WARINGSTOWN maintained their 100 per cent winning record by cruising to a surprisingly easy six-wicket win over CIYMS at Belmont on Saturday.
The villagers expected a tough test at the home of the much-strengthened east Belfast outfit, but instead made it look easy on a gloriously sunny afternoon.
Everything should have been in the home side’s favour after they won the toss and batted first and the stage was set for CI talisman Jeremy Bray when he came to the crease after the early departure of Barry Cooper, who was well caught at cover by Lee Nelson off Glen Addicott.
The prolific left-hander was never at his fluent best, and he edged Kris Lyness behind in the twentieth over, having made 17 from 46 balls. It was a deserved reward for Lyness, who bowled well to the Ireland international, giving him very few opportunities to score cheap runs.
Initially, it seemed that CI could rally despite losing their talisman. Taimur Khan, one of few batsmen in the division totally at home against Waringstown’s spinners, found a willing accomplice in Ryan Butterworth during a 39-run stand for the fourth wicket.
At 104 for three in the twenty eigth over CI should have had realistic aspirations of reaching anywhere between 220 and 250. But Butterworth fell caught and bowled for 22 which heralded the start of a collapse that saw the final CI seven wickets fall for 46 runs.
PJ Moor fell leg before wicket to Kyle McCallan (2-22) and Addicott (3-25), Waringstown’s South African professional, effectively ended the game as a contest when he surprised Khan (47) with the first ball of his second spell, the Pakistani edging one to wicketkeeper Jonathan Bushe.
There was a display of defiance from Craig Boultwood (26 no) but with Bushe producing a wonder catch behind the stumps to account for another wicket, CI collapsed to 150 all out.
In-form Waringstown openers Simon Harrison and James Hall started quickly and only an unfortunate catch down the leg side did for James Hall and ended a 35-run opening stand with Simon Harrison.
If anything the villagers’ batting was a little lax. After looking in superb touch, hitting strongly over the top for 42 from 62 balls, the impressive Harrison walked too far across his stumps and was bowled by Stephen McChesney, and then Addicott and McCallan rather tossed their wickets away with victory in sight.
Lee Nelson was nowhere near as cavalier though, and an unbeaten 44 from 74 balls was another example of his maturity.
With form like this, the 21-year-old must be knocking on the door of the senior side should a vacancy arrive. He received sturdy support from Andrew Cousins in an unbeaten fifth-wicket stand.
Waringstown are in action in the Club Turf Ulster Cup on Saturday, with North West Senior Cup holders Bready the visitors to The Lawn.