Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 30 October 2014

Cricket: North Down hold off on celebrations

North Down were crowned NCU champions at Wallace Park yesterday - but the champagne celebrations are on ice.

North Down were crowned NCU champions at Wallace Park yesterday - but the champagne celebrations are on ice.

The saga surrounding the registration of New Zealand all-rounder Peter Connell is not over yet, despite being given the green light by the NCU management committee.

Waringstown who finished second to North Down with a 35-run win over Bangor, have lodged an appeal against the NCU decision, questioning the process of how the decision was arrived at and claiming to have new information on the subject.

The Comber club have always said they acted in good faith and provided all the relevant information necessary at the time.

Now there is suspicion that Connell himself was told back in May he was not eligible to play for Ireland until he had completed 100 days of development under ICC stipulations. That would have meant he would not have been allowed to play league cricket until July at the earliest.

However, one point that remains unanswered is why the claim that Connell has been here for purposes other than cricket, seemingly has not been addressed?

If it is true, then Connell would have been correctly registered as the ICC development rule would not therefore have been applicable to him.

This is likely to run and run for a while but meanwhile Connell was very much to the fore yesterday in picking up four wickets for 12 runs as Lisburn collpased to 89 all out, leaving North Down to take less than 20 overs to win by eight wickets.

Waringstown ended their campaign on a winning note, scoring 219-9, led by 60 from Michael Scott and 41 from Jonathan Bushe.

In reply, Bangor could only muster 184 in their 50 overs.

The only other NCU game yesterday, ended with Lurgan beating Instonians by six wickets at Pollock Park.

Lurgan reached their target of 149 with more than half their overs unused.

Up in the North-West Brigade are celebrating winning the Lap Fuesl Senior League following their comprehensive 108-run win over Strabane.

That was tasty revenge for Brigade who lost to Strabane at the start of the league programme and also in the semi-final of the Senior Cup.

Brigade totalled 189-9 with professional Wajhatullah Wasti hitting 70 from 87 balls and taking 5-9.

Strabane were skittled for 81.

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