Waringstown will in all probability be left scratching their head at the end of the season and wondering how they didn’t win the NCU Premier League.
The villagers won their second and third matches in a row on Saturday and Sunday, making two difficult league matches at Lisburn and Instonians look very easy indeed.
But having already lost four times themselves, including two inexplicable defeats to strugglers Ballymena and CIYMS, Kyle McCallan’s team are effectively out of contention.
Sunday’s 151-run win over Instonians at Shaw’s Bridge was probably their most impressive performance of the season. The new opening partnership of Adam Dennison and James Hall continues to go from strength to strength as their stand of 105 was only ended by the run-out of Dennison for a superb 38.
Hall batted probably better than he has all season, hitting three imperious straight sixes early in his innings as Waringstown looked on course for a total of around 260.
However, Inst hit back, and when Hall was the second run-out victim the villagers were pegged back on 148 for three.
Greg Thompson and Pienaar took the game away from the home side with a 101-run stand for the fifth wicket in just 84 balls.
Pienaar (39) was the junior partner as Thompson plundered an unbeaten 55 from 44 balls, hitting five fours and a six. Crucially the last four overs leaked 42 runs as a likely total of around 220 became a desperately imposing 249.
Inst were soon on the back foot in their reply as Pienaar trapped John Stevenson lbw and Phil Eaglestone had the dangerous Neil Russell caught behind.
Carleon Brome and James Shannon batted well enough to get Inst to 68 for two but the former’s dismissal to Gary Kidd (5-24) sparked a collapse, the last eight Inst wickets falling for just 30 runs in the space of 13 runs. Inst were all out for 98.
A day earlier Dennison hit his maiden half-century and Thompson struck 49 as Waringstown totalled 193 all out batting first against Lisburn.
Dennison, the 16-year-old, faced 126 balls and hit five boundaries but that only served to emphasise his powers of concentration on a pitch where stroke-making wasn’t easy.
Thompson struck four fours and two sixes in 49 from 69 balls while McCallan added an important 30.
Pienaar made an early double breakthrough while McCallan (4-11) claimed the prize scalp of Craig Ervine and Waringstown celebrated jubilantly when Darryl Brown was lbw to Eaglestone for 28. Kidd finished with three for 23.