NCU Challenge Cup 2023
Final: Carrickfergus lost to Waringstown by 36 runs
Stormont, 4 August.
Waringstown 354/4 (50 overs; Morgan Topping 150, Adam Dennison 109, Greg Thompson 39*, Pat Botha 22; CJ van der Walt 2-68)
Carrickfergus 318 (50 overs; CJ van der Walt 97, Jake Egan 87, Ben Cave 51; Ben Snell 3-40, Ross Allen 2-45, James Mitchell 2-62)
Centurions Adam Dennison and Morgan Topping (CricketEurope)
Waringstown won the NCU Challenge Cup for the 27th time in a run-filled final at Stormont that saw records tumble. A record third wicket stand of 247 between Morgan Topping and Adam Dennison helped their side to 354 for 4 – a record in the modern limited overs era. Topping’s 150 was the second highest individual total (bettered only by James MacDonald of North Down hitting 159 no in 1935), with the Irish youth international hitting 15 fours and 7 sixes in his 119-ball effort. Dennison scored his second cup final century, with his 109 from 121 deliveries including 13 fours and one six. Both fell in the search for quick runs, but it mattered little with skipper Greg Thompson’s rapid unbeaten 39 ensuring 55 runs came in the last six overs. Carrick’s reply saw Craig Averill run out by Dennison without facing first ball of the innings, and after slumping to 129 for 6 despite a thrilling 87 from 66 balls by Jake Egan, it looked as if the contest was over. Far from it, as CJ van der Walt launched an assault on the Waringstown attack, with the skipper hitting 9 fours and 6 sixes in abrilliant 97 from only 74 balls. He added 142 in 21 overs with Ben Cave (51), but fell within three runs of a deserved century to rapturous applause. Waringstown closed out the 36-run win to lift the trophy on a day when the bat dominated the ball despite the inclement weather in the build-up. 672 runs scored in the day – can you imagine how many there would have been in sunshine?
Semi- final: Carrickfergus beat Lisburn 3-2 in a bowl-out
Middle Road, 31 July.
Carrick are through to the final of the Challenge Cup for the first time in their 155-year history after beating Lisburn 3-2 in a sudden death bowl-out. Middle Road was unplayable, so the teams took part in the shoot-out remotely after Carrick declined the opportunity to switch the match to Wallace Park. Michael Rippon and Jake Egan struck for Carrick, with Faiz Fazal and Josh Manley replying for Lisburn to leave the score tied at 2-2 after the first five deliveries. Michael Armstrong was the hero, hitting second time around to secure the 3-2 win and set up a historic first final for his side against Waringstown at Stormont on Friday.
Ally McCalmont talks with Carrick captain CJ van der Walt after beating Lisburn 3-2 in a bowl out.
Semi-final: Carrickfergus v Lisburn: match abandoned.
Middle Road, 30 July.
Lisburn 269-7 (45 overs: Faiz Fazal 118, Nigel Jones 49, David Millar 28, James Hunter 21, Matthew Humphreys 21, Michael Rippon 2-25)
45 over match. No play after the first innings due to rain. Game to be replayed on Monday 31 July as a T20 match.
Semi-final: Waringstown beat CSNI by 97 runs (DLS)
The Lawn, 29 July.
Waringstown 218/4 (40 overs; James McCollum 61, Morgan Topping 59*, Greg Thompson 34*, Pat Botha 31; James West 2-46)
CSNI 155 (29 overs; Marc Ellison 48, Andrew Cowden 25*, Ryan Hunter 22; Rory Bessell 2-13, Ben Snell 2-24, James Cameron-Dow 2-39) (CSN target 253 in 37 overs)
Waringstown are safely through to the final of the Challenge Cup after beating CSNI by 98 runs (DLS) in a rain affected semi-final at the Lawn. James McCollum returned from his leg injury and was straight back to form hitting 5 boundaries in a top-score of 61, adding 80 for the second wicket with Pat Botha (31). Morgan Topping (59*) kept the scoreboard ticking and a late burst from skipper Greg Thompson - who cleared the ropes three times in a 17-ball unbeaten 34, saw the home side end on 218 for 4 in 40 overs. That was adjusted upwards to 253 in 37 overs and despite Marc Ellison's 48 from 42 deliveries (2 fours, three 6's) CSNI were never in the hunt. James Cameron-Dow accounted for Ellison and Stuart Thompson, while Adam Dennison ran out Ryan Harrison. There were two wickets too for Rory Bessell and Ben Snell as Waringstown kept alive their hopes of a season full of silverware.
Round 2: Instonians lost to Lisburn by 58 runs (DLS)
Shaw's Bridge, 9 July.
Lisburn 239-6 (41 overs; Faiz Fazal 97, Nigel Jones 97; Andrew White 2-53, Daniel Rose 2-57)
Instonians 174-9 (32.4 overs; Shane Getkate 44, Andrew White 32; Neil Whitworth 4-27) (Par score 232 off 32.4 overs)
Lisburn powered into the last four of the NCU Challenge Cup with a 58-run (DLS) win over Instonians. A second wicket stand of 180 in 30 overs between Faiz Fazal and Nigel Jones set up the victory in a contest reduced to 41 overs per side. Both players fell three short of their hundreds, with Jones clearing the ropes seven times in his 97 from 91 balls, while Fazal's innings included 10 fours and two maximums, A target of 240 looked challenging and so it proved, despite runs for Shane Getkate (44) and Andy White (32). Neil Whitworth claimed four wickets as the Wallace Park side set-up a semi-final clash at Carrickfergus on July 22nd.
Round 2: Instonians v Lisburn - postponed
Shaw's Bridge, 24 June.
Round 2: CSNI beat Derriaghy by 9 wickets
Stormont, 24 June.
Derriaghy 123 (39.3 overs: Craig Lewis 29, Curtis Moorhead 21; Matthew Foster 5-19, James West 2-18)
CSNI 127/1 (18.5 overs: Paddy Beverland 42*, Ryan Hunter 41, Marc Ellison 39*)
Matthew Foster's four wicket opening blitz saw Derriaghy reduced to 33/5 and left CSNI in total control of the game. Foster ended with 5 for 19 as Derriaghy were bundled out for only 123. CSNI wasted no time in knocking off the runs to secure their place in the next round.
Round 2: Carrickfergus beat CIYMS by 7 runs
Middle Road, 24 June.
Carrickfergus 168 (49.2 overs: CJ van der Walt 41, Jacques Snyman 32, CJ van der Walt 28*, Craig Averill 21, Jake Egan 20, Alex Haggan 20; Tyron Koen 3-30, Adam Kennedy 2-18, Allen Coulter 2-23, Ed Nuttall 2-41)
CIYMS 161 (40.3 overs: Ross Adair 40, Adam Kennedy 27*; Jacques Snyman 3-22, Ashwin Shetty 3-29, CJ van der Walt 2-18)
Iain Parkhill reverse sweeps a boundary in today's win. (CricketEurope)
Adam Kennedy and Ed Nuttall added 34 for the final CIYMS wicket but fell 8 runs short of what would have been a remarkable victory. Carrickfergus had posted a modest total on a used pitch which offered plenty of help to the spinners and that was to be their route to the next round as the CI batting imploded after a Ross Adair opening onslaught. Carrick had flown Jacques Snyman in for the day to replace the unavailable Michael Rippon, his runs and wickets proving an invaluable investment.
Ally McCalmont interviews CJ van der Walt after their shock win over the holders CIYMS
Round 2: Waringstown beat Muckamore by 113 runs
The Lawn, 24 June.
Waringstown 271/9 (47 overs: Greg Thompson 98, Pat Botha 91, James Cameron-Dow 23*, Adam Dennison 23; Satish Suresh 2-34, Ewan Wilson 2-37, Trevor Britton 2-51, Pavan Karthik 2-65)
Muckamore 158 (38.5 overs: Ben Calitz 68, Luke Allen 44; James Cameron-Dow 3-14, Ben Snell 2-15, Greg Thompson 2-21) (Delayed start - Match reduced to 47 overs)
A rueful Greg Thompson departs having scored 98. (Pacemaker Press)
Round 1: Templepatrick lost to Carrickfergus by 25 runs
The Cloghan, 27 May.
Carrickfergus 232/8 (50 overs: Craig Averil 113, Michael Rippon 45, Levi Cave 20; Bradley Munro 4-16, Ross Bryans 2-35)
Templepatrick 207 (47.3 overs: Bradley Munro 111*, Robert Smith 28, Michael Stewart 21, Ross Bryans 20; Michael Rippon 3-19, Jake Egan 2-43)
Successful appeal for Munro (CricketEurope)
Templepatrick came close to causing the second big upset of the day, with Bradley Munro posting a century, but they lost their last 5 wickets for only 2 runs, as 206/5 turned into 207 all out, Michael Rippon mesmerising the tail, coupled with two panicked run outs enough to save the Cowboys' blushes. Earlier Craig Averill had scored a century in a Carrickfergus innings that stuttered with Munro claiming four wickets before late runs from Rippon gave them just enough to make it to the next round.
Round 1: Instonians beat Ballymena by 9 wickets
Shaw's Bridge, 27 May.
Ballymena 156 (43.3 overs: John Glass 54, Glen Adams 24, Sam Glass 21; Shane Dadswell 5-31, James Magee 2-23, Cian Robertson 2-29)
Instonians 157/1 (16.5 overs: Robert McKinley 67*, Nikolai Smith 41, Cade Carmichael 33*)
Shane Dadswell took five wickets (Pacemaker Press)
A five wicket haul for professional Shane Dadswell and an unbeaten 67 from Robert McKinley were the highlights of Instonians' emphatic 9-wickets win over Ballymena. South African professional Dadswell took 5-31, while there were two wickets apiece for James Magee and Cian Robertson as the Eaton Park side were dismissed for 156 - John Glass making 54. The modest target was knocked off with little trouble inside 17 overs, with Robert McKinley hitting ten boundaries in his unbeaten 67, sharing stands of 78 with Nikola Smith (41) and 79 with Cade Carmichael (33*).
Round 1: North Down lost to Derriaghy by 3 wickets
Comber, 27 May.
North Down 268/7 (50 overs: Ani Chore 88, Peter Eakin 82*, Ally Shields 52; Craig Lewis 3-50)
Derriaghy 272/7 (49.1 overs: Patrick Kruger 76*, Jordan Wade 64, Jamie Magowan 42; Naushad Shaikh 2-50, Peter Davison 2-37)
Patrick Kruger (CricketEurope)
Derriaghy caused the shock of the round as they chased 268 to beat North Down in a high quality contest at The Green. Half centuries from Ani Chore (88), Peter Eakin (82*) and Ally Shields (52) looked to have put the Comber side well on top at the halfway stage but Derriaghy had other ideas. Jordan Wade (64) and Jamie Magowan (42) ensured they were always in contention, while professional Patrick Kruger's unbeaten 76 stered them into the last eight and secured a famous win for the Queensway side.
Round 1: Cliftonville Academy lost to Lisburn by 6 runs
Castle Grounds, 27 May.
Lisburn 162 (48.4 overs: Jonathan Waite 46, James Hunter 45, Faiz Fazal 27; Ben Kane 5-25, Richard Hood 2-32)
Cliftonville Academy 156/9 (20 overs: Jared Wilson 55, Robbie Moffett 25; Mark Berry 3-19, Matthew Humphreys 2-30, Neil Whitworth 2-31)
Ben Kane (CricketEurope)
An amazing over from Cliftonville Academy's left-arm spinner Ben Kane which saw him dismiss Waite, Jones, Whiteworth and Berry without conceding a run meant that the visitors could only total a vulnerable 162. But Matthew Humphreys dismissed Max Burton and David Reid in the third over of the chase and it took a half century from Jared Wilson to keep the hosts in with a chance, but the return of Mark Berry who claimed three wickets ensured that Lisburn squeezed home by 6 runs.
Round 1: Dundrum lost to CIYMS by 302 runs
The Meadow, 27 May.
CIYMS 382 (47.1 overs: Ross Adair 184, Tyron Koen 102, Chris Dougherty 27, Carson McCullough 26; Stiaan Swanepol 4-60, Ged Donnell 3-70)
Dundrum 80 (29.2 overs: Stiaan Swanepol 25; John Matchett 4-7, Adam Kennedy 2-8, Allen Coulter 2-25)
Ross Adair scored 184 (CricketEurope)
A 'Big Ton' from Ross Adair who hit 23x4 & 10x6 in his 184 meant this tie was well and truly over by the change of innings. With a better than a run-a-ball century from Tyron Koen (6x4, 6x6) adding to Dundrum's woes as they conceded 382 but had the satisfaction of bowling out their visitors, Stiaan Swanepol taking four wickets and Ged Donnell three. After Allen Coulter and Adam Kennedy had taken two wickets each at the top of the reply CIYMS skipper John Matchett chose his moment to slip himself on and wrap things up taking 4-7 in 4.2 overs.
Round 1: Armagh lost to Waringstown by 195 runs
The Mall, 27 May.
Waringstown 325/7 (50 overs: Morgan Topping 83, Greg Thompson 76, James Cameron-Dow 67, Rory Bessell 37, Ben Snell 31; Harry Doyle 3-68)
Armagh 130 (30.4 overs: Matthew Stenson 41, Brynn Cleaver 25; Pat Botha 5-11, Ben Snell 2-31)
Pat Botha took five wickets (CricketEurope)
Three hundred seemed a long way off when Waringstown were 9/3 and with Lee Nelson retired hurt into the bargain! But with Morgan Topping continuing a golden run of form 142 were added for the fourth wicket in a partnership with skipper Greg Thompson and there were runs for everyone down the order as the Villagers piled up the runs. The chase never got going, Matthew Steenson and Brynn Cleaver the only players to get past 20 before Pat Botha's off-spin accounted for the tail.
Round 1: Muckamore beat Cregagh by 5 wickets
Moylena, 27 May.
Cregagh 105 (38.4 overs: Jay Hunter 32, Noah Kelly 27; Neil Gill 5-15, Ewan Wilson 2-23)
Muckamore 107/5 (24.4 overs: Kyllin Vardhan 55, Satish Suresh 20; Adam McCormick 3-32)
Neil Gill on his way to five wickets (CricketEurope)
Muckamore captain Neil Gill was in scintillating form after asking Cregagh to bat first claiming a five wicket haul as the visitors were dumped out for 105. Muckamore opener Kyllin Vardhan with 55 saw the host through to the next round, Adam McCormick with three wickets for the visitors.
Round 1: Woodvale lost to CSNI in a Superover.
Ballygomartin Road, 27 May.
Woodvale 272/7 (50 overs: Ruhan Pretorius 80, Aditya Adey 72*, James Hall 27, Euan Scott 23; Finn Lutton 2-53, Adam Leckey 2-55)
CSNI 272 (50 overs: Marc Ellison 46, Stuart Thompson 46, Ryan Hunter 35, Ryan Harrison 30; Stephen Bunting 2-44, Carl Robinson 2-45, Ludwig Kaestner 2-56)
Ruhan Pretorius bowling (CricketEurope)
After nearly eight hours of play a titanic struggle came down to a Superover as CSNI tied Woodvale's challenging 272 in 'normal' time. CSNI had started their chase slowly but were favourites going into the final three overs needing only a run-a-ball. With 6 required off the final over the scores were tied from the fourth delivery, but Bunting bowled Lutton with the fifth, and Yeates was run out off the sixth to leave the scores tied. Superover - Bunting to Thompson in Superover - 4, 4, 6, dot , lb, Ryan Harrison facing - 4nb, 6 = 26 / Ryan Harrison to Kaestner - 1, Pretorius facing - W(bowled), Hall facing - 1, Kaestner - 1, Hall - 2, nb+1 , Kaestner - 6 = 13
Dundrum beat Saintfield by 48 runs
The Meadow, 18 May.
Dundrum 122/8 (20 overs: Terry Hutley 39; Adam Sofley 3-21, Calvin Yeates 2-36)
Saintfield 74/9 (20 overs: Adam Sofley 29; James Martin 3-9, Scott Symington 2-7, Gavin McNerlin 2-19 )
A tight bowling display by the home side earned them a visit from CIYMS in the next round as they easily defended their 122 total. Only Adam Sofley made any impression with the bat for the visitors adding 29 to the 3 wickets he took in the Dundrum innings. But with James Martin and Scott Syminton taking 3 and 2 wickets respectively for single figures it was a lost cause, the hosts running out winners by a comfortable 48 runs.
Belfast lost to Armagh by 6 wickets
The Mall, 18 May.
Belfast 102 (20 overs: S Mohd 28; Brynn Cleaver 4-17, William Mann 3-4)
Armagh 103/4 (15.2 overs: Brynn Cleaver 41*, Matthew Steenson 22; S Mohd 2-30 )
It was a POTM performance from New Zealander Brynn Cleaver that carried Armagh into the second round of the Challenge Cup. Cleaver finished with an unbeaten 41 to add to the 4 wickets he took as Belfast were skittled for just 102. Armagh's win sets up a local derby next Saturday as they will entertain neighbours Waringstown in Round 2.
Preliminary Round: Laurelvale lost to Muckamore by 7 wickets
Laurelvale, 14 May.
Laurelvale 53 (27.3 overs: S Suresh 6-23, T Britton 4-6)
Muckamore 57/3 (15.5 overs: B Calitz 25) (Match reduced to 45 overs.)
Six wickets for Man-of-the-Match Sathish Suresh propelled Muckamore into the next round of the Challenge Cup as they skittled Laurelvale for just 53. Ted Britton also claimed 4 for 6 in a fine bowling display by the Moylena men. Ben Calitz (25) broke the back of the modest chase, and although Laurelvale battled hard, the seven wickets win was sealed in the 16th over.
Preliminary Round: Donacloney Mill lost to Templepatrick by 16 runs
Factory Ground, 6 May.
Templepatrick 200 (48.4 overs, Chris Taylor 108, Bryn McCallan 24, Ross Bryans 23, Mathew Lyttle 3-28, Aaron Kennedy 3-33, Timothy McClure 2-23)
Donacloney Mill 184 (47.5 0vers: Colin Russell 49, Matthew Lyttle 21, Neil Kilpatrick 21; Bradley Munro 4-22, Varghese Baby 3-28)
A Challenge Cup century by Chris Taylor set up what proved to be a winning total for Templepatrick with other contributions coming from Ross Bryans and Bryn McCallan. There were three wickets each for Matthew Lyttle and Aaron Kennedy while Timmy McClure claimed two.The Donacloney chase went to the wire and with Colin Russell at the crease they were slight favourites as they crept towards the line. But when he was bowled by Bradley Munro the door was opened and Varghese Baby mopped up the tail in a nail-biter. Templepatrick's prize is a home tie in the next round with County Antrim neighbours Carrickfergus.
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