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Cricket: Morgan wins the battle of Irish as Middlesex go up

By Ian Callender

Eoin Morgan and Ed Joyce helped Middlesex return to the First Division of the Pro40 League yesterday at the expense of Ireland international colleague Niall O'Brien's Northamptonshire.

While O'Brien was caught behind for a third-ball duck in yesterday's promotion play-off at Southgate, Joyce scored 42 off 49 balls and Morgan's unbeaten 34 saw Middlesex to their victory target of 149 by six wickets and with 22 balls to spare. The teams swap divisions.

At home, Cooke Collegians were relegated from Section Two of the Ulster Bank League when they crashed to Armagh yesterday by 147 runs.

Colin Russell made 95 and professional Steve Lazarus, who was dropped first ball, scored 93 out of Armagh's 276 for eight.

Saintfield and Dundrum went into their game at The Meadow as the promoted teams but with the Section Three title up for grabs.

In a game worthy of the occasion, the teams played out the section's first tie of the season

Chasing Dundrum's 189, Saintfield needed four runs from the last over with last pair Philip Murray and Mark Yates at the wicket. Three came off the first three balls, bowled by Rodney Hazzard, but Murray tried to hit the next over the top and Gavin McNerlin held the catch.

The tie wasn't enough for Dundrum who have time to play only two of their last three games and so Saintfield will receive the championship trophy before their final game at Millpark on Saturday.

At the bottom, it is Drumaness plus one to go down with Portadown favourites to join them after the NCU Appeals Committee overturned the decision to give them the points for their game against Academy which could not be played because Newforge was in use by the Ulster rugby squad.

Cregagh will be crowned Section Four champions if, as seems certain, promoted BISC do not play their last game against Ards.

Belfast Telegraph

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