Cricket: Haire makes hay while the sun shines
Ballymena must be sick of the sight of North Down. Last month, in the Challenge Cup, the Comber side racked up 340 at Eaton Park.
On Saturday, in the Ulster Bank Premier League, North Down piled up 367 for eight with Ryan Haire scoring 158.
Haire, who hit 18 fours and eight sixes, shared a second wicket stand of 261 with Andrew Sutherland who made a modest 119.
North Down‘s victory — Ballymena were 15 for four and all out for 96 — keeps them two points behind joint leaders Waringstown and Lisburn who defeated Lurgan and Carrickfergus respectively.
The Villagers, and James Hall (78 not out) and Kyle McCallan (50) in particular, were grateful for four dropped chances of the simplest variety as they chased down the basement side’s 205 for eight with just 11 balls but seven wickets to spare. Young Cameron Grieve batted for all but three balls of the Lurgan innings for his 55.
An unbeaten third wicket stand of 105 between Yasas Tillakaratne and Greg Thompson eased Lisburn to victory at Wallace Park, passing Carrick’s total of 169 for eight in the 32nd over and keeping their opponents in mid-table.
Instonians hauled themselves back into title contention, however, with a thrilling nine runs win over morning co-leaders CIYMS. Internationals Rory McCann and Andrew White both scored centuries in the Shaw’s Bridge side’s 304 for five but although Barry Cooper overhauled them both with 107, CI needing 50 off the last seven overs with seven wickets left, scored only 40.
Downpatrick left Civil Service North in the second relegation place with a three wickets win at The Meadow, Aaron Ferris and Michael Carson with an unbeaten stand of 51 seeing them home with 16 balls to spare.