WHILE CIYMS go marching on at the top of the Robinson Services Premier League table, at the other end Instonians have a week to prepare for one of the most important games in their recent history.

The famous Shaw’s Bridge club – who won the league title by 12 points just three years ago – have reached July without a single league win and next Saturday host Muckamore, the team immediately above them. A sixth defeat of the season would leave them eight points (two wins) adrift at the bottom.

Their latest loss came at Lisburn who were not even in the Premier League last season but last year’s Section One champions have now won half of their first six games back in the big time with evergreen David Simpson the star of Saturday’s crushing eight wickets victory.

Simpson finished with 5-18 but bowled all five victims in a 16-ball spell without conceding a run in overs 11 to 15 as Instonians collapsed from 28-3 to 29-8. Their total of 61 is comfortably the lowest of the season – 133 the previous worst in the Premier League – and saw only two batsman reach double figures and there were six ducks. It was the first time Instonians had failed to reach three figures since 2013 when they totalled 98 against Waringstown.

Worryingly for Andrew White’s side, Muckamore posted a respectable 184 against CIYMS on Saturday, with Neil Gill’s 29 adding to Aditya Adey and Jamie Rogers 41 before the skipper was the sixth victim of Obus Pienaar. The visitors had the satisfaction of two wickets in reply, but no more as Nigel Jones hit 76 not out from 46 balls with eight sixes, CI powering home in the 28th over!

In the other two Premier League games on Saturday, Civil Service North joined Waringstown in third place with a three wickets win at The Lawn as North Down’s fifth victory, by seven wickets against Carrickfergus, left them clear in second.

CSN, chasing 176, were 109-1 but contrived to lose six wickets for 46 before former Waringstown player Morgan Topping saw them home with 29 not out.