Vital victory for Instonians as Lisburn and CIYMS win again

Centuries from Robert McKinley (164) and Cade Carmichael (115*) helped Instonians secure a vital 251-run Robinson Services Premier League victory over Cregagh to keep their top-six hopes alive.

By Johnny Morton
Sunday, 26th June 2022, 9:43 pm

With a revamped league structure for the 2022 campaign which is split into a top-six (Group A) and bottom-four (Group B) after next weekend’s round of fixtures, Andrew White’s men knew only a win would do and they more than delivered.

Promoted to open the batting, McKinley struck 18 fours and six maximums during a 147-ball stay at the crease, putting on a huge second-wicket partnership of 257 with Carmichael, who hit 15 boundaries of his own.

That 34-over spell set the platform for a mammoth total of 345/4 before James Magee (3-28) kicked their defence off in perfect style by picking up three wickets to leave Cregagh sitting on 36/3.

Woodvale's Ruhan Pretorius puts everything into this delivery during the Robinson Services Premier League game at Ballygomartin Road, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

It was then the Cian Robertson show, who fresh off playing for an Ireland Development side against Gloucestershire 2nds during the week, played a role in the remaining six wickets to fall – collecting figures of 5-29 from 9.5 overs and a run-out – as the visitors were dismissed for 94.

The result leaves them four points adrift of CSNI, who remain in pole position to sneak into the right side of the split after a tight nine-run win over Waringstown.

Luke Georgeson (85) led the way for the hosts while finding support in the likes of captain Stuart Thompson (27) and Archie Johnston (21) as they posted 195/7 in 32 overs.

James McCollum (51) and Graham Hume (46) shared a fourth-wicket stand of 69 in reply for the defending champions but when Matthew Foster (2-48) dismissed the latter and then picked up the crucial scalp of Greg Thompson (16) after a brisk cameo, CSNI were able to grab the momentum.

The Villagers lost five wickets for 14 as they tried to obtain the required runs, but Ben Adair (3-43) held his nerve as the Stormont outfit collected a fourth league win of the season.

At the other end of the table, Lisburn remain top of the pile after a dominant 93-run win over North Down at Comber.

Despite losing Faiz Fazal in the first over and Neil Whitworth shortly after due to superb bowling from Tom Mayes (4-31), Lisburn were still able to push up to 238/9 as Jonny Waite (62) once again produced the goods alongside Glenn Halliday (46) and Matthew Humphreys (45).

Just like North Down, Callum Atkinson’s side got off to a quick start with the ball as Josh Manley (1-20) and David Simpson (2-18) got amongst the wickets.

Neil Brand (86) continued his fine debut season by hitting 13 boundaries but wasn’t able to develop any partnership of significance as Lisburn picked up wickets with regularity and North Down were ultimately bowled out for 145.

Carrickfergus are hitting form at the right time and recorded a third consecutive league victory by chasing 134 in just 20 overs to secure a routine nine-wicket triumph against Cliftonville Academy.

Cliftonville Academy got off to a solid start through Dominic Hendricks (39) and Jonny Terrett (23) who brought them up to 60/2, but a combination of CJ van der Walt (4-21) and Alex Haggan (3-13) stifled any momentum they were creating.

The hosts fell to 122 all out and did pick up the early wicket of Michael Gilmour, but that brought Jacques Snyman (79*) to the crease and the South African international produced a typically destructive innings to keep Carrick’s winning run going alongside Ian Parkhill (24*).

CIYMS remain in second and only four points behind Lisburn after they beat Woodvale by 48 runs.

There was a rare failure for Ross Adair (4) – who hit 134 off 53 balls in a Twenty20 Cup fixture versus Cregagh on Friday evening – but Jack Beattie (70) and John Matchett (46) stepped up to push their side to what turned out to be a winning total of 247/9.

Ruhan Pretorius (96) – who earlier picked up figures of 3-30 – shared a third-wicket partnership of 123 with Aditya Adey (49) but when he was caught off the bowling of Keith Dudgeon (1-38) just shy of a century, things went downhill for the Ballygomartin Road side.

They collapsed from 143-2 to 199 all out with Paul Robinson (12) the only other batter to reach double figures and the defeat leaves Woodvale sitting in seventh position on net run-rate heading into their final pre-split fixture at North Down.