Lurgan edged closer to the Premiership trap door as they went down by 120 runs to Premiership leaders Instonians in their Ulster Bank league clash at Pollock Park on Saturday. Lurgan put the visitors in to bat on a damp wicket and scored an early success when professional Niranjan Godbole had Stevenson caught behind by Chambers for 8 with the total on 19.
That however was to be the only success for the town side for quite some time as Neil Russell and Carleon Brome put on 135 for the second wicket with Brome scoring an excellent century. Holmes got the breakthrough for Lurgan trapping Russell lbw for 72. Brome eventually departed, bowled by Holmes for 104 but Irish international Andrew White hit an undefeated 62 in just 43 balls and Eugene Moleon 20 no in the last couple of overs to set the home side a formidable target of 295 for victory. Niranjan Godbole was the pick of the Lurgan bowlers taking 1 wicket for 28 runs in his 10 overs. In reply Lurgan had reached 24 when skipper Stephen Johnston played back to a delivery from Eugene Moleon which clipped the top of the stumps and two balls later Niranjan Godbole, playing forward, was given out lbw to a rising delivery from Moleon which clipped the top of his pad and hit his thigh.
It looked a very poor decision and as so often this season with the departure of Godbole, the hopes of victory for the town side disappeared with him into the pavilion. Stephen Chambers (13) and James McCollum (16) started brightly but poor shot selection saw them hole out to Moleon and Rushe. Peter Maxwell, who has been in fine form with the bat for the Seconds this season, proved that it is possible to score runs from the middle order, hitting 69 before becoming Eugene Moleon’s fourth victim. Lurgan were bowled out in the 48th over for 174 with Moleon being the chief destroyer for Instonians, his 4 wickets costing only 20 runs in 5.3 overs. So two games left for the town side and two wins necessary for any hope for survival in cricket’s top tier.