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It's in at the deep end for Armagh cricketers

 

By Ian Callender

Armagh are learning about life in the top flight the hard way.

Less than 24 hours after being knocked out of the Irish Senior Cup, they were reduced to 0-2 and 3-5 by defending champions Waringstown in their first Premier League game at The Mall for 61 years.

They recovered to total 69 but could not prevent Waringstown sweeping to a 10 wickets victory at the start of the 14th over.

James Mitchell bowled the experienced Neil Gelston with the first ball of the match, Phil Eaglestone followed up by taking a wicket with his fifth ball and by the end of the third over, Armagh were still waiting for their first run.

They had two on the board when Eaglestone struck for a second time, the huge wicket of professional Shadley van Schalkwyk, and it was 2-4 two balls later when Mitchell had skipper Matthew Steenson caught.

Eaglestone picked up his third wicket with the last ball of his third over and at that stage, the record books were being thumbed through to find the lowest ever Premier League total.

But for the second day in a row Colin Russell steered his side to respectability and brought his runs tally for the weekend to 80. He was last man out, caught and bowled by Kyle McCallan who was needed for only four overs as spin twin Gary Kidd ripped through the lower order to finish with 4-14 from eight overs.

The win took Waringstown level with Instonians at the top of the table, after their 28 runs win over the Shaw's Bridge side on Saturday although both teams have played one more match than the other six teams.

CIYMS got off the mark with an emphatic victory over Carrickfergus who lost Pat Botha before he had bowled his full quota of overs with a suspected broken finger.

He injured it while taking the catch to dismiss CI skipper Nigel Jones and with Daniel Poulton and Alex Haggan forced to bowl at the end of the innings, the visitors made hay, with 50 coming off the last five overs.

Jason van der Merwe was mainly responsible, finishing 51 not out from 32 balls and he shared an unbeaten stand of 86 with Ryan Hunter as CI finished on 269 for four. The loss of four early wickets in Carrick's reply cost them dear as, when they returned from a rain interruption, despite losing 13 overs their target score was reduced by only 22 runs!

They never threatened and were bowled out in the 33rd over for 124 with five CI bowlers sharing the wickets.

Muckamore are also among five teams with one win out of two, leaving beaten opponents Civil Service North propping up the table.

Ashwin Shetty was the Moylena side's match-winner, removing opening batsmen Mark Ellison and Andrew Cowden plus professional Andre Malan on his way to a five-wicket haul. Saturday's hero, Craig Drummond, was again top scorer, this time with a more modest 57.

SCORES: The Mall: Armagh 69 (27.5 overs, C Russell 31; G Kidd 4-14, P Eaglestone 3-19, J Mitchell 2-13) Waringstown 71-0 (13.1 overs, J Hall 34 not out, A Dennison 33 not out). Waringstown won by 10 wickets

Middle Road: CIYMS 269-4 (J Mulder 66, R Hunter 63 not out, J van der Merwe 51 not out, N Jones 45, C Dougherty 34; P Botha 2-20) Carrickfergus 124 (32.5 overs, A Haggan 49, H Warke 29 not out; T Britton 2-9, A Coulter 2-12, M McGillivray 2-17). CIYMS won by 114 runs (DLS). Target score 239 in 37 overs

Moylena: Muckamore 181-9 (C Drummond 57, N Gill 36, A Adey 35, S Stephenson 26; G McCarter 3-16, A Malan 2-39) Civil Service North 173-9 (A Malan 54, M Ellison 40; A Shetty 5-22, F Iqbal 2-23). Muckamore won by 8 runs

Saturday

Shaw's Bridge: Waringstown 307-8 (A Dennison 116, S Khan 58, G Thompson 35, M McClean 21; Nik Smith 3-49, J Hunter 2-32, A White 2-34) Instonians 279 (48.2 overs, A White 71, S Getkate 55, O Metcalfe 35, Nik Smith 27; G Thompson 4-46, K McCallan 3-40, G Kidd 2-72). Waringstown won by 28 runs

SECTION ONE

Upritchard Park: Bangor 211-7 (T Khan 55, N McCollum 31, A Nixon 25; F Saeed 2-22, J Strydom 2-36, T Browne 2-38) Woodvale 214-4 (44.5 overs, D Connelly 79 not out, F Saeed 73; G Prince 2-45). Woodvale won by six wickets.

The Meadow: Cregagh 95 (D McCormick 25; M Yeates 5-21, R Boultwood 3-30) Downpatrick 96-2 (R Smyth 39, D Mullan 32, J Wade 22 not out). Downpatrick won by 8 wickets.

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