Unsatisfactory finish to Challenge Cup encounter

CIYMS celebrate taking a wicket against Carrickfergus
CIYMS celebrate taking a wicket against Carrickfergus

Saturday’s Arthur J Gallagher NCU Challenge Cup tie at Belmont on Saturday certainly created some talking points, not least with how it finished.

CIYMS were ultimately thwarted by the weather. As the rain closed in the home support became increasingly vocal in criticising the Carrick team over their delaying tactics in the field.

For most neutrals it most certainly did not make for compelling viewing, with it seemingly taking as long to bowl a single delivery as a normal over.

We had bowlers pulling up in delivery, field changes, conversations about who knows what. Can anyone really complain though, for 99% of the game CIYMS were completely on top and should have sealed victory.

Carrick were completely within their rights, no regulations about how long an over should take and whilst the umpires may ask the players to speed up they were powerless to take any other action.

At stake was a place in the showpiece Challenge Cup final on 29 July at Comber, for many players the pinnacle of their career.

CIYMS won the Challenge Cup for the first time last season and Carrickfergus for all their long heritage since 1868 and as a founder member of the NCU have yet to win it.

Put yourself in their shoes would you not cling on to any opportunity to have a second chance to make history?

And Carrick captain Iain Parkhill defnded his decision to bat first.

“We were missing two seam bowlers in Ashwin Shetty and Anthony Martin and I figured if we could get through the opening overs and post a reasonable total we could put the pressure on with our spinners in their chase.

“It didn’t work out they bowled well and we performed extremely poorly with the bat, the worst we have all year.

“Every cloud though has a silver lining and we have another chance.

“I know CIYMS may not be happy but we will be up for the next game as undoubtedly they will.”

His opposite number Nigel Jones was understandably a disappointed man.

“No, I don’t think I would have changed the order but I do think we could have changed the tactics.

“We probably should have batted more positively from the outset.

“Look it has been a long day, a lot of work has gone into getting the game played and we haven’t got a result. We will be back again in two weeks time determined to get the right result, which for us is a CI victory,” added Jones.

And there will have been many at the ground who will be looking forward to the rematch between the two sides.