Gray heroics in vain for Victoria


This brought Dempsey to the crease and after a patience start Larne looked to up the scoring putting on 46 for the second wicket.

Johnny Bunting and David Gilpin came on to bowl and were able to cut the run rate down well with Gilpin taking the wicket of Wilson for 16, well caught by wicketkeeper Jake Hanlon.

This meant both Dempsey brothers were at the crease for Larne with the score on 67 as both players combined good patience with some big shots as both Bunting and Gilpin finished their spells going for 28 off their 8 over’s.

The inform Glenn Thompson was brought on to bowl his off spin and bowled very well being able to tie down both batsmen.

Dempsey was finally out for a well made 35, Walsh picking up his second wicket after a brilliant catch by David Reiman on the boundary.

This brought Keenan to the crease and after a huge 6 hit over midwicket he departed for 12, bowled by Thompson.

Gray was then able to get the other Dempsey out caught again by Reiman for a very important 38.

The next wicket followed as Gray picked up his second wicket, a good catch down at fine leg by Thompson. Thompson then got his second wicket as Cloke skied one to Robert Black at mid on trying to up the scoring.

The innings eventually finished with Larne scoring 212. A good effort from Victoria in the field however far too many wides and extras meant that Larne had the upper hand at the break.

Matthew Parks and Black opened up for Victoria against the tricky opening bowling off Larne and it was not the start Victoria had hoped for.

Black getting run out without facing a ball going for a second run.

This brought captain Gray to the crease. He had to however watch his partner Parks go as he was bowled by McKinley for and Victoria were in deep trouble at 5-2.

Gray and Reiman steadied the ship as they put on 51 for the third wicket.

Both players surviving a very testing spell by Larne’s opening bowlers and starting to get into the flow, Reiman playing some lovely stokes until he unfortunately got a leading edge to cover and was gone for 14.

Rain was in the air and it was a matter of time before the players were to go off but not before Gray and Bunting consolidated. Victoria’s revised target after the rain break was 194 off 35 over’s.

Both players started to up the ante with Gray in particular playing some wonderful strokes and taking a liking to Dempsey’s bowling hitting him for two straight 6s while Bunting played the supporting role.

The key moment came in the 25th over with the score on 119. Gray being caught on the boundary off Dempsey after hitting him for 18 in the same over for a brilliant 67.

After this the Victoria innings unfortunately petered out with Vennard and Thompson both going cheaply and Bunting being stumped for a very well made 36.

In a very competitive game this was a big lesson for Victoria knowing they must tighten up their bowling and concede fewer extras.

They play Cliftonville away in the Junior Cup next weekend.