Even the rain couldn’t stop CIYMS yesterday as the defending Robinson Services Premier League Champions maintained their 100 per cent start.

The weather was actually more of a threat than Carrickfergus as CI eased to a five-wicket victory with almost 11 overs to spare.

The umpires could easily have interrupted the game before the minimum 20 overs were bowled but, just when the spectators thought the officials were conferring about the steady drizzle, it was actually only to order a change of ball.

That did lead to the loss of two late wickets, including Ryan Hunter for 44, but his fourth-wicket partnership of 89 with Chris Dougherty had made sure of another four points.

Dougherty would not be moved, finishing 55 not out from 62 balls with five fours and a six, after surviving an impressive opening spell from Arvind Shetty, who was rewarded with the big scalps of skipper Nigel Jones, who played on, and professional Obus Pienaar, caught behind.

The change of ball was not the reason for Jacob Mulder’s dismissal, he was run out by a deflection from bowler Ryan Eagleson, while backing up at the non-striker’s end.

With only 35 overs at their disposal, after a delayed start, Carrick never took full advantage — or were not allowed to by the strongest bowling attack in the league, still missing international Mark Adair, who could only watch on after rain ruined Ireland’s final training session ahead of today’s clash with Afghanistan at Stormont.

Jones struck twice in his first 14 balls, the second occasion hitting the stumps of Carrick professional Jacques Snyman, who was coming off the back of an unbeaten century in Friday night’s Lagan Valley Steels T20 clash.

Jamie Holmes, CJ van der Walt, Alex Haggan and Harry Warke all spent time in the middle but no one had a strike rate better than 85 as David Robinson, Pienaar, Mulder and Allen Coulter chipped away with wickets which kept CI in control.

Waringstown still have the chance to stay on level terms at the top but will have to wait for a second attempt to play Lisburn.

A persistent drizzle at Wallace Park led to an early tea and the captains agreed the outfield was too wet for a match later in the day.

The same decision was taken at Shaw’s Bridge in the Instonians v North Down game but Civil Service North got in enough overs — and scored enough runs — to claim victory against Muckamore at Moylena.

In-form Marc Ellison added another undefeated 64 to his tally this season to leave CSN well ahead of the par score when the rain, which had reduced the match to 37 overs, ended the visitors’ innings after just 24 overs.
Only two Premiership matches were completed in the North West but here too the leaders, Donemana, were able to extend their lead at the top with a third victory.

Without international Andy McBrine for a third successive Saturday, they dismissed Ballyspallen for 150 for a 46-run victory; Dwayne McGerrigle, who was playing for Ireland 20 years ago, still enjoying his club cricket finishing with five wickets.

Strabane were the other winners — for the first time this season — leaving Glendermott rooted to the bottom.
Only one run separated the teams at the end of a 32 overs game, with Chateris Peiris scoring 123 not out from 80 balls, with nine fours and 10 sixes to take Strabane’s to 226-6.

It looked all over bar the shouting when Glendermott slumped to 135-7 but another former international, Gordon Cooke, hit 61 from 36 balls with eight fours and a six as the home side just failed to pull off a thrilling victory.