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NCU Gardiner Awards - Award For Record Breaker

Robin Walsh

It was the first game of the season and Downpatrick were in deep trouble when young Ryan Smyth came to the middle. His side were three wickets down for just 10 runs and soon half the side were gone for 61.

But when  the innings ended, Smyth had written himself into the Northern Cricket Union record books with the highest score ever made in a senior league match ........ a remarkable 249 not out.  It meant a Downpatrick total of 359 for 6 and a runaway victory as they bowled out their stunned Bangor opponents for 165.

Photo right: Downpatrick's Ryan Smyth receives a Gardiner Brothers NCU League award from the company's Michael Warke and the president of the NCU Peter McMorran in recognition of his record breaking 249 not out against Bangor on the first day of the season.

The 21 year old former Saintfield player faced just 139 balls in amassing his undefeated 249 which included 28 fours and nine sixes. He scored 30 off the last over.

Smyth still has difficulty in believing his achievement but he now has a trophy to prove it's all true - one of the new Gardiner Brothers awards for players who score a century, take at least six wickets or perform a hat trick in the Premier or any of the three section of the Senior League.

He says: "I still find it hard to take in that I should be top of a list which includes many wonderful players. It was a day I'll obviously remember forever. It was a day that everything I did came off."

The previous record had been posted by Waringstown's South African professional Opus Pienaar who hit 244 against CIYMS in 2011.  The record had been held before that by future South African  Test player AB de Villiers with 233 not out - followed by 208 not out in his next match - during his stint with Carrick in. 2004.

Photo (c) Rowland White / PressEye