Johnny Morton (News Letter)
Exceptional centuries from Michael Gilmour and Max Burton helped Carrickfergus to 276-2 from 20 overs and a 171 run win in a rearranged Robinson Services Premier League game on The Mall against Armagh on Sunday afternoon.
Carrick were put into bat on a very green wicket as a result of the rain in the past week, but that didn’t stop the opening duo of Gilmour and Burton clobbering the ball to all parts, bringing their 50 partnership up in the 5th over.
The pair were dealing in boundaries, and Gilmour would be the first to reach his 50 in the 8th over to leave Carrick 86-0.
You always expect hitting like this to come to an end at some point, but neither batsman were making any mistakes and both were hitting it incredibly cleanly, and 17-year-old Burton joined his captain by bringing up his own half-century in the 10th over, with the 100 partnership surpassed by this point.
Burton went from 50 to 100 in no time, hitting six sixes and two fours after he reached the landmark to register a century, and he was caught off the bowling of Harry Doyle for 103 from 44 balls shortly after with the score on 186-1.
He is one to watch in the next few seasons, with his ability to play off his legs perhaps the most impressive element of his game on the day.
Gilmour continued to play aggressively alongside Pat Botha, who produced perhaps the shot of the day with a flat reverse sweep six before he departed for 15.
Skipper Gilmour then reached his century and smashed his way to 136* from 60 deliveries in an innings that included 10 fours and 13 sixes to help Carrick finish on 276-2.
It was an exceptional display of batting, with 26 sixes and 15 fours in total, and you will find it tough to witness a better display of clean, brutal hitting.
Armagh were always going to struggle in reply, and they found themselves 19-4 with Matthew McCord picking up two wickets.
A 36 run partnership between Stuart Lester and Doyle was the highlight of their innings, with the former top scoring with 32.
The result will bring Carrick back up to third in the league, while Armagh will be looking to gather anything they can from their remaining four games before resetting for next season in Section One.
Carrick will complete their season next weekend with a game against North Down on Friday before they host Muckamore on Saturday, while Armagh travel to Shaw’s Bridge to take on Instonians.