Derriaghy destroyed by CSN
David Holmes (News Letter)
Given the only game in the NCU region in the second round of the Bob Kerr was at Stormont, you would think it made an easy choice where to go. Equally given the weather perhaps we were fortunate to be playing cricket and I did toy with the idea of a trip to North County; as they say hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Both teams had previous history in cup competition this season; CSN had bowled Derriaghy out for 59 in the second round of the Challenge Cup and recorded a nine wicket victory, demonstrating once again the gulf in class between the Premier League and Section One.
My first surprise was Derriaghy had won the toss and elected to bat after a 30 minute delay to the starting time. For me it summed things up; surely the best chance for them was to stick the home team in and hope to get amongst them on a drying wicket, but I sensed this was more about damage limitation than a belief that the game could be won.
After a dozen overs from Allen Coulter and John Costain with the scoring rate around 2 an over (the majority of those extras) and one wicket down it was starting to look more like a five day test for the few hardy souls who had ventured along.
Cricket, apparently though is a game about taking chances and no-one did that better than young Alistair Graham. On Friday evening he was not even in the team but when CSN decided to rest professional Griffin Niewoudt who has a niggling injury a call from skipper Nigel Jones changed all that.
He replaced Coulter and within the next eleven overs the Derriaghy innings had been reduced to the rubble of 48 for 7. He finished with 5-23 from his 10 overs and all 5 were either clean bowled or caught behind.
For me he did the simple things well, ran in, hit the deck, put the ball in the right place and let the pitch do the rest. Both Balletyne and Bailie edged to wicketkeeper Corin Goodall and when the prize wicket of Craig Lewis drove ambitiously at him; Jones took the catch as first slip.
For Ricky Hewitt and Matthew Jennings, who were both clean bowled; it was more a case of being beaten by the fact that Graham is deceptively quicker than he looks.
We did finally get some entertainment when Kenny Gilliland batting at nine at least took the attack to the bowlers; though he will not be pleased with the manner of his dismissal when on 25 he mistimed a full toss from Hamilton Coulterís first ball for Michael Heaney to end the innings with the score on 92. Shot of the day though went to Scott Hughes batting at eleven with a classically executed extra cover drive for four off Allen Coulter.
Safe to say that this was never going to cause many alarms for the CSN batting line up though Gilliland did have the satisfaction of bowling the inform Charles Beverland in a good opening spell. Patrick Fisher made 36 with 2 sixes and 2 fours before needlessly getting himself out with victory in sight and Andrew Cowden remained unbeaten on 35, striking 4 fours.
So no Niedwoudt and Nigel Jones barely having to break sweat, there will be tougher tests ahead for CSN this week as they face North Down in the Lagan Valley Steels T20, Instonians in the Challenge Cup and Strabane in Ulster Shield.