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2018 NCU Robinson Services Leagues Commence

Richard White (NCU PRO) &
Wylie McKinty
Robinson Services

The 2018 Northern Cricket Union Robinson Services Premier League commenced with an exciting first round of games on Saturday. Reigning champions Waringstown lost to Carrickfergus by 16 runs (DLS). Carrickfergus had set a total of 209 for 5 wickets, with Michael Gilmour contributing 67 runs and Jack Burton 47. Half centuries from Shaheen Khan (53) and captain Greg Thompson (63) could not prevent the away team taking the points at The Lawn as Matthew McCord (on debut) and Ryan Eagleson picked up 3 wickets each.

The game of the day was at The Green, Comber, where North Down defeated CIYMS by 3 runs. Peter Eakin scored 52 runs in a total of 169 recovering from being 56-6 as Allan Coulter (4-41) and CIYMS skipper Nigel Jones (3-13) made early in-roads. However, it was Ruhan Pretorious taking 5 wickets for 27 who inflicted the damage on CIYMS and despite 53 runs from Nigel Jones North Down prevailed for the win.

Armagh made a winning start to life in the Premier League with a comprehensive 70 run victory over Muckamore. Early batting conditions favoured the bowlers but Shadley van Schalkwyk looked a good signing with a classy 56, Gary Nicholl the pick of the bowlers with 3-21. In reply Muckamore were in early trouble as van Schalkwyk and Ben Mackey picked up 2 wickets but it was Neil Gelston with 3-21 who secured victory for the newcomers to the Premier League. Muckamore keeper Jamie Magowan battled for 32 runs in helpful bowling conditions.

The highest scoring game of the weekend was at Stormont where Instonians were 17 runs too strong for CSNI in a match that saw only 10 wickets fall all day at Stormont. The visitors posted 249 for 5 with major contributions from Nikolai Smith (53), James Shannon (75) and Andrew White (51). For CSNI Graeme McCarter picked up 2 wickets for 31. A fine innings of 90 by CSNI's new overseas pro Andre Malan supported by Aaron Wright (44) was not enough to overhaul the Instonians total. Shane Getkate picked up 2 wickets for 44 in the CSNI innings.

Saturday Results
Armagh beat Muckamore by 70 runs
Carrickfergus beat Waringstown by 16 runs (DLS)
Instonians beat CSNI by 17 runs
North Down beat CIYMS by 3 runs

Elsewhere in the Robinson Services Leagues the wet weather during recent weeks left many cricket grounds unplayable.

In the Robinson Services League Section 1 the only fixture played was at Wallace Park, where Holywood overcame Lisburn by 5 wickets. Lisburn had posted 137 batting first and like last weekend this total relied on David Simpson (39) and Mark Berry (42). For Holywood the wickets were shared around as Mark Adair, Kyle Walsh, Ron de Freitas and Jordan Wilson picked up 2 wickets apiece. Paddy Beverland 54no and Andrew Haire 39no overcame the loss of 5 early wickets for 44 as Holywood surpassed the Lisburn total in the 47th over.

Saturday Results
Bangor v Woodvale - Postponed
Derriaghy v Lurgan - Postponed
Downpatrick v Cregagh - Postponed
Laurelvale v Donacloney Mill - Postponed
Holywood beat Lisburn by 5 wickets

In the Robinson Services League Section 2 the only fixture played was at the Castle Grounds where Cliftonville Academy got off to winning start after their amalgamation over the winter. Victoria were only able to post a modest total of 63, veteran seamer Brian Anderson taking 3 wickets for 11 runs and Waqas Muhammed 2 for 10. Francis Collins finished 30no in the reply as Cliftonville Academy romped home by 9 wickets in only the 13th over.

Robinson Services League Section 2
Saturday Results
Cliftonville Academy beat Victoria by 9 wickets
Donaghadee v Larne - Postponed
Drumaness v Ballymena - Postponed
Dundrum v Belfast SuperKings - Postponed
Monaghan v Dunmurry, at St Macartans College - Postponed