Victoria unable to close gap on league leaders Larne


Victoria took on top of the table Larne on Saturday and afterAndy Gray won the toss he decided to bowl first.

After a tight few first overs, Gray ended his wicket drought by removing the in form Hunter being caught by Dempster at backward point.

The tight bowling continued from Walsh coming from the Castle end and Gray coming from the Avenue Road end. Gray would soon pick up his second wicket removing Dempsey lbw. This however signaled the end of a great spell by both Walsh and Gray who were soon replaced by Thompson and Gilpin, however there seemed there seemed little they could do with the aggressive batting from Kennedy and Keenan.

Reiman and McDowell were soon brought to the attack before Reiman picked up his only wicket as the batsman played into the capable hands of Dempster. A run-out in the last over leftLarne on 187-4 after their 40 overs.

The Victoria innings got off to a shaky start with Gilpin out. Before Gray and and Reiman could develop their partnership Reiman was caught behind.

This left Gray and Dempster to steady the ship, which they did for a short period, Gray hitting a towering six and followed up by a square cut for four. Dempster was doing well to avoid some tough bouncers and defending well whilst turning over the strike. Dempster was soon to follow after he received a brilliant ball to clip the off stump and send him back to the pavilion for 7.

This brought Thompson in but his partnership with Gray crumbled before it really got going as Gray received another wonder ball from Hunter, which saw him out for 14.

Thompson batted with great composure as partners fell around him, McCelland, Walsh, McVey, Johnston and McDowell all falling for less than five which left only the injured Black to see out as much as he could to help Thompson on his way.

He continued to bat with real purpose and patience whilst Black pulled his weight in making sure Thompson did not face as many balls as possible.

Thompson was eventually bowled by McKinley for 46, his innings was the main positive to come form the performance.

Black was left not out for a well earned 10.

Victoria host Monaghan this week as they hope to move on from this and get back to winning ways.

Other local cricket games last weekend saw Donacloney beat Downpatrick by 8 wickets to record their fourth win of the season.

A Harland (49) and M Lyttle (39) saw the villagers to victory.

Waringstown Seconds beat CIYMS II by 9 wickets while Waringstown Thirds beat CI III 82 by 8 wickets.