Mercurial Malan batters Waringstown
It doesn't seriously affect the head of the Ulster Bank Premier League table but the top two both lost on Saturday!
For defending champions Waringstown it was a second successive defeat, having won their first seven, while Carrickfergus consolidated third place - although still eight points back - with victory over Instonians.
Still, it was a timely reminder that nothing can be taken for granted and when you are up against North Down's Pieter Malan, you are facing the best visiting batsman. Waringstown had the dubious honour on Saturday and trying to defend 211 at The Lawn with Malan in full flow proved an impossible task.
The Comber side even held him back to No 4 in the order but he was still in the middle by the ninth over and with 46 runs on the board, thanks to Daniel Graham's usual fast start, it was the perfect platform for Malan.
Steadily at first, the South African eased his way into his innings until, after 32 overs, he was in full flow, with 62 from 63 balls and with more to add.
He couldn't because the rain halted play prematurely but Malan had done enough to get North Down seven runs ahead on DLS to claim a vital third win of the season and almost certainly avoid any relegation alarms.
Worryingly for Instonians, North Down are their opponents next Saturday and they are sure to need more than a total of 186 which is all they managed at Middle Road and 72 of them came from Nikolai Smith.
Ulster Bank Premier League
At Middle Road, Carrickfergus beat Instonians by 62 runs
Carrickfergus 248-7 (P Botha 64, M Gilmour 56, A Haggan 34, R Eagleson 23; Nik Smith 2-19, Nat Smith 2-28, R McKinley 2-40) Instonians 186 (46.3 overs, Nik Smith 72, S Bunting 40, J Shannon 27; R Eagleson 5-38, P Botha 2-22, A Haggan 2-33)
At Wallace Park, Lisburn beat Derriaghy by 29 runs
Lisburn 185-9 (50 overs, C Chetty 75, A Berry 67; W Hughes 3-39, C Lewis 2-19, C Moorhead 2-22) Derriaghy 156 (K Aphale 27, C Lewis 23, A Kenny 20; D Simpson 3-23, R McConkey 3-27, S Lazars 2-40).
At The Lawn, North Down beat Waringstown by 7 runs (DLS)
Waringstown 211-9 (G Thompson 75, J Hall 39, M McClean 25, K McCallan 21; G McKenna 2-42, P Eakin 2-42, P Malan 2-46) North Down 142-3 (32 overs, P Malan 62 not out, N Burns 32, D Graham 25; G Kidd 2-17).