Premier League sides too strong for Section One rivals in Challenge Cup

Andre Malan
Andre Malan
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There were no major upsets in the Gallagher Challenge Cup first round as all three Premier League sides that faced Section One opposition made smooth progress to the next stage.

At Stormont, CSNI beat Armagh by eight wickets thanks to a five-wicket haul from Andre Malan which also included a hat-trick.

Batting first, Armagh posted a total of 72 with captain Matthew Steenson (23) top-scoring after Malan had rattled through the top order and Matthew Foster, who made

his Northern Knights debut during the week, also picked up three wickets.

Ben Mackey started well by claiming the scalps of Archie Johnston and Malan, but Marc Ellison (27*) and Gary Wilson (32*) helped CSNI ease to a comfortable victory.

There were also wins for Muckamore and Carrickfergus, who got past Bangor and Woodvale respectively.

After bowling Bangor out for 105, Jamie Rogers scored 47* to help the Moylena side to an eight-wicket victory, while CJ van der Walt produced a brilliant all-round display (58* and 4-29) for Carrick as Michael Gilmour’s men ran out victors by a margin of seven wickets.

Cregagh also produced an impressive display to progress past Derriaghy, who had started the season unbeaten, at Queensway.

Jay Hunter, who was a winter signing from North Down, scored 52 in a man-of-the-match performance as Cregagh chased their target of 146 for the loss of four wickets. Newly-promoted Templepatrick will also be in the hat for the second round after an 18-run triumph against Downpatrick.

The only match that fell victim to the weather was Holywood’s home clash with Waringstown, which has been rescheduled for Sunday, June 9.