Disappointment for NCU sides in Irish Cup
Ian Callender (Belfast Telegraph)
Waringstown will continue their defence of their Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup with a repeat of last year's semi final, away to North West league champions Brigade, but they
CIYMS, Derriaghy and North Down, all firm favourites to progress, duly won on Saturday, while Civil Service North will now have home advantage against Phoenix, on Sunday week, after their game in Dublin was abandoned, the only casualty of first round day.
Taimur Khan became the first bowler to take eight wickets in an Irish Cup tie as CI bowled out Bonds Glen for 49 while former Club North Down needed only 23 overs to pass Fox Lodge's 142 and Derriaghy had a five wickets win after bowling out Cork County for 96.
But of the rest it was a Leinster clean sweep as Lisburn, Instonians, Ballymena all lost at home with the former the most devastated, losing off the penultimate ball to 2009 winners Leinster, as they attempted to defend 156 at Wallace Park.
Ballymena could not get past Merrion the reigning Leinster Cup holders for whom John Anderson, the newest face in the Ireland A side top scored with 67.
His representative captain, James Shannon was the only one to stand up to the YMCA attack at Shaw's Bridge in another disappointing batting display by Instonians as last year's beaten finalists made a tame exit.
Shannon scored 62 but until skipper Eugene Moleon, batting at No 7, hit the only six of the innings, no-one else reached double figures as a series of poor strokes gifted wickets to a YM side which did not need Trent Johnston's bowling.
It will be another two weeks before the veteran Ireland pace man will have the boots on again, as he builds up his fitness, but there is nothing wrong with his batting at club level. He may not have scored an international half century for more than two years but he finished 66 not out as YM, now one of the favourites to win the cup, reached their target of 148 for the loss of just four wickets with more than 17 overs to spare. Another Ireland international, Albert van der Merwe put on 78 with Johnston for the fifth wicket and former captain Alan Lewis was not even required to bat.
The holders did not have it all their own way against Strabane at The Lawn as Faisal Iqbal signed off as Strabane professional – after his call-up to the Pakistan squad for their tour of Sri Lanka – with an unbeaten 63 out of 177.
Iqbal then took three wickets to reduce Waringstown to 122 for six but when his overs ran out, the back-up wasn't there and Andrew Cousins and Davy Dawson added 41 for the seventh wicket and Gary Kidd, who had earlier taken four wickets, then stayed with Dawson to see the home side home.
In the Ulster Bank League Instonians won their first game of the season on Sunday in a rain-ruined clash against Carrickfergus at Shaw's Bridge. Rory McCann (82) and James Shannon (77) put on 139 for the second wicket as the home side scored 270. It proved more than enough as Carrick could manage only 58 for four in the 22 overs before rain ended the match in an 83 runs D/L victory for Inst.
Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup second round draw: Brigade v Waringstown, The Hills v CIYMS, Coleraine v Donemana, Leinster v Railway Union, Phoenix or Civil Service North v Derriaghy, Terenure v YMCA, Merrion v Clontarf, North County v North Down. Games to be played on Saturday June 9.