Instonians topple rivals to tighten grip on title
Instonians moved clear at the top of the Ulster Bank Premier League after beating defending champions CIYMS and seeing nearest challengers North Down lose to Waringstown.
In a low-scoring game at The Lawn, the visitors were bowled out for 165, despite a third wicket stand of 75 between Alistair Shields and skipper Ryan Haire.
Phil Eaglestone claimed the two early wickets and came back to take two more, but it was captain Kyle McCallan who ripped out the heart out of the North Down innings, including top scorer Shields, to finish with three for 10 from his 10 overs.
James Hall was the Waringstown match-winner, batting through the winning reply to finish 76 not out, with 12 fours, as the Villagers won by seven wickets in the 42nd over, but not before young Tim Carson took the prized scalps of McCallan, Ireland's most capped player, and Lee Nelson, top scorer for the Northern Knights in their victory over the Leinster Lightning at the same ground on Saturday.
The win moves Waringstown within one win of their victims and they stay eight points adrift of Instonians, but with only four games to play.
It was all too easy for the new leaders as they dismissed CI for 103 on a turning pitch which John Stevenson and Neil Russell then mastered, putting on 95 for the first Instonians wicket.
Russell went to his 50 with his eighth four, but was then caught at mid-wicket and Carleon Brome, promoted to No 3, then fell immediately for a duck.
But there were no further alarms and Instonians won with 18 overs to spare to open up a four points advantage.
Home captain Eugene Moleon read the pitch correctly and opened the bowling with James Shannon and Andrew White and by the end of the 11th over, CI were 20 for three, forcing Taimur Khan to undertake a rearguard innings.
PJ Moor didn't. He hit a a four and two sixes, but then decided to play no stroke to Zach Rushe and was given out leg before wicket.
Nathan Burns added 30 in 14 painstaking overs with Taimur but Moleon finally admitted he had seen enough spin, brought himself on for the 35th over and, before he had completed his sixth, CI had been bowled out and the captain had figures of four for eight. As if to prove it wasn't just the spinners who could enjoy success on that pitch.
Civil Service North started their climb up the table with victory over Lisburn, but it was far from convincing.
Chasing Lisburn's 144 for eight at Wallace Park, CSN slumped to 96 for seven, but Andrew Cowden, in partnership with Corin Goodall, added a vital 42 for the eighth wicket and Cowden with an invaluable 10 not out, saw his side home to leave Lurgan on their own at the bottom of the table.
Muckamore, all but mathematically certain to be playing in the Premier League next year, won their first trophy of the season yesterday, beating Woodvale by five wickets in the final of the Ulster Shield at Moylena.
Indrajeet Kamtekar, the scourge of Woodvale in the two Section One league encounters this season, was at it again, taking three for 29 in his eight overs, to help dismiss the north Belfast side for 161 and he was then there at the finish, after a run-a-ball 66 as Muckamore reached their target with 23 balls and five wickets to spare.
It probably should have been six, but Neil Gill was run out with the scores tied, but it allowed Kami to hit the next ball for his 11th four to win the cup.
In the Yorkshire Bank40 competition, Gary Wilson scored 85 from 62 balls to help Surrey to a last-ball three-wicket win against Derbyshire.
His Ireland captain, William Porterfield, showed a welcome return to form with 62 from 70 balls for Warwickshire but it still wasn't enough to prevent a shock five runs defeat to the Netherlands.