With Bangor and Holywood engaged in the preliminary round of the Challenge Cup – both clubs were winners and progress to the First Round proper – Derriaghy went clear at the top of the Senior League Section 1 table, remaining unbeaten with a resounding 8 wicket win over Downpatrick at Queensway. Opening bowler Craig Lewis was the star performer with 5 for 20, showing the benefit of a gruelling winter training programme with a hostile spell of pace bowling. For the visitors Paul Tate top scored with 25 but a total of 40 all out was very little trouble to Matthew Jennings’ side who , despite being 8 for 2 early on, won comfortably in jig time.
Pre season favourites in most observers view Carrickfergus suffered a surprise defeat by the large margin of 83 runs at the hands of under strength Woodvale at Ballygomartin Road where the home side atoned for their abysmal display the previous week at Strangford Road. Indian professional Sujit Khalbor stole the show with an unbeaten century (100no) and he shared in an excellent and aggressive partnership of 181 with Neil Connelly (66). A final total of 235 for 5 had looked very unlikely after the opening 25 overs when tight Carrick bowling had restricted the score to 52 for 4. In reply the visitors began well with in form New Zealander Jamie Holmes making a rapid 60 out of 98 for 3 after only 20 overs but Holmes’s dismissal triggered a collapse with only Ivan Walker (26) putting up any resistance. 152 all out in the 37th over will be a severe disappointment to skipper Ian Parkhill whose message to his team may be “could do better”.
The only other game in the Section was a very high scoring affair at Pollock Park where the visitors, Cliftonville, amassed a huge total of 286 for 6 in their 50 overs almost entirely due to their 21 year old Indian professional Avadhoot Dandekar who finished unbeaten on 199 in an innings described by a spectator as a master class – next best to Dandekar was 14!! Astonishingly the home side replied with 287 for 4 with erstwhile captain Stephen Johnston making his maiden League century (132) ably supported by Stephen Chambers (60) and Neil Anderson (40no). Lurgan skipper Bruce Topping guided his side over the line with 23 not out while Dandekar completed a busy day at the office with 2 for 39.
With over 550 runs scored and only ten dismissals bowlers in the Section will not be relishing a visit to Pollock Park.
NEXT FIXTURES – MONDAY 5th MAY
Bangor v Woodvale
Carrickfergus v Derriaghy
Cliftonville v Downpatrick
Templepatrick v Lurgan
P W T L NR/V Pts Derriaghy 2 2 0 0 0 8 Carrickfergus 2 1 0 1 0 4 Cliftonville 2 1 0 1 0 4 Downpatrick 2 1 0 1 0 4 Lurgan 2 1 0 1 0 4 Woodvale 2 1 0 1 0 4 Dundrum 0 0 0 0 0 0 Templepatrick 0 0 0 0 0 0 Bangor 1 0 0 1 0 0 Holywood 1 0 0 1 0 0