Waringstown champagne put on ice as CI ruin party
The Gardiner Bros Premier League trophy was at The Lawn yesterday, ready to be presented to Waringstown if they won their final home match of the season. But CIYMS spoilt the party.
The Belmont side joined Waringstown at the top of the table with a five wickets victory over their hosts - the Villagers' first defeat in 14 matches - but while CI's season ends here, Waringstown have one more league game to play, and they have only to avoid defeat by Lisburn, the basement side, to clinch the title. It should only be party delayed.
But yesterday was CI's day, bouncing back from Saturday's defeat at North Down with a superb bowling performance to restrict the leaders to 175 for five. Their chase was so comfortable that the only worry was if they had reached their target quickly enough to overtake Waringstown on run rate.
Exactly 40 overs was their target, but it was to be five balls later before Jacob Mulder hit the winning runs, and unofficial calculations last night left them 0.013 runs behind, still close enough to ensure a Lisburn win on Saturday week would bring the trophy to Belmont. And they will have hope because Waringstown had only three wickets to spare when beating Lisburn on Saturday.
Professional Matt McGillivray ensured against a second successive late order collapse by CIYMS yesterday - they lost their last nine wickets for 35 runs at Comber - finishing 28 not out, but there was some doubt that he should even have been there at the end.
Waringstown thought they had him run-out at the non-striker's end with still 35 runs needed, but it was Ryan Hunter who was finally given out, caught behind off the same delivery, and McGillivray and Jason van der Merwe added 34 for the fifth wicket to tie the scores before the latter was caught off Phil Eaglestone.
It was Eaglestone who had dragged Waringstown back into the game with the wickets of Chris Dougherty and Nigel Jones in the space of three balls after CI had reached 114 for one in the 27th over.
After Saturday's collapse, there must have been a certain amount of trepidation in the CI dressing room and Waringstown excitement in the middle, but this time the bowler's efforts were rewarded and half centuries by Lee Nelson and Marcus McClean (52 from 59 balls with three sixes) counted for nothing.
The lead in the North West has changed hands after previously unbeaten Donemana were bowled out for 38 by Bready on Saturday, but the Magheramason side were unable to follow-up yesterday, losing to Brigade by three wickets.
The 22 points victory leaves the Beechgrove side top of table with a seven points advantage and 22.5 clear of Coleraine, but both their rivals have two games to play while Brigade have just one - against Coleraine on Saturday week.
Bready looked good for a second successive upset thanks to David Rankin's 74 and skipper David Scanlon's 52 had helped them to 209-9 in their 50 overs yesterday, and after 21 overs Brigade were 88 for four. But Johnny Thompson and Gareth McKeegan put on 83 for the fifth wicket and, despite Scanlon coming back to take three more wickets, McKeegan and Johnny Robinson inched Brigade home with a unbroken stand of 32.
It was an almost exact repeat of Brigade's performance on Saturday as they were 80 for seven chasing Eglinton's 145 and it needed Nick Donnell (37) and Ryan Macbeth (13 not out) to rescue them and Mark Simpson to see them home to a two wickets victory.
Donemana are still title favourites with games against Drummond and Fox Lodge to come, but they will quickly want to forget Saturday's aberration with the bat when Scanlon took five wickets to reduce them to 17 for six. Even Junior McBrine (19 not out) could not get them out of that mess.
Gardiner Bros Premier League
The Lawn: Waringstown 175-7 (50 overs, L Nelson 52, M McClean 52, J Hall 29; N Jones 2-24, M McGillivray 2-28, T Britton 2-34) CIYMS 179-5 (40.5 overs, C Dougherty 59, M McGillivray 28 not out, N Jones 27, J Matchett 21; P Eaglestone 3-28). CIYMS won by 5 wickets
Long's SuperValu Premiership
Beechgrove: Bready 209-9 (50 overs, D Rankin 74, D Scanlon 52, R Kelly 23; D Barr 3-37, N Donnell 2-25) Brigade 210-7 (42 overs, J Thompson 58, G McKeegan 53 not out, N McDonnell 25; D Scanlon 4-46). Brigade won by 3 wickets.