Lurgan suffer highs and lows

Lurgan bowler Zaheer Ali made an early breakthrough at Woodvale.
Lurgan bowler Zaheer Ali made an early breakthrough at Woodvale.

One win out of two was the fruits of Lurgan’s efforts last week as they completed a league double against Woodvale with a comprehensive 6 wicket win in their Ulster Bank Section 1 clash at Ballygomartin Road, and lost heavily by 7 wickets to Muckamore at Moylena.

At Woodvale, the home side batted first and Lurgan’s opening bowler Zaheer Ali struck in the first over of the game having Fleming caught by Stephen Johnston for a duck.

Both Ali and Callum Grieve were bowling tightly and it was Grieve who struck next trapping professional Sujit Kalbhor LBW for 9 with the total on 20. Kris Lyness then struck with his first ball in the 12th over to dismiss Irwin with the Woodvale score on 35 and Lurgan were starting to take control of the game. None of the home side’s batsmen were able to build a substantial partnership as wickets fell regularly with the Town bowlers giving little away.

The last five wickets fell for only 12 runs and the innings ended in the 40th over with Woodvale bowled out for 115.

There were some impressive bowling returns for the Lurgan bowlers with Peter Maxwell taking 2 wkts for 12 runs off 10 overs, Niranjan Godbole 2 for 11 off 7 overs and Andrew Bingham announcing his return to local cricket with 2 for 6 off 5 overs.

With just over two runs an over required for victory Lurgan started steadily and Peter Haire and Callum Grieve took the score to 13 when Haire was caught by Gibson off McBride for 10.

The in-form Stephen Chambers joined Grieve and they steadily took the score to 48 before Chambers was dismissed LBW to Browne for 19. This brought professional Niranjan Godbole to the middle and although another 2 wickets fell, Grieve for 20 and Johnston for 6, the result never seemed in doubt. Lurgan passed the target in the 32nd over with Godbole not out 38 and Peter Maxwell not out 11.

For the first time this season Lurgan’s batting let them down as they slumped to 81 all out and a 7 wicket defeat at Muckamore. Batting first in league games this season the Town side had not failed to pass the 200 mark.

However on this occasion they failed to make it to three figures with only Stephen Chambers on 18 not out offering any resistance to the Muckamore bowlers, poor shot selection in the main leading to the demise of the others.

Stephen Chambers also took two catches behind the stumps off Andrew Bingham and Nathanial Ferris claimed the only other Muckamore wicket to fall as the hosts ran out easy winners.

Both weekend games highlight the inconsistency in Lurgan’s performances this season. More displays of the standard displayed at Woodvale should enable the Town side to progress up the table in a keenly contested Section 1 league this season.

The ball sponsors for this week’s Lurgan games were Jimmy Hamill and Peter Haire.