Carrick, with van der Walt taking a wicket, beat Lisburn yesterday by four wickets to record their third win in the Premier League. But they are still just eight points off the bottom after Instonians, at the sixth attempt, won their first game of the season in emphatic style yesterday, beating Muckamore by 71 runs.

A second wicket stand of 125 between Nikolai Smith and Murray Commins was the platform for Instonians’ 242-7 and when they bowled out the visitors for 71, the week after posting the lowest Premier League total of the season they had – by a distance – the biggest margin of victory (in runs).

At the top of the table, CIYMS have made it halfway through the season without the hint of a setback. Civil Service were their latest victims, bowled out for 85 at Belmont with four wickets each for James Cameron-Dow and Trevor Britton. The champions were reduced to 23-3 in reply but Chris Dougherty and Jason van der Merwe eased them home without further loss in the 21st over.

Muckamore and CSN – and neutral watchers - will be hoping that next week’s Challenge Cup semi-finals, against the same opposition, will be rather closer contests.

North Down are the only team within touching distance after inflicting a fourth successive defeat on Waringstown who, despite an opening stand of 83 between Adam Dennison and James Hall – who overtook Garfield Harrison to become the Villagers’ greatest ever run-scorer - were restricted to 206-9.

Peter Eakin responded with 82, which included nine fours and two sixes, and they won by six wickets with six overs to spare.