Gary Kidd and Neil Doak roll back the years as title race takes dramatic twist
Gary Kidd and Neil Doak stole the headlines on a sensational day of cricket in the Gardiner Bros Premier League on Sunday, which saw Waringstown soar to joint leadership and defending champions Instonians crash to defeat against bottom of the table Lisburn.
The former international slow bowlers took 13 wickets to spin their sides to victory.
Kidd, the Waringstown slow left armer finished with the remarkable figures of 10-4-9-7 as morning leaders North Down were bowled out for 125, while off-spinner Doak took six for 37 as Instonians, chasing 249 for victory, collapsed from 191 for one to 228 all out.
Kidd's figures are the best since the Premier League was renamed in 2006, beating his still club mate Kyle McCallan's 7-17 against Ballymena seven years ago and although uncapped since 2010, the 31-year-old is bowling better than ever.
Waringstown reached their target in the 26th over for the loss of just James Hall and James McCollum as Adam Dennison batted throughout for 72, with nine fours and two sixes.
North Down, who won the toss, were 59 for one when Kidd came on and with his fifth ball he had the in-form Ally Shields caught by McCallan and by the end of his third over, the Comber side were 63-5.
He had to wait until his sixth over for his fifth wicket, top scorer Danny Graham for 33, and further wickets followed in Kidd's eighth and ninth overs.
However, the record-breaking eighth proved elusive as skipper Marty Moreland played out a maiden.
In the end, North Down's last five wickets doubled their score in contrast to the equally dramatic events at Shaw's Bridge.
The day after Instonians had defeated Lisburn in the Challenge Cup semi-final, the teams met again in the league and, despite a century from professional Gionnne Koopman, it looked as if it was going to be a repeat performance as Nikolai Smith and Andrew White, who had added an undefeated 137 on Saturday, bettered that with a second wicket stand of 170.
But when Mark Berry had White stumped for 83, Instonians needed 58 from 58 balls with eight wickets left.
Enter Doak, 17 years after the last of his 32 Ireland appearances. The 45-year old had actually bowled five overs without a wicket but after he dismissed James Shannon for just two, he was virtually unplayable.
Captain Smith was his third wicket, leg before for 93 and that effectively ended Instonians' resistance. They lost four more wickets for nine runs and although Doak took the ninth wicket with the first ball of the final over, the last pair hung on, but victory was out of sight.
Doak missed the Challenge Cup semi-final and Instonians found it all rather easy, winning by nine wickets with more than six overs to spare.
When rain prematurely ended the Lisburn innings at 136 for four in the 38th over, Instonians were set 140 in 33 overs and after a second successive duck for Shane Getkate as opener, Smith and White were not parted.
Smith scored 79 from 81 balls with 12 fours and a six and White 59 from 72 balls with seven fours.
Their opponents, in a repeat of the 2015 final, will be CIYMS who reached their third successive final with a four-wicket win over Muckamore at Moylena.
It was more comfortable than the margin would suggest because, after bowling out their hosts for 116 in 41 overs, they needed only 114 from 47 overs.
There was a minor difficulty when Neil Gill took two wickets in two balls to reduce CI to 9-3 but John Matchett (24), and Jason van der Merwe (39), added 48 for the fourth wicket and Matt McGillivray then came in and, despite losing two more partners, saw his side to victory with 30 not out.
The man of the match was a formality as McGillivray had taken five for 15 in eight overs.
Shaw's Bridge: Lisburn 248-7 (G Koopman 102, A Berry 48, N Doak 36 not out; E Moleon 3-28) Instonians 228-9 (Nik Smith 93, A White 83; N Doak 6-37, M Berry 2-44). Lisburn won by 20 runs.
The Lawn: North Down 125 (38.1 overs, D Graham 33; G Kidd 7-9, S Khan 2-40) Waringstown 126-2 (25.3 overs, A Dennison 72 not out, J McCollum 46). Waringstown won by 8 wickets.