Abandoned cup ties put a spanner in fixture works
The NCU's Twenty20 finals day next Sunday is set to be put back a week after all of yesterday's Irish Senior Cup quarter-fiinals were abandoned without a ball bowled.
Waringstown were due to face North Down at The Lawn in the Cup final but the Villagers now have to go to Dublin to face Pembroke in the Irish Cup next Sunday, the Irish Cup reserve date.
Cricket Ireland were happy for the Irish Cup tie to be put back a week but Pembroke have a Leinster Cup semi-final on July 29 so that possibility was ruled out.
The rain means all the Ulster clubs have to give up home advantage next week with Civil Service North now away to Clontarf and Strabane must travel to Phoenix.
Waringstown and CIYMS extended their lead in the Robinson Services Premier League as nearest challengers Instonians lost in Saturday's action.
It was always expected to be a two-horse race for the title and an eight points advantage even before the halfway mark in the season looks significant.
In perfect batting conditions, Armagh scored 235-8 at The Lawn with Jamie Rogers scoring 76 but Waringstown eased home with 10 overs and six wickets to spare, with undefeated half-centuries from Lee Nelson (54) and captain Greg Thompson (51).
CIYMS found it just as comfortable in chasing Carrickfergus' 222 at Belmont with Chris Dougherty (94) and Nigel Jones (86 not out) sharing a stand of 144 in their seven wickets win.
Carrickfergus professional Pat Botha returned from his broken thumb to top score with 68 but Ryan Eagleson left the ground with a hand injury after been hit by a full toss from Allen Coulter. He retired hurt but returned to face the last three balls of the innings and also bowled six overs, so he is hoping the damage is not too serious.
Muckamore joined the four-team pack on 12 points with a six wickets victory over Civil Service North at Stormont. Adam McDaid, who joined this week after a fall-out with Eglinton, scored 61 at No 3 and either side of him Aditja Adey (67) and Fahad Iqbal (50 not out) enjoyed themselves against a CSN attack missing Graham McCarter and with a sick Andre Malan. Chris McMorran (65) and Morgan Topping (56) had put on 95 for the fifth wicket in CSN's 217.
Big hitters of the day were North Down's Daniel Graham (126 not out) and Ruhan Pretorius (124) in an opening partnership of 231, and with Alistair Shields then scoring 75 from 38 balls (11 fours and two sixes) the Comber side amassed 352-2 to ensure an enjoyable birthday for captain Martin Moreland. He also took a wicket as Instonians were bowled out for 197.
Bready's superb season in the Long's SuperValu Premiership got even better with a maximum points victory over Fox Lodge to open up a 27 points lead. Irosh Samarasooriya (90 not out) and Craig Young (50 not out) scored 100 in the last 12 overs to take the leaders to 250-4 and Gregory McFaul finished off Fox Lodge with 4-7 for a 114 runs victory.
Second place Coleraine could manage only 166-8 against Brigade who scrambled home by two wickets thanks, once again, to skipper Andy Britton's batting, this time with 26 not out.
Donemana are still in third place but the champions lost their fourth match, bowled out in 48 overs, 31 runs short of Eglinton's 256-7, whose professional Mike Erlank (86) scored the only half century of the match.
Strabane moved into the top half with a 111 runs hammering of Ardmore who were bowled out in the 40th over with new overseas player Azeem Ghumman top scoring with 32.
For the Red Caps, Peter Gillespie (91) dominated an opening stand of 90 with Rhys Logue but was still upstaged by nephew Aaron who hit exactly 100 in their 277-5.
The bottom two, Brigade and Ardmore, met yesterday at Ardmore but the game was abandoned eight balls short of a result.
After a delayed start, Ardmore made 175-6 in their 30 overs but a second rain shower in the Brigade reply ended the game in the ninth over with the home side on 71-2.
Meanwhile, Ireland's Women will play Australia in Guyana in their first match at the World Twenty20 on Sunday November 11.
Defeat in Saturday's Qualifying final to Bangladesh placed them in Group B on the South America mainland where their other games will be against Pakistan (Nov 13), India (Nov 15) and New Zealand (Nov 17), all in the Providence Stadium, Georgetown, where Ireland's Men played three of their Super 8 World Cup matches in 2007.
WOMEN'S T20 QUALIFIER FINAL
At Utrecht, Bangladesh 122-9 (20 overs, A Rahman 46; L O'Reilly 4-26, C Metcalfe 2-24) Ireland 97 (18.4 overs, G Lewis 26, E Richardson 23; P Ghosh 5-16). Bangladesh Women won by 25 runs.