Six of the best
Those with long memories may recall the last time that six NCU sides made the second round of the Irish Senior Cup - but Saturday was without doubt one the finest overall performances in recent history.
Pride of place must surely go to CIYMS away to North County. The home side posted an impressive 262-7 - with the in-form Eddie Richardson making 53 not out, with two wickets each for Matt McGillivray, Trevor Britton and Jason van der Merwe.
In reply, it was John Matchett who set the pace at the top of the order with a rapid 93. As things got a little tight, it proved there was no better man to see it home than the experienced skipper Nigel Jones with 64 not out.
Perhaps the most impressive result was at Wallace Park where Lisburn cruised to victory over Eglinton with almost 15 overs to spare. Professional Gionne Koopman proved what an asset he is turning into for the club taking 3 for 24.
He then followed up with another unbeaten century, this time 102 from 107 balls containing 11 fours.
Skipper Adam Berry belted a rapid 50 from 31 balls with six fours and two maximums.
Muckamore made home advantage count against Ardmore despite Rameez Alam’s 77 built on eight fours and one six off 106 balls). Decker Curry went first ball.
A 108-run unbeaten partnership between Kasigo Rapulana (52) and Ryan Haire - with 66 off 60 balls after five fours and three sixes - eased the Moylena side across the line, with seven wickets the margin.
CSNI found no respite in Dublin as they were bowled out for 98, losing by eight wickets to The Hills.
North Down’s victory over Fox Lodge wrapped up the weekend progress - with Waringstown and Instonians having each received byes thanks to last season’s performances ensuring six clubs from the NCU in the next stage.
A familiar face took the ‘man-of-the-match’ honours in the first-round tie of the Arthur J Gallagher Challenge Cup between Lisburn and Armagh.
Former Ulster Rugby coach Neil Doak rolled back the years in making an unbeaten 33 not out to follow on from his 2-18 figures with the ball.
After electing to bat, Armagh were blitzed by opening bowlers David Simpson and Richard McConkey, who replaced the injured Mark Berry after three balls of his first over.
Each took three wickets to leave the visitors at 82-9, before a last-wicket partnership of 37 took them to 119, with Andrew Hoey top-scoring on 22.
Armagh made Lisburn work for the win with Alan Whitcroft picking up 2-28 whilst reducing the hosts to 69-4 before Doak and Simpson settled any nerves with a 51-run partnership.