Waringstown’s remarkable 17-match winning run finally came to an end at Stormont on Saturday.
Until Saturday you had to go all the way back to August 3, 2013 to find the last time Waringstown lost a cricket match.
It was always going to take something special to finish that run and Shane Getkate delivered it with a stunning unbeaten 88.
Waringstown were only defending 173 for eight, a total that represented a recovery from the perils of 76 for six, but they were probably favourites when CSNI stumbled to 75 for five in reply.
But on a pitch that offered nothing to their spin-dominated attack, Waringstown could do little to stem the tide of Getkate’s attacking strokes.
The Northern Knights all-rounder added 97 for the sixth wicket with Christopher McMorran, with the Ireland under-19 man contributing just 25.
Getkate’s unbeaten 88 came from just 97 balls and included 10 fours and two sixes but CSNI’s victory was more than about one man.
Nigel Jones crucially read the pitch correctly and opted to bowl first, taking advantage of seam-friendly conditions.
The captain conceded just 10 runs in 10 overs along with the wickets of Adam Dennison and Lee Nelson, while Allen Coulter bowled in-form James Hall and professional Shaheen Khan.
Kyle McCallan, who struck six fours in 64 from 105 balls, and James Collum with a fine unbeaten 34, added 76 in just 84 balls, a partnership that contrasted with the snail’s pace of the first half of the innings.
There was more agony for Waringstown on Tuesday night as they lost to North Down in the final over of a thrilling Twenty20 Cup semi-final at The Lawn. The villagers appeared to be out of contention after being bowled out for a disappointing 133. Professional Shaheen Khan top scored with 55.
North Down were cruising on 31 without loss but inexplicably collapsed to 81 for seven as Gary Kidd took three wickets. But Daniel Graham led a stirring fightback with an unbeaten 48 from 24 balls.
Waringstown’s Challenge Cup semi-final against CIYMS at Belmont on Saturday now assumes even more importance after those successive defeats.
The villagers should be at full strength against the Premier League leaders,