NCU Challenge Cup 2024
2 August Final: Lisburn v Muckamore (Stormont)
Semi-final: Muckamore beat Woodvale by 70 runs
Moylena, 13 July.
Muckamore 238/7 (50 overs; Jason van der Merwe 73, Ben Calitz 56, Sathish Suresh 33, Luke Allen 26*; Aditya Adey 2-38, Ludwig Kaestner 2-47)
Woodvale 168 (44.5 overs; Ludwig Kaestener 53, Jason van der Merwe 3-30, Neil Gill 3-43, Pavan Karthik 2-18, Sathish Suresh 2-39)
Jason van der Merwe produced a Man of the Match display to lead Muckamore into their first Challenge Cup final since 1972, with his all-round efforts inspiring a deserved 70-run win over Woodvale at Moylena. He top-scored with 73 (7 fours, 1 six), adding 69 for the fourth wicket alongside Ben Calitz (53). There were runs too for Sathish Suresh (33) and Luke Allen (26*) in a home side total of 238 for 7. Neil Gill struck three blows in the reply - including the prize scalp of Ruhan Pretorius. Woodvale were rebuilding as Ludwig Kaestner - who hit 7 fours in his 53 - and Ronan Restieaux (32) added 60 for the 4th wicket, but the dismissal of Kaestner by Van Der Merwe (3-30) was the beginning of the end. Pavan Karthik and Sathish Suresh mopped up the rest to seal the 70-run win. It's Muckamore's 150th anniversary - what better way to celebrate it than by adding a second cup triumph to add to their 1962 glory.
Semi-final: Lisburn beat Instonians by 6 wickets (DLS)
Wallace Park, 13 July.
Instonians 180 (37.1/39 overs; Neil Rock 45, Cade Carmichael 36, Adam Ly 27, Andy White 20; Ryan Macbeth 3-30, Josh Manley 3-36)
Lisburn 170/4 (30.1/35 overs; Faiz Fazal 81*, Jonathan Waite 35, Glenn Halliday 29) (Target 170 in 35 overs)
Man of the Match Faiz Fazal receives his award from Brian Walsh (CricketEurope)
Big players deliver in big games and faiz Fazal did just that with an unbeaten 81 taking Lisburn into the final with a six wickets win at home to Instonians. Neil Rock hit a fluent 45 (7 fours, 1 six), while there were runs too for Cade Carmichael (36), Adam Ly (27), and Andy White (20) in a total of 180 - three wickets apiece for Ryan Macbeth and Josh Manley. Further showers meant a target of 170 in 35 overs. Sometimes small targets can be tricky - this wasn't one of those occasions. The home support nerves were eased by an opening stand of 64 in the powerplay, with Jonathan Waite's 26-ball 35 (4 fours, 2 sixes) seeing his side race out of the traps. There was a minor glitch as Nigel Jones and Neil Whitworth fell in quick succession, but Fazal's 81 not out (9 fours, 1 six) ensured the victory, adding a further 67 for the fourth wicket with Glenn Halliday (29). It's 30 years since Lisburn shared the trophy - and 39 from their last outright win. Will it be them or Muckamore who will be popping the champagne corks on August 2nd?
Semi-final: Lisburn v Instonians - no result
Wallace Park, 6 July.
Instonians 131 (35.3 overs: Andrew White 45, Neil Rock 27, Ben Rose 22; Matthew Humphreys 3-12, Josh Manley 3-34, Adam Kennedy 2-28)
Lisburn 0/0 (0 overs) (Lisburn target 122 in 36 overs)
It's take two for Instonians and Lisburn after rain saw the game abandoned after the first innings. The visitors looked to be crashing out as they slumped to 78 for 8 with Matthew Humphreys (3-12), Josh Manley (3-34), and Adam Kennedy (2-28) doing the damage. Andrew White (45) held them up long enough, adding what proved to be a crucial 52 with Ben Rose (22) for the 9th wicket. Lisburn will be feeling hard done by as they would have been firm favourites to chase 122 in 36 overs, but they will have to lift themselves again when the sides meet again next Saturday, July 13th.
Semi-final: Muckamore v Woodvale - postponed
Moylena, 6 July.
Muckamore
Woodvale
No play was possible at Moylena on a day when the rain was never too far way. The second attempt will now be on the reserve date of the 13th of July.
Round 3: Woodvale beat Waringstown by 5 runs (DLS)
Ballygomartin Road, 15 June.
Woodvale 217/9 (47 overs: Carl Robinson 56, Harry Warke 37, Ronan Restieaux 28, Stephen Bunting 23; Jack Snell 2-26, Greg Thompson 2-33, James Cameron-Dow 2-42)
Waringstown 212/9 (47 overs: James Cameron-Dow 63*, Greg Thompson 45, James McCollum 30; Ruhan Pretorius 3-31, Aditya Adey 3-48, Ronan Restieaux 2-33)
Holders Waringstown crashed out as they lost a thriller by just five runs at Woodvale. The hosts recovered from 81 for 5 and 128 for 6 to post 217 for 9 in an innings reduced to 47 overs. Carl Robinson's hard-hit 56 (3 fours, 4 sixes) was the match defining innings, adding what was to be a vital 71 in 10 overs for the 7th wicket with Stephen Bunting (23). The chase was soon in deep trouble at 21 for 4, with three wickets for Ruhan Pretorius including Bilawal Bhatti first ball, but Greg Thompson (45) and James McCollum (30) repaired some of the damage. Aditya Adey (3-48) removed both to restore Woodvale's advantage, but James Cameron-Dow kept swinging - and connecting - to give his side hope. 29 off two overs became 11 off the last, but Cameron-Dow couldn't get the connection he wanted as Pretorius closed out the five-run win in a game that will live long in the memory at Ballygomartin Road. It's 1998 since they got their hands on the trophy - could this be their year?
Round 3: Muckamore beat CSNI by 8 runs
Moylena, 15 June.
Muckamore 185/6 (31 overs: Sathish Suresh 39, Mark Gleghorne 37, Jason van der Merwe 31, Ben Calitz 25; Finn Lutton 2-16, Harry Dyer 2-44)
CSNI 177 (30.4 overs: Jordan Neill 50, James West 35, Marc Ellison 28; Satish Suresh 3-34, Jason van der Merwe 3-38, Pavan Karthik 2-32)
Man of the Match Sathish Suresh (Muckamore CC)
Muckamore are another side who could believe the omens are with them in the cup. You have to go back to 1963 when The Searchers with Sweets for my sweet' replaced Elvis Presley's "You're the devil in disguise" at the top of the charts for the last time Muckamore drank from the Challenge Cup. It's their 150th anniversary year, and what better way than by lifting it again. The game at Moylena was delayed, reduced to 31 overs per side, A solid batting effort by the hosts saw the top six all get to double figures, with Satish Suresh, Mark Cleghorne and Jason van der Merwe all passing 30 and each clearing the ropes twice. A total of 185 for 6 would be a challenging one for CSNI, and even more so with the early wickets of professional Colin Archibald and Ryan Hunter - both falling to Man of the Match Sathish Suresh. Jordan Neill thumped five sixes in a run-a-ball 50, but the hosts kept taking wickets at crucial times. It was still in the balance though as James West (35) launched a late attack to leave 11 needed off 7 balls. Muckamore held their nerve with Pavan Karthik dismissing Andrew Cowden, then Suresh - who else - had the final say as he accounted for West to seal the win that takes them into the last four.
Round 3: North Down lost to Instonians by 49 runs
Comber, 15 June.
Instonians 231/7 (34 overs: Jack Dickson 66, Nikolai Smith 40, Ben Rose 31*, Cade Carmichael 23, Cian Robertson 21*, Adam Ly 20; Tom Crothers 2-33, Alastair Shields 2-65))
North Down 182 (28.5 overs: James Shannon 52, Alastair Shields 34, Peter Davison 28, Ani Chore 22; Andrew White 7-38, James Magee 2-32)
Andrew White won the Man of the Match for his seven wickets (Brian Walsh)
Andrew White rolled back the years as he claimed a Man of the Match 7 for 38 to lead Instonians into the semi-final and hopes of their first cup success since 2012. Comber is a familiar hunting ground for the 43 year-old - the NCU's leading wicket taker last year was a major force here in his younger days before moving in November 2003 to Shaw's Bridge. If the switch rankled at the time, yesterday's display will no doubt have reignited the emotions. Amongst his wickets were Ryan Haire and crucially, James Shannon, with the Inst old boy threatening to win the game with a fluent 53, as they chased 232 in a 34-overs contest. Earlier, Jack Dickson's run-a-ball 66 (6 fours, 3 sixes) laid the platform, while the late assault by Ben Rose (31*) and Cian Robertson (21*) which saw 46 runs come from the last 20 ball was crucial in the context of the game.
Round 3: Lisburn beat Derriaghy by 8 wickets
Wallace Park, 15 June.
Derriaghy 126 (44.5 overs: Craig Lewis 45*; Ryan MacBeth 3-11, Adam Kennedy 3-16, Neil Whitworth 2-33, Matthew Humphreys 2-35)
Lisburn 127/2 (15.5 overs: Nigel Jones 61*; Renco Adams 2-39)
Lisburn bowling heroes Ryan Macbeth and Adam Kennedy (CricketEurope)
It's a more recent vintage for Lisburn's last success in the Challenge Cup, sharing the trophy in 1994. They had little trouble in beating Section One Derriaghy at Wallace Park. A fine bowling effort ensured the Queensway side never got going with their talisman Craig Lewis (45*) the only batsman to really raise his bat in anger as they were dismissed for just 126 - three wickets apiece for Ryan Macbeth and Adam Kennedy, plus two each for Neil Whitworth and Matthew Humphreys. Sometimes, chasing a low total in a cup game can be a nervous, nail-biting creep to the finishing line. This wasn't. Nigel Jones hit 5 fours and 4 sixes in an unbeaten 38-ball 61 as the eight wicket win was sealed in just the 16th over.
Round 2: CIYMS lost to Muckamore by 7 wickets
Belmont, 1 June.
CIYMS 171 (48 overs: Max Burton 56, Tyron Koen 32, Bamanye Xenxe 20; Neil Gill 2-14, Jason van der Merwe 2-25)
Muckamore 177/3 (33 overs: Sathish Suresh 78, Kyllin Vardhan 56, Jason van der Merwe 26*; Tyron Koen 2-33)
CIYMS struggled to 30/3 in ten overs after choosing to bat first before Max Burton and Tyron Koen added 89 for the fourth wicket. Koen’s wicket was the signal for two more without addition as Burton was dismissed and then Carson McCullough without scoring, and it took late runs from Bamanye Xenxe and Mark Best to get CIYMS to what was a distinctly vulnerable looking total of 171. The loss of big-hitting Ewan Wilson did nothing to halt the Muckamore charge to victory as Kylliin Vardhan and Sathish Suresh added 129, and Suresh took his side to within 17 of a huge upset before he became Tyron Koen’s second victim. All that was left was for CIYMS ‘old boy’ Jason van der Merwe, now back at his home club to seal the win in the shock of the day, doing it in style with 4, 6 off CI skipper John Matchett.
Round 2: CSNI beat Ballymena by 6 wickets
Stormont, 1 June.
Ballymena 222/6 (50 overs: Glen Adams 74, Sam Glass 55; Matthew Foster 3-39)
CSNI 226/4 (31.1 overs: Jordan Neill 92, Marc Ellison 57*, Colin Archibald 40)
CSNI side that beat Ballymena (CricketEurope)
Toss: Ballymena. Glen Adams and Sam Glass hit half-centuries in what looked like a decent Ballymena total, Matty Foster’s with 3-39 the only CSNI bowler with more than a singleton. But it only took the home side into the thirty second over to secure the win, opener Colin Archibald with 40 off 23 balls (6x4,2x6) and Jordan Neill a 77 ball 92 (10x4, 3x6) adding 95 with Marc Ellison as CSNI raced into the quarter-finals in a fortnight’s time.
Round 2: Cregagh lost to North Down by 4 wickets
Cregagh Memorial, 1 June.
Cregagh 112 (38.3 overs: Bob Moore 22; Alistair Shields 5-16, Liam Hayman 2-17, Ryan Haire 2-10)
North Down 116/6 (26.2 overs: Stephen Saul 39, Alistair Shields 23; Graeme Hassard 3-22)
Man of the Match Ally Shields took 5 wickets (North Down CC)
It was Alistair Shields with the golden arm as Cregagh were bowled out for just 112 after being asked to bat by the visitors. Shields’ ten overs cost only 16 runs, his five wickets breaking the back of the Cregagh batting lineup while Liam Hayman and Ryan Haire each picked up a couple. With such a low target North Down dispensed with their tried and tested opening pair of Shields and Chore and just for a moment it looked as if that could backfire on them. With Graeme Hassard taking three wickets Shields and Chore would get their chance at the crease after all, the six wicket win for North Down rather more comfortable than perhaps it sounds.
Round 2: Instonians beat Donacloney Mill by 10 wickets
Shaw's Bridge, 1 June.
Donacloney Mill 211/9 (50 overs: Shane Warren 106, Ryan Matthews 30, Neil Kilpatrick 27; Cian Robertson 3-33, Robert Craigan 3-37, James Magee 2-41)
Instonians 217/0 (26 overs: Ollie Metcalfe 153*, Robert McKinley 54*)
Toss: Donacloney Mill. A century from Donacloney Mill skipper Shane Warren ensured that his side set Instonians a 200+ target, but it was one that proved to be totally inadequate in the face of an Ollie Metcalfe onslaught. Metcalfe hit 153 not out in the 10 wicket win - his 90 ball innings containing 18x4s & 10x6s - carrying Instonians into the next round in just 26 overs.
Round 2: Derriaghy beat Carrickfergus by 25 runs
Queensway, 1 June.
Derriaghy 182 (46.4 overs: Ross Bailey 60; Alex Armstrong 3-29, Ruan Haasbroek 2-43)
Carrickfergus 157 (38 overs: Alex Haggan 45, CJ van der Walt 43, Iain Parkhill 20; Renco Adams 4-19, Wayne Hughes 2-26, Craig Lewis 2-39)
Toss: Carrickfergus. With Ryan Beckett bowled by off-spinner Ruan Haasbroek for just a single and Stephen Cairnduff run out in the same over Derriaghy slumped to 7/2 before Ross Bailey and Aaron Kinnin added 45 for the third wicket. Bailey went on to top score with 60 adding another 40 with Craig Lewis but it was hard to break the shackles towards the end on the innings and the home side were all out with 3 overs unused, with young left-arm spinner Alex Armstrong claiming three wickets. In the chase Renco Adams was straight into the action with the wicket of Gilmour, following that up with two more in the shape of Haasbroek and Sam Gordon. Carrick needed a partnership between Alex Haggan and CJ van der Walt and they added 70 but vd Walt was quickly followed by Prince Sharma and Richard Hood leaving Haggan as Carrick’s last hope. In the end despite some resistance from young Alex Armstrong the final three wicket fell for just a single two of them including Haggan’s to Wayne Hughes.
Round 2: Waringstown beat Cliftonville Academy by 8 wickets
The Lawn, 1 June.
Cliftonville Academy 196 (49.5 overs: Abhishek Raut 70, Francis Collins 35, Matthew McCord 30, Bilawal Bhatti 5-30)
Waringstown 197/2 (31.5 overs: James McCollum 66*, Matthew Halliday 60, Sam Topping 27, Lee Nelson 26*)
Alan Waite presents MOM award to Bilawal Bhatti (CricketEurope)
Toss: Cliftonville Academy. Former Pakistan Test player Bilawal Bhatti ensured that Cliftonville Academy were held to less than 200 with five wickets for an economical 30 runs in his ten over spell. Abhishek Raut marshalled the tail as best he could but it still took late runs from Matty McCord and Adam Kelso to post their 196. And that proved to be far from competitive as the Waringstown top four rattled off the target inside 32 overs. Matthew Halliday with a half century for his new club and James McCollum adding another as he and Lee Nelson sealed the win.
Round 2: Lurgan lost to Lisburn by 3 wickets
Pollock Park, 1 June.
Lurgan 142 (49.2 overs: Stephen Chambers 45, Stephen Johnston 20; Neil Whitworth 3-26, Josh Manley 2-13, Matthew Humphreys 2-20, Faiz Fazal 2-21)
Lisburn 146/7 (35.2 overs: Neil Whitworth 50*, Jonathan Waite 28, Faiz Fazal 20; Darwish Nazari 2-27, Peter Maxwell 3-35)
Toss: Lurgan. Lurgan found the going tough against the Lisburn attack after Stephen Johnston and Johnny Hunter had added 40 for the first wicket. And it was the thirty seventh over before the hundred was raised by which time six more wickets had fallen, two in two balls to Matthew Humphreys, both lbw. A total of 142 looked well below par but the wickets of Faiz Fazal and Nigel Jones gave the home side hope. Not to be though as Lisburn Skipper Neil Whitworth battled through to a not out half-century in the less than comfortable three wicket win.
Round 2: Woodvale beat Laurelvale by 9 wickets
Ballygomartin Road, 1 June.
Laurelvale 102 (26.4 overs: Adnan Malik 31; Carl Robinson 5-14, Ludwig Kaestner 3-5, James Rose 2-15)
Woodvale 103/1 (14.2 overs: Harry Warke 58, Aditya Adey 38*)
Carl Robinson's 5-14 earned him the MOM award (CricketEurope)
Laurelvale must have had hopes of an upset when Mark Thornbury and Adnan Malik raced away adding 64 in ten overs before their partnership was broken. From there however it was all down hill as only 42 more were added as Carl Robinson ran through the order claiming a five-for and an early claim to the MOM award. A quick-fire half century by Woodvale skipper Harry Warke (9x4, 2x6) sealed the win inside fifteen overs but not the MOM award which rightly went to leg spinner Carl Robinson for his demolition of the opposition.
Round 1: Lurgan beat Drumaness Superkings by 9 wickets
Pollock Park, 11 May.
Drumaness Superkings 199/8 (50 overs; N Gelson 69, S Ramamoorthy 34, A Pattnaik 28; J Guy 6-28)
Lurgan 203/1 (40.3 overs; J Hunter 100*, R Els 60*)
Round 1: Belfast lost to Donacloney Mill by 6 wickets
Banford Green, 12 May.
Belfast 155 (33.5 overs: Jaydee Oliver 45*, Mohammad Chaudrhary 36, Hasan Sabir 29; Andrew Bingham 5-59, Ryan Matthews 3-33)
Donacloney Mill 159/4 (21.1 overs: Atish Varape 78*, Craig Kennedy 30*; Veerendra Nagari 2-10)
A late five wicket haul by Andrew Bingham stopped the visitors in their tracks as they crumbled from 132/4 to 155 all out - 6 wickets falling for just 23 runs, after Ryan Matthews took the first three wickets in his opening burst. Belfast used nine bowlers in an attempt to shift Atish Varape who steered the home side to a comfortable six wicket win. His unbeaten 78 came off 48 balls and included 16 boundaries and earned his side a trip to face Instonians in the next round.
Round 1: Armagh lost to Cregagh by 4 wickets (DLS)
The Mall, 12 May.
Armagh 131 (32.5 overs: Brayden Laing 31, Adam Woods 23, William Dougan 23; Danny Cooper 3-26, Nikhilesh Ravikrishnan 2-5)
Cregagh 131/6 (28.2 overs: Aaron Johnston 29, Danny Cooper 20; Matthew Wilson 3-25, Adam Woods 2-46) (Rain reduced to 48 overs. Cregagh target 129)
Three wickets from Cregagh skipper Danny Cooper helped reduce Armagh to 76/6 before a 45 run eighth wicket partnership between the rugby club's Kiwi out half Brayden Laing and Adam Woods saved their blushes, before the innings folded ten runs later. There were six overs of the Cregagh reply before 'tea' when a rain shower reduced the game to 48 overs. A confident chase by Cregagh with Cooper scoring 20 at the top of the order and Aaron Johnston with 29 through the middle. The sixth wicket falls with half a dozen required but Cregagh go through with a home tie next against North Down. Simply not enough runs in that Armagh batting effort to mount a challenge.
Round 1: Templepatrick lost to Laurelvale by 5 wickets
The Cloghan, 12 May.
Templepatrick 166 (40.1 overs: Ross Bryans 50, Ben Cave 27; David Sinton 3-9, Michael Burns 3-31, Kurshid Subhani 3-42)
Laurelvale 167/5 (36.3 overs: Adnan Malik 46, Babar Khan 30, Mark Thornbury 25)
A captain's innings of 50 from Ross Bryans and 27 from Carrickfergus recruit Ben Cave were the only substantial contributions in the home sides batting effort that fell away with the regular loss of wickets. In reply Mark Thornbury and Adnan Malik set Laurelvale on their way, their opening partnership worth 82 before a flurry of runs from Babar Khan (30 off 16, 2x4, 2x6) carried them close to the win. Overs not a problem but there could be twist in the tail yet as another wicket falls. In the end Kurshid Subhani (18*) and Philip Weir (8*) got the visitors home their prize a trip to Ballygomartin Road to face Woodvale in the next round.
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