Good weekend for Waringstown as they pick up back-to-back wins
Having opened their season with a loss to Instonians, Lee Nelson’s side had to show fight to pick up a six-run win over North Down in a game where the visitors will be wondering how they managed to come out on the wrong end.
Batting first. Waringstown posted 118/5 in 20 overs, mainly thanks to contributions from opener James Hall (48) and the returning Morgan Topping (28).
North Down looked to be in the driving seat as Ruhan Pretorius (38) and captain Alistair Shields (45) put on 81 for the second wicket and that position looked to be even more solid when Peter Eakin smashed consecutive sixes in the 18th over to leave the Comber men needing just 16 from 16 balls.
Eakin would depart off the next ball, starting a collapse of four wickets for just seven runs and James Mitchell held his nerve to bowl an almost perfect final over to seal victory.
Waringstown have a fantastic record in the LVS Twenty20 Cup, reaching the final for the past five seasons, and they will fancy their chances of going deep once again after a seven-wicket victory against CSNI on Sunday.
CSNI, who were without Marc Ellison, Stuart Thompson and Gary Wilson, posted 118 but that didn’t prove to be enough as Greg Thompson (32 no) led the home side to the last four with two overs to spare.
CIYMS and Woodvale are now joint-top of the Robinson Services Cup after victories over Lisburn and Carrickfergus respectively, but their cup meeting on Sunday was postponed due to weather.
It has been a tremendous return to top-flight cricket for Woodvale who have won their opening two games after edging past Carrick by three runs.
In a low-scoring thriller, Woodvale were able to defend their total of 114/7 despite the best efforts of CJ van der Walt (44).
Stephen Bunting (2-19) set the tone early as he dismissed George Munsey with his second ball before bowling van der Walt with 21 still needed for the visitors to win.
A late Neil Gill maximum wasn’t enough and Woodvale will be delighted with their start as they prepare to host Waringstown on Saturday.
CIYMS proved exactly why they are favourites to win the competition as they ran out victors by 75-runs against Lisburn at Belmont.
Chris Dougherty (80*) led the way as he shared yet another hundred opening partnership with John Matchett (42) on CI’s way to 156/2.
That target was always going to be beyond Lisburn, with Adam Berry (34) the only man putting up any real resistance before he became one of three Karthik Rajavelu victims.
There would be redemption for the Wallace Park side on Sunday as they beat Carrick by three wickets, setting up a Twenty20 Cup semi-final clash with CIYMS or Woodvale in the process.
Mark Berry (4-20) helped reduce Carrick to 114-6 before brother Adam (30) and Robert Rankin (27) set them well on their way to victory.
In the most remarkable result of the weekend, Instonians were unable to chase 89 against CSNI at Stormont.
Only Ross Adair (21) and Corin Goodall (25*) were able to contribute more than 10 for the home side as Shane Getkate picked up three wickets, including the important early scalp of Ellison.
It was the Adair show in the second innings as Ben Adair (3-15) had Andrew White (23) caught before Ross (3-11) returned to bowl the final over, where Ben Rose (33) was stumped off the final ball to secure the most unlikely win for CSNI.
There was another defeat for Instonians on Sunday as they lost out by seven wickets to North Down, who will play Waringstown in the Cup semi-final on August 9.