INSTONIANS II have begun their defence of the Junior Cup with an impressive batting performance to ease into this year’s quarter-finals.

Tom Luke led the way with 108 when the Shaw’s Bridge side travelled to Donaghadee and posted 311-7, the highest score of the competition so far. He received good support from Michael Bentley and skipper Michael Warke with 47 and 42 respectively and Umar Minhas with three wickets was the most successful bowler as Dee were bowled out for 221, Jordan McCluskey top scoring for the home side with 67.

In the quarter-finals on Saturday week they will away to Carrickfergus II who passed Dunmurry’s 228 for the loss of six wickets, Jack Burton hitting 60 in the successful chase. A strong Carrick side also fielded Matty McCord who took 3-36.

Cliftonville Academy produced arguably the best performance of the second round to beat Waringstown II by 120 runs! Matthew Palmer and Davy Menaul both scored 60s as the newly amalgamated club totalled 278-4 and Waqas Mohammad then ripped through the Villagers batting to finish with 6-25, comfortably the best bowling of the day.

Next up for the winners is an away game against Ards who, by contrast, won the closest match of the day, by two wickets, chasing Drumaness’s 148.

Monaghan found themselves in the second round because CIYMS fielded an ineligible player in the first, but Ballymena proved much too strong at Eaton Park, winning by 99 runs. It was a family affair as Michael Glass and sons Sam and John equally shared nine of the wickets as the visitors were dismissed for 146 after John had dominated the batting, scoring 116 in the Braidmen’s 243-8.

The next opponents are Templepatrick who, in the contest between last year’s beaten semi-finalists, bowled out Saintfield for 86 and won by six wickets.

Dundrum will be at home to Lisburn II in the remaining quarter-final after beating Victoria by eight wickets, Jac Woods finishing 56 not out, while Lisburn were 51 runs too good for Muckamore II at Moylena with golden oldie Michael Turkington scoring an undefeated 77 for the winners in their 227-7.

The second round of the Minor (Lindsay) Cup will be completed this Saturday when Donaghadee II host Ballymena III.
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The Ulster Plate, the competition between the top eight 2nd XI teams in both the North West and NCU gets under way on Sunday with, as usual, four games in each of the two unions.

Holders CIYMS II are away to Bonds Glen II but the match of the round takes place at Beechgrove between Brigade II and Waringstown II, a repeat of last year’s quarter-final which the home side won by seven wickets on their way to the final.

The Villagers are one of only two teams still unbeaten in Junior League One – although they have played only one match! – leaving Civil Service North II as the early leaders. The Stormont side start at home to Bready II, the 2016 winners.

First round draw: Muckamore II v Eglinton II, Civil Service North II v Bready II, Carrickfergus II v Fox Lodge II, Cliftonville Academy II v Donemana II, Ardmore II v Lisburn II, Brigade II v Waringstown II, Bonds Glen II v CIYMS II, Coleraine II v North Down II.