Cup finalists rocked by shock league defeats
Waringston and Civil Service North may have the Ulster Bank Challenge Cup final to look forward to on Friday week but they took their eye off the ball on Saturday with surprise league defeats.
Victory for CIYMS used up Waringstown's defeat in hand of leaders North Down and they are now four points behind having played one game less, while CSN, after their home defeat to Carrickfergus, are just one win above the second relegation place.
Waringstown's loss, only their second of the season, was unexpected because it was supposed to be a farewell celebration for their overseas star Obus Pienaar who has dominated the NCU season to date.
Maybe it was because he wasn't wearing his normal No 35 shirt that he ended up getting out for just 11, a score more associated with Kidd G whose name was on the back of Pienaar's shirt, but his dismissal via a top edge from an attempted reverse sweep was not the shot he deserves to be remembered for after his memorable season.
But it was a timely reminder that Waringstown will not have the South African to rely on during the second half of the season although they are hoping former professional Ijaz Ahmed will arrive from Pakistan in time to play the last eight games of the season.
With the help of a shower during their innings, the CIYMS target was reduced to just 95 from 23 overs and they eased home by seven wickets with 15 balls to spare.
North Down restricted Muckamore to 97 for seven at The Green and although the champions lost three wickets, professional Ian Moran's unbeaten 44 from 34 balls saw them home inside 15 overs. CSN were set 165 for victory in 29 overs but they were bowled out in the final over for 155. Carrickfergus finished their 46 overs allocation on 195 for four.
Lisburn suffered a sixth straight defeat, at Shaw's Bridge, bowled out for 150. But Instonians needed only 142 in 45 overs and it was all over in the 21st over. Ballymena's game against Bangor and all of yesterday's action was postponed.