Lurgan secured two important league wins last week with victories away to Templepatrick and at home to Donacloney.
In a re-arranged game on Thursday night that was reduced to a 20/twenty match, Lurgan beat Templepatrick by 32 runs.
Played in drizzly rain and poor light conditions, Lurgan batted first and posted an impressive 190 for 5 wickets. Niranjan Godbole top scored with 80 off 48 balls and he was well supported by Stephen Johnston who hit 71 off 38 deliveries.
Templepatrick were well up with the run rate until Niranjan Godbole struck twice in his last over before a rain break to leave the hosts on 85 for 4 wickets.
On resumption Lurgan were always in control and claimed the four points by restricting Templepatrick to a commendable 158 for 5 wickets. Niranjan Godbole took 3 for 18 runs and there was also a wicket each for Zaheer Ali and Cameron Grieve.
On Saturday, Donaghcloney were the visitors to Pollock Park and on winning the toss elected to bat first. Lurgan’s opening bowlers Oliver McCollum and Zaheer Ali were soon among the wickets, dispatching both openers back to the pavilion to leave the visitors on 36 for 2 wickets.
However the dangerous Nigade was still holding the visitor’s innings together and he had just reached his half century when Niranjan Godbole trapped him leg before for 54 with the total on 86. This signalled a batting collapse for the visitors with four wickets falling with the total on 93 and they were eventually bowled out for 128 in the 42nd over. Godbole inflicted most of the damage taking 5 wickets for 32 runs in his 10 overs with Paul Stafford taking 2 for 25 off 9.3, Zaheer Ali 2 for 31 off 10, Oliver McCollum 1 for 18 off 6 and Callum Grieve 0 for 14 off 6.
Having topped over 200 with the bat in all league games this season, Lurgan could have been lulled into thinking a win was a forgone conclusion. However Donaghcloney’s Steven Leckey struck with the total on 11 as he lured opener Derek Wilson into mis-timing a pull shot off a slower delivery, giving a straight forward catch too deep mid-on. Stephen Chambers joined Callum Grieve and they took the score to 42 before Grieve on 19, failed to follow through an on drive off the bowling of Hanna only to lob a catch to Warren at mid-off. Niranjan Godbole came to the crease and both he and Chambers were seldom troubled throughout the rest of the innings.
Chambers played some exquisite square cuts and off drives on his way to an undefeated 55 while Godbole accelerated to the finish hitting 44 off 34 balls as Lurgan cruised to victory in the 24th over.
An improved bowling and fielding performance was the key to victory and Lurgan will have to maintain this when they travel to play Woodvale at Ballygomartin Road on Saturday. Ball sponsors for the game against Donaghcloney was Jason McCullough while the ball used in the Templepatrick game was sponsored by Alan Jones.