Waringstown picked up four points they probably didn’t expect to on Saturday as they defied a gloomy weather forecast to beat North Down by seven wickets at The Lawn.
Both sets of players had turned up with little expectation of a finish but fortunately the forecasters were badly wrong - and not for the first time.
Waringstown’s victory owed much to some fine individual performances, particularly from professional Ruhan Pretorius, who produced his finest spell of bowling in NCU cricket.
Pretorius swung the ball away at pace during a superb opening burst that included the wicket of his countryman Pieter Malan, bowled off an inside edge.
At 42 for three North Down were in some trouble but they bounced back through an excellent century partnership for the fourth wicket between Alistair Shields and Peter Eakin.
Shields did enjoy one life off Greg Thompson but that apart there were few scares as Waringstown missed the overs of injured left-arm spinner Gary Kidd.
At 150 for three North Down were eyeing up 250 but then Pretorius (4-30) lured Eakin into a rash shot and Shields was run out for 68 as Lee Nelson kept his composure and ran him out with an underarm throw.
North Down’s last five wickets fell for 43 and their final total of 206 all out was way below what they looked like achieving. The big question now was would the teams be able to finish the 20 overs of the second innings needed to ensure a result.
Waringstown started positively as James McCollum and the returning James Hall began in a flurry of boundaries.
Hall went for 21 but McCollum continued to show the form that has already brought him more than 400 runs this summer.
However, there was a twist as first Kyle McCallan fell to Jacob Mulder and then McCollum, after hitting seven boundaries, was sharply held at cover off the same bowler.
With more than 20 overs gone, it was now a game and Waringstown were only just ahead on Duckworth-Lewis.
Another wicket then would have put North Down in front but Nelson put some daylight between the sides during an expensive over from Marty Moreland as Waringstown finished the 25th 19 runs ahead.
The rain duly arrived and that looked like game-over until it stopped, giving Waringstown a target of 161 in 36 overs.
They got there in a flurry of boundaries as Nelson crashed 57 from just 31 balls, including 10 fours and a six. David Dawson was unbeaten on 24.
Waringstown are back in action on Saturday with a home game against Lisburn starting at 11.00am.