Belfast Telegraph

Cricket: Peter Shields targets two from two to take Premier League title to North Down

By Ian Callender

North Down may have lost their second match in the Ulster Bank Premier League last Sunday but captain Peter Shields is still happy with his side’s position.

With two games remaining, the league leaders know two wins will bring the championship trophy back to The Green “and no-one else can say that,” says Shields.

“If Waringstown and Lisburn each lose one more match then we need to win only one of our last two so it’s in our hands and that’s a great place to be.”

And by Sunday, North Down will have a maximum of only one rival because Waringstown face Lisburn at The Lawn.

Looking back at last weekend’s loss to Civil Service North, Shields puts it down to “one of those days”.

“The batting was below par but, while in the past we have been accused of reckless batting that wasn’t the case on Sunday. They bowled well up front and found the edge or hit the stumps. That can happen,” adds the skipper.

He also knows it was a rare failure by the generally prolific top order.

“Not only was it the only time North Down have failed to reach 200 in a home game this season but their previous lowest was the 214 against Fox Lodge in the Ulster Cup and that in a 40 overs innings.”

Tomorrow, North Down will expect to move a step closer to the title with victory at Ballymena, a team “we have thrashed in our previous two games this season so we will not be referring to last season’s league defeat at Eaton Park.

At The Green, they scored 367 for eight — their highest total — and in the Challenge Cup match they scored 340 for six, the best at Eaton Park for 15 years.

As in both those matches they will be without Johnny Terrett who pulled a hamstring against CSN and will miss the rest of the season. Michael Martin, who took four wickets in the cup match comes in and, Shields admits, gives a better balance to the team.

Tomorrow’s fixtures: Ulster Bank Premier League (noon): Ballymena v North Down, Carrickfergus v Lisburn, Civil Service North v Downpatrick, Instonians v CIYMS, Waringstown v Lurgan. Sunday: Waringstown v Lisburn.

Section One: Bangor v Saintfield, Dundrum v Holywood, Derriaghy v Laurelvale, Muckamore v Cliftonville, Woodvale v Armagh.

Section Two: Academy v Dungannon, Cregagh v Donacloney, Drumaness v Dunmurry, Larne v Cooke Collegians, Templepatrick v Millpark.

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