Sutherland stars as North Down go top
Alistair Bushe (News Letter)
North Down went top of the NCU Premier League for the first time this season on Sunday as they survived a scare to beat Carrickfergus by five wickets at Middle Road.
Chasing a revised target of 172 in 38 overs, the Comber side were indebted to a brilliant unbeaten 84 from Andrew Sutherland, who held the innings together before completing the job in spectacular fashion.
North Down were teetering on 81 for four before the Australian-born batsman shared a 75-run stand for the fifth wicket with captain Peter Shields.
Shields eventually fell for 27 and with eight balls remaining, North Down still required 12 for victory. However, the match was over in just two, as Sutherland struck successive sixes off Ross Gelderbloem. His 84 came from just 95 balls and included four sixes and four fours.
Carrick had earlier posted a challenging 182 for nine despite no batsman reaching 30.
Civil Service North completed a superb weekend as Kieran Noema-Barnett inspired them to a 94-run win over rock bottom Lurgan.
The New Zealander shared a 177-run stand for the fourth wicket with Patrick Fisher as CSN piled up 262 for four. Noema-Barnett struck five fours and two sixes in unbeaten 109 while Fisher hit seven fours in his 90.
Lurgan, missing a host of first choice players, briefly threatened to make a fight of it as Niranjan Godbole (60) and Ben McKnight (46) added 104 for the second wicket to take them to 120 for one.
However, their dismissals were the signal for a remarkable collapse as the last nine wickets fell for 48 runs as Colin Andrews, the off-spinner, claimed five for 27.