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Pained Botha bounces back as century puts Carrick top


By Ian Callender

Carrickfergus are the first outright leaders of the NCU Premier League as Pat Botha slammed Lisburn into submission, despite the visitors posting their highest total for two years.

Gionne Koopman batted through Lisburn's innings of 298 for five but Botha, still feeling the pain of conceding 61 runs from his seven overs, hit back with 106 from 66 balls - his second 50 came up in 21 - and fellow South African Dan Poulton scored 104 from 103 balls to ease Carrick to an astonishing victory with 19 balls to spare.

They are clear at the top because CIYMS lost to Muckamore at Moylena by 61 runs, despite chasing just 237. But once Chris Dougherty was dismissed for 63, the CI innings folded tamely, their last eight wickets falling for 55 runs, five of them taken by Kasigo Rapulana.

A total of 300 was posted only twice in the Premier League last season but that was matched on Saturday as North Down's 307 for six set up a huge 162 run win over Civil Service North.

Ruhan Pretorius is another South African who promises to be a danger to all opponents this season. And when he gets support, as he did from Alistair Shields on Saturday, North Down will win matches.

Pretorius only came to the middle in the 26th over, with his team 102-2, but 20 overs later his partnership was worth 172, Pretorius having scored 113 when Shields was out for 89.

Although Instonians and Waringstown were not in action, their players made up the Emerging Knights side which defeated a Leinster Development Squad by two wickets. Instonians captain Nikolai Smith and his namesake Nathan saw them to their target of 215 with almost seven overs to spare.

In the North West, Coleraine retained their two point advantage over Brigade but this time they are clear at the top of table after hammering first day winners Bready by 108 run. Scott Campbell scored 92 of the Bannsiders' 202 for six and professional Graham Hume and Steve Lazars followed up by taking four wickets each.

It was just as easy for Brigade who had 105 runs to spare after Johnny Thompson (65) David Barr (58) and Niall McDonnell (58) all posted half centuries and despite 76 by Richard McDaid, Drummond were bowled out for 169.

In the other game on Saturday, Richard Wyle top scored with 52 as Eglinton got off the mark with a 54 runs victory over Fox Lodge.

Saintfield: Leinster Lightning Bolts 214 (49 overs, Murphy 59, Grassi 47, Sheridan 31, Magee 2-34, Mitchell 2-35, Bunting 2-59) Emerging Knights 215-8 (43.1 overs, Nik Smith 91, Nelson 33, Nathan Smith 27 not out, Sheridan 3-46, Stanton 2-46, Tector 2-20).

Emerging Knights win by 2 wickets.

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