Waringstown and North Down break clear of the pack
Ian Callender (Sunday Life)
WARINGSTOWN and North Down have stolen a march on the chasing pack in the League as it reached the halfway stage.
The Villagers claimed a decisive four wicket victory over Civil Service North to stay four points clear at the top, but North Down were even more impressive, nine wicket winners over Lisburn at Wallace Park.
One batsman, however, is out on his in own in the formbook, North Down opener and wicket-keeper Ani Chore.
His scores this month have been 49 not out, 39, 80, 140 not out and, yesterday, 121 not out as the Comber side passed Lisburn’s 188 in the 29th over.
The former Oman A batsman dominated the strike, facing 105 balls and hitting 17 fours — he can count as well as hit boundaries — and Boyd Rankin received particularly brutal treatment, the former international paceman being hit for 50 runs in his five overs.
An opening stand of 93 between Adam Dennison and James McCollum set Waringstown on their way to chasing down CSN’s 201 and they cruised past it in fine style after just 35 overs.
Instonians, after their horror start to the season, recorded their third win of the month with a shock win at Carrickfergus who, after their good start, have now lost three of their last five.
Captain Andrew White was absent but not required as Instonians bowled the home side out inside 38 overs, with Ben Rose taking four wickets, and Jack Dickson, in a run of form second only to Chore, then launching the winning reply with 71; his previous two knocks in the league were 84 and 75.
Carrick continue to be heavily reliant on Jacques Synman but even he can’t win every game on his own and, although he scored yet another half century, second top score of 17 was not enough.
In contrast, Dickson got excellent support from Olly Metcalfe in an opening stand of 112 and, although they lost four wickets in six overs, skipper on the day Nikolai Smith and James Rose ensured a comfortable win.
Defending champions CIYMS have hauled themselves into joint third spot after a second win in a week at Ballygomartin Road.
They beat Woodvale in the Challenge Cup Quarter-Final last Sunday and yesterday had three wickets to spare when they past the home side’s 248.
Harry Warke and James Hall gave Woodvale another solid start with an opening partnership of 70 and Ruhan Pretorius then dominated the rest of the innings, eighth out in the 48th over for 95 from 94 balls, with six fours and four sixes.
Jacob Mulder was on the receiving end of many of his boundaries but he had the last laugh when he bowled him five short of his century.
Mulder then showed his prowess with the bat to win the game at the start of the 46th over.
After John Matchett had laid the foundations with a patient 60 from 74 balls, James Cameron-Dow made another contribution from number three and skipper Nigel Jones and Graham Kennedy both chipped in before Mulder’s 34 saw the champions home.
The story of the day, however, came in Section One where Cregagh not only gained a form of revenge for their T20 Trophy final defeat by Ballymena with a league victory at Eaton Park, but Adam Beattie hit the winning runs off John Glass.
Beattie was the bowler who was hit for six sixes in the last over of the final by Glass, but yesterday, in a remarkable role reversal, finished 23 not out as a last wicket partnership of 10 won the game.