Cliftonville took a clear 4 point lead at the top of the table with two valuable wins over the weekend. On Saturday they easily defeated bottom club Dundrum by 5 wickets as the visitors final tally of 173, of which Gavin McNerlin made 82, was below par with Davy Munn (44) and Davy Menaul (42no) prominent – McNerlin completed a good all round day with 4-27. Menaul’s bowling return of 5-33 included a hat trick thus qualifying the popular all rounder for an “Ulster Bank” tankard.
On Sunday Downpatrick were the visitors to Mallusk and Paul Tate’s side obviously suffered a reaction from the euphoria of the previous day (they defeated Premier League Muckamore to reach the semi finals of the Challenge Cup) and were bowled out for 117 which was easily passed by the Cliftonville openers Davy Munn (58no) and Neil Cahill (39no) for a 10 wicket win.
Holywood improved their lowly League position on Saturday with a 34 run win over Woodvale at Seapark. The home side had a solid look to their batting with Mark Best (47), Mandar Dhumke (40) and Alan Duddy (39) contributing to a total of 243-5. In reply skipper Michael Irwin with 54 and Aaron Robinson with 42 were best for the visitors but the return to form of paceman Davy Kennedy with 5-37 was crucial.
Derriaghy maintained their challenge with a narrow 3 wicket victory over Templepatrick on Saturday at the Cloughan. The home side’s total of 202 owed much to Artie Campbell’s fine 52 with the consistent Craig Lewis taking 3-46. The visitors successful reply was based around a magnificent unbeaten 95 from their professional Kaushik Aphale – Jordan Carlisle with 4-57 was best with the ball.
Ricky Greer’s side fared much better on Sunday with a comprehensive 91 run win over Dundrum leaving the Co. Down side pointless after 6 matches. The home skipper led the way with 52 in a total of 256 with Artie Campbell again in the runs with 61. In reply the visitors were unable to cope with Robert Smith’s bowling (6-33) and were bowled out for 165.
In the final game of a busy weekend Carrickfergus picked up a welcome if narrow win over Derriaghy at Middle Road where former Irish International Ryan Eagleson was in top form with both bat and ball. In a total of 253-6 he made 76 assisted by Indrajeet Kamtekar (67) and Iain Parkhill (57). The visitors made a valiant reply with Aphale continuing where he left off the day before with a brilliant 117 but they fell 15 runs short in an exciting finish. Eagleson completed a good day’s work with 3-32.
NEXT FIXTURES – SATURDAY 28th JUNE
Downpatrick v Bangor
Dundrum v Carrickfergus
Holywood v Derriaghy
Templepatrick v Cliftonville
Woodvale v Lurgan
P W T L NR/V Pts Cliftonville 7 5 0 2 0 20 Lurgan 6 4 0 2 0 16 Derriaghy 7 4 0 3 0 16 Woodvale 7 4 0 3 0 16 Bangor 6 3 0 3 0 12 Carrickfergus 6 3 0 3 0 12 Downpatrick 6 3 0 3 0 12 Templepatrick 6 3 0 3 0 12 Holywood 5 2 0 3 0 8 Dundrum 6 0 0 6 0 0