RBAI regained the Ulster Bank Schools’ Cup for the first time since 2007 but Regent House will look back on the 2011 final and know it should have been their captain who lifted the trophy.
Only 12 runs separated the teams at the finish, exactly the difference in the number of wides bowled by the two teams but an obscene 56 extras in the Regent innings all but settled the contest, moved less than hours before the scheduled start time from Moylena to Shaw’s Bridge.
When Inst, the favourites, piled up 180 for six in their 40 overs, the game looked to be as good as over and when Regent’s star batsman Peter Eakin was caught at mid on in the fourth over, the celebrations in the Inst camp indicated they thought so too.
But first Eakin’s opening partner Gary Wright dug in and then late order resistance from Jason Boobyer and Stephen Forrest, plus last man Timmy Carson, frustrated the Belfast school so much that when the overs ran out, Regent were 168 for nine.
Inst were on the back foot from early on when Gary Cunningham dismissed openers Michael Mairs and Ben Wylie and when captain Sam Shannon set off on a suicidal run — and partner Mark Irwin, rightly, called ‘no’ the favourites were 76 for three at halfway. Irwin justified staying at the crease with an unbeaten 42 but with all his team-mates getting in and then getting out, at the interval Inst were grateful for the extras.
Wylie may not have taken a Regent wicket but apart from Ben
Alexander, surprisingly given only three overs, he was the most economical bowler.
Meanwhile, Belfast Under-14s have qualified for the Lord Taverners finals in Arundel in August on a superior run rate after yesterday’s game against London South in Croydon was abandoned early in the second innings.
Scores: North London 98 (A Forbes 4-28, B McGavock 2-17) Belfast 100-4 (J Matchett 37 not out, G Millar 20 not out). Belfast won by six wickets.
Belfast 103 (P Beverland 32) London South 23-0 (8.3 overs) Abandoned.