LURGAN lost heavily in the First Round of the Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup, crashing out of the competition to Coleraine by 185 runs.
Lurgan’s opening bowlers John Guy and Callum Grieve started well, but the tone for the afternoon was set as early as the fifth over when Cameron Grieve damaged his right knee in diving to field off John Guy and was unable to participate in the rest of the game.
Having already lost Stevie Anderson to an ankle injury earlier in the week, this left Lurgan short in both the batting and bowling options.
Worse was to follow as James McCollum injured a finger taking a catch and was unable to bat in the Lurgan innings.
However, the bowlers set about their task and never allowed the home side’s batsmen to run away with the game in the early stages of the match.
John Guy was particularly unlucky to finish with just one wicket, finding the edge of the bat on a number of occasions only to see the ball race to the boundary instead of to hand, and see a super delivery that knocked back the middle stump of one of Coleraine’s opening batsmen be ruled out as a ‘no ball’.
New recruit Mark Stinson set down a marker for himself with a good bowling performance, returning figures of two for 45 off his 10 overs with Peter Maxwell taking two for 55 also off 10.
Following a steady start, Coleraine’s middle order batsmen batted sensibly throughout the innings with very few rash shots and a total of 264 to win was always going to be a challenge for the visitors.
In reply, skipper Stephen Johnston (20) and professional Niranjan Godbole (27) got the Lurgan innings off to an excellent start and as the 50 came up without loss in under 10 overs, few would have envisaged the batting debacle that followed.
After depositing a short delivery into a nearby housing development for six, skipper Johnston edged the next delivery into the gloves of the Coleraine keeper.
That was the signal for the collapse as 52 for no wickets quickly turned into 52 for four inside two overs and ultimately finished on 78 for eight wickets with only John Guy showing any resistance, finishing on 16 not out.
It’s certainly one batting display the town side need to erase from their minds pretty quickly as it’s the Senior Cup next week and a good performance will be required against Holywood in order to proceed into the next round.
The ball sponsors for this game were Jimmy Hamill and Graeme Hunter.