Villlagers within one win of the league title

Waringstown are within one victory of the Ulster Bank NCU Premier League title.

The joint reigning champions saw off Lisburn at The Lawn yesterday with the bare minimum of fuss, James Hall smashing an unbeaten 81 in a resounding nine-wicket victory.

The result keeps the pressure firmly on Instonians who still have two more matches to play before a potentially decisive double-header against Waringstown next weekend.

Inst travel to Lisburn today before a Twenty20 rearrangement against North Down at Shaw’s Bridge on Friday. Neil Russell’s team must win both matches to retain hope of winning the title outright. If they do then it will all come down to the two matches against Waringstown. The villagers will require just one victory while Inst will need to win both matches.

There was never any doubt about the outcome yesterday after Lisburn lost their two most dangerous batsmen within the first four overs to James McCollum. There was something in the pitch early on for the bowlers and Robert Rankin and Craig Ervine both tried to drive on the up with fatal consequences.

Only Jonny Bell, the Ireland hockey player, looked like coming to terms with the Waringstown attack but he was eighth man out for 22 as Lisburn folded disappointingly to 120 all out. Kyle McCallan had miserly figures of two for eight off his 10 overs while there were three wickets for captain Lee Nelson.

One Lisburn batsman had been overhead lamenting what he called a “terrible” pitch, but the folly of that statement was brutally exposed by Hall. After David Simpson had removed McCollum with the first ball of the innings, the Ireland international hit the visitors’ bowling to all parts.

James Magowan, a seven-wicket hero at Muckamore the previous day, saw his two overs smashed for 29, and there was no respite for the remainder of the Lisburn attack.

Hall’s 81 took just 56 balls and contained 10 fours and three sixes. Adam Dennison contributed an unbeaten 29 which included three boundaries and the formalities were complete from the fourth ball of the 17th over.

In yesterday’s other Premier League game, CSNI beat CIYMS at Belmont.

The Stormont men posted 219 batting first and

It was great day for both Academy and Cregagh. Academy clinched the Section Two title to secure promotion to the second tier while Cregagh were crowned Section Two champions.