Northern Knights’ Under14’s, representing Belfast, finished in second place in this year’s Triangular Tournament at Prestwick CC, narrowly losing out on Net Run Rate to holders Edinburgh after all three competing teams won a game each.
After rain wiped out the morning’s play on Monday, play was possible in the afternoon. It was decided that rather than abandon the opening Glasgow v Edinburgh match, the Edinburgh v Belfast match should be reduced to allow a shorter match than the usual 30 over format between the two Scottish teams to take place. A 12 over match was arranged, with Edinburgh finishing 4 runs short of Glasgow’s total of 69.
The time remaining allowed Belfast and Edinburgh to play a 15 over match, with Edinburgh batting first and setting Belfast a challenging 103 run target. They got off to flying start with skipper Matthew Humphreys and Michael Waite taking 32 runs off the first 4 overs, but when both were dismissed things slowed up considerably, with only 12 runs coming off the next 4 overs. Belfast managed only two boundaries in the last 11 overs, and fell short, finishing on 90 for 7 at the end of their 15 overs.
The sun shone on Tuesday morning, and Belfast won the toss and batted in perfect conditions. Michael Humphreys and Shane Burke got them off to a great start, with an opening stand of 69 in 16 overs before Humphries was the first to go for 26. Waringtown’s Burke continued to plunder the Glasgow bowling, and scored a fine fifty before his mandatory retirement under the competition rules, his innings of 53 containing seven 4’s and a 6.
The scoring rate slowed up a little as Belfast lost 3 further wickets, but an unbroken partnership of 29 runs in the last 4 overs between Adam Wylie and Josh Drain saw them reach a very respectable total of 157 in their 30 overs. After a 43 run opening partnership, spinners Humphries and Wylie took three quick wickets, but a 46 run 4th wicket partnership then put Glasgow back on course.
At 95 for 3 off 21 overs, the game was in the balance until Shane Burke and Thomas Johnston dismissed both batsmen in successive overs. The task in the end was too much for them, as they were all out for 138 in the 29th over.
This left all three teams with one win each, but Edinburgh lifted the cup, having a slightly better Net Run Rate over the tournament then Belfast.
Coach Callum Atkinson commented, “It was great to be involved in a competition that I had the privilege of playing in as a young cricketer myself. This competition is now a substitute for the old Lord’s Taverners tour which handed a lot of opportunities to young cricketers who didn’t make other representative squads. After the loss of the Taverners competition, it is great that we can still offer this tour to our Junior Knights.
"We unfortunately lost our first match after an early voyage to Scotland on Monday morning but were determined to put it right on the Tuesday. With a good rest under our belts and a longer format on the Tuesday the boys delivered a solid performance. Shane Burke impressed with 53 not out and built partnerships with the top and middle order that could progress the innings along positively. In the second innings the boys knew we had to restrict Glasgow to 128. Unfortunately we bowled too many extras which were worth 2 runs and therefore Glasgow surpassed the 128. At this stage the boys showed good character and bowled Glasgow out for 138.
"Overall a great experience for the team who gelled well together on and off the pitch. This was another great opportunity for our Under 14 cricketers to challenge themselves against the best in Scotland”
The squad finished the short tour with a visit to Ayr CC to watch a couple of hours of the Ireland v Scotland U15 International, with some of the players who had been on this tour in past couple of years taking part.
Glasgow 69/4 beat Edinburgh 65/5 by 4 runs (12 over match)
Edinburgh 102/2 beat Belfast 90/7 (M Waite 16, M Humphries 15, B Beattie 14) by 12 runs (15 over match)
Belfast 157/5 (30 overs; S Burke 53 retired, M Humphreys 26, A Wylie 16*, J Drain 14*) beat Glasgow 138 (28.4 overs; M Humphreys 2-16) by 19 runs
Team W L Pts For Against NRR
Edinburgh 1 1 2 167 (27) 159 (27) + 0.296
Belfast 1 1 2 247 (45) 240 (45) + 0.156
Glasgow 1 1 2 207 (42) 222 (42) - 0.357
Belfast squad :