Inst and North Down suffer Cup misery as underdogs show bite
Instonians and North Down can concentrate on the Ulster Bank Premier League after Saturday's events in the first round of the AJG Challenge Cup - but they could be at opposite ends of the table.
Both crashed out of the Cup to Section One opponents but the Comber side will, undoubtedly, be the more worried as they prepare for a league game against champions Waringstown on Saturday.
The defeat to Downpatrick, by six wickets defending 240, was North Down's third of the season as even 85 from their classy professional Peter Malan was not enough to set up a win, their struggling attack exposed by Amit Patil and skipper Craig Boultwood.
In contrast, Muckamore's even more impressive win by seven wickets over Instonians, last year's beaten Cup finalists, should not cause undue alarm at Shaw's Bridge. This was their first defeat of the season and, for now, will be treated as a one-off.
It won't be often that Instonians' deep batting line-up will have a top score of 34 - Andrew White's innings ended by a run out - while the bowlers came up against an immovable professional in Avodhoot Dandekar who saw the Section One side home with 96 out of 201. Elsewhere, the difference between the top two sections was underlined with the other Premier League sides easing into the second round draw.
Carrickfergus were unable to play their professional because Bangor don't have one, but he wouldn't have been needed anyway as the Middle Road side continued their impressive start to the season with a nine-wickets win, reaching their target of 148 before halfway.
Lisburn are the other PL side on the up, dismissing Lurgan for 83 at Pollock Park with Mark Berry taking five wickets and Steve Lazars was then in a hurry to finish the match, hitting 29 from seven balls.
AJG CHALLENGE CUP
At The Meadow, Downpatrick beat North Down by 6 wickets
North Down 240-6 (P Malan 85, N Burns 62 not out, J Mulder 45; A Patil 3-33) Downpatrick 241-4 (49.2 overs, A Patil 102 not out, C Boultwood 67, I Vallely 23; P Malan 2-34)
At Moylena, Muckamore beat Instonians by 7 wickets
Instonians 197 (47.4 overs, A White 34, J Shannon 33, J McClurkin 22; G Nicholl 3-18, R Haire 2-37, C Weir 2-38) Muckamore 201-3 (45.5 overs, A Dandekar 96 not out, J Magowan 38, C Drummond 20)
At Ballygomartin Road, CIYMS beat Woodvale by 8 wickets
Woodvale 63 (25.4 overs, J Thompson 4-17, J Kemp 2-3, N Jones 2-15, A Coulter 2-27) CIYMS 64-2 (9.3 overs)
At Middle Road, Carrickfergus beat Bangor by 9 wickets
Bangor 147-9 (A Nixon 45, J Keenan 26; A Shetty 3-31, A Martin 2-20, R Smith 2-26, R Eagleson 2-31) Carrickfergus 148-1 (23.3 overs, I Parkhill 51 not out, M Gilmour 43, J Holmes 34 not out)
At Pollock Park, Lisburn beat Lurgan by 8 wickets
Lurgan 83 (28.5 overs, A Baig 31; M Berry 5-18, C Atkinson 2-4) Lisburn 84-2 (8.2 overs, S Lazars 29, R Simpson 27 not out)
At The Lawn, Waringstown beat Ballymena by 9 wickets
Ballymena 111 (44.5 overs, M Dick 29, J McClean 21; L Nelson 4-26, J Hall 2-12, K McCallan 2-16) Waringstown 112-1 (18.3 overs, J McCollum 38 not out, J Hall 29, D Dawson 26 not out)
At The Factory Grounds, Derriaghy beat Donaghcloney by 4 wickets
Donaghcloney 154 (45.2 overs, B Topping 26; R Cummins 4-37, W Hughes 2-21, C Lewis 2-23) Derriaghy 158-6 (45.2 overs, K Aphale 35 not out, A Jamison 33, R Bailie 21; B Topping 4-51)
At Stormont, Civil Service North beat Saintfield by 91 runs
Civil Service North 184 (44.5 overs, S Getkate 48, M Amjad 23; H Ramanayake 4-30, P Telford 3-30) Saintfield 93 (29 overs, P Kerr 31; M Amjad 5-34, B Adair 2-9, G McCarter 2-10)