RAIN continued to ruin the Royal Liver Irish Cup yesterday, with all five games in Dublin interrupted. But two NCU clubs were not complaining. Lisburn and Muckamore both won bowl-outs yesterday to knock match favourites Phoenix and The Hills out of the competition on their own ground.
Muckamore at least started their game against The Hills at Milverton but after the visitors slumped to 70 for four in 23 overs, the rain became so heavy that the teams could not even get out again for a 10-overs thrash. The bowl-out ended up as shot-shy as some World Cup soccer matches, with a Philip Dewes delivery proving the match-winner, the only successful hit in 20 attempts.
Lisburn could not even start their game at Phoenix Park and won the bowl-out 2-0 to earn a trip to Rush who triumphed in a 10-over game at home to Cliftonville. It was a big disappointment for the Greenisland side were expected to make a serious challenge to repeat last year's achievement of reaching the final. Rush scored 83 for five in their 10 overs and when Johnny Terrett took 13 off the first over Cliftonville were looking good. But the opener was run out in the second over, Michael Turkington was bowled for one in the same over and when Kyle McCallan, the captain, went in the next, the youngsters could not retrieve the situation and they were 10 runs short when the overs ran out. Lisburn though, will be confident of succeeding in a full match.
Holders North County made no mistake in a 10-overs game, beating Strabane by 35 runs and will meet Donemana in the match of the second round next Saturday.
Waringstown will also have an attractive game against Derry Journal League champions Brigade after beating Railway Union at the Lawn by 21 runs as Andrew Cousins continued his free-scoring form with another 66. Instonians gained revenge on Fox Lodge to reach the last 16 with a six wickets victory at Ballymagorry to leave Belfast Harlequins as the day's only other losers from the NCU. Pembroke made 122 for three in the 32 overs of play before the rain and then won the bowl-out 3-2, with Wayne Horwood and David Heaney the men on target for the visitors.
Revised second round draw: Merrion v Pembroke, North County v Donemana, Instonians v Downpatrick, Waringstown v Brigade, Rush v Lisburn, Limavady v Eglinton, Muckamore v Leinster, Malahide v CYM. Games to be played next Saturday.