Lurgan snatch defeat from jaws of victory at Belmont

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Lurgan collapsed to a narrow six run defeat to CIYMS in Saturday’s crucial Ulster Bank Premier League encounter at Belmont on Saturday.

Another excellent display in the field saw Lurgan bowl the home side out for 174 in the 49th over, only to see the batting collapse from 100 for two wickets to 164 all out.

Niranjan Godbole and John Guy turned in excellent bowling performances, Godbole conceding only 14 runs from his 10 overs and taking two wickets.

Both bowlers were helped by great catching behind the stumps by Stephen Chambers, a diving one handed dismissal of Boltwood off pace man John Guy being the pick of three great takes.

The Lurgan attack kept pressure on the CI batsmen throughout their innings with wickets falling at regular intervals.

The run out of Dunn brought the innings to a close leaving the Town side to score at a moderate 3.5 runs an over for victory.

John Guy took three wickets for 27 off 10 overs while there was two wickets for Charley Crasborn for 40 runs off 9.4 overs, and a wicket each for Stephen Leckey and Andrew Bingham.

Lurgan surprisingly sent bowler Callum Grieve in to open the batting with New Zealander Jamie Holmes, presumably to see off some of the overs from the opening CI bowlers.

However it was Holmes back in the pavilion first, his disappointing run continuing as he edged a delivery from Boltwood to Clark at slip to depart for 9 with the total on 18. Grieve’s departure for 14 brought together professional Niranjan Godbole and keeper Stephen Chambers and, as in previous weeks, both scored steadily taking the total to the 100 mark.

Two overs from CI’s Britton then changed the complexion on the match as he had Godbole (45), Chambers (31) and James McCollum (0) all caught behind by Dougherty to leave Lurgan on 107 for 5 wickets and in trouble. None of the remaining Lurgan batsmen were able to stamp their authority on the innings and when Andrew Bingham was bowled by Khan for 3, stand in skipper John Guy was left stranded on 12 not out and his team 6 runs short of what would have been a vital victory. 
So instead of having four wins and a two win cushion over the bottom club, Lurgan now find themselves tied with Ballymena, Lisburn and CIYMS on three wins each, one win ahead of CSNI who have two games in hand.

The ball sponsors for Lurgan games over the past week included Colin McCusker, Rodney Smylie and Keith Hamilton.