Waringstown went within one victory of the NCU Premier League title after beating Lisburn by nine wickets at The Lawn on Sunday.
The villagers now need to win one of their two matches against close rivals Instonians this weekend to retain the trophy they shared with the Shaw’s Bridge side last year.
Sunday’s outcome was rarely in doubt after James McCollum collected the scalps of Craig Ervine and Robert Rankin, Lisburn’s two biggest dangermen with the bat, inside the first four overs of the day.
Phil Eaglestone was luckless at the other end, going past the outside edge of opener Richard Simpson’s bat more times than he will care to remember.
However, Simpson’s vigil was eventually ended by Kyle McCallan, who collected two wickets and conceded just eight runs in 10 overs, and captain Lee Nelson broke the back of the middle order with three for 27.
Waringstown’s fielding was excellent with Andrew Mitchell taking one catch at deep mid-wicket and completing two run-outs, the second with a direct hit from the boundary.
Lisburn were all out for 120 and although the pitch had offered some assistance for the bowlers early on, by now it had completed flattened out.
McCollum was trapped lbw by David Simpson from the first ball of the Waringstown reply, but that was the only glimmer Lisburn got as James Hall went on a brutal offensive.
James Magowan was hit out of the attack after conceding 29 runs in two overs and the remainder of the attack couldn’t stem the run flow.
Hall struck 10 fours and three sixes in an unbeaten 81 from just 56 balls with Adam Dennison not out on 29 at the other end.
The formalities were completed from the fourth ball of the 17th over. It was a comprehensive win for Waringstown but tougher challenges await this weekend.
They face Instonians at Shaw’s Bridge on Saturday and at The Lawn on Sunday. Before that Inst themselves must beat North Down in a Twenty20 game on Friday night to ensure they still have hope of winning the league outright. Should they lose that game Waringstown will be guaranteed at least a share of the league.