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Johnston shoots down Villagers in final fling

By Ian Callender

After a day dominated by professional Rassie van der Dussen it was a CIYMS young gun who brought the Lagan Valley Steels Twenty20 Cup back to Belmont.

Aaron Johnston swept the second ball of the last over for the winning run to inflict a fifth successive cup final defeat on Waringstown in front of their own supporters.

Van der Dussen followed up his unbeaten 91 in the Challenge Cup on Saturday with 50 not out to win the semi-final against Carrickfergus and seemed to be single-handedly winning the final when he reached 88 off 42 balls to put CI within 39 runs of the winning post with 34 balls left.

But next ball, opposite number Ruhan Pretorius trapped his fellow South African leg before and when Johnny Thompson was caught behind, young John Matchett had to come in and survive the hat-trick.

Matchett was CI's fourth wicket in the next over but he was replaced by fellow teenager Johnston, who hit his first ball to the extra cover boundary and hit two more off Greg Thompson's next over to leave CI needing just 10 off the last two overs.

Phill Eaglestone kept the pressure on, conceding two off the penultimate over and having Jones caught but Johnston would not be fazed and it was the old hand of Kyle McCallan who couldn't stand the pressure.

Called on to bowl the last over, his first ball went for five wides and Johnston finished it off with the winning single.

To be fair to McCallan, he was only playing in the final as a replacement for in-form James Hall who was injured in the semi-final when he was third top scorer with 34 as Waringstown knocked out the holders, North Down, by nine runs.

That semi-final, at Pollock Park was dominated by Pieter Malan who hit 107 but he still finished up on the losing side as the Villagers held their nerve.

CIYMS had an even easier passage in their semi-final, dismissing Carrickergus for 92 at The Lawn. Waringstown impressively scored 95 off the last eight overs in the final with Pretorius hitting 71 off 45 balls with four fours and five sixes.

  • England one-day captain Eoin Morgan saw positives to take from the three-wicket defeat to New Zealand at the Ageas Bowl. Morgan's side were all out for 302 in 45.2 overs. The Black Caps passed their target with six balls remaining and they now lead the five-match ODI series 2-1. "I think 300 was a pretty good score, it probably wasn't a match-winning score but I'm proud of the guys and the way they came out and played again in a positive mindset," said Morgan after the match.

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