Waringstown just one win away from title joy
Waringstown moved 12 points clear at the top of the Ulster Bank Premier League yesterday but may still need one more win to clinch their first outright title since 2006. A nine wickets win over Lisburn yesterday means only Instonians can overtake them at the top of the table but the Shaw's Bridge side will have to win their last four matches to demote the Villagers to second place.
There was no sign of any pressure at The Lawn as the leaders completed a second win in as many days, following their 43 runs success against Civil Service North. They romped to victory, needing only 16.4 overs to pass Lisburn's 120, James Hall finishing the match with his third six and 13th boundary in an astonishing innings of 81 from just 56 balls.
David Simpson had trapped James McCollum to the first ball of the reply but that was to be the only joy for the Lisburn skipper as Hall went berserk.
James Magowan, who had taken seven Muckamore wickets on Saturday for just 25 runs in eight overs, experienced the other side of cricket when his first two overs went for 29. At the other end, Adam Dennison was content to play second fiddle, hitting three boundaries in his 29 not out.
Captain Lee Nelson finished as leading wicket-taker with three for Waringstown, ripping out the middle order, but it was Kyle McCallan who was virtually unplayable, bowling his 10 overs at a cost of just eight runs and his wickets included top scorer Johnny Bell, caught on the boundary for 22.
CSN moved alongside Instonians in second place, but have played two games more, after winning yesterday's other Premier League game, against CIYMS, by 63 runs.
Shane Getkate powered 69, from No 5, from just 50 balls, with seven fours and four sixes in the visitors' 215 for nine and although Jeremy Bray replied in kind for CI, with 64 from 79, with seven fours and three sixes, no-one else made 20.
It is also now a two-horse race in the North West Premiership, between Brigade and Strabane, after defending champions Coleraine's defeat to Ardmore yesterday.
It looked as if it would be a thrashing when, despite Ardmore totalling only 138, the Bannsiders were reduced to 18 for five, but David Cooke led an astonishing fightback which took them to within five runs of victory with two wickets and 10 balls remaining.
Gareth Burns had faced just 17 balls and scored eight in an eight-over 40 runs partnership with Cooke when Decker Curry had him caught. The batsmen crossed so Cooke was back in strike but Curry had the final say, dismissing his former Limavady team-mate two balls later for a superb 64 and giving Ardmore a potentially Premiership-surviving win.
They are now four wins clear of Fox Lodge who lost their 10th straight game yesterday to Brigade by three wickets, and the Foxes must win their remaining four games to give themselves a chance of a relegation play-off.
Strabane had 40 runs to spare against Eglinton but this was easier than the final scoreline suggests, as, chasing the Red Caps 176, the home side hung on after being reduced to 99 for seven. Tatendu Mupariwa took five wickets after top scoring with 61.
Donemana lost their second game in two days, all out for 109 and an unbroken fourth wicket stand of 71 between Ernest Kemm and Darren Moore eased Bready to victory.