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Drumaness star Neil Gelston banks memorable trophy treble in monthly NCU cricket awards

By Ian Callender

Published 19/08/2015

Treble top: Neil Gelston receives his hat-trick of awards from Sean Murphy of Ulster Bank (left) and Peter McMorran, vice president of the NCU
Treble top: Neil Gelston receives his hat-trick of awards from Sean Murphy of Ulster Bank (left) and Peter McMorran, vice president of the NCU

Ulster Bank, long-time sponsors of the NCU senior leagues, continue to hand over awards for players who score a century, take six wickets in an innings or claim a hat-trick. At the latest ceremony, they had a unique winner -Drumaness' Neil Gelston did all three in the space of a month.

At the end of June, the former Downpatrick all-rounder scored 132 of his side's 179 in their victory over Section Two league leaders Armagh and, four weeks later, he had the sensational figures of seven wickets for six runs, including a hat-trick, in their game against Victoria (he also top scored with 36, chasing 88).

The previous week, when Larne were bowled out for 84, Gelston was 53 not out when Drumaness won by nine wickets as they enjoyed a purple patch of four victories in five games. It has been all downhill since, however, with three straight defeats leaving them as far from the top as the relegation zone.

It is still all to play for in Section Two but Armagh remain favourites to complete the hat-trick of league, Junior Cup and T20 Shield successes. With four games to play, they lead by four points from Laurelvale and Saintfield, who have just three ties remaining.

Millpark will be playing in Section Two next season after they became the first team to win promotion after Dunmurry lost to Monaghan on Sunday. Dunmurry are still in the race to step up from Section Three with two games to play, four points behind Donaghadee and eight behind Cooke Collegians who play their last games on Saturday. If Millpark beat Dunmurry, they will be declared champions.

The most important match of the season in Section One takes place on Friday at Queensway with leaders Derriaghy facing Muckamore.

A win for the pre-season favourites would leave them eight points behind with five to play while Derriaghy will have just three.

Woodvale and Downpatrick are the other teams in with a chance of promotion to the top flight but are relying on the other two slipping up.

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