McCann stars as Instonians defeat Carrickfergus
David Holmes (News Letter)
With play finishing somewhat early at CSN, it was a quick dash down to Middle Road Carrickfergus to watch the home side take on Instonians. Credit to all at the club that this match was still on after a number of inspections.
Timing is everything and for once mine was impeccable. I arrived just as Carrickfergus had taken their second wicket with James Shannon caught by Walker off the bowling of Jamie Holmes for 24 and the score 60 for 2. Instonians were chasing a very respectable 236 for victory.
If the opening overs at Stormont had been a somewhat turgid affair this was just what the doctor prescribed to put the smile back on any cricket lover’s face. At the wicket Rory McCann and Andrew White, another quick success and Carrick’s tails would be up.
Both players though seemed to be right on the top of their games, as singles came from nowhere, ones became twos and the boundary being found just often enough to keep the run rate under control.
At drinks the score was 107 for 2 the visitors needed to score at just over 5 an over to win; a rate they had been maintaining since this pair came to the wicket. 59 runs came off the next 13 overs as the pair rotated the strike, suddenly from nowhere the breakthrough for Carrick.
In the 39th White slashed at one off the bowling of Holmes and Martin took the catch at short third man, 166 for 3. White’s innings was 43 off 57 balls with 5 fours. Next in was Ben Wylie, another Ireland A and U19 player, but again the pace did not slacken.
With the score on 190 and the old stager Ryan Eagleson back in the attack, McCann drove loosely to backward point but the chance was spilled, McCann’s second life, he had also been downed on 5 at slip and with it Carrick’s chances seemed to have gone.
Instonians were now a little behind the clock and needed 41 off 6 but 14 from an Alex Haggan over put them back in charge. Even when Haggan got Wylie; a great catch by Oliver Morrison under a steepler with the score on 217, it did not seem to faze Instonians as skipper Eugene Moleon strode to the middle and cracked his first delivery for 6.
After some playing and missing Eagleson finally got his reward when Holmes caught Moleon; in the end it was fitting that McCann should hit the winning boundary over midwicket to finish unbeaten on 96. He had batted right through, faced 156 balls and hit 7 fours, a masterly innings.
Earlier Carrickfergus had set off at a cracking pace despite the loss of McClurkin to Moleon and Holmes and Michael Taioroa brought up 50 in the 8th over. Taioroa with 42 from 70 balls was one of three victims for the excellent Moleon at the cost of 24 runs.
Jamie Holmes made 60 from 83 balls with 9 boundaries before he was caught by Stevenson off McCann. McCann proving what an excellent all round package he is taking 2-21 in 8 overs once he had removed the wicket keeping gloves.
Carrick will have reason to be disappointed as not for the first time this season they failed to build on an excellent start. At the halfway point they were 128 for 2 and once Alex Haggan had gone for 27 off 36 balls it was once again left to Ryan Eagleson with 37 to try and marshal the lower order.
Perhaps though it is a testament to Instonians bowling that only 107 runs came off the last 25 overs, despite wickets in hand.
In the only Section One game to survive the weather the Donaghcloney revival continues with a seven wicket win over Bangor who were once again dismissed for less than 100, 88 all out this time. Stevie Hanna took 5-20 and there were two wickets each for Gary Know and Mansing Nigade. Nigade also contributed 57 in the Donaghcloney reply.