Cricket: Down and 'Town in showdown for title
North Down and Waringstown will meet in a probable showdown for the Ulster Bank Premier League title on Sunday.
The clubs could not agree on a date with North Down, as the home team, offering Waringstown Saturday, September 8, but the Villagers, who have games on the following two Saturdays, said they did not want the game until September 29.
League secretary Jack Quinn, however, stepped in and has told the clubs the game must go ahead on the next available date - next Sunday.
The Comber side will be without David Kennedy, who does not play Sunday cricket, but their visitors will be without two, Peter Hanna and Andrew Cousins.
A Waringstown win would, almost certainly, see them retain the title as, assuming both teams win on Saturday, it would bring them level with North Down with three games to play. North Down would have only one game remaining.
North Down took over the outright leadership yesterday with a thumping nine wickets victory against relegation strugglers Downpatrick.
After restricting their visitors to 189 for eight, North Down reached their victory target with more than 20 overs to spare.
Ryan Haire and Neil Russell put on 135 for the first wicket in just 21 overs.
Haire hit seven fours and a six in his 58 and Russell finished 96 not out. He scored the winning runs, content with a two when his fifth six and 14th boundary would have given him a century.
There was a hundred for Downpatrick opener Neil Gelston - who scored 105, with 11 fours and a six.
Lurgan, who are Waringstown's opponents on Saturday, would appear doomed to Section Two cricket for the first time after crashing by eight wickets to Bangor.
Chasing just 158 for victory, an unbeaten partnership of 107 between Mark Hutchinson and Yasas Tillakaratne eased the visitors home in the 42nd over.
Cliftonville are the new leaders of Section Two after a thrilling one-wicket win against promotion rivals Woodvale at Ballygomartin Road. They had just four balls to spare.
Woodvale, playing their first home match since June 23, scored 96 off the last 14 overs, but still managed only 200 for three, professional Brendan Meyer satisfied with a single off the last ball to finish on 91 not out.
But opposite number Bronwell Williams, who came in at No 7 because he had not been feeling well, proved the match-winner, finishing 47 not out, helped by No 11 Stephen McChesney, who was at the other end while nine runs were added for the last wicket.
Cliftonville lead CIYMS by two points, having played two games more with Woodvale back in third, four points behind.
Ulster Bank Premier League
At Pollock Park, Bangor beat Lurgan by eight wickets.
Lurgan 157-7 (F Viljoen 54, D Haire 22 not out; R Adair 2-30) Bangor 158-2 (41.4 overs, Y Tillakaratne 70 not out, M Hutchinson 35 not out, N Godbole 2-23).
At The Green, North Down beat Downpatrick by nine wickets.
Downpatrick 189-9 (N Gelston 105 not out; Taimur Khan 3-33, M Moreland 2-28) North Down 190-1 (29.2 overs, N Russell 96 not out, R Haire 58, D Kennedy 21 not out).
At Ballygomartin Road, Cliftonville beat Woodvale by one wicket.
Woodvale 200-3 (B Meyer 91 not out, S Donnelly 33 not out, T Browne 33, S Johnston 27) Cliftonville 201-9 (49.2 overs, B Williams 47 not out, J Terrett 41, N Cahill 33, D Menaul 26; S Donnelly 3-28, M McKeown 3-42).