Lee smashes brilliant century as villagers pass Lisburn test

Lurgan batsman Stephen Johnston in action during Saturday's win over Holywood.
Lurgan batsman Stephen Johnston in action during Saturday's win over Holywood.

Captain Lee Nelson hit a memorable century as Waringstown passed one of the NCU Premier League’s most demanding away tests with flying colours on Saturday.

Nelson made a stunning unbeaten 118 as the villagers posted a formidable 241 for five against Lisburn at Wallace Park.

The 23-year-old struck seven fours and six sixes as he faced just 120 balls.

Nelson’s partnership with opener James Hall, who has also started the season brilliantly, was the deciding factor in the match.

The third-wicket pair added 121 with Hall’s contribution a mature 70 from 97 balls including three fours and a six.

Hall eventually departed with the score on 169 but Waringstown’s momentum didn’t flag as Nelson received sturdy support from professional Shaheen Khan and Greg Thompson.

Khan was run out for 12 while Nelson’s 42-run stand with Thompson for the fifth wicket came in quick time.

Waringstown’s total was a fine one but there were no demons in the Wallace Park pitch and they wouldn’t have been resting on their laurels against a Lisburn team boasting a dangerous batting order.

However, the villagers took a stranglehold on the game as Lisburn failed to establish any momentum with the bat at the beginning of their run chase.

Just 17 runs came from the first 11 overs with James McCollum making the breakthrough by bowling Glenn Halliday.

At drinks Lisburn had reached 59 for one but at the beginning of the 26th over Kyle McCallan struck the decisive blow by trapping Craig Ervine lbw as he tried to work one to the on side.

Richard Simpson swiftly followed, stumped by Jonathan Bushe off Gary Kidd, and the left-arm spinner also accounted for dangerous Darryl Brown as he attempted a slog sweep.

Lisburn didn’t lie down though and Robert Rankin, who has a good record against Waringstown, hit some trademark blows along with captain David Simpson to take the home team past the 100 mark.

However, when Rankin was bowled by Phil Eaglestone (2-19) it started a collapse that saw their last five wickets fall for just 26 runs.

Kidd was the pick of the attack with four for 33 as Lisburn were dismissed for 129.

Waringstown will have anxious eyes on the weather this weekend as they face a cup double-header against Derriaghy and Terenure.

Nelson’s men travel to Queensway for the Ulster Bank Senior Cup tie on Saturday. Derriaghy have started the season well and boast the formidable former Ballymena professional Kaushik Aphale.

A day later Waringstown will attempt to complete their RSA Irish Cup tie against Terenure.

The Dubliners were due to host the replay after the first match at The Lawn was washed out.

However, with Terenure unable to provide a grass pitch or find an alternative venue in Dublin, the game has been switched back to The Lawn.

Waringstown seconds advanced to the second round of the Goldblatt McGuigan Junior Cup after Craig Kennedy struck a century in the win over Monaghan.

The visitors to The Lawn were playing in the competition for the first time and they were on the wrong end of a mammoth 348 for eight from Waringstown.

Kennedy, the opener, carried his bat for exactly 100 and he received big-hitting support from Ross Waite (41), Sam Wilson (32) and especially Ian Morrison, who plundered 64 late on.

Monaghan fought hard even if they were never likely to get close in the run chase.

Alan Waite, the Waringstown captain, claimed three wickets as the visitors were dismissed for 149.

Waringstown’s ball sponsor for Saturday’s Challenge Cup first-round tie away to Derriaghy is Jean Moore.

Lurgan meanwhile travel to Ballymena in the Challenge Cup on Saturday and Strabane in the Irish Cup on Sunday.