League title delight for the young stars at Donacloney

The Donacloney Under-15 team and officials with the trophy.
The Donacloney Under-15 team and officials with the trophy.

DONAGHCLONEY under 15s showed their quality to overcome a strong Ards team in a close fought battle at Shaw’s Bridge last week.

Having come out first in a league involving teams from both Waringstown and Instonians, as well as Lurgan and Dundrum the villagers set themselves up for a final with an Ards side who had beat Civil Service and Cooke on their way to the final.

With Ards winning the toss they immediately asked Donaghcloney to bat first and early it on looked like this choice had paid dividends, with opening bowler Martin taking the wicket of Justin Joy without troubling the scorers.

This brought captain Ben Daly to the middle to join Robert Lyttle and together they set about aiming to build a big partnership for their bowlers to defend. When Lyttle departed ten overs later for 25 the Cloney had 70 on the board and ten overs still to play with.

Lewis McNamara joined Daly in the middle and together they guided Donaghcloney safely towards the 100 mark before they both found fielders in quick succession, Daly for an impressive 58. Weir, Thompson and Houston kept the scoreboard ticking over for the final few overs to finish with a total of 114 off their 20 overs.

Ards started their innings in almost identical fashion to that of Donaghcloney, Robert Lyttle cleaning bowling the Ards opener without him scoring a run. The second wicket partnership was again the one which proved hardest to break down as Martin and Crawford put on 50 in 11 overs.

However due to the tight bowling from Lyttle, Weir and Joy the Ards players were well behind the required rate and they felt the pressure to start hitting out. Joy made the most of this and after he forced Martin into popping the ball to a fielder wickets began falling at regular intervals. Younger brother Jobin Joy made an immediate impact coming on and taking Crawford’s wicket with the first ball of his spell. When Hughes found himself run out by Weir after a mix up between batsmen for a quick fire 16 things were still too close to call, but with Weir getting one wicket and Jobin Joy helping himself to another two ably assisted by some great tight fielding from the team the total proved just too much for Ards who could only struggle to 103-8 from their 20 overs leaving Donaghcloney to celebrate an 11 run victory and secure the league title.