Instonians turn up the heat at league summit
Instonians moved within eight points of Waringstown at the top of the Ulster Bank Premier League, with a match in hand, after a facile six wickets victory over Muckamore at Moylena last night.
It was more embarrassment for the basement side who were bowled out for 38, collapsing from 30 for three to 33 for nine in 30 balls. Their only excuse was that they were batting on a pudding of a pitch which Instonians found just as difficult to bat on, losing four wickets in a chase which used up 14 overs.
Carl Mickan was Muckamore's top scorer with 15 – no-one else made more than five – as Imad Wasim and Andrew White finished with combined figures of six for five from seven overs!
The visitors reached 23 without loss in reply before Nicolai Smith was 'done' by a ball that shot along the ground. Even free-hitting skipper Neil Russell could not get the ball off the square and he was put out of his misery before Wasim hit two boundaries to get Instonians over the line.
In Section One, it is building up to a thrilling finish at both ends of the table. This Saturday, the top two, Lurgan and Carrickfergus, meet at Pollock Park, and while a home win would put Lurgan eight points clear, Carrick still have a match in hand and Downpatrick, in third, have two games in hand and are just eight points behind.
Downpatrick would appear to have a home banker on Saturday against already relegated Dundrum, but only four points separate the other six teams in the battle to avoid the drop.
Cliftonville, having played more games than Holywood, Templepatrick and Bangor, appear most at risk so face a must win game against Derriaghy, while Holywood travel to Bangor and Templepatrick are at Woodvale.
Ulster Bank Premier League
At Moylena, Muckamore 38 (16.5 overs, A White 3-2, I Wasim 3-3, J Shannon 2-7, B Wylie 2-9) Instonians 40-4 (13.3 overs, A Bratton 2-1, S Henderson 2-22). Instonians won by six wickets.