Donaghcloney enjoyed a weekend of mixed fortunes, starting last Friday when they travelled to table topping Downpatrick without five first team regulars and suffered a heavy defeat by 155 runs.
Batting first, Downpatrick were restricted to 219 for 6. David Marshall took 3 for 40 and two young bowlers, Matthew Lyttle and Lewis McNamara bowled creditably, although two bad overs each ruined their figures. They took 1 for 47 and 1 for 52 respectively. The ‘Cloney response began with Mansing Nigade holing out at mid-on in the first over. The innings simply folded after this for 64 all out.
However, Donaghcloney bounced back on Saturday with a good five wicket win over Cliftonville. Batting first Cliftonville were quickly reduced to 13 for 4. Gary Knox took 1 for 13 and Steve Hanna 4 for 12 in 9 overs in a superb spell of bowling. Mansing Nigade chipped in with 3 for 10 and the innings closed on 71. Gary Knox, Bruce Topping, Phil Derby, Mark Campbell and Mansing Nigade all took excellent catches.
‘Cloney made hard work of a modest target. Openers Colin Hylands and Mansing Nigade were out with 26 on the board. Teenager Shane Warren batted sensibly with Bruce Topping to steady the ship, but misjudged a ball which cut back and was bowled for 7 with the score on 53 for 3. There were more alarms when Steve Hanna and Phil Derby departed leaving the score on 58 for 5. However, David Marshall and Bruce Topping saw ‘Cloney past the post with Bruce striking a fine six to finish on 27 not out.
Cliftonville 71 all out (I. Latham 28, S. Hanna 4 for 12, M. Nigade 3 for 10).
Donaghcloney 70 for 5 (target reduced to 69 under Duckworth/Lewis) B. Topping 27 not out, B. Anderson 2 for 3). Donaghcloney won by 5 wickets.
This week’s game is a tough trip to Carrickfergus, whom ‘Cloney also visit the following week in the quarter-final of the NCU Senior Cup.