James McCollum injury concern for Villagers season run-in

Waringstown batsman Kyle McCallan
Waringstown batsman Kyle McCallan

James McCollum could miss the rest of the season for Waringstown with an ankle injury.

The villagers will wait further assessment on the injury McCollum picked up while attempting a single in their win over CIYMS in the NCU Premier League on Saturday.

He missed yesterday’s defeat by Instonians - which saw the Belfast side draw level with Waringstown at the top of the table.

McCollum’s ankle appeared to buckle underneath him and the early news was not encouraging.

His misfortune brought professional Cobus Pienaar to the middle; Pienaar has been promoted up the order and certainly appears to be enjoying the added responsibility. He began circumspectly against the pace of Kemp and Johnny Thompson.

The introduction of Allen Coulter saw immediate success for CIYMS, James Hall completely losing the ball in the background, ducking and finding himself lbw.

At the other end Nigel Jones had Adam Dennison caught behind by Chris Dougherty and then Lee Nelson caught by Thompson, to leave the visitors 77-4 in the 21st.

Pienaar remained unruffled finding a willing ally in Greg Thompson. The pair added 124 in 20 overs, with first Thompson bringing up his 50, then Pienaar a magnificent maiden century for the club before Jones struck to remove Thompson for 61 from 66 balls with seven fours and a six.

The CI response was off to the worst possible start as Pienaar and Phil Eaglestone stuck in the third and fourth overs leaving them three for two.

When Marcus McClean stumped Rajayelu off Kyle McCallan and then Gary Kidd trapped Justin Kemp lbw second ball it was 77-4.

CI were massively behind on DLS as skipper Nigel Jones was joined by Johnny Thompson. Whatever demons Jones had been having with his batting he certainly left them at home on Saturday.

He exuded positivity right from the outset and the pair began the repair operation. Thompson went for 31 off Pienaar the first of two excellent catches by Adam Dennison and then the underrated Stephen Chambers provided the foil for Jones.

Jones had made 89 when his opposite number Lee Nelson entered the fray and enticed him to one big shot too many, Greg Thompson judging the catch to perfection at deep mid-wicket. In all he hit 7x4’s and 6x6’s in a 73 ball cameo.

The tail wagged and it came down to 11 off the last over entrusted to McCallan, when Zache Rushe deposited the first ball for 6 Waringstown nerves were frayed; two balls later he had another heave and an inside edge off the pads onto the stumps gave the visitors a 4 run victory.

OPINION: DLS (Duckworth-Lewis) – three letters which send all cricketers in the NCU into quivering wrecks.

I don’t claim to be an expert; indeed, I have yet to find anyone who is; for me there seems to be no consistency to the output. On Saturday, Waringstown certainly appeared to be the beneficiaries.

At Belmont rain brought Waringstown’s innings to a close with 15 balls remaining and the score 226-7. After an early tea and further loss of time CIYMS went out to bat facing an adjusted total of 221 from 38 overs.

My maths tells me that Waringstown were scoring at a rate of 4.77 runs per over, the DLS target suggested that CIYMS needed to score at 5.82 runs per over.

I will need a lot of convincing that Waringstown were going to score 65 runs off the remaining 15 balls with three wickets left and post 291 the 50 over equivalent of 5.82!