Thompson inspires Waringstown success
It's first blood to Waringstown in the battle of the NCU's big two with victory in last night's Lagan Valley Steels T20 Cup clash at Belmont by five wickets.
Admittedly it was a vastly under-strength CI side, missing no fewer than six first-choice players, while Waringstown were missing only Lee Nelson and Gary Kidd. But it was a familiar name who inflicted the league champions' first defeat since Waringstown won last year's Challenge Cup semi-final.
Greg Thompson, who scored the little matter of 302 runs last weekend, added another 57 to that tally, from 37 balls, to take his side to within four runs of victory. Four balls later, it was all over with two overs to spare.
James McCollum interrupted his Ireland commitments to play for Waringstown - he was bowled by Nigel Jones for one - but Cricket Ireland prevented Mark Adair turning out for CI.
Civil Service North won the Group B game against Instonians at a canter, Mark Ellison and Andre Malan scoring all 126 runs.
Of much more importance for the losers last night is tomorrow's Robinson Services Premier League action and CI will welcome back Ryan Hunter, John Matchett and David Robinson for the home game against Carrickfergus as they bid to extend their winning run to 17 games.
On Sunday, Nikolai Smith will captain an Emerging Knights squad in their first game of the season, against Lightning Bolts in College Park. It's a side missing schoolboys because of exam commitments but includes seasonal newcomers in Marcus O'Riordan and CJ van der Walt, plus last year's Section Two Player of the Year, Ross Bryans of Templepatrick.
Emerging Knights squad: N Smith (Instonians, capt), A Adey (Muckamore), R Bryans (Templepatrick), S Gordon (Muckamore), M McCord (Carrickfergus), J Matchett (CIYMS), J Magee (Instonians), J Magowan (North Down), J Mulder (CIYMS), M O'Riordan (Muckamore), M Topping (CSN), CJ van der Walt (Carrickfergus).
Last night's summaries: Belmont: CIYMS 118-9 (O Pienaar 30, C Dougherty 25, J Cameron-Dow 25; H Azam 5-9, P Eaglestone 2-22) Waringstown 119-5 (18 overs, G Thompson 57, A Dennison 25, M McClean 20 not out; J Cameron-Dow 2-14). Waringstown won by 5 wickets.
Shaw's Bridge: Instonians 125-9 (S Getkate 39, N Smith 39; A Malan 3-19, B Adair 2-15, G Wilson 2-18) Civil Service North 126-0 (16.3 overs, A Malan 61 not out, M Ellison 60 not out). Civil Service North won by 10 wickets.
FIXTURES - Tonight (6.15pm): Lagan Valley Steels T20 Cup: Carrickfergus v Lisburn, North Down v Muckamore
Tomorrow (1pm): Robinson Services Premier League: CIYMS v Carrickfergus, Instonians v North Down, Lisburn v Waringstown (12.30pm), Muckamore v Civil Service North
Section One: Ballymena v Downpatrick, Derriaghy v Bangor, Donaghcloney Mill v Woodvale, Holywood v Cregagh, Templepatrick v Armagh. Sunday: Derriaghy v Ballymena, Downpatrick v Cregagh
GMcG Junior Cup first round: Belfast Superkings v Ards, Civil Service II v Instonians II (Osborne Park), Donaghadee v Victoria (11am), Larne v Carrickfergus II 12 noon), Laurelvale v Cliftonville Academy, Saintfield v Dundrum