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Millpark, Cooke serve up promotion joy

Congratulations to Millpark, who clinched the Ulster Bank League Section Three title on Saturday with a five-wickets win over Dunmurry to earn an immediate return to Section Two where they had played every year since the league restructure in 2007.

They will be promoted next season with Cooke Collegians, who secured the runners-up spot by beating Monaghan by 74 runs with 68-year-old Billy Dale producing another man of the match performance.

The former Premier League winner top scored with 41 and took five for 33, prompting former North Down team-mate Robin Haire to tweet: "25 years ago W Dale would not have scored 41 runs in a season!"

Replacing them in Section Three next year will be Larne, who lost their 16th match out of 16 when they were bowled out for 74 by Laurelvale. Victoria will join them on Saturday if they fail to beat the same opponents or Dundrum beat Holywood.

If Victoria win, Armagh will be confirmed as champions of Section Two if they beat Drumaness with Saintfield the other team in promotion contention with just two matches remaining.

Armagh II are already assured of promotion from Junior League 5 and victory tonight at Wallace Park against Lisburn III will give them the title.

Junior League 6 has also been decided with Derriaghy III, as champions, and Carrickfergus III both promoted while Waringstown III will play in Junior League 2 next season but may need to win their last two games - the first tonight at already relegated Cregagh II - to win the title.

Meanwhile, there was double disappointment for Armagh as the club failed to follow up their Firsts' three cup triumphs.

Muckamore III won the Minor (Lindsay) Cup final on Saturday with a 53-runs victory at Eaton Park over Armagh II and Civil Service North V lifted the Minor Qualifying Cup after a nine-wickets victory over Armagh III at The Mall.

There was no love lost in the Sam Jeffrey final last weekend when Newbuildings piled up one of the biggest ever 50-over totals and largest margin of victory as they hammered understrength Creevedonnell.

In the first two-innings decider in the competition's history, Newbuildings had a first innings lead of 190 but chose not to follow on and duly amassed 456 for seven second time around with professional Peat Salmon scoring 201.

It left Creevedonnell, missing their overseas star Jean Symes, who had already returned home, the little matter of 647 to win! Reduced to nine players, they made 161 to give a final margin of 486 runs.

Belfast Telegraph


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