Cricket: Lisburn boost hopes with double signing

Josh Manley celebrates taking a wicket during a Challenge Cup match for Instonians against Waringstown last summer. David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Josh Manley celebrates taking a wicket during a Challenge Cup match for Instonians against Waringstown last summer. David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Share this article

Lisburn have boosted their hopes of competing strongly in next season’s Robinson Services NCU Premier League.

The Wallace Park side have confirmed the capture of Josh Manley, the Instonians fast bowler who made such an impression last summer.

Lisburn captain Adam Berry with the Robinson Services Section One trophy in 2018

Lisburn captain Adam Berry with the Robinson Services Section One trophy in 2018

And the South African-born paceman will be joined at the club by Chris Burns, the Bangor captain and batsman.

With Luke Allison’s arrival from Donacloney already having been confirmed this winter, captain Adam Berry will have a much stronger squad to choose from in April.

Manley looks to be the most eye-catching capture. He topped the bowling averages in the NCU in 2019, taking 22 wickets in just eight matches at a miserly average of just 11.09.

Berry said: “It’s not an exaggeration to say that Josh is a proper match-winner.

“Alongside Simo (David Simpson) he will be great threat with the new ball, particularly at Wallace Park. With Mark (Berry) and Graeme Browne we will be really well covered on the seam bowling front.

“Josh will complement the other bowlers, he shows exactly what he is capable of last season. I’m sure he will fit in really well.”

Burns’ name will be less familiar to some NCU observers, but Berry reckons Lisburn have signed a player of real potential.

“Chris was a really big player for Bangor over the last couple of seasons,” Berry continued. “I know him well from university he is a really good guy and I believe he can come in and be destructive at Premier League level.”

Lisburn survived in last year’s Premier League by the skin of their teeth after a promising start stalled when professional Faiz Fazal had to go home early and David Simpson suffered a lengthy injury absence.

Berry believes they now have a squad capable of moving away from the battle at the bottom.

He added: “We came up last season just basically looking to stay up. We managed that which was a great effort by the lads and now we want to progress and move up the table. We don’t want to be in those sixth, seventh and eighth slots.”