David Holmes (Newsletter)
Much was made of the game that didn’t take place at the weekend. Instonians had sought to postpone the game on Friday evening but Carrickfergus travelled on Saturday morning for the scheduled 11am start.
The umpires arrived at Shaw’s Bridge to find the pitch waterlogged and had no alternative but to call the game off.
Lisburn the one side detached at the bottom of the table will surely never have a better chance of an upset than at The Green and to be fair they had more than one bite at the cherry.
The opening spell of Mark Berry and David Simpson reduced North Down to 43-3. If that wasn’t enough then by the 23rd over it was 70-5, with Danny Graham, Ally Shields, Ruhan Pretorius and Peter Eakin all back in the hutch.
Seemingly standing alone against the tide was Nathan Burns; he and Stuart Nelson then added 67, when both fell within a few balls of each other advantage Lisburn again 138-7.
Burns top scored with 85 from 111 balls, then Carl Robinson (37) and Peter Davison (24) pushed the final total to 210, not usually a winning number at Comber.
As Gionne Koopman (40) and Robert Rankin (69) compiled a partnership of 112 in less than 24 overs for the first wicket the result seemed obvious, even the loss of both plus captain Adam Berry merely seemed to be delaying the inevitable.
Neil Doak and Glenn Halliday righted the ship; with 6 overs to go and 7 wickets in hand Lisburn needed a further 25 runs, regulation usually. Cue self-destruct button.
Pretorius and Eakin with three wickets each pulled it out of the fire enabling North Down to remain in the title hunt, staggeringly only 16 runs came in those six overs as Lisburn finished short on 202-9.
Waringstown were certainly not in any mood to let things slide at The Lawn against a resurgent Muckamore. Shaheen Khan and Kyle McCallan each took three wickets in a disciplined bowling display which saw the visitors dispatched for 123 in less than 40 overs.
Jamie Magowan (53) top scored and but for his partnership of 45 with Ifty Hussain (21) things would have been worse. Khan with 44 and James McCollum made 37 as Waringstown wrapped it up in 29 overs for the loss of five wickets.
In the final game Chris Dougherty 60 from 101 balls and Matt McGillivray 59 not out from 71 provided the bulk of CIYMS total of 205 against CSNI. Four wickets here for Ben Adair. Apart from Graeme McCarter’s 42 the CSNI batting struggled.
Tight bowling spells all round but probably the pick was Irish international Jacob Mulder with 3-26 with the home side recording a 50-run win.