STUART Thompson’s 11th hour call-up to the Ireland squad for their 18-day stay in England could prove a fatal blow to Civil Service North’s hopes of making an impact in this year’s T20 League Cup.

Thompson’s inclusion brings the Ireland party up to 22 for their preparations in the bio-secure Ageas Bowl, Southampton, ahead of the three-match one-day international series against the world champions and, with new team-mate Gary Wilson already in the squad, CSN were fully exposed on Saturday by NCU champions CIYMS.

Ross Adair, the other new arrival at Stormont, top scored with 30 from 24 balls (three fours and two sixes) but after he was spectacularly caught by Jacob Mulder on the boundary — the fielder had taken a relay catch from John Matchett, palmed it up and held the rebound — it was a tame capitulation as they finished on 117-7, in reply to the home side’s 146-4.

Matchett scored 30 of CI’s first wicket stand of 48 and the top five all reached 20, including Mulder who is set to be the regular No 3, at least until Mark Adair returns from international duty, with Nigel Jones dropping down to No 5. The skipper was still the fastest scorer with 17 from nine balls.

Thomson was called up by Ireland because one of the four Hampshire players — making up numbers for the training camp and Wednesday’s intra-squad practice game — was injured and it was too late for the county to provide a replacement. Thompson had been Covid-19 tested and was cleared to travel with the squad on Saturday.

That left Shane Getkate as the only Ireland contracted player at home and he helped Instonians to a thrilling three runs win over Waringstown at The Lawn.

Getkate took the wickets of Adam Dennison and Lee Nelson, the latter for 32 from the first ball of the 19th over with Waringstown needing 19 to win.

Greg Thompson and Marcus McClean took nine off the over but James Hunter was the final over hero restricting the pair to six with Thompson failing to hit the final delivery when a boundary would have won the match.

Aditya Adey scored 51 and took 1-16 in his four overs on his North Down debut to ensure a comfortable eight wickets victory against Carrickfergus at The Green.

The visitors, including Scotland international George Munsey, who was caught on the mid-wicket boundary for 10, were restricted to 104-8 and Adey, who shared a second wicket stand of 78 with his captain Alistair Shields, won the match and brought up his 50 with his first six.

Woodvale, meanwhile, stormed back into the top flight with a 19 runs win over Lisburn at Wallace Park.
Evergreen Wayne Horwood hit 44 from 35 balls in the promoted side’s 130-6 and Pavan Karthik then took three wickets as Lisburn slumped to 33-5.

One level down, Ballymena and Saintfield played out the first tie of the season when Saintfield could only run two from the last ball.

In the Bowl, there was a remarkable performance by Victoria’s Darren Vennard, who scored 34 of his side’s all out total of 38. There were seven ducks plus a nought not out! Vennard then took two wickets but Cooke Collegians won by seven wickets.