Outside chance of sharing league title

Waringstown find themselves going into the last Saturday of the season with an outside chance of a share of the title.

The visitors had thought their hopes had gone after a series of disappointing defeats left them on the fringes of the title battle.

However, after they crushed Ballymena by 130 runs at The Lawn on Saturday, Waringstown were interested observers on Sunday as Instonians lost a dramatic game to Civil Service North at Stormont.

That result leaves Instonians needing to beat the same opposition at Shaw’s Bridge this Saturday to win the title outright. However, if they slip up again Waringstown would share the title provided they beat Lurgan at The Lawn.

North Down aren’t out of the equation either, with the Comber men also relying on an Inst slip and winning their final two matches.

Waringstown produced a superb batting display in a one-sided game against Ballymena. Adam Dennison continued his excellent form with 43 and then Kyle McCallan (66) and Lee Nelson (31) laid a platform for a spectacular late-innings assault. An incredible 120 runs came from the last 12 overs as Greg Thompson and Obus Pienaar ran riot. Thompson struck four fours and three sixes in an unbeaten 45 from only 18 balls. Pienaar, in his penultimate match before returning to South Africa, was scarcely less productive, smashing five fours and two sixes in his 41 not out from 23 balls. A final total of 260 for four was always going to be beyond Ballymena once they lost three early wickets. Phil Eaglestone, Waringstown’s left-arm seamer, did the damage with the crucial wicket of Kaushik Aphale on his way to taking three for 26.

Ballymena were reduced to 79 for nine but a stubborn last-wicket partnership took them to 130 all out.

Gary Kidd continued his brilliant season with three more wickets.