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Woodvale Win The O'Neill's 2015 Ulster Shield To Maintain The NCU's Winning Streak

Barry Chambers

Farhan Saeed smashed an unbeaten 48 from just 27 balls as Woodvale beat Fox Lodge by five wickets to claim the O'Neills Ulster Shield in a pulsating encounter at Carrickfergus and maintain the NCU's domination of this competition. Saaed clubbed five sixes - including three in an over from Gareth Heywood - as Woodvale won with six balls to spare.

Saeed - who moved to the Ballygomartin side from North Down this season - shared in an unbroken sixth wicket stand of 63 with Mark Irwin (23*). The pair had come together in the 33rd over with 60 still needed, but Saeed's pyrotechnics ensured the win despite the high run rate required.

Irish U17 spinner Aaron Heywood claimed 4 for 37, but it wasn't enough as the Foxies attempted to become the first NW side to lift the trophy. David Connolly (49) had added 60 for the second wicket with professional Sujit Khalbor (46) as Woodvale laid the perfect platform for their 190 run target.

Earlier, a solid batting performance saw the Ballymagorry men make 189-8 as they went first, with Brian Allen hitting 6 fours and a six in his unbeaten 59. Jamie Huey (29), Marco Marais (23) Luke Hayes (22), and Jason Milligan (18) all got starts, while Sujit Kalbhor (2-17), Paul Robinson (2-21) and Timmy Browne (2-30) fared best with the ball for Woodvale.

Woodvale then continue the NCU domination of the Ulster Shield - the 11th time it's been won by the region since Larne's first triumph back in 2005.

Sunday 9th August at Middle Road, Carrickfergus CC
Fox Lodge 189-9 (40 overs, J Hoey 29, B Allen 59no, S Kalbhor 2-17, P Robinson 2-21)
Woodvale 193-5 (39 overs, D Connelly 49, S Khalbor 46, F Saeed 48no, A Heywood 4-37)
Woodvale beat Fox Lodge by 5 wickets