VICTORIA’S first elevens hosted Donaghadee last weekend in a game which counted for little for either side except pride.
The opposition skipper won and the toss and sent the home team into bat.
Robert Black and Dave Reiman opened the batting for Victoria and got off to a slow but steady start. After seeing off the opening pair they started to up the run rate but Reiman (27) holed out at mid-off with the score at 46.
New recruit Kenny Maxwell came in next and showed his intent early with a boundary and six his first two scoring shots. Black and Maxwell started to build the foundation for a big score and at drinks they had moved the score onto 97.
Black (27) was dismissed shortly after drinks though he had done his job. Unfortunately this sparked a collapse with the rest of Victoria’s top order batsmen unable to put together a meaningful partnership and the score slumping to 142 for 7. Maxwell (43) was excellent on debut but the rest failed to reach double figures.
Matt Parks (18) was the only other batsmen to offer any resistance and while he was in it looked as though the home team may reach 200. However he was run out and Victoria were bowled out for 172 shortly afterwards. A fairly disappointing total after the great start though the Lurgan men still thought they had a good chance bowling on a slow and cut up wicket.
In reply the visitors opening batsmen made their intentions clear from the start swinging at everything. Garry McClune took the vital first wicket a juggled catch from Parks at short cover.
Darren Vennard and Stevie Johnston were then brought into the attack and the change of pace did the job with both taking wickets in their first over to have the opposition at 62 for 3 and the home side right in the game.
Over the next 10 overs Victoria couldn’t get a break until Ben Johnston came into the attack and took the fourth wicket. This gave the Lurgan men a glimmer of hope with 34 runs still required.
Donaghadee had other ideas though closing out the match quickly to win by 6 wickets.