Waringstown issue statement of intent with victory over Carrickfergus

David Dawson batting for Waringstown against Carrickfergus
David Dawson batting for Waringstown against Carrickfergus

The Green and White Army lit up the European Championship with their highly vocal support for Northern Ireland.

As Saturday’s game kicked off on the television in the clubhouse at Waringstown, the home side were putting the final touches to their own equally loud and powerful message to the rest of the Premier League: catch us if you can.

It’s only the fourth game of the season, but Waringstown remain unbeaten having defeated Carrickfergus by 67 runs in this top of the table clash.

At times their credentials were examined and they had to dig deep, but they always had an answer.

If you follow Carrickfergus, no need for despondency, there is definitely the basis of a decent team in the making here. On a pitch which had been under the covers, there was always going to be assistance for the bowlers early on.

Anthony Martin, and in particular Michael Armstrong, made full use of it.

Firstly, Armstong put one just short of a length to James Hall, moving away, Pat Botha took the catch at slip. In his next over something similar saw James McCollumcaught by debutant wicketkeeper Max Burton and Waringstown were 11-2.

Adam Dennison and Lee Nelson set about rebuilding with the former playing the dominant role.

By drinks it was 84-2, Dennison playing fluidly both through the covers and pouncing on anything short, hitting powerfully to leg.

Largely untroubled a big score looked his for the taking until his partner called him for a single; rather that say ‘no’ he came on and was run out by Jamie Holmes throw.

In all he contributed 57 from 72 balls with 3x4’s and 2x6’s and in 22 overs added 99 in company with Nelson.

By now former Irish international Ryan Eagleson had the ball, fresh from his five-wicket haul the previous evening against Muckamore.

The 33rd over can best be described as madness, first professional Cobus Pienaar aimed an ambitious reverse sweep; outcome – clean bowled.

Greg Thompson the NCU’s in-form batsman lasted three balls, in those he danced down the track, missed, but so did Max Burton, then he hit Eagleson in the air and no mistake from Jamie Holmes. Suddenly 110-2 became 117-5, could Carrick barge the door in?

Again Waringstown repelled the boarders; Nelson the rock as first David Dawson (26 off 30 balls) and Kyle McCallan (25 off 27) added impetus. Finally Nelson perished, charging down to Robert Smith, young Burton even had time to miss and rewind.

In response, Carrick began cautiously, then in the ninth over skipper Iain Parkhill (lbw), followed by Francis Collins (superbly caught by Dawson overhead in the gully) had Phil Eagleson delighted.

Pat Botha and Jamie Holmes steadied things, almost a carbon copy of Waringstown earlier. Botha struck 7 boundaries in a 35 ball 33 it was the wiles of McCallan that saw his downfall.

The former Irish international tossed one up and he slashed at it, the ensuing edge was pouched by Gary Kidd at backward point. An extraordinary dismissal next ball as in form Alex Haggan shouldered arms, the ball spat off the pitch caught his gloves and spooned the simplest catch to Pienaar at slip.

Holmes and Robert Smith added 43 before Eaglestone took a superb catch at short fine and Holmes was gone for 39, with him apparently the Carrick resolve. The last 6 wickets fell for 32 to a combination of James Hall and Greg Thompson, the former taking 3-28 and Thompson 3-18.