Lurgan gained revenge for defeat on the first day of the season with a 16 run win in a hard fought Ulster Bank Section 1 game against Derriaghy at Pollock Park on Saturday.
It was a see-saw battle until John Guy blasted out three Derriaghy batsmen in his final over to set up a victory for the home side.
Derriaghy won the toss and put Lurgan in to bat on a wicket where the ball was holding up more than normal and the outfield slower due to recent heavy rain. The visitors were soon making inroads into the innings and with the score on 21, both openers had been dispatched back to the pavilion, Stephen Johnston caught by Aphale off Lewis for 11 and Jonathan Hunter caught and bowled Stinson for 6.
In his next over Stinson had Lurgan professional Niranjan Godbole trapped lbw for a duck. It was important the Lurgan middle order brought some stability to the innings and Bruce Topping and Stephen Chambers gradually started to play Lurgan out of trouble,.
However with the score on 86 in a game that was not without its controversial moments, Topping was adjudged run out at the bowlers end for 21 when a ferocious straight drive from Stephen Johnston was deflected on to the stumps by Aphale. Stephen Chambers, who had survived a difficult caught behind chance, was providing the backbone to the Lurgan innings as he had done in the first encounter between the teams and when he was joined by the in form John Guy, the duo took the Town side past the 100 mark in the 25th over. Guy was next out for 19 with the score on 116, then Neil Anderson for 8 and when Stephen Chambers holed out to Kenny from a wider delivery from Jennings for an excellent 55, Derriaghy were back in the driving seat with the Town on 140 for 7.
However a sensible 30 run 8th wicket partnership over 6 overs between the Haire brothers Davy (21) and Peter (19) plus a quick-fire 18 from Kris Lyness set Derriaghy a challenging total of 198 to pass for victory.
The Lurgan bowling attack of John Guy and Kris Lyness struck quickly in the Derriaghy innings, Guy having Bailey well caught by Anderson for 6 and Lyness taking a catch off his own bowling to dismiss Jennings for 7 with the total on 20. More controversy as a huge Lurgan appeal for a caught behind against Bell from the bowling of Lyness was turned down, but the Derriaghy batsmen was caught behind soon after by Davy Haire for 9 off the bowling of Niranjan Godbole. When Lewis was given out lbw off Guy for 14, Lurgan were firmly on top with the visitors 54 for 4.
Derriaghy professional Aphale was permitted to bat with a runner after damaging a hamstring in the field during the Lurgan innings, but the injury didn’t seem to hamper his stroke making. Along with Kenny they set about the Lurgan bowling adding 84 runs in just 15 overs. Then more controversy as a loud Lurgan appeal for leg before against Aphale off Godbole was eventually given out, the Derriaghy pro being made to wait a long time for a decision like Godbole in the Lurgan innings, but he had to go for 32 with the total on 138. Moorehead departed next ball for a duck but Kenny was striking the ball to all parts of the ground and looked like winning it for the visitors.
Then came that dramatic Guy over, dismissing Cairnduff, caught chest high by Jonathan Hunter for 8, the crucial wicket of Kenny bowled for 73 and S Hughes, bowled for a duck. Neil Anderson finished it off for the home side having Stinson caught behind by Davy Haire for 9 and the Derriaghy innings closed on 182. John Guy finished with 5 for 42 off his 10 overs and Niranjan Godbole 3 for 40 off 10. The ball sponsor for Lurgan was Jason McCullough.