Ballymena defeat Carrickfergus
Ian Callender (Belfast Telegraph)
“The best game of cricket I’ve ever seen”. One comment after Saturday’s extraordinary finale to their Premier League game against Ballymena at Middle Road.
The visitors target was 348 for the greatest run chase in the League’s history and they started the 49th and penultimate over with the scoreboard showing 320 for nine. Michael Glass, who had just arrived at the wicket after the loss of three wickets in four balls, and last man and captain Simon McDowell took 13 off Ryan Eagleson’s over to reduce their target to 15 off the last six balls.
But here, as is their right, the umpires intervened, to add a six runs penalty to the Ballymena total for Carrickfergus failing to bowl the first 49 overs in the required time. So suddenly it was nine runs required and when Glass hit Ian Parkhill’s second ball for six, the Braidmen were just two runs behind. It was all over two singles later and the accusations started that Ballymena had, earlier, failed to bowl their overs inside three hours 10 minutes.
That was indeed the case but with Taiaroa hitting 14 sixes himself in his memorable, unbeaten 176, rather more time was used up retrieving his blows than the eight sixes hit in the whole Ballymena innings.
Ironically it wasn’t the only penalty runs added on Saturday. North Down, were also ruled to be one over short, taking the Civil Service North total to 211 but with 111 not out from Ryan Haire, the penalty made no impact as the champions won by seven wickets with 11 overs in hand.
That makes it four out of four for the Comber side, and puts them level at the top with Instonians who kept Waringstown in joint third, four points behind, with a 10 runs win at Shaw’s Bridge. Here, Waringstown bowled their 50 overs in two hours 50 minutes, a full 20 minutes inside the required time.
Saturday’s action in the North West was dominated by the Northern Bank Senior Cup action. Brigade will contest the final on August 3-4 after ending Coleraine’s final dream with a 13 run victory.
At the fifth attempt, the outstanding quater final between Donemana and Glendermott was played and the favourites wasted no time in setting up a last four meeting with Bready. Junior McBrine had the remarkable figures of five wickets for two runs in six overs as Glendermott collapsed from 81 for two to 95 all out and they knocked off the runs in 10 overs.
It wasn’t even the quickest game of the day with Strabane needing just 29 overs to beat Creevedonnell who were bowled out for 63, Phil Eaglestone taking six for 26.
And that wasn’t even the biggest margin of victory. That went to Limavady who won by 10 wickets after dismissing basement club Bonds Glen for 87.