Cricket: Waringstown champions in all but name after victory over Lisburn

Waringstown captain Lee Nelson
Waringstown captain Lee Nelson

Waringstown are Ulster Bank NCU Premier League champions in all at but name.

The villagers beat Lisburn by 10 wickets on Wenesday night at Wallace Park to all but wrap up the title.

Waringtown are four points ahead of North Down with both teams having one match left to play. However, the villagers’ nett run-rate is so superior that only a mathematical miracle could lead to Lee Nelson’s team being overtaken.

Waringstown gave a debut to South African professional JP de Villiers but it was veteran off-spinner Kyle McCallan who did the bulk of the damage with the ball. The former Ireland international claimed four wickets four just three runs, including the prize scalps of Lisburn captain David Simpson and Robert Rankin.

Graeme Browne was the only home batsman to reach double figures with the NCU’s leading wicket-taker, Phil Eaglestone (2-13) also among the wickets.

Lisburn, without professional Darryl Brown, reached 65 for eight in their 20 overs, and Waringstown openers James Hall and James McCollum wasted no time in chasing down the small target.

Hall struck four fours and two sixes in his unbeaten 43 from just 36 balls while McCollum hit solitary boundary in his 20 not out.

Waringstown were indebted to Lisburn’s groundstaff for ensuring the match went ahead at all, the miserable weather leaving most grounds in a desperate state.

Waringstown’s attentions now turn to Saturday’s Irish Cup final against Merrion at The Lawn.

At Wallace Park: Lisburn 65-8 (K McCallan 4-3, P Eaglestone 2-13); Waringstown 66-0, 11.3 overs (J Hall 43 no, J McCollum 20 no), Waringstown won by 10 wickets. Meanwhile, there was no play on the second day of Wednesday’s Interprovincial three-day match between the North West Warriors and Leinster Lightning at Bready.