Waringstown won the Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup final on Sunday at a rain soaked Comber.
In many ways the result was anticlimactic in that play was washed out after 29 overs of the villagers reply with 113 runs required in 21 overs to chase down Instonians 237 for 8; but good enough for a 21 run victory on Duckworth Lewis.
In the first all Northern Cricket Union final since 1991 Waringstown also became the first NCU winners since North Down in 1995. Waringstown captain and former Irish international Kyle McCallan pronounced it as his proudest day as a club cricketer having waited 10 years to appear on the ultimate stage since the 2001 final with Cliftonville; ironically that game being hosted at Waringstown’s home ground The Lawn.
With rain forecast to intervene the toss was going to be vital and McCallan had no hesitation in asking Instonians to bat first, figuring that his side could then control their destiny in a reduced overs game.
Instonians lost the prolific Rory McCann in only the second over, but James Shannon batted with authority and the Old Boys were well placed at 97 for 2 off 20 overs, with both he and Irish international Andrew White at the crease.
The turning point came in the 23rd over when Shannon just after reaching 50 was bowled by Gary Kidd. In all he faced 57 balls striking 5 fours and 2 sixes, four balls later it was 111 for 4 as Kidd this time took the catch off McCallan to remove Ben Wylie.
The Waringstown slow bowlers then took a stranglehold on the game as Inst captain Eugene Moleon then scored only 8 from 40 balls faced before hitting a beautiful straight six only to be bowled by Kidd next ball.
Neil Hamilton provided much needed impetus as he dominated a stand of 62 with White scoring 44 from 25 balls with 5 fours and 2 sixes. White was out for a top scoring 76 in the penultimate over, with 5 boundaries.
Despite 81 coming from the last 10 overs a score of 237 for 8 always looked to be 20 to 30 below a par score.
With rain threatening Moleon and Hamilton gave little away in their opening spell and after 10 overs Waringstown had only 19 on the board and were behind the clock. A superb piece of fielding by James Shannon ran out James Hall but brought Lee Nelson to the wicket.
Nelson and Simon Harrison took the game away from Instonians with a superb 99 run partnership for the second wicket in little more than 16 overs. McCallan had barely time to get to the middle facing 3 balls for the umpires took the players off.
Simon Harrison deservedly won the man of the match award for an excellent unbeaten 68 from 97 balls with 3 sixes and 5 fours.
Sunday 4th September – Comber, North Down CC
Instonians 237-8 (J Shannon 51, A White 76, N Hamilton 44, G Kidd 2-35, K McCallan 2-39)
Waringstown 125-2 (29 overs, S Harrison 68no, L Nelson 36)
Waringstown beat Instonians by 21 runs (D/L)
(DL par score 104 in 29 overs)