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CSN upset the odds to clinch double final victories

By Ian Callender

Civil Service North made it two cup final wins in two weeks with an against the odds win in the Ulster Bank Challenge Cup final over holders Waringstown at Comber.

The newly crowned Twenty20 Cup winners proved that win – also against the holders, North Down – was no fluke by scoring 22 runs off the last 13 balls to claim a five wickets victory in only the second final to be decided by Duckworth/Lewis.

CSN, chasing 157, were 87 for four when rain interrupted their innings in the 35th over but, because the game was delayed half an hour at the start, the overs were reduced immediately.

By the time the ground was fit for play, only 2.2 overs remained so, instead of needing 70 from the last 15 overs and two balls, the new target was only 109, with, of course, six wickets still available.

Although Waringstown claimed the wicket of Nigel Jones six balls after the resumption, Andrew Cowden would not be moved and, fittingly, the man of the match hit the winning runs with one ball to spare.

No-one will know if it would have been the same result had the game gone the full distance but, while Waringstown will rightly say they were not helped by the rain, the sun shone throughout the day on Nigel Jones' side and, indeed, they enjoyed all the breaks going.

Even the delayed start, because of the overnight rain, played into their hands as Shane Getkate missed the first flight of the day from London and was not even at the ground when Jones won what turned out to be a crucial toss.

But instead of having to wait over an hour before he could bowl, it was less than half that, and to his credit, his seven overs spell at the death was just as crucial as Cowden's innings.

Getkate conceded 16 off his first two overs but he responded with two wickets and gave away only 12 runs off the bat in his final five overs and with Allan Coulter just as effective, ending with three victims, Waringstown were bowled out with 11 balls unused.

The two pace bowlers also combined to dismiss professional Shaheen Khan for 36, and with him went the Villagers' hopes of reaching 170.

The other big break for CSN – apart from Regan West getting through 10 consecutive overs (for just 25 runs) in only his third game of the season – was that when they returned after the rain break, their main four bowlers had bowled their full quota.

So it was James Hall and, in a powerplay over, Phil Eaglestone who had to try and contain the batsmen. It was a break too far and Waringstown's only consolation is that they are in pole position to win the Premier League.

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