target of 175 in 36 overs. Holywood were dismissed for a humiliating 27 by Woodvale with Paul Robinson taking seven wickets for 11 runs.