Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Cricket: Lurgan too hot for Ballymena to handle

Lurgan's long-serving overseas star Niranjan Godbole top scored for the visitors with 65
Lurgan's long-serving overseas star Niranjan Godbole top scored for the visitors with 65

Lurgan produced the only shock of first round day in the Ulster Bank Challenge Cup when they knocked out Ballymena – and in some style.

Yes, the Braidmen are still desperately under-strength and awaiting the arrival of their Indian professional Yogesh Takawale, but a 100 runs defeat to a Section One side was a hammering in any language.

Lurgan's long-serving overseas star, Niranjan Godbole, ironically top scored for the visitors with 65 and then took five for 18 in less than nine overs as Ballymena were bowled out for 92.

Carrickfergus and Downpatrick will also represent Section One in next week's second round draw after beating league rivals Cliftonville and Woodvale respectively but all the big guns are still in the competition, bar North Down who lost their own big battle at home to CIYMS.

Rassie van der Dussen continued his prolific start to the season with 89 of CI's 180 for three in 40 overs which gave them a 43 runs victory when rain ended the game early.

The most exciting finish was at Stormont, where Civil Service North claimed victory off the last ball of the match. Chasing 153 in 46 overs, they needed four off the final over with their last pair Ben Adair and John Costain in the middle, and got them.

The games between Holywood and Instonians, which didn't start, and Bangor against Muckamore, which didn't finish, will be played next Sunday.

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