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Commins won't be back for Inst any time soon

 

By Ian Callender

Murray Commins was the surprise name on the Instonians team-sheet in last Sunday's Irish Cup tie but he is not expected to return any time soon.

The 21-year-old South African was registered at the start of the season but, as he was already committed to playing club cricket in St Albans, Instonians decided to go without overseas help.

In the absence of skipper Andrew White and Ireland international James Shannon last weekend, however, Commins flew in to bolster Instonians' batting - and what a debut he enjoyed.

Commins, definitely one to watch for the future, hit 103 from 106 balls with 15 fours in Instonians' 273-5, but it still wasn't enough to help his new side into the quarter-finals, Phoenix reaching their revised target of 200 with 20 balls to spare.

Commins is unavailable for Saturday cricket, and White will only call on him 'when required'.

Cynics may say the Challenge Cup final on Friday July 27 could be his next match if they get past Civil Service North in the semis.

Instonians continue to be hampered by injuries, mainly on the bowling front, with Nikolai Smith now waiting the results of an MRA scan, although Robert McKinley is expected to return to the attack in the semi-final.

With no Premier League action until July, the club's immediate priority is beating Armagh tonight in the final round of games in the Lagan Valley Steels Twenty20 Cup and then hope Civil Service North can beat Waringstown in the other Group A game.

That would send CSN and Instonians through to the semi-finals, but victory for the holders would knock out the Shaw's Bridge side.

It's the same scenario in Group B; if Carrickfergus beat North Down they will join them in the semi-finals. But another win for the Comber side will let in the winners of the CIYMS v Muckamore tie, which has been put back to next Wednesday as today Belmont hosts MCC's final game of their Tour Week, against the Ireland Under-19s (11am).

Yesterday, Emerging Knights finished six short having been set 197 in 32 overs by MCC.

Scores: MCC 253-6dec (H Smallwood 138) and 150-8dec (M McCord 3-15, L Allisono 3-42) Emerging Knights 207 (A Wright 43, J Matchett 37, A Adey 34) and 191-8 (J Matchett 61, J Burton 37, A Adey 29; S Dyer 4-74). Match drawn.

Fixtures - Tonight Lagan Valley Steels T20 Cup (6pm): Civil Service North v Waringstown, Instonians v Armagh, Carrickfergus v North Down

Graham Cup (U15) Final (5pm): Instonians v CIYMS (Osborne Park)

Tomorrow: Armagh v Civil Service North, Carrickfergus v North Down (noon), CIYMS v Muckamore (noon)

Section One: Cregagh v Laurelvale, Downpatrick v Derriaghy, Holywood v Bangor, Lurgan v Lisburn (12.15), Woodvale v Donaghcloney Mill

Section Two: Ards v Monaghan, Belfast Superkings v Victoria, Cliftonville Academy v Saintfield, Cooke Collegians v Ballymena (noon), Donaghadee v Dunmurry (noon), Drumaness v Templepatrick

Long's SuperValu Premiership: Ardmore v Donemana, Brigade v Strabane, Eglinton v Bready, Fox Lodge v Coleraine

Championship: Burndennett v Bonds Glen, Drummond v Ballyspallen, Killyclooney v Glendermott, St Johnston v Newbuildings. Sunday: Newbuildings v Drummond

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