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Split dates for Ulster Cup after rain washes out semis

By Ian Callender

Published 27/07/2015

Sticky wicket: the pitch at The Green in Comber wasn’t fit for
play following lengthy rain showers
Sticky wicket: the pitch at The Green in Comber wasn’t fit for play following lengthy rain showers

Both O'Neill's Ulster Cup semi-finals will be rearranged for next month after yesterday's rain made a first attempt impossible.

And it was not easy finding a suitable new date for the all-NCU tie between North Down and Waringstown.

Eglinton were first to call off their game against Instonians and shortly afterwards the game at Comber went the same way. However, with the Northern Knights in action on the next two Sundays, as the inter-provincial Cup resumes, there is only one free Sunday before the final is due to take place on August 23.

The game at Eglinton will go ahead on August 16, but that is also the day of the Irish Cup semi-finals and Waringstown are also still in that competition and will be in Dublin, playing Pembroke.

The compromise, agreed by both teams, is Friday August 7 when a result must be achieved or else a bowl-out will decide if Waringstown make a third successive final.

For the moment, the Villagers are in form and still leading the chasing pack in the Ulster Bank Premier League, their latest win coming against improving Carrickfergus who posted 204 at The Lawn.

But, despite what captain Lee Nelson called a "slip of concentration" in mid-innings when they lost three wickets for 14 runs to slump to 146 for five in reply, the skipper and professional Ruhan Pretorius saw them home with more than 12 overs to spare.

Their three pursuers, all just four points behind, also won, with some comfort in the end.

Defending champions Instonians posted the highest total of the day (294-7, Fahad Iqbal 97) but conceded the second highest as Lisburn fell just 44 runs short, thanks to half centuries from Robert Rankin (62) and Darryl Brown (55).

North Down defending 183 for six at Eaton Park looked to be in trouble until Ballymena collapsed from 115 for three to 138 all out and CIYMS, for whom Trevor Britton took six for 15, eased past Civil Service North's 173 with eight wickets to spare.

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