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Cregagh switch venue and clinch title

 

By Ian Callender

At the third time of asking Cregagh found a venue to play the final match of the Northern Cricket Union season and it all proved worthwhile.

A nine wickets victory over Saintfield at Upritchard Park yesterday clinched the Gardiner Bros Section Two title.

With their Gibson Park Avenue ground out of action, North Down were the first club to offer them their ground but the heavy rain on Friday ruled out the top pitch at Comber and it was Bangor who came to the rescue for a game which Cregagh not only had to play but also win to pip Laurelvale to first place on run rate.

Finding a ground proved to be the harder task as they romped to victory in the 20-over match, dismissing Saintfield for 94 and knocking off the runs in the 13th over, Aaron Johnston finishing 57 not out and Leon Moore unbeaten on 29.

Craig Irvine finished with the superb figures of five for 10 in his four overs and at the other end of the age scale David McCormick took three for seven to complete a superb personal season for the evergreen 48-year-old.

McCormick's best figures of the season were rewarded at a recent ceremony by the sponsors, a remarkable eight wickets for seven runs against Ballymena.

David's son Adam also picked up an award at the same ceremony for his six-wicket haul against the same opposition in the reverse fixture when Johnston also scored 108 to make it a Cregagh hat-trick of awards.

It was Johnston's second century of the season, having earlier hit 127 not out against Dundrum in a season when they also reached the final of the Lagan Valley Steels Twenty 20 Trophy - when they lost to Saintfield.

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