It was supposed to be a super Saturday start for Cregagh’s first ever home match in the Robinson Services Premier League but rain dashed their hopes of marking the big day in style.
Instead, it was a Thursday night at the Cregagh Memorial Sports Grounds, the dessert after the main course of the inter-provincial action at Stormont, which launched the new era in a 20 overs rearrangement.
It could not have started any better for Danny Cooper who took a wicket with the first ball of the CIYMS innings, having Jacob Mulder caught at mid-wicket by Charlie Shannon.
Adam McCormick then had Graham Kennedy adjudged leg before wicket and Sathish Suresh claimed the prize wicket of new CI professional Keith Dudgeon as the 2019 champions were reduced to 50 for three.
The batting, however, hadn’t gone so well with Cregagh managing just 93 for six in their 20 overs with Suresh’s 35 more than double any of his team-mates, but it did include two of the five sixes in the innings; the first hit by McCormick and the last two by Shannon.
Shannon’s younger brother, Max, took a superb diving catch to dismiss Chris Dougherty but CIYMS completed a five wickets victory with two overs to spare.
In last night’s other game, North Down made it three out of three with a four wickets win over Civil Service North.
North Down and CIYMS meet in the match of the day tomorrow with both sides strengthened by the return of their Northern Knights, but Instonians, who got off the mark on Wednesday night with a bye off the last ball giving them a three wickets victory over Woodvale, will be under-strength for their home game against Cliftonville Academy as opening batsman Nikolai Smith is getting married.
In the North West, clubs will make the second attempt to get their league campaign under way after last week’s wash-out with the Limavady Road derby between neighbours Brigade and Glendermott the pick of the ties.
Last night scores, The Green: Civil Service North 138-7 (20 overs, P Beverland 44 not out, L Georgeson 35, S Thompson 27; P Eakin 2-23, P Davidson 2-40) North Down 139-6 (19.3 overs, A Shields 51, P Eakin 25, T Mayes 22 not out; L Georgeson 2-22). North Down won by four wickets.
Cregagh Memorial Grounds: Cregagh 93-6 (S Suresh 35; J Mulder 3-12) CIYMS 94-5 (18 overs, C Shannon 2-12). CIYMS won by five wickets.