WARINGSTOWN Thirds remain on course to retain the Minor Cup after a six wicket victory over CSNI at the weekend.
It was a win which was hard fought and relied on both youth and experience with Craig Kennedy starring with four wickets, the veteran Robyn McClimond claimed a hat-trick and captain Andrew Beattie scored 53.
Having won the toss on what was a green wicket, Beattie decided to bowl with Andrew Sinnamon and Stefan Heyburn restricting the opposition early on. Fortune eluded the Waringstown seamers in their early spells, with chances not going their way.
CSNI pushed on in the game with their openers putting on a stand of 60 before young spinners Sam Matthews and Craig Kennedy entered the attack. Both bowled a tight line and got their rewards with Matthews breaking the opening stand taking a fine caught and bowled. Kennedy can thank Beattie for a fine catch in the deep for his first wicket and with the overs ticking away and CSNI forced to push on he claimed a further three wickets.
Despite losing quick wickets CSNI were pushing on towards a decent total however when McClimond and Sinnamon were re-introduced to the attack this all changed. The experienced McClimond claimed a hat-trick with three wickets in three balls before Sinnamon wrapped CSNI up leaving a target of 106 to book a semi-final spot.
The Waringstown batsmen went about reaching the required total with early caution, and had looked like they had saw off the CSNI pacemen until Dennison was clean bowled for four.
Paddy Allen came to crease, launching a huge six early on in his innings, but like Dennison was bowled on what was now becoming a difficult batting track with Ross Waite also departing early in his innings that target of 106 was looking testing.
Captain Andrew Beattie was joined by McClimond who had earlier starred with the ball. These two steadied things putting on an admirable partnership together both showing their priceless experience. Good running between the wickets and several hefty blows from Beattie who had played an anchor role resulted in a well deserved 50.
With less than 20 runs needed Beattie was unfortunate to depart for 53 leaving McClimond unbeaten on 20 and Marcus McLean to steer the team towards victory with a semi-final spot in July to look forward to.