A last-wicket partnership of 49 between youngsters Peter Davison and Tim Carson appeared to have earned North Down a place in the finals day of the NCU Twenty20 Cup on Friday night.
The Comber side lost by 17 runs to Instonians at The Green, but initial calculations concluded that they scraped over the line on run-rate along with Carrickfergus who thrashed Lisburn at Wallace Park.
It was agony for Instonians who seemed to be cruising towards the last four as North Down were reduced to five for three and later 104 for nine chasing 173. But Davison struck an unbeaten 40 to haul North Down back into contention and even though they were eventually dismissed for 155 it was apparently enough to get Marty Moreland’s men through.
It was rough on Andrew White who earlier struck 92 from just 48 balls, including 10 fours and four sixes. Instonians had been in trouble after losing four early wickets but smashed 109 in the last 10 overs to post 172 for seven. Carrickfergus did their bit by dismissing Lisburn for just 92 as Anthony Martin took three for 13.
Facing a race against time, Michael Gilmour hit a breezy 30 before Jamie Holmes’ unbeaten 31 from just 18 deliveries got Carrick over the line with 37 balls remaining.
In the other group CSNI beat Ballymena by eight wickets and Waringstown beat CIYMS off the final ball at The Lawn.
At The Green: Instonians 172-7 (A White 92, E Layard 30, P Davison 2-22, J Mulder 2-30, P Malan 2-38), North Down 155, 19.4 overs (P Eakin 49, P Davison 40, A Shields 25, S Bunting 3-26, Z Rushe 3-25).
At Wallace Park: Lisburn 92, 20 overs (D Simpson 21, A Martin 3-13, M Kernohan 2-19), Carrickfergus 93-2, 13.5 overs (M Gilmour 30, J Holmes 31 no), Carrickfergus won by eight wickets. At Eaton Park: Ballymena 110-3 (A Ghuman 49, W Montgomery 30 no), CSNI 114-2, 15.2 overs (S Getkate 54 no, P Beverland 41 no); CSNI won by eight wickets. At The Lawn: CIYMS 146-5 (C Dougherty 58 no, A Johnston 44, J Mitchell 2-18): Waringstown 147-6, 20 overs (L Nelson 73, J Thompson 3-13). Waringstown won by four wickets.