Nelson ensures Waringstown stay ahead of the chasing pack

Lee Nelson in action for Waringstown.
Lee Nelson in action for Waringstown.

Waringstown made it six victories out of seven in the NCU Premier League after a five-wicket win over Carrickfergus at The Lawn on Saturday.

The villagers, without Gary Kidd and Kyle McCallan, bowled out their opponents for 206 on what was a fine batting pitch.

Phil Eaglestone was in excellent form early on, removing the dangerous Michael Gilmour lbw and then having in-form Jamie Holmes caught by James Hall at slip.

At 42 for four and 108 for six, Carrickfergus were in real trouble but Ryan Eagleson, the veteran all-rounder,dug them out of trouble with 56, hitting five fours and a six.

James Mitchell, Ruhan Pretorius and captain Lee Nelson all claim two wickets for the villagers but a late flurry from the visitors took them past 200.

Waringstown wasted little time in chasing down the target - they were flying at seven and almost eight runs an over despite losing openers Hall and James McCollum relatively cheaply.

Nelson and Adam Dennison batted beautifully during a 74-run stand for the third wicket, Dennison hitting five boundaries in his 44 after returning from Ireland under-19 duty.

But his departure, one of three unlikely victims for part-time spinner Holmes (3-26), sparked a mini-collapse of three wickets for 14 runs.

While Nelson remained the outcome wasn’t in doubt though and he unleashed some superb strokes all around the wicket during an untroubled stand of 60 for the sixth wicket with Pretorius (17 no).

Nelson struck six fours and two sixes in an unbeaten 78.

Waringstown were home with 15 overs to spare but they will face a much sterner examination when they host champions Instonians at The Lawn on Saturday.

The fixture will take place, provided the Challenge Cup final between Instonians and CIYMS goes ahead as scheduled on Friday.

If the final is postponed because of the weather the reserve date is Saturday, meaning Waringstown and Instonians would have to find a new date for what is a crucial league match.

Kyle McCallan, the veteran all-rounder, is back in the Waringstown side after missing the last two weekends because of commentary commitments with Sky Sports at the World Twenty20 Qualifiers in Dublin.

However, there is no prospect of an immediate return for Gary Kidd.

The left-arm spinner broke a finger in his right hand earlier this month and may not play again this season after undergoing major surgery.

The ball sponsor on Saturday is Muriel Harrison.