David Holmes (Newsletter)
Instonians IIís went one better than their senior counterparts as captain Michael Warke lifted the GMcG NCU Junior Cup aloft at Moylena on Saturday evening; sealing a 53-run victory over CSNI
On reflection, perhaps it was a good toss for the Warke to lose as his opposite number Wayne Horwood had no hesitation in inviting him to bat.
Instonians took control in the early exchanges as young Ollie Metcalfe continued in the form he displayed the previous day when the club had secured the U15ís Graham Cup.
When Melcalfe chipped to midwicket he had made 33 out of the first 48 runs and we were still only in the 8th over. When Warke was bowled soon after, Richard McCarthy and Matthew Lightbody set about repairing the damage although the run rate barely dipped.
Whilst the Instonians side relied heavily on the youth element in their line-up it was the veterans of CSNI who put the brakes on the free scoring Old Boys.
Colin Andrew had Lightbody caught at cover point and after 18 overs Instonians were 100-3. Next to go was McCarthy (27) who certainly seemed disappointed to be given lbw to the same bowler.
At hallway it was 131-4, but immediately after, Horwood having bowled a loose opening couple of overs returned to take the first of his four wickets. By the time he picked up his third courtesy of a caught and bowled Instonians were 157 -7 with still 19 overs to bat.
James Hunter top scored with 39 and Eugene Moleon faced 42 balls in making 26 and found an ally in Tommy Luke who ensured the innings went to the 49th over. Horwood finished with 4-40 and Andrews 3-35.
Richard White gave Instonians the perfect start as Trevor Dalzell nicked the first ball of the reply to keeper Metcalfe, then Moleon took the catch off the same bowler to leave CSNI 12-2 after 5 overs.
Archie Johnston did his bit to hold the innings together but his 40 off more than 100 deliveries was only going to succeed if someone at the other end was playing the shots. The problem was wickets were falling at regular intervals.
The hero for Instonians turned out to be Tommy Luke and when he had Horwood caught and bowled and James McKinney next ball the contest was as good as done.
Luke took 4-31 to win the Man of the match award and two quick wickets for Moleon left CSNI merely playing out the overs, accepting the inevitable.