What a start to the 2021 NCU season. Only two games in the Lagan Valley Steels Cup beat the weather but one produced a last ball finish and the other an outstanding innings.

Lisburn scored 12 off the last over to beat Waringstown at The Lawn but it was out-of-favour Ireland Ireland international Stuart Thompson who has set the standard for batsmen with a whirlwind 73 not out from 37 balls as Civil Service North hammered an understrength Instonians by nine wickets.

Thompson hit six sixes and six fours at Shaw’s Bridge to hurry CSN to their victory target of 105 in less than 11 overs, dominating a second wicket stand of 95 with new Northern Knight Luke Georgeson who was content to watch from the other end , but still scored at a strike rate of 92.

The young Instonians attack, missing skipper Andrew White because of a family bereavement and Shane Getkate, who is in a bubble with Ireland Wolves ahead of this week’s series against Netherlands A, had no answer to Thompson who has scored a T20 international half-century.

He also took a wicket in three economical overs as the home side were restricted to 104 for five with Georgeson claiming two wickets, including top scorer Nicolai Smith.

The game at the Lawn was summed up by one observer as one which Waringstown managed to throw away despite having no right to win it.

Lisburn were the better team throughout with Boyd Rankin, on debut, making all home batsmen hop around and at the other end the gentler pace of David Simpson also earned two wickets as Waringstown, adapting to life after James Hall and Gary Kidd, totalled 127 for five. Graham Hume, the Warinsgtown debutant, was the class batsmen with 41 from 46 balls.

Two overs were lost to rain in the Lisburn reply but Robert Rankin with 46 from 32 balls gave them the perfect start as they chased 119.

Going into the last over over they still needed 12 and with the help of a run out, Kyle McCallan restricted them to five off the first four balls. Advantage Waringstown.

But then Glenn Halliday launched a six down the ground and cleverly pushed a single off the last ball to win the match.