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Convincing victories keep Inst and Town top of the pile

By Richard Bullick

Instonians and Waringstown will go into next Saturday's Irish Cup semi-final showdown still locked together at the top of the Ulster Bank Premier League table.

The joint leaders both had convincing victories at the weekend, Waringstown crushing hosts Derriaghy by 175 runs and Instonians coasting past North Down by six wickets.

Waringstown's win at Queensway was widely predicted and, although opener Adam Dennison went without a run on the board, the visitors removed any doubt by posting over 300.

Derriaghy were dismissed for 140 with more than 12 overs unused and remain favourites for relegation with that bright start to their campaign now a distant memory.

On Saturday night they were level on points with CIYMS but the beaten Challenge Cup finalists had three games in hand and they won the first of those yesterday to complete a weekend double.

Drawing confidence from the previous day's 100 run defeat of Carrickfergus, CI claimed an impressive victory at Lisburn after Justin Kemp posted an unbeaten century.

The rain means Lisburn needed 222 in 38 overs rather than 289 in the full allocation but fell a full 50 short as Johnny Thompson followed up his hard-hitting 74 with three wickets.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that the Belmont men's second win of an underwhelming league campaign coincided with a return to form by international opener Chris Dougherty.

Dougherty got 83 on Saturday, one run less than Kemp with whom he put on 151 for the third wicket and the latter was among five bowlers to claim at least one scalp in the Carrick reply.

The other team with only two victories after Saturday's action was Civil Service North, who picked up a very valuable narrow win at home to North Down.

The day before, the recent Challenge Cup winners went down to Lisburn on what was a memorable day for the Wallace Park club.

Chasing 216 for victory, mid-table Lisburn got home by four wickets with five balls to spare thanks in no small measure to their captain Adam Berry.

Opposing skipper Andrew Cowden had hit 91 opening the batting for CSNI and Berry bettered that by four going in first for Lisburn, although he was dropped twice towards the end of his innings.

The win for the First XI was the icing on the cake for Lisburn whose Seconds claimed the Junior Cup for the first time since 1992 by beating Cliftonville at Moylena.

At Shaw's Bridge, Pieter Malan scored 64 but no other North Down batsman reached double figures as Robert McKinley blew away the Comber men's tail to finish with five wickets. He was there at the end with the bat as Instonians strolled to their target of 139 in spite of losing four wickets before reaching triple figures including big guns James Shannon and Andrew White.

Malan got a century yesterday as North Down scored 229 for seven in their 50 overs but CSNI's 207 for seven had their noses just in front when rain brought a premature end with 21 balls remaining.

RESULTS: Ulster Bank Premier League:

At Shaw's Bridge: Instonians beat North Down by 6 wickets. North Down 138 (P Malan 54; R McKinley 5-41, Nathan Smith 4-40) Instonians 139-4 (A White 35, J Shannon 31, R Theron 31 not out; A Shields 2-20).

At Belmont: CIYMS beat Carrickfergus by 100 runs. CIYMS 229-7 (J Kemp 84, C Dougherty 83; A Martin 2-28, A Haggan 2-40) Carrickfergus 129 (P Botha 25; A Coulter 3-32, K Rajavelu 2-20, N Jones 2-22).

At Queensway: Waringstown beat Derriaghy by 175 runs. Waringstown 315-6 (G Thompson 95, J Hall 59, L Nelson 54; W Hughes 3-86) Derriaghy 140 (A Kenny 42; J Mitchell 4-40, P Eaglestone 3-27).

At Stormont: Lisburn beat CSNI by 4 wickets. CSNI 215-4 (A Cowden 91, M Amjad 34, S Getkate 33) Lisburn 216-6 (A Berry 91, C Chetty 51, S Lazars 40; A Blain 2-42).

At Wallace Park: CIYMS beat Lisburn by 50 runs (DLS). CIYMS 288-5 (J Kemp 114 not out, J Thompson 74, J Matchett 33; N Waller 3-24) Lisburn 172-6 (C Chetty 54, S Lazars 39, N Waller 37; J Thompson 3-31, A Coulter 2-32).

At Stormont: CSNI beat North Down by 2 runs (DLS). North Down 229-7 (P Malan 104, A Shields 46, P Eakin 29; J Costain 2-27, J van der Merwe 2-53) CSNI 207-7 (M Amjad 57 not out, W Horwood 36, J van der Merwe 28; A Cowden 22, C Goodall 21; A Shields 3-28, J Mulder 3-30).

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